Ahamefule J. Oluo

Dec 5 - 8, 2019

Passed Event Merrill Theater

Thu, Dec 5, 8:30 PM* opening night special time
Fri, Dec 6, 8 PM
Sat, Dec 7, 8 PM
Sun, Dec 8, 5 PM

This darkly comic musical portrait of Oluo's 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 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. 

The follow-up to Oluo’s musical Now I’m Fine, SUSAN 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. 

About the Artist
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 Trust’s 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 2020. 

Photo: Naomi Ishisaka


Susan is a Creative Capital Project. Susan is commissioned by On the Boards and works-in-progress of the performance were presented in various stages of development in and around Seattle at bars, arts organizations, and clubs. Susan was presented as part of Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival in September 2019. Ahamefule J. Oluo was one of the 2018/19 Artists-in-Residence at On the Boards. Susan will be presented as part of Under the Radar 2020 at the Public Theater in New York City this January.