Ito Aghayere Stars in Familiar at Playwrights Horizons

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Ito Aghayere, left, and Melanie Nicholls-King in Playwrights Horizons’ production of Familiar. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Ito Aghayere ’12 has been receiving great reviews for her performance in Playwrights Horizons’ acclaimed production of Danai Gurira’s play Familiar. The production, which was recently extended, is now running through April 10.

The New York Times, which selected the play as a NYT Critics’ Pick, wrote that the production “probes with subtlety and smarts the subject of immigration and assimilation,” and praised Aghayere for playing the character Nyasha “with appealing vibrancy.” The Huffington Post praised her for “an exceedingly enjoyable performance, light and airy, but full of depth and warmth,” and NBC New York singled her out as “full of heart as younger sister Nyasha.”

“I was never that kid who wanted to grow up to become a ballerina or the president of the United States. All I knew is that 'when I grew up,'  I wanted to be able to use my big mouth without getting in trouble for it,” Aghayere jokes on her personal blog. A graduate of Duke University, Aghayere writes that she made a “pit stop” at the White House as an intern before heading to Columbia University for her MFA in acting. She has appeared in The Liquid Plain at Signature Theatre, Sojourners at BAM as part of the New Black Fest and Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike at the Vermont Stage Company, among others. She has also appeared on the television shows Orange is the New Black, The Knick and Unforgettable.
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