Meet the cast: Shayna Small

We’re pleased to introduce you to the actors of The Colored Museum, an uproarious and groundbreaking comedy about race in America.

Get to know actress Shayna Small, and hear her thoughts on the play.


Shayna Small

 Shayna Small most recently appeared Off Broadway at The Public Theater/ NYSF in Parable of the Sower. Her regional credits include The Oregon Trail (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center), Just Right Just Now (Theater for the New City), and Closer (Load of Fun Theatre). She received her BFA in drama from The Juilliard School.


How does The Colored Museum resonate with you in 2015?
Nearly 20 odd years later, this piece is still extremely relevant, which is a testament to the brilliance of George, but also a litmus test for today's social climate. I found out the Huntington would be reviving this piece around the time protests and marches in response to Eric Gardner and Ferguson were errupting all over the country. Now is the perfect time for people to see and hear this play, because the magnitude of its relevence is frightening. Its frightening that we're still having the same conversations that we did 20 years ago. Yes, we've made progress, but we have a ways to go.

What is your favorite exhibit and why?
"Mama on the couch." Hands down! Its the only exhibit with the entire cast. It really is the meat of the play. George and Billy definitely go for the kill. I also can't make it through the scene withought laughing.

What is your favorite line from the play?
"Please check the overhead before exiting, as any baggage you don't claim we trash."

If you were to add an exhibit to the play what would it be?
Assata Shakur's first day back in the country on a visit to DC. Buena Vista Social Club playing in the background.

What are you most looking forward to in the rehearsal process?
Getting through these scenes without breaking out in hysteric laughter. These are insanely funny people I'm so fortunate to be working with.

What do you hope the audience takes away?
Its a comedy, so hopefully people have a good time, but more importantly, I hope people leave uncomfortable. Monumental change has never been birthed from comfort. And this country is in great need of great change. The ice caps are melting. We need to get it together!


photo: Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

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