Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Chris Jennings (Executive Director), and Madison Wells Live with LaChanze and Taraji P. Henson are pleased to announce a one-week extension of the world premiere of Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, now through Sunday, November 5. Jaja’s African Hair Braiding is written by Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) and directed by Whitney White (Our Dear Dead Drug Lord), opening on Broadway this Tuesday, October 3 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).
Manhattan Theatre Club offers audiences Beyond the Stage content, which is designed to enrich the audiences’ experience after attending Jaja’s African Hair Braiding. Purchase a ticket and join us for “A Part of the Culture,” a series of post-show conversations at the theatre:
SHOP TALK: The evening of October 8, join us for Shop Talk! To quote our director, Whitney White, the Shop is “the sacred space of hands on heads.” This conversation will spotlight the essential role braiding shops hold in the African Diaspora, looking at the American experience specifically. Moderated by writer Houreidja Tall, panelists will include filmmaker Similejesu Sonubi, celebrity hair stylist Johnny Wright, and Jaja’s Wig and Hair Designer Nikiya Mathis.
BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN: Join us the evening of October 12 for an intimate conversation spotlighting the black women impacting their communities with their entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Moderated by Creator and Executive Producer of She Did That Renae Bluitt with panelists Kim Capers (Hip Hop Film Festival) and Harlem’s own Princess Jenkins (The Brownstone Woman).
AFRICA NIGHT: Come to the Friedman in your best finery because October 18 is Africa Night at the shop! Join us for an evening of celebration in collaboration with African Restaurant Week, Africa Center, and Chi Talent Management where we will salute African arts, food, and culture. Join us for a lively gathering at an African Restaurant Week sponsored venue, offering special discounts, following the performance.
The cast of Jaja’s African Hair Braiding features Brittany Adebumola (“The Other Black Girl”), Maechi Aharanwa (The Misanthrope), Rachel Christopher (for colored girls who have considered suicide/…), Kalyne Coleman (“So Help Me Todd”), Somi Kakoma (Dreaming Zenzile), Lakisha May (Skeleton Crew), Nana Mensah (“Presumed Innocent”), Michael Oloyede (Inanimate), Dominique Thorne (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) and Zenzi Williams (Mobile Unit of Henry V).
This dazzling world premiere welcomes you into Jaja’s bustling hair braiding shop in Harlem where every day, a lively and eclectic group of West African immigrant hair braiders are creating masterpieces on the heads of neighborhood women. During one sweltering summer day, love will blossom, dreams will flourish and secrets will be revealed. The uncertainty of their circumstances simmers below the surface of their lives and when it boils over, it forces this tight-knit community to confront what it means to be an outsider on the edge of the place they call home. This extraordinary new play is by the award winning Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) and will be directed by Obie winner Whitney White (Our Dear Dead Drug Lord).