Independent theatre is returning from pandemic in a powerrful an d istoruc wqay. The East Harlem Repertory Theatre in association with Yolanda Brooks Productions, return this critically-acclaimed music and dance-filled play based on the life of Nelson Mandela. The play goes deeper than other works of this nature by unveiling never-before-heard details.
Written by Yolanda Brooks (a local NYC civil servant) and John Ruiz Miranda (a retired 9/11 NYC fireman), MANDELA is a compelling drama with many lighthearted moments. After receiving great praise during its run at the National Black Theatre and The Actors Temple, the team of Brooks and Miranda have chosen the landmark American Theatre of Actors – one of the last theaters from the original off-off Broadway movement – to contunue this play’s journey. Currently running throughout the month, this powerful biographic piece will surely educate and entertain the audience. Visit www.mandelanyc.com for further info and to make reservations. (please note: some performances may already be sold-out)
We took a moment to speak with two of the company memnbers about their own persoinbal journey.
Tell us about yourself as an artist?
The creative gene in my artistry exposes itself in many ways. As an artist, I’ve attained a strong desire to learn more about the artistic world/history & develop the talent into a free minded disciplined skill through acting,music & writing.
Do you feel a stronger responsibility when playing such historic pivotal characters?
Being that I was born & raised in the Eastern Cape of South Africa heightens the responsibility from a recurring actors perspective. Xhosa is the main language there & it’s the 2nd most spoken language in the country. I get to work alongside who make it known that I don’t have to shy away from direction or being open to the questions they may have about my mother tongue language. Mr Miranda added “Father Lufefe” as an addition to the script, that rose the stakes & as a result, I felt the need to grab that opportunity with both hands.
What obstacles do you encounter in creating your role(s)?
In roles such as these, I create the characters choice,trail of thought & how I think it affects the characters mind,emotions and actions as a person. Overthinking how I go about those duties is definitely an obstacle I practice overcoming each time I’m trusted with a character
How do you feel about your role and Mandela now as opposed to when you started rehearsal?
I was cognizant of the fact that my roles were short. Knowing this made me think about my scene partners. Forming somewhat of a relationship with everyone on stage,tech & stage managers definitely sparked more excitement than before. This was much needed!
Yohance O. Alleyne sat for a video interview with us and had some moving words about his own enlightenment.
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