Located Inside:

Antoinette Hatfield Hall

Winningstad Theatre

Ahamefule J. Oluo

SUSAN, the follow-up to Ahamefule J. Oluo’s acclaimed musical Now I’m Fine, is a story about the failings of men and the endurance of women.

The performance on Sept 14 will be ASL interpreted.

When Susan Hawley was a sophomore in college, she fell in love with a doctoral student from Nigeria. They were married for seven years, had two children, and just as their dream life seemed to be coalescing, her husband went back to Nigeria to visit his family and never contacted her again.

SUSAN, Ahamefule J. Oluo’s darkly comic musical portrait of his mother, builds one story out of many, a journey from Section 8 housing in 1980s Seattle, to the mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta, to the Clallam Bay Correctional Facility. With stunning new compositions performed by some of Seattle's best musicians, combined with soul-baring stand-up interludes, Oluo explores two intertwining narratives: his mother’s life as the white, Midwestern wife of a Nigerian chief, and later a destitute single mother; and his own journey to Nigeria as an adult, to visit his late father’s village and discover a family on the other side of the world.

SUSAN, the follow-up to Oluo’s acclaimed musical Now I’m Fine, is a story about the failings of men and the endurance of women. It is a crystalline slice of American life; a collision of class, race, bodies, love, and men with bad intentions; a tragedy about the most comically optimistic person on earth. Through decades of chaos and catastrophe, one thing was always consistent. Susan loved her children. She loved them so much. SUSAN is a story about doing what it takes.

Ahamefule J. Oluo is a Seattle-based musician, composer, writer, and stand-up comedian. Oluo is a founding member of and trumpet player in the Stranger Genius Award-winning jazz-punk quartet Industrial Revelation, and was featured in City Arts Magazine’s 2013 Future List as one of Seattle’s most promising artists. Oluo has collaborated with such diverse acts as Das Racist, Macklemore, Hey Marseilles, and TacocaT. In 2015 he appeared on This American Life and received a Creative Capital Award. In 2016 Oluo was awarded Artist Trusts’ Arts Innovator Award, and the performance of his autobiographical musical Now I’m Fine at the Public Theater in New York City was called “dizzying,” “engaging,” and “grand” by the New York Times. In 2018, production wrapped on Thin Skin, a feature film adaptation of Now I’m Fine, co-written by Oluo, Charles Mudede, and Lindy West. Oluo both stars in and scored the film which will premiere in 2019.

A Creative Capital Project. Susan was supported by the 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence Program at On the Boards and will be presented in Seattle on December 5–8, 2019.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival 

PICA’s 17th Annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) gathers artists and audiences from around the world for ten days of contemporary performance, music, visual art, film, workshops, lectures, food, drink, conversation, and celebration. Be present in the moment when anything can happen.


Winningstad Theatre : Upcoming Events


The PICA 2019 TBA Festival presents Ligia Lewis'  Water Will (in Melody) at the Portland'5...

Showing: 09/06 - 09/08

The PICA 2019 TBA Festival presents Ahamefule J. Oluo's Susan at the Portland'5 Winningstad...

Showing: 09/13 - 09/14

Voss Events presents international celebrity air hostess Pam Ann at the Portland'5 Winningstad Theatre on...

Showing: 09/27

PDX Jazz presents Rebecca Kilgore, Nancy King, Veronica Swift: A Night of Jazz Vocalese at the Winningstad...

Showing: 10/03

Stumptown Stages presents West Side Story at the Portland'5 Winningstad Theatre October 10–27, 2019.

Showing: 10/10 - 10/27

Siamak Shirazi & Babak Amini perform jazz, flamenco, and contemporary Persian music at the Winningstad...

Showing: 11/02