Posted April 14, 2015 by Editorial Staff in Arts

[PROFILE] Spotlight: Brooklyn Fields (African American Shakespeare)

African American Shakespeare: Spotlight – Brooklyn Fields
African American Shakespeare: Spotlight – Brooklyn Fields

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Performance: Xtigone (February 14 – March 8, 2015)
Interviewee: Brooklyn Fields
Role: Chorus
Writer: Melissa Katz
Producer: African American Shakespeare

Xitgone • Director: Rhodessa Jones • Playwright: Nambi E. Kelley • Musical Composer: Tommy Shepherd
Emerging Chicago playwright Nambi E. Kelley’s contemporary urban adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone is an impassioned response to the recent untimely deaths of children in her native city as a result of gang violence, which has risen sharply in the past several years. The production updates the conventions of ancient drama for our contemporary movement. Ensemble singing, rhythmic movement, and musical accompaniment was an essential part of Greek tragedy’s original performance in ancient Athens; similarly, music will provide an urgent musical heartbeat to this stirring depiction of the immense human cost of violence in our cities and in our families.

What was the hardest part about preparing for your role?
The hardest part was learning all of the words because I started later than the rest of the cast. It took me a while to understand what the show was about and what I was supposed to feel about the show.

What was the easiest part?
The easiest part was the part was learning all the songs because that’s mainly what I focused on in the beginning. And also the easiest part was learning the lines that the chorus does together.

How do you make the character come alive?
I just think about how this connects with the real world and how I can make it compatible with the real world.

If you haven’t shared any of your character’s experiences, do you know anyone who has?    
Yes, I know a few people who have been through some of the stuff that’s throughout the play, and while I haven’t been through it myself, seeing what they’ve been through is hard so I can kind of get the feeling of how effective this is.

Are there any real life inspirations you have taken for your role?
Well, there are two people in this cast who have inspired me and so I just go off of their demeanor and their support.

What is the most fun part about the play to you?
Getting to perform for the students and working with the cast.

What message do you take away from Xtigone?
I think that people should look out for each other and have respect for their communities and stop the violence and connect to what would happen if their family was connected to the violence and how much of an effect that would have.

What message do you hope audiences take away from Xtigone?
I hope that the audience would take that there is a future and based on what we see today that in the future there shouldn’t be any violence and violence should stop and there’s no reason for it to let it happen.

What about Xtigone do you think audiences will respond to the most?
I think that the audience will respond most to the view of this play and to what type of connection they are making with the art world.


Brooklyn Fields attends Oakland School for the Arts where her emphasis is Vocal. In addition to acting and singing Miss Fields likes to play the Piano and Guitar.

Brooklyn was also in our 2014 production of Cinderella as Shayla/Sherena

You can see Brooklyn in Rhodessa Jone’s production of Birthright? with The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women at BRAVA

- Courtesy African American Shakespeare