(Alexis Soloski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/1; via Pam Green.)
A year ago, the actress and playwright Jocelyn Bioh decided to write a play about African characters — a searing play, a brutal play, a play that theaters would finally produce. “I was going to write the ‘poverty porn,’ ” she said. “The play about African suffering.”
She ended up with “Happiness and Joe.” It’s a rom-com.
Ms. Bioh, a native New Yorker whose parents emigrated from Ghana in 1968, has made it her mission, theatrically and personally, to tell stories about African and African-American characters that buck expectation and defy stereotype.
In her acting roles, she gravitates toward edgier, genre-defying work, like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s “An Octoroon” or Suzan-Lori Parks’s “In the Blood.” But the scripts she writes are affectionate comedies, humanizing stories of friendship and love. Her first fully produced play, “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play,” begins performances Nov. 1 at MCC Theater.
Photo: Playwrights Horizons