Philly teaching artist, actor and playwright Aimé Donna Kelly, who you can currently see in InterACT Theatre Company‘s powerful The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, talks her devotion to green smoothies, being named after her grandmother’s childhood rival and being told by President Obama that she kind of looks like Michele.
My name is … Aimé Donna Kelly. My grandmother actually named me after a childhood rival she had back in Cuba. The idea being that she wanted me to be greater. Strong words to live up to. The name also means “to be loved” in French.
I am … an actor. I am also a resident teaching artist with Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
On opening night … a show is born! It starts to live and breathe freely on stage with all our work behind us. It has a life separate from the rehearsal process and we follow it to the end. Its an amazing feeling. I think that’s why we always celebrate it with a party.
If I had to describe The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane in one sentence, I’d say … it is a peek under a veil that we rarely lift and forces us to look into the lives of those who don’t have the freedom to be who they are—and because of that, two brave souls put themselves in danger, simply by living.