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Old Globe Stages Play By ‘Black Panther’ Star Danai Gurira

A promotional poster for The Old Globe play

Credit: The Old Globe

Above: A promotional poster for The Old Globe play "Familiar, running Jan. 26 through March 3, 2019.

GUEST: Edward Torres, director, "Familiar"

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Fans of "Black Panther" and "The Walking Dead" may not realize that actress Danai Gurira is also a Tony-nominated playwright.

Raised in Zimbabwe, Gurira's work focuses on immigration and assimilation from an African perspective. And in The Old Globe's staging of Gurira's "Familiar," a traditional African wedding brings tension to a family that's happily living the American Dream.

The play is about a woman named Marvelous who emigrated from Zimbabwe 30 years ago, but struggles when her daughter requests an African wedding. It's part comedy, part drama that at its heart, is about family.

Director Edward Torres has long been a fan of Gurira's work because of its complexity, humor and unique perspective. He signed on to direct "Familiar," which runs at The Old Globe through March 3.

"I love her work. Her plays are often rooted in the African diaspora, and I think there aren't a lot of plays that are rooted in the African diaspora," he said. "But her stories always seem to hit universal themes."

What else can be as universal as a wedding and that mix of tension and joy that it brings?

On Midday Edition Monday, Torres discusses his experience working on "Familiar," and how he brings his film school perspective to the stage.

Reported by Roland Lizarondo


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