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Serious Look
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Ayodele Nzinga


since 2020

Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, Ph.D. is the founding producing director of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc., founded in 1999, they are Oakland’s oldest North American Theater Company, currently in residence, at The Flight Deck in downtown Oakland. Described as a renaissance woman; Nzinga is considered a multi-disciplined creative force; she is a producing director, playwright, poet, dramaturg, actress, performance consultant, educator, and community advocate. She is the founder of Lower Bottom Playaz Summer Theater Day Camp, established in 2017, a performance-based literacy camp that serves youth 5-18 free of charge. She is the producer of BAMBDFEST a multi-venue month-long arts and cultural festival celebrating the Black Arts Movement and Business District in Oakland CA. Nzinga holds an MFA in Writing and Consciousness, and a Ph.D. in Transformative Learning. Work for the page includes The Horse Eaters published by Nomadic Press, A Narrative Inquiry into Performance Pedagogy, work in Vision Magazine, two volumes of the Journal of Pan African Studies, 14 Hills Journal, Magnolia Journal, and in the anthologies, Environmental Terrorist and Say it Loud. Nzinga’s work for the stage includes Mama at Twilight: Death by Love, Mack: A Gangsta’s Tale, Lifer, and Beyond the Bars: Growing Home. Film credits include The Everlasting Coconut Tree, So Beautiful, Protection Shields, and Tent City produced by 393 Film. Nzinga directed the longest-running African American play in North America, One Day in the Life, and is the only director to produce a fully-staged play in the iconic African American Museum and Library at Oakland, CA. Nzinga is a Cal-Shakes Artist Investigator Alumni, the founding Artistic Director of the original Recovery Theater, a Helen Crocker Russell Arts Leadership awardee, and a member of Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, inducted for contributions to Arts and Culture. Ayodele is recognized by Theater Bay Area as one of the 40 faces in the Bay Area that changed the face of theater in the Bay Area, she is also recognized by the August Wilson House as the only director to direct the August Wilson Century Cycle in chronological order.

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