School Girls OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    November 19, 2017
    Closing:
    December 23, 2017

    Theater: Lucille Lortel Theatre / 121 Christopher Street, New York, NY, 10014

    Synopsis: 

    Paulina, the reigning queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter--and Paulina’s hive-minded friends.  Directed by Tony Award® winner Rebecca Taichman, Jocelyn Bioh's buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. How far would you go to be queen bee?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF School Girls

    ‘School Girls’ Is a Gleeful African Makeover of an American Genre

    Jesse Green

    November 16, 2017:

    The reach of American culture may be wide, but it is not always as profound as Americans might hope. At a girls’ boarding school in Africa, dreams are built on the backs of whatever Western brands the students have heard of. Walmart and White Castle (“a castle with food!”) are just as good grist for the fantasy mill as a “Calvin Klean” dress to wear to the dance.

    And so it is for theater. “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play,” which opened on Thursday evening in an MCC Theater production, is a comedy built on borrowed templates: not just “Mean Girls,” as the subtitle admits, but also a whole genre of clique-bait movies including “Heathers,” “Jawbreaker” and “Legally Blonde.”

    But something fascinating happens when the author, Jocelyn Bioh, a New York playwright and actor, applies those templates to the world of her parents, who emigrated from Ghana in 1968. The nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered.

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