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The hottest play in Seattle right now is written by an 'Avengers' & 'Black Panther' star

In "Familiar", actors Harvy Banks and Aishe Keita are part of the fabric that forms a complicated and comedic family mosaic.

The play has received a lot of buzz, in part because of who wrote it...red hot "Black Panther" and "Avengers" star Danai Gurira.

"I love Danai because she's such a strong Africa woman," said Keita. "She's so unapologetic about that, and she wrote so many strong African women in this show."

Banks is also a fan.

"She's one of the most beautiful women that I've ever seen," he said. "With the smarts to go with it. She's remarkable."

The compelling dramedy centers around a first generation African-American family as it attempts to navigate the norms of American life, while still honoring the traditions of their home country - Zimbabwe.

"I play Nyasha, the youngest sister who just came back from ZImbabwe," said Keita. "But she was born and raised in Minnesota, and she is the fighter. She is the one who comes into this house after going back home, and saying 'Why am I not more connected?'"

The culture clash reaches a boiling point when relatives from near and far gather for a wedding, opening old wounds and revealing long-buried secrets.

"We have a visitor that comes in and kind of turns everything topsy turvy," said Banks. "That's when the surprises begin to crop up. A visitor that also reminds us all so much of home. Absolutely."

One thing the actors deftly dance around is the seriousness and humor that the play brings.

"Life is like that!" said Keita. "Black people are so funny, we are so funny naturally! And we also go through a lot, so that is just our lives. We are comedians and we are also in a drama."

The actors say the title of the play is apropos, because it's themes are universal.

" The title speaks for itself - its 'Familiar'. Anyone who comes through that door and sits in that audience will see someone they know from their own family, will probably feel a sense of longing for something that's part of their culture," he said. "That they've probably never thought about before."

Familiar is playing at the Bagley WrightTheater through May 27, 2019. Tickets online .

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