Hay Festival Medal for Poetry winner Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles)'s The Half-God of Rainfall opened July 31 at New York Theatre Workshop. The co-production with American Repertory Theater continues through August 20.
Mister Fitzgerald (On Sugarland) stars as Demi, a half Nigerian mortal, half Greek god whose emotions can be read in the weather. But when he takes a shot on a basketball court for the first time, the deities of the land take notice. Ellams creates a new myth, interweaving poetry into the story which spans continents and millennia—including voyages to a small village in Nigeria, an NBA arena in the United States, and the mythic halls of Mount Olympus. And it is there that the mothers, daughters, and goddesses stand up.
Completing the cast are Jason Bowen (The Play That Goes Wrong) as Sàngó, Patrice Johnson Chevannes (In Old Age) as Osún, Michael Laurence (Coal Country) as Zeus, Lizan Mitchell (On Sugarland) as Elegba, Jennifer Mogbock (Merry Wives) as Modúpé, and Kelley Curran (The Gilded Age) as Hera.
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Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.
Obie winner Taibi Magar, co-artistic director of Philadelphia Theatre Company, directs the work. Joining Magar are movement director Orlando Pabotoy, scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer Linda Cho, lighting designer Stacey Derosier, sound designer Mikaal Sulaiman, and projection designer Tal Yarden. Ann James serves as intimacy director with Dawn-Elin Fraser as voice and dialect director.
The Half-God of Rainfall details but does not depict sexual violence.