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

Postponed to the 2020/2021 Season

Around 80 minutes with no intermission

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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.

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Read Content Advisory Info
  • School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play is appropriate for ages 12 and up. It contains profanity and discussions of racism and colorism. For more information contact the box office at 312.443.3800 (open daily 12noon to 5pm).

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Audience Response
  • An excellent production. Well acted and thoughtful.

    Jeanne D. via Facebook

  • I really loved the show and the message.

    Raichaun B. via Facebook

  • Warmth, humor and biting commentary blended into a good story.

    Richard K. via Facebook

  • Awesomeness in every aspect...I highly recommend it. ❤️❤️❤️

    LaJeune A.. via Facebook

  • Great show, great set design & still socially relevant topic today in 2020.

    Diane M. via Facebook

  • LOVED IT!! It's so relevant with today's society and teenage girls...

    Toya J. via Facebook

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

Artists
  • 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

  • Breon Arzell

    Breon Arzell Voiceover

  • Niko Kourtis

    Niko Kourtis Voiceover

  • 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

  • Cheretta Hill-Botchwey

    Cheretta Hill-Botchwey Dance Consultant

  • Am'Ber D. Montgomery

    Am'Ber D. Montgomery Assistant Director

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    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."

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  • 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."

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  • Essence

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    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."

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