Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter’s: An African Tale

Photo Credit: John Michael Moss II


Those are words a patron yelled right before the opening act of Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) current production. Guess what? He was so right!

DCT’s National Touring Production of John Steptoe’s MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS:  AN AFRICAN TALE, a beautiful Zimbabwe based Cinderella story, wraps up DCT’s 33rd season.

The production is based on John’s Steptoe’s 1988 Caldecott Honor Award book.

Mufaro, an African villager, enjoys his life with his beautiful daughters, Manyara and Nyasha. While both of his daughters are beautiful, they have completely different hearts and demeanor.

Manyara is manipulative and mean-spirited; however, her father doesn’t see this side of her because around him, she is an angel. Nyasha  is pleasant, kind, and loving to anyone and anything that breathes! Seriously-even snakes!

News arrives to the village that the Great King is looking for a Queen and is inviting the “Most Worthy and Beautiful Daughters in the Land” to appear before him. Mufaro doesn’t want to choose between his daughters so he will let the king decide who is worthy.

Photo Credit: Karen Almond

This turns into an exciting journey to test both daughters’ honorable characters to determine who will be crowned Queen.

This production is very lively, joyful, humorous, rhythmic, and uplifting. During the production, I never felt a comparison to Cinderella as it stands on its own with the same, meaningful message.

Photo Credit: Karen Almond

“The idea that true beauty is more than skin deep is the single most important message in this story!”-Sally Fiorello, Producing Director of National Tours.

I appreciated the cast of minority actors. It’s an encouragement to young minority kids who love theater and a great introduction to those who are curious about theater.

Fun Facts

Mufaro means Happy Man

Manyara means Ashamed

Nyasha means Mercy

The model for the book’s artwork is John Steptoe’s daughter, Bweela Steptoe

Lauren with Bweela Steptoe

MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE runs through July, 9, 2017. To reserve tickets, call 214-740-0051 or visit

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