SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE TO PRODUCE NEW MUSICAL ADAPTATION OFRENOWNED AUTHOR JOHN STEPTOE’S MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERSJANUARY 27 – FEBRUARY 17, 2023

Speakeysie News Desk – December 21, 2022

ATLANTA, GA – Synchronicity Theatre will premiere a brand-new musical adaptation of the beloved children’s book Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, with songs created by a dynamic local artistic duo. For tickets or more information, please visit synchrotheatre.com or call 404-484-8636.

 

Once upon a time there was a man with two very beautiful daughters – Nyasha, who is kind and well-loved, and Manyara,  who is mean-tempered and bullying. The King calls for all families to send women worthy of being his wife, and Mufaro decides to send both of his daughters.  Manyara sneaks out to begin her journey first, and she is dismissive and unkind to all that she meets along her way.  Nyasha stops to offer kindness.  When they arrive at the City to meet the king, a surprise is in store for them both.

 

Set in Zimbabwe, and written in the style of African Folktales, Mufaro’sBeautiful Daughters is an expansive, musical retelling of the beloved book. Set under the clear Zimbabwean sky comes a tale of sibling rivalry and tests of character.  Award-winning artist and writer John Steptoe’s rich cultural imagery of Africa and gift for storytelling earned him the Coretta Scott King Award, Randolph Coldecott Award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.  Now for the first time with new music created by Synchronicity’s artistic team, Mufaro’sBeautiful Daughters is simply magic for the whole family.

 

THE JOURNEY

Producing Artistic Director Rachel May was searching for a musical to program in our Family Series.  Synchronicity is committed to telling stories from many different perspectives and cultures, especially in the Family Series.  May discovered that there was a non-musical version of Mufaro’s, but not an available musical version.  She reached out to Bweela Steptoe, John’s Daughter, and proposed the creation of this new musical. Artistic collaborators Taryn Janelle (Director/Choreographer/Lyricist) and LeRell Ross (Music Director/Composer) were brought on board, and a new musical was born.  These dynamic collaborators drew inspiration for the songs from African instruments and rhythms, and blended those with traditional musical theatre styles.  Their goal was to blend the two together in a way that both stays true to the integrity and location of the story as well as place the story in an exciting way in the world of theater. They also incorporated words from Shona and Xhosa, two dominant languages in Zimbabwe. 

 

“This is a book I remember vividly from my childhood. My mother used this story to teach both me and my siblings that in a world and time where vanity is glorified and sought after, we should be like the King and Nyasha in the story, highlighting the beauty found within.” – LeRell Ross

 

“Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters is a familiar tale with a timeless message. It has been such a joy and honor to have the opportunity to add a new dimension to this story – which was such a large part of my childhood – for a new generation of children, including my own.” – Taryn Janelle

 

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters features set design by Gabrielle Stephenson, lighting design by Maliya McCall, Sound Design by Jonathan Taylor, costume design by La’Keisha Sims, and properties design by Chase Weaver.  The cast includes Atlanta-based actors Ja’SiahYoung as Manyara, Kendra Nicole as Nyasha; Desi Raines, Brittani Minniweather, and Jonathan Bryant as the three storytellers and a variety of other roles.

Every Friday is PJs & Play! Kids are invited to wear pajamas and enjoy cookies while watching the show. 

 

Show times for Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters are Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. All performances will be at Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown Atlanta’s Peachtree Pointe complex. Single ticket prices range from $21-31 for adults and $16-26 for children ages 3-12, and are available online at synchrotheatre.com

Children two and under are free. School group tickets are $8-10 for weekday matinees. Group rates are also available. Groups of 10+ get a discount. Please contact marketing@synchrotheatre.com or call 404.974.3291 for detailed information.

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