This is just the beginning – an interview with Actress of the Year Sylvia M’ Lafi Thompson
2015 was a busy year for Sylvia M’ Lafi Thompson and a fruitful one. This past Monday night, Thompson’s cast mates in BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) which is running through Feb 28, 2106, leapt to their feet as she was awarded Actor of the Year at the San Diego Critic’s Circle Awards. We’re not in the least surprised. If you see her performance in this production, you’ll know why. Thompson made time to share some insight into her process and her character.
How are you alike or different from you character Lena in BROWNSVILLE SONG?
Lena and I are very much alike from the stand point of keeping children safe and giving them a strong foundation to guide them. I come from an era where the neighbors watched out for everyone’s children when the parents were at work. If you did something wrong they would let them know. Everybody in our neighborhood knew everybody else…when Lena says to Junior. .”I remember the day you were born” I can relate. How sad it is that it is not like that anymore.
Has this role challenged you in any way?
Every role challenges me because my commitment is to the language of the playwright…….their story, not mine and the vision of the director. I am always amazed that Delicia Turner Sonnenburg is not already on Broadway. She should be. Her third eye is unmatched. A true blessing for San Diego.
This piece of incredible artistry. Kimber Lee has written the play in real time prose…the way people speak….it has been a challenge sometimes to memorize in the “hip hop generation era” but, a pleasant challenge for sure.
What would you say is the most moving part of this play?
WOW. Impossible to say. Every night when I am not in a scene and have changed clothes I am peeking out to see the other scenes because I love this play so much and the cast and designers who have worked so hard to breathe life into this story. I am NEVER BORED . OKAY…every time Zoe and Tez (Cortez L. Johnson) do the Brother/Sister scenes/dances I am RIGHT THERE peeking. Just amazing and heart happy to watch. What incredible music composition and choreography.
What would you like the audience to take away from this play?
I think that our losses, our loves, our most priceless relationships, live on in a song…a story…a memory…a conversation and that senseless loss can not shut us down. Everyday God gives us”This is not the end ..it is the beginning “
BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) is playing at MOXIE Theatre through Feb 28, 2016. Tickets are $30 and groups of 15+ are $15. Buy Tickets Now or call 858-598-7620