Hartford Stage has named playwright and performer Mfoniso Udofia its 2018 Aetna New Voices Fellow. Udofia is the playwright of the nine-part Ufot Cycle, which chronicles the life—the triumphs and losses—of a Nigerian immigrant woman living in America.
Two plays from the cycle, Sojourners and Her Portmanteau, premiered at New York Theatre Workshop last season. The Off-Broadway theatre will produce two more plays from the cycle, Udofia’s runboyrun and In Old Age, performed together as an evening of work, as part of its 2019–2020 season.
The Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage provides an artistic home for playwrights of diversity and color to develop work and engage with the community. The residency includes the commissioning of a new play with developmental readings and workshops, and working with Hartford Stage Education through its annual young playwright competition.
“Aetna’s New Voices Fellowship has supported commissioning an array of exciting work over the years, including Quiara Alegrìa Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Water by the Spoonful, Matthew Lopez’ The Inheritance, which recently premiered in London, and Kaneza Schaal’s Jack &, which will be part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival this fall,” said Elizabeth Williamson, associate artistic director for Hartford Stage, in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier to have the brilliant Mfoniso Udofia joining us as our 2018 Aetna New Voices Fellow. Her Ufot Cycle is being performed around the country, and we’re thrilled to bring her and her work to Hartford.”
Other alums of the residency include Christina Anderson (How to Catch Creation), Kimber Lee (brownsville song (b-side for tray)), and Daniel Beaty (Breath and Imagination, Resurrection).