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2019 Performing Artist in Residence

Ubuntu Theater Project

The logo of the Oakland-based Ubuntu Theater Project features the name of their company in sans serif font on a painterly olive green background.Ubuntu Theater Project’s mission to produce theater that “engages audience members from disparate communities to unite and reveal our shared humanity,” presents an important bridge to the values of gender and racial justice, inclusive excellence, and accessibility that guide our work at Mills College. In addition to creating productions that bring people together, Ubuntu Theater Project lives their message of inclusivity through their pay-what-what-you-can subscription pricing and nontraditional casting,

As a prolific, young, and diverse ensemble theater company based in Oakland, California, Ubuntu is uniquely situated to produce works that investigate questions that are important to Mills students and are representative of our diverse region. Mills Performing Arts was honored to host two shows on campus from Ubuntu’s 2019 season and to present students with the opportunity to work on these shows and establish connections with theater arts professionals based in our local community.

From Michael Moran, Artistic/Executive Director, Ubuntu Theater Project:

“Participating in this Mills Performing Artist-in-Residence was a huge support. The scale of the facilities alone and that of the staff and the collaborations with the students made for a powerful and unique experience of collaboration and mentorship. This experience falls in line with our own mission of bridging across different divides.

“On the artistic side, particularly Lisser Hall, afforded an incredible opportunity. To put a piece in there allowed a scale, and depth, and size, and grandeur that allowed us to grow our own organization, push our own boundaries, learn about where we are artistically and to hopefully provide something for the community.

“The campus is just gorgeous and is a jewel inside of Oakland that isn’t accessed enough, and so to have the opportunity to both provide something to the Mills community and also for the larger city of Oakland is really extraordinary.”

From Victor Talmadge, Mills College Professor of Practice and Director of Theater Studies:

“Ubuntu Theater Project is the premiere resident theater company in Oakland. Their core mission of creating a community-based theater ensemble that is committed to exposing citizens to the theater arts resonates with our goals at Mills. We have been very fortunate to have them as our first Mills Performing Artist in Residence.”


Mother Courage and Her Children

By Bertolt Brecht, translated by Tony Kushner. Directed by Emily Whelan, February 8–March 3, 2019, Marilyn McArthur Holland ’45 Performance Theater, Lisser Hall.

Read the Free Audience’s review of Mother Courage and Her Children.

Wilma Bonet as Mother Courage, Rolanda D. Bell as Kattrin, and Shane Fahey as the Chaplin. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Projection Design by Adam Larsen. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Dominick Palamenti, Kenny Scott, Wilma Bonet, and Rolanda D. Bell. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Kevin Rebultan as Swiss Cheese. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Wilma Bonet. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Rolanda D. Bell as Kattrin, and John Mercer as the Cook. Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

Regina Morones Photo credit: Simone Finney, Ubuntu Theater Project

How I Learned What I Learned

By August Wilson. Directed by Margo Hall, April 30–May 5, 2019, Rothwell Theater, Rothwell Center. Co-produced by Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and Marin Theatre Company.