An "uproarious comedy that also pulls at the heartstrings"
– The Hollywood Reporter

Mar 7 - Apr 12, 2020 in Goodman's Albert Theatre

Around 75 minutes with no intermission

“Look confident. Be confident. This. Is. Yours.” - Paulina, Part III

This biting and buoyant comedy, “ferociously entertaining, as heartwarming as it is hilarious” (The Hollywood Reporter), arrives in Chicago on the heels of a critically acclaimed, extended run Off-Broadway. As the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school sets her sights on the Miss Universe pageant, a new student unexpectedly changes the game. Don’t miss this “nasty-teen comedy, wonderfully refreshed and deepened” (The New York Times) that spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences—of teenage girls around the globe.

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Critical Praise
  • An "entertaining comedy"

    - LA Times

  • "Endearing and poignant"

    - BroadwayWorld

  • "Full of light and laughter"

    - Variety

  • "Funny, fierce, fearsome"

    - Vulture

  • "A witty and moving take on Mean Girls"

    - Daily Beast

  • A "nasty-teen comedy...wonderfully refreshed"

    - The New York Times

  • "A refreshing take on youthful rivalries"

    - LA Times

  • "Ferociously entertaining"

    - The Hollywood Reporter

  • Full of "bouncy, juicy dialogue"

    - Vulture

  • "Punchy, crisp and sly"

    - Daily Beast

  • An "uproarious comedy that also pulls at the heartstrings"

    - The Hollywood Reporter

  • Jocelyn Bioh

    Jocelyn Bioh Playwright

  • Lili-Anne Brown

    Lili-Anne Brown Director

  • Adia Alli

    Adia Alli Gifty

  • Katherine Lee Bourné

    Katherine Lee Bourné Ama

  • Kyrie Courter

    Kyrie Courter Ericka Boafo

  • Ashley Crowe

    Ashley Crowe Nana

  • Ciera Dawn

    Ciera Dawn Paulina Sarpong

  • Tiffany Renee Johnson

    Tiffany Renee Johnson Mercy

  • Tania Richard

    Tania Richard Headmistress Francis

  • Lanise Antoine Shelley

    Lanise Antoine Shelley Eloise Amponsah

  • Rory Furey-King

    Rory Furey-King Understudy

  • Maya Vinice Prentiss

    Maya Vinice Prentiss Understudy

  • Adhana Reid

    Adhana Reid Understudy

  • Shariba Rivers

    Shariba Rivers Understudy

  • Yu Shibagaki

    Yu Shibagaki Set Designer

  • Samantha C. Jones

    Samantha C. Jones Costume Designer

  • Jason Lynch

    Jason Lynch Lighting Designer

  • Justin Ellington

    Justin Ellington Sound Designer

  • Alden Vasquez

    Alden Vasquez Production Stage Manager

  • Kimberly Ann McCann

    Kimberly Ann McCann Stage Manager

  • Lauren Port

    Lauren Port Casting

  • Fatima Sowe

    Fatima Sowe Dramaturg

  • Phyllis E. Griffin

    Phyllis E. Griffin Voice & Dialect Coach

  • Am'Ber D. Montgomery

    Am'Ber D. Montgomery Assistant Director

Talks & Events
  • Drinks & Discussion Events

    Drinks & Discussion Events

    Throughout the run

    Enhance your theater-going experience with one of our Drinks & Discussion Series events! Stay after select performances for a Post-Show Discussion and a complimentary glass of wine, or come early to select performances for a PlayTalk Session and a complimentary glass of wine.


  • Scene Night: School Girls

    Scene Night

    Thursday, March 12 | 5:30pm Reception + 7:30pm Performance

    Join the Scenemakers Board for a pre-show reception at Catch 35, then take your seat in the Albert Theatre for the biting and boyant comedy School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Tickets will be available at a later date.


  • African Vendor Fair

    African Vendor Fair

    Saturday, March 14 | 1pm - 8pm | FREE Event

    To celebrate Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play the Goodman is excited to welcome a variety of local artists, shop owners and chefs for a special African Vendor Fair on Saturday, March 14. A special discount is available if you would like to shop as well as see the show!


  • Sorority Night: School Girls

    Sorority Night

    Friday, March 20 | 6:45pm Reception + 8pm Performance

    Enjoy a pre-show reception with your sorority sisters (food provided by Blue Plate Catering) then, treat yourself to a performance of School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Tickets are just $35 with NO handling fee!


  • Fierce & Fab Women's Night

    Fierce & Fab! Women's Night 2020

    Tuesday, March 31 | 5:30pm Reception + 7:30pm Performance

    Don't miss an unforgettable evening of cocktails, dinner and networking—featuring a performance of School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls PlayFirst, enjoy a pre-show reception at Club Petterino's, then take a short walk to the Goodman for the show.


  • College Night: School Girls

    College Night

    Wednesday, April 1 | 6pm Reception + 7:30pm Performance

    Join us for a pre-show reception (food provided by Cafecito) where you'll have the chance to meet fellow theater-loving college students and participate in a conversation with Goodman Theatre artists, before seeing Jocelyn Bioh's off-Broadway sensation, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play.


Recommended Reads
  • Top of Her Class

    Top of Her Class

    Lili-Anne Brown isn’t afraid of high school mean girls– or directing a big, boisterous play about them either.

    "For most of us, success doesn’t come overnight, but it can appear that way to others when good things seem to happen all at once. Take Chicago’s Lili-Anne Brown. She has been performing and directing for years, making a name for herself locally, but these days, her career trajectory is taking off."


  • Skin Deep

    Skin Deep

    A Brief History of Race and the Beauty Pageant

    "ISchool Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, the teenage characters pine to win the Miss Global Universe Pageant, 1986. In the midst of their youth and enthusiasm, these Ghanaian young women aren’t yet aware that they are entering into a system rigged against them. The beauty pageant, as we know it, was born out of the idea that being beautiful required white skin."


  • The New York Times

    For This Playwright, Africa with Laughter, Not Tears

    From The New York Times's Alexis Soloski

    "Ms. Bioh, a native New Yorker whose parents emigrated from Ghana in 1968, has made it her mission, theatrically and personally, to tell stories about African and African-American characters that buck expectation and defy stereotype."


  • Essence

    Why "School Girls" is the Most Important Play Off Broadway Right Now

    From Essence's Danielle Kwateng-Clark

    "Written by Ghanaian-American writer and actor, Jocelyn Bioh, the story follows six teenage girls at a Ghanaian boarding school who bond of over boys, dieting and beauty pageants in the 1980s."



Join us for any of the following accessible performances.

Questions? Please contact 312.443.3800 (voice), 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD) or email

Touch Tour and Audio Described performanceTouch Tour and Audio-Described Performance - $35 with code AUDIO
Saturday, April 4
12:30pm Touch Tour & 2pm Performance

American Sign Language Interpreted PerformanceAmerican Sign Language-Interpreted Performance - $35 with code SIGN
Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30pm

Open Caption Performance Open-Captioned Performance - #35 with code OPEN
Saturday, April 11 at 2pm

See All Accessibility Information for School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

Season Lineup

2019/2020 Season

Join us for a season of visionary work featuring fresh and energetic voices—eight plays with the power to entertain, challenge and fearlessly reflect our world.

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School Girls Sponsors

"Critics' Pick" logo from The New York Times. © 2017 the New York Times company. All rights reserved. Used under license.