Scene from Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson. L to R: Adimu Madyun, Tatiana Monet, James Brooks, Cat Brooks, Alicia, Stanley Thomas Hunt, II. Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater, October 2011. Directed by Ayodele Nzinga starring The Lower Bottom Playaz.
The Lower Bottom Playaz
Mission- Creating community one story at a time.
Motto- To create what we need from what we have been gifted.
Statement of Purpose
The primary purpose of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc is to foster the creation, production, and presentation of quality theater in the tradition of the Black Arts continuum. Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc is dedicated to the excavation, critical examination, and the illumination of the conditions of North American inner cites and the lives of inner city inhabitants though the creation of original works, the production and performance of the highest caliber existing material available to us from the North American African canon, and the works of other artists considered marginalized within the American theater scene and the greater American society in general.
We employ artist to perform, create work, present work, and to train youth in theater arts. We concentrate on the presentation and creation of work that connects us to the universal in the human condition, and enables dialogues that engage perceptions of difference, and issues of concern for all inner city spaces.
The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc purposefully use performance as a way of increasing social awareness, providing an entry point to community concerns, as well as to stimulate, celebrate and enhance understanding of ourselves and others through the shared experience of live theatre. The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. utilizing the performing arts to create a more conscious and compassionate public sphere, as well as to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower artists and audiences, intend to foster the enlightenment of more conscious and compassionate communities and to inspire in all of us the willingness to explore new ideas, generate dialogues concerning class, the social order, equity, and diversity. The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. provide urban residents the opportunity both to attend and to participate in quality presentations of performance art that encourages self reflection and fosters the inclusion of inner city communities in the larger conversations that concern the global village in which we all live. Our intentions are to entertain, inform, and educate, thereby enriching the cultural life of inner city spaces in California and adding to the state’s rich and diverse arts community.
Through practice and training we enable actors to succeed in all aspects of the profession, our primary goal is to prepare artists for commitment to lifelong learning through the arts, and an investment in the use of the medium of live theater to engage inner city communities.
Our program combines the presentation of performance works for inner city audiences, and rigorous training in the practical disciplines of acting with the study, rehearsal, and presentation of quality works of artists of color and other similarly marginalized artists.
Our association with other non-profits, institutions of higher learning, diverse theatrical communities, and our presence in inner city spaces, enriches every aspect of our program, bringing artists and audiences of many backgrounds into close contact with artists from multiple performance based disciplines. It is through the immersion in creative work, our commitment to training novices, and our connection to our audiences—that we experience and benefit from what live performance offers to the cultural life of a community, and articulate how the life and history of a community enriches its performance spaces. For that purpose we will fund raise, seek grant funding and community investment in the following activities:
We perform an annual theater season.
We entertain inner city communities providing many first theater experiences.
We create new works in the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum and purposely work at the expansion of forms, we do interdisciplinary work that results in performance, as well as traditionally conceived of theater.
We employ actors and performance artisans.
We educate adults, children, participants and audience members through the medium of theater.
We train actors and other performance related professionals.
We are a research resource for performance in urban art related studies.
We are a community resource that performs at community events gratis and at reduced rates.
We culturally engage and enrich inner city communities and the state of CA by adding to the forms and diversity of local art
"Community Theater at its most committed",
Ken Bullock- Berkeley Planet
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Our work is supported by the following patrons of the arts.
Tajai Massey, Hieroglyphics http://www.hieroglyphics.com/
Earl Stevens aka E40
Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira of Flipsyde - “Cops and Robbers” http://pipedreamzent.com/
Kemba Shukur of URBAN RELEAF
Ms. Donna Broady
The Peoples Life Fund
Ms. Kathy Mattingly
Galen Silvestri - United Roots http://unitedrootsoakland.org/
Helen Stoltzfus and Albert Greenberg, ALICE Arts and Media http://alicearts.org/
Nedra T Willams, Visual Artist