Philana Imade Omorotionmwan

Philana Imade Omorotionmwan

Philana Imade Omorotionmwan (o-more-o-tune-wah) is writing to save her body and spirit from a world that seems hell-bent on destroying them. Currently based in Minneapolis as a 2018-19 Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellow, she was born and in raised at the other end of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her plays include Before Evening Comes, Fireflies, Strong Face, and The Defiance of...
Philana Imade Omorotionmwan (o-more-o-tune-wah) is writing to save her body and spirit from a world that seems hell-bent on destroying them. Currently based in Minneapolis as a 2018-19 Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellow, she was born and in raised at the other end of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her plays include Before Evening Comes, Fireflies, Strong Face, and The Defiance of Dandelions. She has been a semi-finalist for the Relentless Award, P73 Fellowship, and Many Voices Fellowship; a finalist for the Theatre503 Award, Princess Grace Award, and Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series; and a two-time finalist for the Heideman Award. Her work has been developed and/or presented by the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Br!nk New Play Festival, La MaMa, Athena Project, Geva Theatre Center, and TDPS at UC Berkeley. Her short plays have been produced at Pillsbury House + Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ohlone College, Manhattan Theatre Source, and 20% Theatre Chicago, while her poems have been published in New Delta Review and African American Review. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University. Philana completed an MFA in Playwriting in May 2018.

Plays

  • Fireflies
    It’s twilight time.
    And the small, winged things--
    like lovebugs and roaches and fireflies--
    have begun to stir and search for light.
    Will Then-Self find hers before she dies?
    Or will Now-Self find other ways to survive?

    Consisting of twelve vignettes, Fireflies ​uses narration, movement, and music to tell a story about longing and the search for intimacy through the lives of insects.
  • Before Evening Comes
    With his 13th birthday around the corner, Totome is excited to meet “the butcher” and finally become a man. His mother, however, hopes to keep him whole for just a little while longer.

    Set in a dystopian future, Before Evening Comes explores what becomes of black boys, men, and women in an America rooted in the founding myths that the black male body is either a commodity or a threat.
  • The Defiance of Dandelions
    Do not speak too loudly or too little or too much.
    Do not get out of the place you’ve been assigned.
    Do not give birth to a field of dandelions.

    For as long as they can remember, The Strongness, The Queerness, The Boisterousness, The Brazenness, The Thickness, and The Softness have been trapped in the In-School Shading Room. While they wait for a release that seems like it may...
    Do not speak too loudly or too little or too much.
    Do not get out of the place you’ve been assigned.
    Do not give birth to a field of dandelions.

    For as long as they can remember, The Strongness, The Queerness, The Boisterousness, The Brazenness, The Thickness, and The Softness have been trapped in the In-School Shading Room. While they wait for a release that seems like it may never come, a bouquet is born and they begin to remember the selves and the world that they forgot.
  • Strong Face or Misogynoir
    Maybe it's her "energy." Maybe it's her hair. Or maybe it's just her skin. Whatever it is, no one in Follywood seems to be able to see that actress Bentley Jones is a woman. Not even her hip-pop star girlfriend Yoni Baker. Or her man-in-a-dress rival Whip Williams. But when Bentley learns that major studio 19th Century Cocks has green lit a slavery-themed biopic guaranteed to earn its...
    Maybe it's her "energy." Maybe it's her hair. Or maybe it's just her skin. Whatever it is, no one in Follywood seems to be able to see that actress Bentley Jones is a woman. Not even her hip-pop star girlfriend Yoni Baker. Or her man-in-a-dress rival Whip Williams. But when Bentley learns that major studio 19th Century Cocks has green lit a slavery-themed biopic guaranteed to earn its female star an impOSTOR nomination, she has to decide if she’s ready for her real close up.​
  • Fireflies (5-minute)
    While away at Girl Scout Camp, Lola discovers why some things need the darkness.
  • How Are You Called? (5-minute)
    Girl wants to communicate with her ancestor, but she doesn't even know her name.
  • Color ED (10-minute)
    Miss Snow wants to reach her goal of having 100% of students on task bubbling in circles, but Jade insists on coloring... with colors.
  • Brandon. Brumley. Bro. (10-minute)
    A black female college student at a PWI seeks peace of mind by trying to take on the identity of a frat bro.
  • The Settlement (10-minute)
    Isaac and Rebecca are new homeowners who find their domestic bliss permanently disrupted by the late night arrival of Shirley. Shirley claims the land on which the couple's home has been built belonged to her ancestors and is rightfully hers.
  • Freeways Ain't Free (10-minute)
    Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, William Levitt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower await trial in purgatory after their admissions to heaven have been revoked. Their crime? Causing the impending extinction of the human race.