Dr. Ayodele Nzinga
Oakland’s Black Arts Movement Cultural and Business District
Ayodele Nzinga is a California artist, who in the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum, uses performance as a method of inter-intra group communication. She is the Artistic Director of the original Recovery Theater, and its cult classic Marvin X’s “One Day in the Life,” the longest running African American Theater Production in North America. She is the founding Artistic Director of The Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater, a 100 seat theater built in 2001, to facilitate Nzinga’s desire to use live performance as a form of community engagement. Nzinga is the Founder Producing Director of The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc, Oakland CA’s premiere North American African Theater Company, who under the direction of Nzinga served as the troupe in residence at The Sister Thea from 2000 to 2013. Her troupe began residency at The Flight Deck on Broadway in Oakland CA in 2014. Nzinga and her troupe have the distinction of being the only theatrical group to fully stage a production, (Fences, by August Wilson),at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland CA. Nzinga and the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc are the only theatrical entity of any size anywhere to stage the complete works of August Wilson's American Century Cycle in chronological order of the 100 years represented in Wilson's seminal achievement. The American Century Cycle Project was undertaken in 2010 and completed in 2015.