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Conceived by SAHEEM ALI
Music and lyrics by MICHAEL THURBER
Additional material by MKHULULI Z. MABIJA
Directed by SAHEEM ALI
World premiere
Roda Theatre

AUG 14–SEP 25, 2022

Running time: approximately two hours, plus a 15-minute intermission

Goddess contains fog, haze, and lightning strobe effects, and loud noises.

From the critically acclaimed team that created New York’s Free Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Merry Wives (as seen in HBO documentary Reopening Night)! Berkeley Rep presents the world premiere of an exuberant new musical by award-winning playwright Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) and composer Michael Thurber, conceived by director Saheem Ali.

A mysterious singer arrives at Moto Moto, a steamy Afro-jazz club in Mombasa, Kenya. She casts an entrancing spell on everyone, including a young man who has returned home from studying in America. Will the big plans for his life — stepping into a political legacy and marrying his fiancée — be upended?

Inspired by the myth of Marimba, the Goddess who created beautiful songs from her heartbreak, this is a rousing tale of romance, the supernatural, and the quest towards one’s truest self.

Produced by special arrangement with No Guarantees and Mara Isaacs.


Read Digital Program


Live Postshow Discussions

Stick around after the show on September 1, September 13, or September 23 for a postshow discussion, led by members of Berkeley Rep’s staff.

How do I get tickets?

Best availability August 16–18. Rep 7-Play subscribers, Rep-Passport holders, and the general public can click the Buy Tickets/See Calendar button and log in above. At this time, Rep-Flex holders can reserve tickets only by calling the box office at 510 647-2949. Online ordering for Rep-Flex coming soon!


Health and safety

Berkeley Rep is a vaccinated company. All patrons must present a vaccination card with booster, if eligible, along with matching photo ID and be fully masked.

Read our full health and safety policy

Season sponsors

BART Peet's Coffee

In-kind season sponsor

Residence Inn by Marriott Berkeley


Mechanics Bank Wealth Management

Goddess is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

See and Hear

See a number from Goddess

The Goddess company invites you into their rehearsals! See a scene from the Moto Moto nightclub and hear insights from the creative team.

Goddess in the House

The cast and creative team arrive at Berkeley Rep! Enjoy this sneak peek from the first week of rehearsals. 

Goddess Workshop Teaser Trailer

In September 2021, our Goddess creative team and cast gathered together in a rehearsal room to continue to build, work, and unearth new revelations when developing a brand new musical. This footage is from that presentation of work.

Sneak peek: Goddess, a world premiere musical

Enjoy this video of the song “Honey Sweet” from our upcoming world premiere of Goddess. The video features Amber Iman with appearances by Jocelyn Bioh (book writer) and Saheem Ali (conceiver and director). Keyboard, drums, and video production by Michael Thurber (composer and lyricist). Jon Lampley is on the trumpet.

  1. (l to r) Awa Sal Secka (Zawadi - Grio Trio), Aaron Patterson (Yusef - Moto Moto Ensemble), Isio-Maya Nuwere (Safiyah - Moto Moto Ensemble), Grasan Kingsberry (Jaali - Moto Moto Ensemble), Rodrick Covington (Ahmed), Melessie Clark (Mosi - Grio Trio), Wade Watson (Musa - Moto Moto Ensemble), and Zachary Downer (Sameer - Moto Moto Ensemble). 

  2. (front to back) Rodrick Covington (Ahmed), Teshomech (Tisa - Grio Trio), Zachary Downer (Sameer - Moto Moto Ensemble), Wade Watson (Musa - Moto Moto Ensemble), Quiantae Thomas (Amina - Moto Moto Ensemble), and Aaron Patterson (Yusef - Moto Moto Ensemble)

  3. (l to r starting back left) Grasan Kingsberry (Jaali - Moto Moto Ensemble), Isio-Maya Nuwere (Safiyah - Moto Moto Ensemble), Wade Watson (Musa - Moto Moto Ensemble), Awa Sal Secka (Zawadi - Grio Trio), Aaron Patterson (Yusef - Moto Moto Ensemble), Rodrick Covington (Ahmed), Zachary Downer (Sameer - Moto Moto Ensemble), Melessie Clark (Mosi - Grio Trio), and Quiantae Thomas (Amina-Moto Moto Ensemble)

  4. (l to r) Quiantae Thomas (Amina - Moto Moto Ensemble), Awa Sal Secka (Zawadi - Grio Trio), Zachary Downer (Sameer - Moto Moto Ensemble), Isio-Maya Nuwere (Safiyah - Moto Moto Ensemble), Aaron Patterson (Yusef - Moto Moto Ensemble), Rodrick Covington (Ahmed), Wade Watson (Musa - Moto Moto Ensemble), and Grasan Kingsberry (Jaali - Moto Moto Ensemble)

Conceived by Saheem Ali | Music and Lyrics by Michael Thurber | Book by Jocelyn Bioh | Additional Material by Mkhululi Z. Mabija | Choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie | Directed by Saheem Ali

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