World Premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s Nollywood Dreams Finds Its Cast

Off-Broadway News   World Premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s Nollywood Dreams Finds Its Cast
Sandra Okuboyejo will star as the aspiring ingenue in the new romantic comedy about dreaming big in 1990s Nigeria.
Sandra Okuboyejo
Sandra Okuboyejo

The upcoming world premiere of Nollywood Dreams, a new play by School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play playwright Jocelyn Bioh, has found its cast. Presented by MCC Theater Off-Broadway and directed by Saheem Ali, the 1990s-set romantic comedy follows an ingenue's dreams of stardom in a booming Nollywood film industry.

The cast of of Nollywood Dreams, which begins March 19, will feature Charlie Hudson III (A Raisin in the Sun), Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Award nominee Nana Mensah (Man From Nebraska), Sandra Okuboyejo (Hamilton), Ade Otukoya (Shades of Blue), Emana Rachelle (Insecure), and Zenzi Williams (School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play).

Zenzi Williams
Zenzi Williams

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Set in the 1990s in Lagos, Nollywood Dreams follows Ayamma (Okuboyejo), who dreams of stardom while working at her parent's travel agency. When she lands an audition for a new film by Nigeria's hottest director (Hudson III), she comes head-to-head with his former leading lady (Rachelle). Tensions flare just as sparks start flying between Ayamma and Wale (Otukoya), Nollywood's biggest heartthrob.

“I was inspired to write Nollywood Dreams as a love letter to the African films of my youth and to an industry I’m crazy enough to love and work in: show business," says Bioh. "It’s such a classic story but with a culturally specific spin that, like School Girls, I hope audiences will enjoy, learn from and connect with the universality of the story.”

The production will play in the Newman Mills Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space with an opening night set for April 13.

Nollywood Dreams will feature scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, projection design by Alex Basco Koch, and casting by Telsey + Company/ William Cantler, CSA, Destiny Lilly, CSA. The production stage manager is Alyssa Howard.

Bioh, who returns to MCC following her critically acclaimed professional playwriting debut, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play is the theatre's Burnt Umber Playwright-In-Residence. This residency was established at MCC to give a playwright a multi-year home base where they are an integral part of the institutional culture and to provide resources and space to develop new work for production.

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