We asked the creative team:
What was your inspiration when helping to create Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?
Since this show highlights the early journey to success and prominence of Maya Angelou, I wanted to reach back into the archives of photos, videos, and interviews when she was younger working as a singer and dancer.
Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Idris Goodwin were my north stars during this process.
Maya Angelou is someone I grew up inspired by, learning about her in elementary and middle school when I learned about other in influential Black women such as Oprah Winfrey, Toni Morrison, and Michelle Obama. Childlike inspiration is riveting, and I strived to draw motivation from sensory details– smell, sound, touch, and even taste, all as a sound designer.
Maya’s words and her refuge in books, the ground of Stamps AK, the warmth of wooden buildings, and her promise of liberation.
The inspiration was mostly from the way things from the past are preserved in memories. As Maya looks back on her life, certain items spark intense and meaningful memories. Even though these items are from the 1930s, they still look the way she remembers them instead of aging with the rest of the world.
I am constantly inspired by the Cherrye, Khalia, and the designers shaping this amazing piece.
When I learned about the opportunity to be Assistant Stage Manager for this production, I was so excited! I am passionate about theatre, and being able to have my first fully in-person experience since the pandemic with such a wonderful play was a huge honor and inspiration. I am also inspired by Maya Angelou, herself. Her writing and her activist work inspire me in my own art and activism.
Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Learn more about NYCCT’s production of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings!