NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS’ PICK!
“MARVELOUS. FRESH AND COMPLEX! The Homecoming Queen wrings all the pleasure possible out of its familiar tropes even as it revamps their meaning entirely. In its happy but deliberately unreal ending, her play suggests that for some traumatized people there’s no place like home — not even home itself.”
— Jesse Green, The New York Times
“A story that’s full of heartbreaking depths and rewarding surprises.”
— Sara Holdren, New York Magazine
“Awoye Timpo’s beautifully constructed production flatters Anyanwu’s work. Where the play is strong, the production is excellent.”
— Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
Keep scrolling to read more!
World Premiere Play
THE HOMECOMING QUEEN
Written by NGOZI ANYANWU
Directed by AWOYE TIMPO
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 W 16th St
Run time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, no intermission
A bestselling novelist returns to Nigeria to care for her ailing father, but before she can bury him, she must relearn the traditions she’s long forgotten. Having been absent for over a decade, she must collide with her culture, traumatic past, painful regrets, and the deep, deep love she thought she could never have. Atlantic is thrilled to welcome Ngozi Anyanwu (Good Grief) for her Off-Broadway debut!
“Anyanwu offers distinctive but universal characters and a bleak yet comforting outlook on the human condition that hint at a long future!” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Exhilarating! The Homecoming Queen is rich and deep, a show to treasure.”
— Jeremy Gerard, Deadline
“Better than any play I’ve seen, The Homecoming Queen captures the everyday theater we perform to convince ourselves and those around us of who we really are. Anyanwu reminds us that even when our dreams don’t come true, new ones spring eternal.”
— Zachary Stewart, TheaterMania
“A powerful story, fueled by powerful writing, is brought vividly to life by director Awoye Timpo in a production that’s both simple and evocative.”
— Theater Pizzazz
Production photos by Ahron R. Foster.
YU-HSUAN CHEN (Scenic Designer) is a New York City-based set and production designer working in theater, film, dance and exhibition. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, she received her MFA in Design for Stage and Film at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Selected theater credits include: Inanimate (The Flea Theater, NY), M Butterfly, Great Expectations (Everyman Theatre, MD), The Hummm (A.R.T. Oberon Theater, MA & Dixon Place, NY), How to Field Dress an Android (University Settlement, NY), Sister Son/Ji (Center for Arts and Culture- Bed Stuy, NY), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (NYU 5th Floor Theater, NYC). Check out her website for more work: www.yuhsuanchendesign.com
NTOKOZO FUZUNINA KUNENE (Costume Designer). The Public: The Winter’s Tale (Leigh Sunday Evans, dir), On the Grounds of Belonging (David Mendizábal, dir), Wild Goose Dreams (Leigh Silverman, dir). Regional: Autumn (Walter Dallas, dir), Scenes from Court Life (Mark Wing-Davey, dir). Film: Brave music video (Spike Lee, dir), Forever Tree (Alrick Brown, dir), Two Birds (Prashanth Kamalakanthan, dir). Visiting Assistant Professor in Theatre at Colgate University. Education: MFA in Design for Stage and Film from NYU. www.fuzunina.com
OONA CURLEY (Lighting Designer) is a lighting and scenic designer. Recent: The Workshop (124 Bank Street), in a word (Lesser America), Far Away (Sharon Playhouse), Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova + International Tour), The Body Artist (Abrons), Ski End (Piehole), The Light Princess (Arden Theatre), Krazytown (Playwrights Downtown), Sweat & Tears (M34 Productions), An Intimate Evening with Typhoid Mary (The New Ohio), peer@me (NYU/Tisch), Café le Monde (Columbia University), Loveplay/Play Money (La MaMa), The Importance of Being Ernest Hemingway (M34 Productions). Nominee: Princess Grace Award. Recipient: J.S. Seidman Award for Design Excellence, Weston Award for Design, Zonta Award for Theatre Arts. MFA: NYU/Tisch. www.oonacurley.com
AMATUS KARIM-ALI (Sound & Original Compositions) is pleased to be making her Atlantic Theater Company debut with Ngozi Anyanwu’s world premiere, The Homecoming Queen, featuring Lakecia Benjamin on Saxophone. As an audio artist and actress, Amatus has worked and collaborated with Meshell Ndegeocello, Roy Hargrove, Labyrinth Theater, PBS, AT&T Hello Lab, POV, Ford Foundation, Rooftop Films, 651 Arts, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, People’s Light PlayHouse and Cincinnati Playhouse, among others. You can find her on social media @amatus23 or www.amatusart.com
NOLUFEFE MTSHABE (Music Director) is a high school teacher who obtained Peformer’s Diploma in Music and Bachelor of Music at UCT. She has won many choir championships in South Africa, worked with NYU creating music and translations of scripts into South African languages on The Mysteries, Children of the Road, Mabatha, The Odyssey and Hamlet. She has also worked on International NYU Firenze productions. In South Africa: Inxeba lomphilisi, Biko’s Quest, Ukutshona keep Mendi (the sinking of Mendi). Translated Winnie: The Opera, composed by Bongani Ndodana.
HOPE BOYKIN (Movement Director) was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She was a three-time recipient of the American Dance Festival’s Young Tuition Scholarship and while attending Howard University in Washington, DC, she continued to pursue her desires to dance working with choreographer Lloyd Whitmore and his New World Dance Company. In New York City, Hope studied at The Ailey School and worked as assistant to choreographers Milton Myers and the late Talley Beatty. Hope was an original member of Complexions, and joined PHILADANCO, where she received the acclaimed “Bessie,” a New York dance and performance award. She has choreographed for numerous dance companies including Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theater and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Currently an 18 year member of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she most recently presented her third work of choreography for the Ailey company called r-Evolution, Dream. Through the efforts of HopeBoykinDance, her mission includes leading young and aspiring artists to a secure foundation and a concrete understanding, developing a confidence and an assurance that will be unmatched. There are no limits.
GWENDOLYN M. GILLIAM (Production Stage Manager). Broadway and tour stage management credits include Eclipsed, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Bring In Da Noise/Bring In Da Funk, Aida, Topdog/Underdog, Chicago, Marley and Fela! She has managed events for numerous charities and corporations including Jackie Robinson Foundation, Jazzmobile, Howl!, Merrill Lynch, New Line Cinema and Film Society of Lincoln Center.
JOANNA MUHLFELDER (Assistant Stage Manager). Broadway: The Band’s Visit. Off-Broadway: Samara (Soho Rep.); Dot (Vineyard Theatre); Tick, Tick… Boom!; Travels With My Aunt (Keen Company); The Two Gentlemen of Verona; An Octoroon (Theatre for a New Audience); While I Yet Live (Primary Stages). Regional: Bucks County Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, George Street Playhouse. Disney Cruise Line: Frozen: A Musical Spectacular, Beauty and the Beast.