Inua Ellams's newest play, The Half-God of Rainfall, combines the mythological traditions of eras past with settings and characters of the modern day. Get The Half-God of Rainfall tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
The Half-God of Rainfall centers on Demi, who is half-Nigerian man and half-Greek god. His mother is a mortal; his father is Zeus. As the title suggests, he controls the world's storms: His anger makes stormclouds gather, and his sadness makes rivers flood. And he catches the attention of the land gods when he begins playing basketball.
Demi's journey to tap into his newfound power on the court, while also forge a path in life separate from his absent, destructive father, takes him from Nigeria to Mount Olympus to an American NBA arena and back. The show also centers on his mother's quest to protect him from the gods' inevitable fury.
The poetic play is inspired by African storytelling traditions, Greek mythology, Ellams's own time as a talented basketball player, and a poem he wrote called “Of All The Boys of Plateau-Private School,” which included a line containing the phrase "the half-god of rainfall."
Ellams wrote the play over the course of eight years and seven different drafts. The show previously played at Birmingham Rep in England. Now, Ellams returns off Broadway with The Half-God of Rainfall in New York following the 2019 New York premiere of his play Barber Shop Chronicles at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Taibi Magar directs The Half-God of Rainfall at New York Theatre Workshop; she previously staged Claudia Rankine's Help at The Shed.
Get The Half-God of Rainfall Off-Broadway tickets.
July 13th, 2023
August 20th, 2023
By: Inua Ellams
Director: Taibi Magar
Producer: New York Theatre Workshop and American Repertory Theatre
Cast list: Jason Bowen (as Sàngó), Mister Fitzgerald (as Demi), Patrice Johnson Chevannes (as Osún), Michael Laurence (as Zeus), Lizan Mitchell (as Elegba), Jennifer Mogbock (as Modúpé), Alexandra Silber (as Hera)
Design: Riccardo Hernandez
Costumes: Linda Cho
Lighting: Stacey Derosier
Sound: Mikaal Sulaiman
Other info: Movement direction by Orlando Pataboy, projection design by Tal Yarden, intimacy direction by Ann James, voice and dialect coaching by Dawn-Elin Fraser
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