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The stage play 'School Girls' is a retelling of 'Mean Girls' set in Ghana, Africa

A boarding school in Ghana, Africa, is the setting for a retelling of the 2004 movie, “Mean Girls” and it’s the final weekend for this stage version that’s being performed by an all-Black cast from Spotlight Youth Theatre in Glendale.

It’s called, “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play,” written by Ghanaian-American playwight, writer and actor Jocelyn Bioh

The plot centers on a competition for the Miss Global Universe Pageant between teenage girls at an elite boarding school in Ghana.

And while some of the themes are inspired by universal ones depicted in the movie — such as competing for attention — Bioh’s treatment incorporates Afrocentric ones as well.   

“Yes, of course, there’s your standard bullying, but then there’s a really big discussion about self-hate in there. There’s a really big conversation about colorism that’s throughout the play. One of the young girls is using bleaching cream. The climax of the story is her face is literally beeding,” said director Chanel Bragg who was attracted to producing the show for numerous reasons. But one stands out as a kind of metaphoric soliloquy to the audience.  

Hear Chanel Bragg 's interview with Tom Maxedon


“For this young theatre company to decide this is the type of storytelling we want to do, we hope the community will come and help support. And so, I think if the community comes, what they can take away from it is getting another perspective,” said Bragg.   

Shows run through April 21

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.