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Ndanu Mutisya Shines in Her Professional Debut in The Color Purple

1. What's Your Name and Role in THE COLOR PURPLE?

  • Actor Name: Ndanu Mutisya (Dan-oo Moo-ti-see-ya]

  • Role in THE COLOR PURPLE: Church Lady (Darlene)/ Olivia

Ndanu Mutisya headshot

2. Where Are You From?

  • Hometown:Boston, MA

  • Background: I am a singer and musician who in high school found a love for musical theater.  In college, I studied both theater and economics (I'm a bit of a nerd), and fell in love with theater, writing, and acting. Since graduating, I studied at Stella Adler, produced cabarets, and am in the process of producing my first full-length play that I co-wrote.

3. How does it feel to be a part of THE COLOR PURPLE Musical?

  • Excitement: I am so thankful and overjoyed to be a part of this musical and this production. I am so honored to be a part of this cast. This is also my professional acting debut!

  • Challenges: Well, I look forward to them. I guess one of the challenges that I will have is playing multiple roles. I want each of them to be distinct. I'm excited!

4. Tell Us About Your Character in THE COLOR PURPLE.

  • Character Description: Darlene is one of the church ladies who sings and comments about what is happening in the story. She is a twin with Jarene, who is also a church lady. Darlene is supportive, strong, brave, and funny. 

  • Connection: I have been a Darlene to many friends in my life. Someone who tries their best to be a voice of reason, be supportive, along with being comedic relief and an ally. 

5. What Makes THE COLOR PURPLE Special?

  • Impact: I have been a fan of the original movie since I was young. I grew up singing "I'm here" and it makes me cry every time I hear it. It's not only a story about survival but a story about strength, family, and belonging. I also think it's important to recognize the power and strength not only women hold, but black women specifically have. 

  • Message: No matter what happens to you, who you are, what you've done, your choices matter, and who choose to be matters. Also, everyone should learn to love themselves. That can bring you peace. 

6. Being an Actor:

  • Inspiration: Denzel Washington in "Remember the Titans", Angela Bassett in "What's Love Got to Do with It"/ in Anything, and Robin Williams in "Good Will Hunting".  I have watched these 100 times and they never get old. 

  • Memorable Moments: My first real theater performance was in high school and I remember having a panic attack right before opening night. I remember a fellow actor saying to me "You know your lines. You know you're blocking. You know the songs. Just trust yourself". And that became something I say to myself every time I go on stage. It's one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten besides "Take the free food".  

7. Behind the Scenes:

  • Favorite Scene: I love when Celie and Shug sing "What about Love". The music is so mesmerizing. I also love the comedy of "A tree named Sofia"

  • Offstage Fun: Good vibes!

8. Advice for Aspiring Actors:

  • Words of Wisdom: All your connections are useful no matter how you find them. So keep an open mind and open heart.  

  • Learning Experience: Be specific. And I mean that in every sense of the word and in all situations. Do the research. Be specific. 

9. Fun Facts:

  • Hobbies: I write music, plays, films, and shorts, some of which I have produced! I also am a costume designer and theatre technician. I also enjoy reading, watching movies, and sewing.

  • Hidden Talents: I can almost quote the entire movie "Fired Up" while watching it. 

10. Closing Words:

  • Message to Fans: Come and see us! I can't wait to jump in! 

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