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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play

December 13, 2020
511 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019, United States

In the 2004 teen film Mean Girls, Cady Heron moves from Africa to Illinois, where she finds the high-school hierarchy of “girl world” is not unlike the food chain. “Being at Old Orchard Mall kind of reminded me of being home in Africa,” she thinks, “by the watering hole, when the animals are in heat.” Joselyn Bioh’s 2017 play takes on Mean Girls, and the genre it spawned—the cliques, the flirting, the fighting—by relocating the story to an exclusive boarding school in Ghana, where the most popular student is thrown by a charismatic newcomer. An acclaimed exploration of how universal “girl world” truly is, the play will be read live for audiences in a one-night benefit performance, followed by a conversation between Bioh, the cast, and the audience. —C.J.F.

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