Mfoniso Udofia, a 1st Generation Nigerian-American storyteller, actress and educator, attended Wellesley College for Political Science and obtained her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered a youth initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint.
This Winter 2016, the Playwrights Realm produced the World Premiere of, Sojourners, and was directed by Ed Iskandar. This coming Spring The Magic Theater in San Francisco will produce Sojourners and the third play in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun. Mfoniso is currently working on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival translating Shakespeare’s, Othello. Mfoniso’s plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by Playwrights Realm, The Magic Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, NNPN, Space on Ryder Farm, NNPN New Play Showcase, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA, I73, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle’s INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company and JJCEO Youth Programs in Birmingham, Alabama. Mfoniso was a finalist for the 2015 PoNY Prize, the Eugene O’Neill NPC, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Many Voices Fellowship, Page 73 Development Programs, Jerome Fellowship, NYTW’s 20/50 Fellowship, The Source Festival & Lark Playwrights’ Week. Follow her at @mfudofia or visit www.mfonisoudofia.com for the latest news.
Erin Cherry received her M.F.A. in Acting from Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has appeared on stage at Julie Harris Stage; WHAT, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Classical Theatre of Harlem, New York Stage and Film, Capitol Rep, The Prince Music Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, and Crossroads Theatre to name a few. Recent stage roles include Stick Fly (Majestic), The Farm (Penguin Rep), Lines in the Dust (Luna Stage), and When We Were Young And Unafraid starring Cherry Jones (Manhattan Theatre Club/understudy). Cherry also received a Best Actress Audelco Award nomination for her work as Yolande in New Federal Theatre’s production of Knock Me A Kiss starring André De’Shields.
As a producer Cherry is the founder and head of With A Cherry on Top Productions. Recent producer credits include: Now Africa Fest; Locombia: 3rd world is the new normal; Honoring Excellence in Black Theatre: A Night with Woodie King, Jr; Executive Director of the Nigerian Project; Gypsy and The Bully Door with Ocean Ana Rising; Fight for the World with Classical Theatre of Harlem; and Scibblin’ At the Automat with African Arts Theatrical. Cherry has also served as guest producer with the New Black Fest and was one of the founding producers for Harlem9’s 48 Hours in Harlem.
As an activist, Cherry uses her artistic voice as a platform for social justice. She was featured in the play Rebel Voices at The Culture Project, a theatrical production based on Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History of the United States where she played June Jordan. Cherry recently performed in Eve Ensler’s production of the Vagina Monologues for the Taconic Women’s prison and Here to Be Seen at NYU-Poly-Pfizer Auditorium to help bring awareness to domestic violence against women. She is also developing, A Call to Action: Stay Woke!, born out of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. This will be a place where artists and activists can come together and present their artistic work on injustice.
Ngozi Anyanwu is an actress/writer/producer/director and overall Renaissance Woman. She is a recent graduate of the University of California San Diego’s MFA acting program. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Point Park University in Theatre. Anyanwu’s performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Mark Taper Forum. Also, Anyanwu is the founder and one of the original members of the 1st Generation Nigerian Project. As a member of the 1st Generation Nigerian Project, she served as Artistic Director and wrote and performed along with several other amazing Nigeria- American female artists under the direction of John Gould Rubin (Bank Street Theatre, Women Center Stage Festival).
Anyanwu directed, She Gon Learn, by Lisa Strum for the Emerging Arts Festival and will serve as director of said piece for the United Solo Festival this coming Fall 2015. She has also served as assistant director at Intar (Unit 52) and under Eve Best with Old Vic New Voices.
Anyanwu is the author of stage plays, Good Grief and Victory is Ours. Good Grief was presented as part of the Rising Circle Collective’s 6th annual Ink Tank and the play also received a workshop production at INTAR Theatre. Victory is Ours was recently presented as part of the National Black Theatre’s Keep Soul Alive Monday Reading Series, directed by Logan Vaughn. She is also an upcoming recipient of the internationally recognized Djerassi Artist Residency.
ChiChi Anyanwu is an Associate Talent Manager at The Cooper Company. She has worked behind the scenes in the world of casting with Kuntu Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, New Black Fest, ABC/Sony Television, The National Black Theatre & Summer Stage. Most recently, Anyanwu served as marketing producer for the 1st Generation Nigerian Project workshop at Bank Street Theatre. Anyanwu also co-produced the workshop production of, Good Grief, at the INTAR Theatre. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cheekychichi13.