Melanie Nicholls-King, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Tamara Tunie, and Roslyn Ruff. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Ito Aghayere and Melanie Nicholls-King. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Harold Surratt, Tamara Tunie, and Roslyn Ruff. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Joby Earle, Joe Tippett, and Myra Lucretia Taylor. Photo by Joan Marcus.


Melanie Nicholls-King and Roslyn Ruff. Photo by Joan Marcus.



Mainstage Theater

Written by Danai Gurira
Directed by Rebecca Taichman

It’s winter in Minnesota, and a Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing a traditional African custom, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, Familiar pitches tradition against assimilation, drawing a loving portrait of a family: the customs they keep, and the secrets they bury.

Ito Aghayere — Nyasha
Joby Earle — Chris
Melanie Nicholls-King — Margaret
Roslyn Ruff — Tendi
Harold Surratt — Donald
Myra Lucretia Taylor — Anne
Joe Tippett — Brad
Tamara Tunie — Marvelous

Scenic Design: Clint Ramos
Costume Design: Susan Hilferty
Lighting Design: Tyler Micoleau
Sound Design: Darron L West
Production Stage Manager: Cole P. Bonenberger


More Reviews



Danai Gurira (author of Eclipsed on Broadway, Michonne on "The Walking Dead") and director Rebecca Taichman tell us about #FamiliarPH, the story of a Zimbabwean-American family in Minnesota.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright's Perspective: Danai Gurira

I imagine myself a kind of cultural schizophrenic — caught between two cultures that could not be more disparate and yet feeling they combine to define who I am.


Letter from Tim: Familiar

Danai Gurira first burst upon the scene in 2006 as co-creator and performer (with Nikkole Salter) of In the Continuum, a timely, intimate, and powerful AIDS play about two women on two continents, linked through illness, that went on to productions throughout the country and the world.


The American Voice: This Zimerican Life

Danai Gurira has described herself as a “Zimerican.” Among the first wave of emigrants were her parents, academics who emigrated from Rhodesia to the United States in the 1960s to work at Grinnell College in Iowa; her father was a chemistry professor, and her mother a librarian.


Backstory: The Bride Price

The concept of “bride price” or “bridewealth” refers to money, property, or other forms of wealth paid by a groom or his family to the parents of the woman he is to wed. The practice has roots in many ancient cultures, and continues to play a significant role in marriage rituals and customs throughout the world today.