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Bringing A Nigerian Theatre Classic to Life (and other adventures)

This Friday, March 19 at 6pm PST, tune in to see me bring a Nigerian classic to life on Zoom. I’m directing Madmen and Specialists, a masterpiece of black comedy by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, and our production features some of the Bay Area’s finest actors including my artistic twin, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, as the titular “mad man”. Here’s a description of the show and ticketing info is below:

Pitting a "madman" who leads a cult of beggars against his son, a former doctor turned army intelligence specialist, Nigerian playwright and Nobel Prize Winner Soyinka uses black humor and absurdism to reflect the inhumanity and corruption in our power structures.

Last month I recorded an audio drama for Word for Word's podcast, in which we perform Books and Roses, Helen Oyeyemi’s magical short story about an orphaned laundress and an eccentric artist, who each find themselves in possession of a mysterious key.

Word for Word has been presenting these podcast performances during the pandemic and they are perfect to listen to while taking a walk, cleaning your house, or curling up on your favorite chair. Books and Roses is only available till April 14 so don’t miss your chance to hear me play two Spanish matrons, a mountain, and more!

And after you’re done, check out the other stories. E.M Forster’s “The Machine Stops” is a favorite of mine for its eerie prediction of our smartphone addiction and for the wonderful performances and sound design.

In these unprecedented times, I wanted to revisit the zany characters from my latest solo show, MANIFESTO, but Edris (my director) and I didn’t want to just do a video recording of a stage show. So we decided to make a bona fide film!

Using green screens, and homages to Zoom chats and the original staging, we filmed a one-man sketch comedy romp through the twisted world of show biz. It’s a fitting update for a show that Mission Local described as "an endless parade of captivating characters and scenes" and KQED said was filled with "a wealth of insider buzz and infectious laughter."

It’s been such a joy to create in spite of the limits of COVID and I’m so excited to share our film, which will be available for streaming from April 15-18 and 22-26. I'll send more details closer to those dates but I wanted to give you this sneak peak of the madness to come.


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