World Premiere Play
Written by DONJA R. LOVE
Directed by SAHEEM ALI
Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street
Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky is on fire. A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speech writing is the sole force behind her charismatic husband Charles and his successful Movement to galvanize people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia and Charles’ marriage is threatened – as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.”
Fireflies is a startling world premiere by Donja R. Love, and the second part of a trilogy beginning with Sugar in Our Wounds (recently at MTC’s Studio at Stage II). Saheem Ali (Sugar in Our Wounds) directs.
Fireflies is a recipient of a 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
KHRIS DAVIS (Charles) can currently be seen on FX’s hit show “Atlanta.” Khris appeared in Lynn Nottage and Kate Whoriskey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Sweat and the independent feature Summer Night, produced by James Ponsoldt and directed by Joseph Cross. Khris recently wrapped filming on the lead role in Sam De Jong’s Goldie for Vice Films. Khris made his New York stage debut in The Royale by Marco Ramirez, a star-making showcase for Khris’ incredibly physical and emotional performance. Loosely based on the life of Jack Johnson, Khris played a charismatic boxer with a burning desire to become the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. For his performance, Khris received a Clive Barnes Award, an Obie Award, and a Theatre World Award for Best Actor.
DEWANDA WISE (Olivia) appears as ‘Nola Darling’ in the Netflix adaption of “She’s Gotta Have It.” Following its season one release in 2017, the series received an AAFCA award as one of the “Top 10 Television Shows.” The second season is set to premiere next year. Other television credits include “Shots Fired,” “Underground,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “The Good Wife,” among others. In film, Wise can be seen next in The Weekend, opposite Sasheer Zamata and Tone Bell, which is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Recently, Wise completed production in the Netflix Original, “Someone Great,” starring opposite Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, Lakeith Stanfield, and Rosario Dawson, which is set to premiere next year. Additional film credits include How to Tell You’re a Douchbag, in which Wise starred in and executive produced, Spinning into Butter, and Precious, among others. In 2016, Wise ventured into screenwriting and wrote the short-film, “Where You Go,” which premiered at Cannes. Previous stage credits include Sunset Baby, Race, Flight, and In the Continuum. Wise graduated with honors as a BFA Representative from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a recipient of the Scholar Award as well as the Atlantic Achievement in Studio Award.
DONJA R. LOVE (Playwright) is an Afro-Queer playwright, poet, and filmmaker from Philadelphia. He’s the recipient of the 2018 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, the 2017 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow, a Eugene O’ Neill 2018/2017 National Playwrights Conference finalist, The Lark’s 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm’s 2016-2017 Writing Fellow, the 2016 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Award recipient, and the 2011 Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. His work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Rising Circle Theatre, The Lark, and The Playwrights Realm. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ People of Color. Select stage plays include: a trilogy which explores Queer Love* during pivotal moments in Black History, The Love* Plays (Sugar in Our Wounds; Fireflies; In The Middle), and soft. Select film work: Modern Day Black Gay (web series), and Once A Star (short film). Training: Juilliard, Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program.
SAHEEM ALI (Director). Proud immigrant from Kenya. Recent credits include Dangerous House (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown), Tartuffe (Playmakers Rep), Henry V (NYU Tisch), Twelfth Night (Public Theater), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Diaspora (Gym at Judson), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane), The Booty Call (Inner Voices) and Dot (Detroit Public Theater). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm, MCC, New York Stage & Film, Page 73 and The Lark. He is a Usual Suspect and former Directing Fellow at New York Theater Workshop, Sir John Gielgud SDCF Fellow and a Shubert Fellow.