The Migration Plays

April 14, 2019

Venue Matthews Theatre


The Project: Continuing McCarter’s tradition of producing timely, socially relevant work that engages with the central questions of our culture, McCarter has partnered with Princeton University’s Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) on a new initiative in the model of the 2017 Princeton and Slavery Plays. McCarter has commissioned five theater artists to write short plays inspired by the research and programming of the PIIRS research cohort “Migration: People and Across Cultures and Borders.” Since the spring of 2018, these artists have engaged with the Migrations cohort by attending seminars and symposia, meeting with scholars, and exploring the Princeton campus to create pieces that explore the nature of migration, how it is represented culturally, and the ways in which it shapes the world. The project will culminate in April of 2019 with a public reading of the five plays at McCarter.

Commissioned Artists: Adam Gwon, Martyna Majok, Heather Raffo, Mfoniso Udofia, Karen Zacarías.

The commissioning and public reading of The Migration Plays are part of the PIIRS Migration Research Lab.
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Early Decision – Adam Gwon
Getting into his dream college is all that high school senior Owen Li can think about until long-kept family secrets are revealed and threaten everything he holds dear.

Museum – Martyna Majok
An art museum docent takes the audience on a tour through his galleries that begs the question: how did we get where we are, and what remains after we’re gone?

Solomon's Pools – Heather Raffo
Inspired by the work of architects Sandy Hilal and Alessandro Petti and their exploration of Permanent Temporariness.
Two women in a refugee camp ponder the meaning of public and private in a world increasingly reliant on commodities, capitalism and ownership.

The Family – Mfoniso Udofia
Language is a vehicle of both connection and division in this story that follows a young African woman and her family as they navigate the unexpected in their new American homeland.

The Monkey with the Green Tail – Karen Zacarías
A college art instructor addresses her class about a recent incident of hateful graffiti on campus by sharing her own personal journey in a narrative that interweaves fiction and reality.

For more information on The Migration Plays, please contact



This program is made possible in part by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, recommendations, or conclusions expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.