Familiar

FEBRUARY 5-MARCH 4, 2018

  • By Danai Gurira
  • Directed by Adam Immerwahr
  • Approximately two hours with an intermission

It’s winter in Minnesota, and an immigrant Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter. But when the bride insists on observing roora, a traditional bride-price ceremony, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, Familiar pitches tradition against assimilation among the members of one devoted family. Which will prove stronger: the customs they keep… or the secrets they’ve kept buried?

Familiar—the third Woolly production of Gurira’s work, after successful runs of Eclipsed (2016 Tony nominee for Best Play) and The Convert is Woolly’s entry into the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival. Directed by Theater J artistic director Adam Immerwahr, one of Gurira's long-time collaborators.

Featuring company member Shannon Dorsey


"A fiercely funny new play...Ms. Gurira weaves issues of cultural identity and displacement, generational frictions and other meaty matters into dialogue that flows utterly naturally. Her engaging characters are drawn with sympathy."

New York Times

About the Playwright: Danai Gurira

DANAI GURIRA (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and actress. Danai’s play Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre directed by Rebecca Taichman. Her play The Convert, a historical drama set in Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe), received world premiere co-productions through McCarter Theater, the Goodman Theatre, and CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, winning the Stavis Award, LA Drama Critics Award, and six Ovation Awards. Danai’s initial success was as the co-lead of In the Continuum, and she subsequently received a grant for research in Liberia which resulted in her second play, Eclipsed. As an actress, Danai currently stars as Michonne, one of the most popular characters in AMC’s critically-acclaimed original series The Walking Dead. Danai’s other film credits include Mother of George, The Visitor, 3 Backyards, and Restless City. Danai was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and she is also the recipient of the prestigious Whiting Writers Award (2012). She is co-founder and President of Almasi, a Zimbabwean American Dramatic Arts Collaborative Organization. Danai was born in the US and raised in Zimbabwe by Zimbabwean parents. She holds an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.

About the Director: Adam Immerwahr

ADAM IMMERWAHR (Director) is a director and theater producer. He is currently the artistic director Theater J, the nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish Theater. He has served as the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre, a Tony Award-winning Regional theater in Princeton, NJ. Adam also served as the Resident Director of Passage Theatre and the Artistic Director of OnStage, an ensemble of retired Mercer Country residents who collect and perform stories from their community. Adam is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in theatre, Speech and Dance and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. As a director, Adam’s credits include international: The Convert (Zimbabwe); Off-Broadway: Missing Celia Rose (SPF 2007, Theatre Row) and The Chimes (SPF 2009, The Public Theatre); Regional and NYC: The Understudy, The Mousetrap, A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre), Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Walnut Street Theater – and national tour), The Last Schwartz (Theater J), Hannah and By the Water (Premiere Stages), Love and Communication (winner of the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award), Slippery as Sin, Trenton Lights, and Blood: A Comedy ( Passage Theatre), The Possibilities, The Thing About Air Travel, The Kid Who Talked to Penguins (Hanger Theatre); Ground, Some Old Black Man, and Bacteria (Theater Masters), A Little Night Music (Princeton Summer Theater), Backfire, Can’t Fight This Feeling (Passage Theatre); Know Dog (Luna Stage); At Rise… and The Association (McCarter Theater – Youth Ink! Festival); and Bodyguard (Passage Theatre – State Street Project). He directed the world premiere of Spirit Sex: A Paranormal Romance by Desi Moreno-Penson at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC as part of the Going to the River Festival. The play is now being published by Smith and Kraus. As an associate and assistant director, Adam has assisted Emily Mann, Tina Landau, and Michael Unger, working in theaters such as McCarter Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Center Theater Group, Playwright’s Horizons, and Paper Mill Playhouse. Adam has worked as a producer for McCarter Theatre, Performance Studies International #11, Production Workshop, and the Brown/Trinity Rep. Consortium. Adam was on the faculty of Interlochen Center of the Arts from 2002-2006, and returned as a guest artist in 2007. Adam was a recipient of a 2008 Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Lun Stage Directors’ Lab in 2006-2007. He is the winner of a National Merit Award, the Young Scholar Award, the Weston Award for Directing, and the Brown University Shakespeare Prize. He recently received the NJ Theatre Alliance Applause Award and the Fairleigh Dickinson University/ Center for Nonprofits emerging nonprofit leader award.

Part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival