Expatriate is an explosive play with all-vocal music which launched Off-Broadway at the Culture Project in 2008. A “freshly imaginative” (New York Post) & uncompromising look at the complexities of fame, sexuality & artistry, Expatriate is “a feast for the eyes and ears” pulsing with “an abundance of heart and conviction” (NYTheater.com).

about the show

Achingly platonic soulmates Claudie and Alphine are unsung musicians and longtime best-friends. Both wrestle with the addiction, abandonment and sexual trauma that run in their respective family histories. Diligent, dutiful, Julliard-trained composer Claudie may or may not be celibate while sparkly, indulgent Alphine has more natural star-potential and sex appeal than she knows what to do with. When Claudie’s troubled brother (Alphine’s boyfriend) Omar dies of a drug overdose, the mourning women flee to Europe to pursue their American dreams. In Paris, the two forgo fruitless solo careers to join forces as the sultry singing duo Black Venus. Parisians dub them “the greatest act since Josephine Baker” and they quickly rise to fame and fortune.Tensions rise as Claudie finds sexual freedom, artistic sustenance and spiritual regeneration through her new life abroad while Alphine’s hunger for adoration from a celebrity-mad culture spins tragically out of control. Expatriate is an engaging exploration of friendship, sexual tension, love and survival, celebrating characters in the spirit of Nina Simone and Josephine Baker. With only a JamMan loop machine at their feet, two actors perform Lenelle Moïse’s haunting jazz-funk all-vocal compositions as they weave the story of singing group Black Venus's fantastic rise to fame.


Variety calls the show “compelling” and says “both thesps are sensational. Moïse’s calm soulfulness is an excellent counterpoint to Mosley’s raw-nerve energy.”

Go Magazine says, “Armed only with their phenomenal voices and a JamMan loop machine, Moïse and Mosley perform Expatriate’s electrifying original musical score...From the concrete jungle to the Paris elite, the characters’ mutual evolution is both seamless and textured. Moïse and Mosley play their finely-drawn roles with haunting passion and precision. From scene to scene, the arc of their relationship is beautifully and convincingly rendered in this refreshingly honest and deeply moving two-woman tour de force.”

And Backstage says, “Lenelle Moïse’s music, created by a JamMan loop machine and a powerful voice singing evocative lyrics, has a beat that gets under your skin, fascinating rhythm, and a real theatrical power. It’s new.”

glowing reviews

  1. The New York Times (pdf)

  2. Variety (pdf)

  3. Go Magazine 

  4. Live Unchained 

  5. The Arts Fuse

  6. Edge Boston

  7. Drama Lit Blog

touring production history

March 1-2, 2013 Tulsa, OK

Nightingale Theatre for the Living Arts New Genre Festival

October 4-6, 2012 Boston, MA

The Theater Offensive

February 10-12, 2011 Seattle, WA

Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas

off-broadway production history

July 7-August 3, 2008 New York, NY

The Culture Project


workshop production history

April 28, 2008 New York, NY

Women Center Stage Fesitval at the Culture Project

April 18-20, 2008 Ithaca, NY

Kitchen Theatre Company

April 8, 2008 New York, NY

Women Center Stage Festival

staged readings

October 26, 2010 Northampton, MA

Smith College


Photo credits:

Press photo by Alden Ford

Off-Broadway production photos by Vanessa Vargas


“With all the theater out there, how inspiring it is to be reminded how invigorating an Off Broadway play can be with just two appealing performers, compelling music and a searching, intelligent script. Lenelle Moïse, a poet, playwright and performer, has written, composed and stars in Expatriate, a two-woman production...that delivers on all counts.” —The New York Times

EXPATRIATE (Off-Broadway)