SPF 11: Dinner
Welcome to the first meeting between the parents of Joanna, and her fiancé Jonathan. As Joanna struggles to prepare an elaborate meal to impress her future in-laws, and educate her parents, she finds herself at the center of a battle between the Nigerian upper class and the Black middle class. No need to “guess who’s coming to dinner.” Instead discover what’s on the cultural and political menu when the African diaspora gathers to dine.
On March 7, 2018, Megan Thorton directed a short excerpt of DINNER at the Hyde Park Theatre’s HPT Playwright Slam. On February 8, 2020, the Ground Floor Theatre held a private reading of DINNER. Matrex Kilgore directed. On February 21, 2020, the Crossroads Theatre’s Genesis Festival of New Plays presented a reading of DINNER. Marshall Jones directed.
Lisa B. Thompson is a native Californian whose work has been staged in theaters off- Broadway, throughout the US, and internationally. Her plays include Single Black Female (LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Comedy nominee); Monroe (winner of the Austin Playhouse Festival of New Texas Plays); The Mamalogues ( of the Broadway World Regional Awards and Underground (winner of the Austin Critics Circle David Mark Cohen New Play Award). Thompson is also a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Beyond The Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (2009), Single Black Female (2012), and Underground, Monroe, and The Mamalogues: Three Plays (2020). She has received support from a number of institutions including Hedgebrook, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.
Jayongela Wilder is a recent UCLA, MFA graduate and the first African American stage directing graduate of UCLA’s MFA program in over 23 years. She has been working as a director, writer, performer, and educator for over 15 years. Her recent directing credits include: In the Red and Brown Water by fellow New World School of the Arts alumnus and Moonlight Academy Award Winner, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Henry V (Shakespeare) at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ass. Director), and Jane Austin’s Mansfield Park Opera (Ass. Dir.). Other credits include: The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison), Venus (Suzan-Lori Parks), Eclipsed (Danai Gurira), The Colored Museum (George C. Wolfe), Sweeney Todd (Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler), The Wiz (William F. Brown), and Little Shop of Horrors (Howard Ashman); to name a few. She is a trained actor and studied acting with emphasis on Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy in England. She is excited to direct the play, Dinner (Lisa B. Thompson), for the Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival. She will join El Camino College next Spring as Adjunct Professor and Guest Director of the Greek play, Antigone.
Joanna “Joey” Drayton – Chauntae Pink
Akintunde “Jonathan” Prentice Ogunde – Nomè SiDone
Babatunde “Baba” Prentice Ogunde – Tomike Ogugua
Titilola “Lola” Ogunde – Daralyn Jay
Matthew Drayton – Jacques C. Smith
Christina “Tina” Drayton – Zonya Love
Matilda “Tillie” Lopez – Krysta Gonzales
Stage Directions – Aliysa Shareef
Song – “Dinner Theme” by Guthrie Ramsey & Vince Anthony
Song – “My Boo” by Chauntae Pick