Theatre Process: Margo Hall and Ayodele Nzinga
Monday, February 22, 2016
Welcome to Theatre Process. Usually, this podcast features one Bay Area theatre-maker and one visiting artist in conversation about their shared discipline, but this month we couldn’t help ourselves: both of our cherished guests, Margo Hall and Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, are Bay Area visionaries who share a vital connection to the work of August Wilson.
|Margo Hall and Ayodele Nzinga. Photo: Trevor Allen
Hall—a nonstop actor, director and playwright—recently appeared as Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at Marin Theatre Company; Nzinga is the founder of Oakland’s Lower Bottom Playaz, a company dedicated to illuminating the urban Black American experience and the first troupe to complete Wilson’s entire ten-play “Century Cycle,” of which 1900s-era Gem is the first.
These eloquent, deeply committed artists share more than admiration for the Century Cycle plays. Both have acted the role of Aunt Ester, an experience they agree will “change your life,” and allow you to “walk different in the world.” They share thoughts on Wilson’s wry, dark, sometimes mordant humor; how his work can lead you to a place of “overstanding” (as well as “understanding”); the Black Realism aesthetic at work in MTC’s Gem; and a particular kind of pathos they find surfacing throughout the Century plays—which Nzinga calls “the ability to lose and yet win.”
We sincerely hope you enjoy this mid-February treat!
Trevor Allen, Theatre Process producer and host, is an award-winning playwright (The Creature, Lolita Roadtrip, Tenders in the Fog, Chain Reactions, 49 Miles), solo performer (Working for the Mouse) and voiceover artist (representation). Exit Press is currently publishing a collection of five of his plays.
Theatre Process theme music used by kind permission of Curious Quail.