The Lower Bottom Playaz

ESt. 1999 

Founding Director Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga, MFA, PhD

Building community one story at a time.

From Gem of the Ocean through Radio Golf;The only troupe on earth to chronologically produce August Wilson's 10 Play Cycle American Century Cycle The originators of  Shakespeare in the Yard Series,(Shakespeare in the Hood)Ebony & Johnny and Mack: A Gangsta's Tale written about by Scott Newstock and TL Barnes in their academic coverage of urban adaptations of Shakespeare. We are the company that located the Black Canon in West Oakland by site specific adaptation --,Baldwin's Amen Corner and Hansberry's'Raisin,' the creators of original theater, Mama at Twilight: Love by Death, Beyond the Bars, Mama's Letters. The presenters of  Oakland CA's first Black Arts Movement Theater Festival, Collective Acts

Producers of BAMBD's AFRO-FEST 2019  

We are more than entertainment. 

We are transformative theater.


Beyond the Bars: Growing Home

Jail time has become a normalized event in Black and Brown lives. 

I argue there has never been freedom of movement for Black bodies in America, and that in every way imaginable the carceral system is an extension of the system of chattel slavery in this Country. 

"Black men are six times more likely than white men to be incarcerated in federal, state and local jails." -- Pew Research Center study 

Come with us as we traverse a brutal and dehumanizing system to unravel the truth of crime and punishment in America. 

We are going behind the bars to better imagine what might lie beyond the bars and how we grow home for those who have been touched by incarceration.

Tickets on sale in the box office. 

This work started with an Artist Investigator project with Cal Shakes and has grown to the full production you will see. Both videos reflect the projects original participants and the heart of this project which is dedicated to all those who have been touched by incarceration.

produced by 

The Lower Bottom Playaz

We are more than entertainment. We are transformative theater.

Season18. Catch a Fire


The Lower Bottom Playaz

directed by 

Dr. A. Nzinga, MFA, PhD

Beyond the Bars:

Growing Home,

Charlie Levin's: The One Truthiness,


Lifer at Large

The Glenn Bailey Story


1540 Broadway



                            CLICK THE BUTTON TO SUPPORT OUR WORK

 Portrait of August Wilson by James Gayles. Owned by the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. Available for purchase. $3,500.00

We are more than entertainment. 

We are transformative theater.

Creating what we need from what we have been gifted since 1999.