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Shutter Sisters

October 07 - November 07

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits

(from left) Terry Burrell and Shana Wride in Shutter Sisters. Photo by Rich Soublet II.

Shutter Sisters


October 7 – November 7, 2021

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

World premiere
A Globe-commissioned world premiere
By Mansa Ra
Directed by Donya K. Washington

A Globe-commissioned world premiere that was developed in the 2020 Powers New Voices Festival. Shutter Sisters tells the story of two women living parallel lives on the hardest days of their lives. A White woman named Michael attends her adopted mother’s funeral, while a Black woman named Mykal kicks her adult daughter out of her home. It’s a heartfelt and surprising journey through womanhood, identity, and what it means to belong.

Open Caption Performance: Saturday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Shutter Sisters is sponsored by The Joseph Cohen and Martha Farish New Play Development Fund, Sue and Edward “Duff” Sanderson, and U.S. Bank.

Running time: One hour and 30 minutes. There is no intermission.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy


“Funny and touching! A very enjoyable and empathetic look at how connections between mothers, daughters, friends, and even strangers impact the story of your life.” —BroadwayWorld

“A funny and sweet world premiere play. It’s an enjoyable way to spend an evening.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Mansa Ra has a gift for natural, easy-flowing and humor-filled dialogue. The fast-moving play is about the longing for connection, belonging and family.” —The San Diego Union-Tribunea

Cast and Creative



Mansa Ra (Playwright) Born Jiréh Breon Holder in Memphis, Tennessee. He made his debut with Too Heavy for Your Pocket. The New York Times named him a “Marquee Name, Now in the Making,” while New Yorker praised him as “a gifted writer who will be amazing to watch as his work grows.” Television: His work can also be seen on NBC’s hit show “New Amsterdam.”Shutter Sisters explores a path to racial reckoning through the tale of an adoption reversed. Also this season: In the Southern Breeze & What to Do About It (Rattlestick) and …what the end will be (Roundabout).

Donya K. Washington (Director) (she/her) Most recent: reading of King Margaret by Tira Palmquist (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Theatre: University of Arizona, Actor’s Express, Alliance Theatre, Seven Devils New Play Foundry, Amphibian Stage, The Playwrights Realm, Theatreworks USA, Rising Circle, Culture Project/Women Center Stage, Target Margin Theater, Fire This Time Festival, Shakespeare in Paradise (Bahamas), Penobscot Theatre. Other work: 2008–2010 Women’s Project Lab, 2009 Second Stage Theater Van Lier Directing Fellow. M.F.A. in Directing from Brown University/Trinity Rep, B.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Wilson Chin (Scenic Design) The Old Globe: Tiny Beautiful Things, Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville, Rich Girl, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, Anna Christie (Craig Noel Award nomination). Broadway: Pass Over (Lortel Award nomination), Next Fall. Off Broadway: Cost of Living (Manhattan Theatre Club), Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Public Theater), My Mañana Comes (The Playwrights Realm). Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragödie/Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera Company; Dora Mavor Moore Award). Film/television: Pass Over directed by Spike Lee, “Blindspot” (NBC). @wilsonchindesign.

Kara Harmon (Costume Design) Off Broadway: Dot (Vineyard Theatre), Lockdown (Rattlestick). Regional: Eclipsed (Milwaukee Rep), Steel Magnolias, Guys and Dolls (Guthrie Theater), The Wiz (Ford’s Theatre; Helen Hayes Award Costume Design), The Purists, The Niceties, A Guide for the Homesick (HuntingtonTheatre), Nina Simone: Four Women (Arena Stage), The Color Purple (Portland Center Stage), Barbecue (Geffen Playhouse; NAACP Award for Outstanding Costume Design), Much Ado, The Comedy of Errors (OSF), world premieres of Darlin’ Cory, Goodnight, Tyler, Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous (Alliance Theatre). Television: assistant costume design for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon), “Daredevil” (Netflix), “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO). Training: NYU Tisch School of the Arts. KaraHarmonDesign.com.

Zach Murphy (Lighting Design) Credits: An Octoroon (Actor’s Express), Requiem for Tesla (Rude Mechanicals), sacai NY Nike fashion show (Nike). As associate: Falling & Loving (SITI/STREB), A Thousand Thoughts (Kronos Quartet), Beyond Babel (Hideaway Circus), From Up Here, The Pitmen Painters (MTC). Other work: Creative Director of Bang Interrobang. banginterrobang.com.

Chris Lane (Sound Design) Regional: Data, Ghost, A Very Terry Christmas, Sounds of the West End, Knock, Knock, In My Granny’s Garden (Alliance Theatre), Four Women, Skeleton Crew, Paradise Blue (True Colors Theatre Company), Skeleton Crew (Westport Country Playhouse), Too Heavy for Your Pocket (George Street Playhouse), Four Little Girls, Ruby (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), The Royale (Geva Theatre Center), Detroit ’67 (Virginia Stage Company), Incendiary (The Kennedy Center). Other work: Executive Director/Co-Founder of Multiband Studios. multibandstudios.com.

Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) The Old Globe: Hurricane Diane, Noura, They Promised Her the Moon, Tiny Beautiful Things, Barefoot in the Park, The Wanderers, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Skeleton Crew. Broadway: The Minutes, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, King Lear, Hillary and Clinton, Ink, The Waverly Gallery, The Boys in the Band, Three Tall Women, Junk, Meteor Shower, A Doll’s House Part 2, The Front Page, The Glass Menagerie, Jitney, more. Other theatre: MTC, Atlantic, Signature, Ars Nova, Goodman, Berkeley Rep, McCarter, Arena, Seattle Rep. Film/television “New Amsterdam” (series casting), “American Odyssey” (series casting), “How to Get Away with Murder” (pilot), “Ironside,” Steel Magnolias.

Marie Jahelka (Production Stage Manager) The Old Globe: The Underpants, Native Gardens, The Wanderers,Powers New Voices Festival (2016–2018), Red Velvet, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Regional: Put Your House in Order, Hollywood, Ether Dome (La Jolla Playhouse), A Chorus Line (Moonlight Stage Productions), The Humans, Aubergine, Evita, Violet (San Diego Repertory Theatre), The Last Five Years, HIR, Shakespeare’s R&J, Mistakes Were Made (Cygnet Theatre Company), Hairspray, The Full Monty (San Diego Musical Theatre). Education: B.A. in Theatre Arts from University of San Diego.