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By Sam Kebede
Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar

May 10 - June 9, 2019

Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens
2433 N. Lincoln Ave

About the show

If the American dream is a privilege, not a right, then Girma and Elizabeth Kifle have truly earned it. After emigrating from Ethiopia to the United States with nothing, the couple is poised to send their eldest son to college. But everything behind Girma and Elizabeth’s white picket fence is not as it appears to be. The ghosts of the life they left in Ethiopia threaten to destroy their American dream before it starts, and the Kifle sons, Jonathan and Daniel, reckon with being American in Ethiopian bodies. In this tense and sharply-drawn family drama, playwright Sam Kebede mines the immigrant experience and asks how far each of us will go to find a place we can call home.


★★★ (of four)
“Interesting and auspicious and daring premiere, indicative of an exciting new voice filled with both compassion and truth” - Chicago Tribune

“Brilliantly funny as they are sincere and vulnerable” - Newcity  

“A gripping work from the talented Kebede” - The Root 

ETHIOPIANAMERICA - Production Photos

The Cast 

Johnathan Kifle - Simon Gebremedhin
Elizabeth Kifle - Gabrielle Lott-Rogers
Daniel Kifle - Freedom Martin
Girma - Joseph Primes

Understudy - Nicholia Aguirre
Understudy - Samuel Campbell III
Understudy - Brandon Wright

* Denotes Definition Theatre ensemble member

Run time

90 minutes presented without an intermission

content advisory

This production includes depictions of domestic violence and the use of strobe lighting

The Production team

Director - Sophiyaa Nayar
Assistant Director - Ebony Chuukwu
Scenic Designer - Eleanor Kahn
Costume Designer - Paul Kim
Lighting Designer - Eric Watkins
Sound Designer - Joshua Willcox
Properties Designer - Therese Ritchie
Technical Director - Caswell James
Co-Production Manager - Neel McNeill*
Co-Production Manager - Alexandra Oparka*
Lighting Supervisor - Slick Jorgensen
Head Electrician - Alon Stotter
Master Electrician - Louis Lothan
Dramaturg - Athanasia Giannetos
Dialect Coach - Sana Selemon
Fight Choreographer - Maya Prentiss
Fight Consultant - Casey Hoekstra
Casting Director - AJ Links
Graphic Design - Ari Craven
Stage Manager - Rebecca Ross
Assistant Stage Manager - Ariel Beller