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July 2, 2024 | General, News,

ArtsEmerson Joins Citywide Celebration of Ufot Family Cycle

ArtsEmerson will join other theatre companies and organizations in the Greater Boston area to celebrate the Ufot Family Cycle, a group of nine plays about three generations of a Nigerian American family. The plays are from nationally acclaimed, Massachusetts-born playwright Mfoniso Udofia.

Ronee Penoi, Arts Emerson + Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Front Porch Arts Collective - photographer Annielly Camargo.jpg

Ronee Penoi, Arts Emerson and Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Front Porch Arts Collective speak about the Ufot Family Cycle. (Photo by Annielly Camargo)

“ArtsEmerson is delighted to be in partnership with our friends at Front Porch Collective to support In Old Age as part of the Ufot Family Cycle,” said Ronee Penoi, Interim Executive Director of the Office of the Arts at ArtsEmerson and Director of Artistic Programming. “At ArtsEmerson, we are committed to uplifting stories that inspire civic transformation and celebrate the diasporas that make up our city. We also know we can’t do this work alone and we are so excited to join The Huntington and all the other producers and partners to embark on this beautiful collaboration for the city and community we love.”

Udofia created The Ufot Family Cycle after recognizing the lack of stories about African and African Americans that resembled her own. The cycle follows the three generations of a family – grandparents, parents and parents — over a two-year, citywide festival that begins in the Fall of 2024 with The Huntington.

In Old Age will be presented in the Spring of 2026, directed by Dawn M. Simmons. ArtsEmerson will produce this play in conjunction with the Front Porch Arts Collective. The play follows Abasiama as she enters her last love journey.

Playwright Mfoniso Udofia

Playwright Mfoniso Udofia (Photo by Annielly Camargo)

“I’m writing these plays for myself, for my immediate family, for my extended family, for the Ibibio community,” Udofia said. “I’m writing us — so we can see us. I believe my work incites community action. When one cares about a character so much they are crying for them, they usually cannot meet a similar person in life and instantaneously judge them. A dramatic telling of an immigrant story, when done well, can cause an audience to change irrevocably in the moment. These audience members will then leave the building and enter their own communities with newfound empathy.”

Learn more about the Ufot Family Cycle.

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