Fireflies by Donja R. Love directed by Saheem Ali World Premiere Play


by Donja R. Love
directed by Saheem Ali

Linda Gross Theater

September 26 – November 11, 2018

Fireflies is a startling world premiere by Donja R. Love, and the second part of a trilogy beginning with Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club). Saheem Ali (Sugar in Our Wounds) directs.

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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.”


“Unearthing the role of gay black people in American history is a crucial proposition. I was moved by Mr. Love’s willingness to imagine other kinds of lives than the ones that history books offer. Embodied by the fine performers here, those lives really do seem alive. Khris Davis is exhilarating & heartbreaking. The language is rich & fascinating.”

— Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“DeWanda Wise gives an electrically charged performance. Her body contains a whole history of life before walls, before cages, before dependence. This is language as lush catharsis, language as empowerment. It feels like going to church.”

— Sara Holdren, New York Magazine

Photos by Ahron R. Foster


study guide

Atlantic’s study guides take educators and their students deeper into the story. Each guide provides a variety of discussion starters, activities, and a relevant contextual basis to immerse students in the world of the play before attending the show.