Actress Aixa Kendrick Celebrates Latest Success In Off Broadway Production Of BLACK SPARTA
Award winning actress Aixa Kendrick is celebrating her latest success as part of the ensemble cast of Layon Gray's Black Sparta, which recently concluded its Off Broadway run at The Actors Temple Theater in Manhattan.
Set in the late 1800's, the play tells the story of The Mino, an all female military regiment of the Fon people dedicated to protecting the King and kingdom of Dahomey (present day Benin). It follows the ferocious conflict that ensued as European superpower France began their gradual annexation of parts of Dahomey, only to be met with strong resistance by the Dahomean people and these Amazonian warriors.
Kendrick is a Best Actress AUDELCO Award winner for Excellence in Black Theater for her leading role in Baba David D. Wright's dance drama Oya: Warrior Wind Goddess. In Black Sparta she plays General Oni Balewa, one of the most formidable and militant of the play's female soldiers.
The character is yet another in a long line of strong women that the distinctly androgynous actress- sporting her trademark shaved head and Mohawk hairstyle- has added to her rapidly growing resume.
"I've always been drawn to characters that may have shortcomings or seemingly unforgivable flaws, but are driven by a deep unshakeable principle," she says. "I find that it's so profound, powerful and necessary as a woman and audience member to witness the immense and diverse ways we reveal our soul strength. And, yeah, why not? I always love the chance to kick some ass, too!" she laughs .
Kendrick first studied acting with renowned New York coach Tina Sattin, and later enrolled in the City College of New York's Bachelor of Arts Theater Program. She received additional training at NYU's Tisch School For The Arts as a member of their Acting Company For Dramatic Writing, and is currently a member of the Actor's Green Room.
She has received plaudits for her work in projects as diverse as Law and Order SVU and Orange is The New Black on TV, feature films including Sisters, John Wick 1 and 11, and short films such as Zen Parking, Far Lands and Emmy Award winning writer/producer Veena Sud's film One Night, which won the Berlin Film Festival's top honor for short films.
Black Sparta is a deeply personal project for Kendrick, because, in her own words "So few people know our rich history of female leadership in Africa. Many saw Black Panther this year and thought that the idea of a female army guarding the royal family was cool and innovative. But many empires throughout the African continent's time line have created a female militia for various purposes. The Igbo women during the Biafran war, the Libyan Revolutionary Nuns, even South Africa's Black Mambas to name a but a few. And it's a story that needs to be told."
On the horizon for Kendrick are three new projects already in production- FIGHTERZ, a special effects Sci-Fi action web series by Rhugid Lee, The Company You Keep, a psychological short thriller by Joanna White-Oldham and Knight Takes King, a dystopian spy action drama series by Tim Shelburne.
See also- www.aixakendrick.com