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School Girls: or, The African Mean Girls Play

School Girls: or, The African Mean Girls Play
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Jocelyn Bioh
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 63
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: 0822238632
ISBN-13: 9780822238638
Cast Size: 8 female

About the Play:

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play has become a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Female Scenes.

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play is a full-length comedy by Jocelyn Bioh. As the reigning queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant and the glamorous life that's sure to follow, a new student unexpectedly changes the game, forcing her to defend her reputation – and status. How far would you go to be queen bee? This buoyant and biting comedy tackles the universal issues of beauty and self-worth that face teenage girls across the globe.

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play tells a coming-of-age story set in 1986 at an exclusive, all-girls boarding school in Ghana. It's a normal day of chatter and cattiness in the cafeteria for beautiful bully Paulina and Ama, Gifty, Mercy, and Nana. Then Headmistress Francis makes a surprising announcement: A recruiter for the Miss Ghana pageant is about to pay a visit and one of them may get a chance to represent their country at Miss Global Universe. All agree it should be Paulina (especially Paulina). But her plans and even her very reputation are shaken up when Ericka, a new student who's strikingly beautiful and talented, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter – and Paulina's friends. Not only is she pretty, but she has a light complexion and the recruiter praises Ericka's "universal and commercial look." Inspired in part by Jocelyn Bioh's mother's time in a boarding school in Ghana, and Bioh's own experience in at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, School Girls explores the impact that beauty standards have on young women across the globe.

School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play premiered in 2017 at MCC Theater off-Broadway in New York City and received the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and been mounted by regional college theatres.

Cast: 8 female

What people say:

"…fascinating…The nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered…Beneath the infectious silliness of [the] play’s adopted genre, the ugly question of internalized racism lurks…With no underlining and without sacrificing laughs, [Jocelyn Bioh] is able…to bring the audience to an unexpectedly ambivalent conclusion about the morality of cultural dominance." — New York Times

"…funny and fast-paced…brisk and clear…[Jocelyn Bioh] knows how to craft bouncy, juicy dialogue that performers can have fun with. She also knows that there’s a sting inside all this fun." — New York Magazine

"[School Girls] is a ferociously entertaining morality tale that proves as heartwarming as it is hilarious … The clever writing features plenty of astute period-appropriate touches … School Girls… arrives as a delightful surprise." — Hollywood Reporter

"School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh ... is both a joyous comedy of female adolescence and a biting indictment of colonialism, beauty standards and shadeism among Black women." — Toronto Star

"School Girls tackles issues such as shadeism and queries how exactly to measure that slippery concept known as privilege, but it is first and foremost a comedy, full of nostalgic (and sometimes ironic) references to 1980s pop culture." — The Globe and Mail

About the Playwright:

Jocelyn Bioh is an award-winning Ghanaian-American writer and performer. Born and raised in New York City, she is a first generation American whose parents emigrated from Ghana in West Africa. She received her MFA in Theatre/Playwriting from Columbia University.