August 9, 2019

Catch a Rising Star: “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” Featuring Mirirai Sithole ’12 Airs August 16 on PBS

It’s been a great year for Mirirai Sithole ’12. In February, we caught her performance in a featured role in the surreal drama/comedy Russian Doll, starring and co-produced by Orange Is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne. The series was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series. In June came another featured role, this time in “Smithereens,” an episode in the British science fiction anthology series Black Mirror.

Next up: On Friday, August 16, viewers can catch her in School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, when it airs on PBS’ WNET-TV Channel Thirteen at 9:00 p.m.

School Girls ran off-Broadway from November 2017 to December 2018. It was captured on film for the TV broadcast prior to closing. Based loosely on Mean Girls, written and starring Tina Fey, the play takes place in a girls’ boarding school in Ghana in the 1980s. One girl, who dominates her four classmates, is set on being chosen for the Miss Ghana beauty pageant. But the arrival of a lighter-skinned classmate throws a wrench into her plans and weaves in references to culture, colonialism and colorism.

Last year, in an interview for Broadway WorldSithole was asked what being named a 10 Under 10 at Adelphi meant to her. “Recognition from my alma mater and, specifically, the professors who nominated me felt like a welcoming into the professional world by the people who taught me in such a big way,” she responded. “It takes me a long time to process big emotions or events and that one still holds a lot of unprocessed weight for me because I felt genuinely seen and cared for by the community that helped shape me into the artist I am today, and that feels rare.”

Both Russian Doll and Black Mirror are streaming on Netflix.


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