AAPEX Interview: Andre De Shields — Andre de Shields — AAPEX

Monday, September 24, 2012

AAPEX Interview: Andre De Shields

Andre De Shields

What role did theatre and the arts play in your childhood and upbringing? 
At the age of nine, upon witnessing the film Cabin in the Sky, my life was forever changed. In particular, it was John William Sublett--famously known as "Bubbles," in the role of Domino Johnson, who provided the epiphany that irrevocably placed me on the path to performing artist. 

Tell us about your own evolution as an artist. 
As a performing artist I am best described as an autodidact. Having never formally trained, my lessons in craft and sustainability came from growing up with ten siblings in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland. You might say I trained in the school of Hard Knocks. 

For you, personally, what are the highlights of your career? 
The highlight of my career was the winter of 1966, when my motherland sister traveled by Greyhound bus to Wilmington, Ohio to witness my performance as Walter Lee Younger in a college production of A Raisin in the Sun. I had just turned 19. 

What is the one role you most want to tackle at this point in your career and why? 
In the commercial canon the role I most want to tackle is the role of the king in The King and I for two reasons: Yul Brynner was a childhood idol of mine, and I believe the most authentic ethnicity for that character is Afro-Asian. 

When people come to see "I Put A Spell On You" what are they going to get? 
When people come to see I Put A Spell On You, they are going to get a rousing introduction to the Other American Song Book, which is best described as R&B--not only rhythm and blues, but rough and black.

To buy tickets to "I Put A Spell On You," please click here.

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