Manhattan Theatre Club to present 'Jaja's African Hair Braiding' on Broadway

Jocelyn Bioh's new play will go up in fall 2023.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Manhattan Theatre Club has announced the first play in its 2023-24 Broadway season: the world premiere of Jaja's African Hair Braiding by Drama Desk Award-winning playwright Jocelyn Bioh. Directed by Obie Award winner Whitney White, the show will begin performances at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in fall 2023.

Bioh's play is set at the titular salon where every day, a group of African immigrant women create brilliant hair designs for the women of the neighborhood. During the course of one hot summer day at the salon, love blooms, secrets are revealed, and the neighborhood residents must deal with what it means to be outsiders in a place they call home.

Casting, creative team, and performance dates for Jaja's African Hair Braiding have yet to be announced.

Bioh is a Drama Desk winner for her show School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, and White is an Obie winner for directing Our Dear Dead Drug Lord. Bioh was last represented off Broadway at MCC Theater with the comedy Nollywood Dreams in fall 2021, and White previously directed Donja R. Love's soft there and Aleshea Harris's On Sugarland at New York Theatre Workshop, both in spring 2022.

Jaja's African Hair Braiding is the second production announced for MTC's 2023-24 season, in addition to the New York premiere of Qui Nguyen's Poor Yella Rednecks off Broadway.

MTC's current 2022-23 season includes Cost of Living, The Collaborationand Summer, 1976 on Broadway, and Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, the best we could (a family tragedy), and King James off Broadway.

Photo credit: Jocelyn Bioh (left) and Whitney White. (Bioh photo by Joshua Bright, White photo by Melissa Bunni Elian)

Originally published on

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