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New York City, center of the universe and smorgasbord of culture, is unsurprisingly revered as the ultimate city of immigrants. Each year, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs commemorates the diversity in our roots through Immigrant Heritage Week. With a theme of “Immigrants are NY: Upholding our Values,” the week-long celebration is ending in the place we call home: the theater.

Mfoniso Udofia’s Sojourners, which had a recent run at Playwright’s Horizon, and Her Portmanteau, open at New York Theater Workshop this weekend. This Saturday, between shows, NYTW is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to present a special panel with playwright Mfoniso Udofia; Zeinab Eyega, Executive Director of Sauti Yetu; and Bitta Mostofi, Assistant Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Our very own Founder & Editorial Director, Andrew Shade, will moderate the panel on Telling Immigrant Stories Through Theatre.

Jim Nicola, NYTW’s Artistic Director tells us:

“It all had to start, of course, with the compelling voice of an artist. Mfoniso is that. Her work is speaking on the subject of immigration in a specific way.  To be an immigrant and leave the country you were born in takes a particular brand of courage and strength. The conversation is a part of a bigger conversation right now we’re engaging in as a nation and not in the most positive way. This helps see it more on a human level.”

Bitta Mostofi, Assistant Commissioner at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, comments:

“When we tell our immigrant stories, we bring others into our history, our successes and our struggles. During Immigrant Heritage Week, we are so proud to have the opportunity to work with New York Theatre Workshop and award-winning playwright Mfoniso Udofia to use theatre as a medium for this dialogue. Art, and particularly theatre, have always been sites of public discourse and truth telling. By partnering with the New York Theatre Workshop on this panel at the close of Immigrant Heritage Week, we showcase once more how important cross-cultural celebration and exchange are to the vitality of our City, where 40 percent of residents are foreign-born.”

Join us for the panel, but don’t miss your opportunity to step into two chapters in the poetic world of The “Ufot Cycle,” chronicling the wins and losses of the matriarch of a Nigerian family. Tickets to Sojourners and Her Portmanteau can be found here.

The panel is Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 5:45 PM – 6:30 PM at the New York Theatre Workshop. 79 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003


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