Dr. Ayodele Nzinga

Producing Artistic Director

Ayodele Nzinga is often referred to as a renaissance woman. She is an author, director, producer, actress, dramaturge, playwright, member of Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame, the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland with an MFA in Writing; Consciousness and a PhD in Transformative Education and Change. Nzinga describes herself aa a Cultural Architect invested in designing structures that support cultural production, deconstruct whiteness, and facilitate
self-directed community transformation and change. Working at the intersections of community well-being and cultural sovereignty, Nzinga is the founder of the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc, Oakland’s oldest North American Theater Company; the only company in the world to produce the entire August Wilson Century Cycle in chronological order, the Black Arts
Movement Business District, Community Development Corporation of Oakland; a grassroots organization dedicated to the animation of Oakland’s only formally declared cultural district. Ayodele is the co-founder of Janga’s House, a MapFund Fellow 2021, and a member of the YBCA 10 2021.

Dizzy Jenkins

Meet Dizzy Jenkins, also known as Dimebag Dizzy - the multi-talented singer/songwriter, bomba drummer, and heavy metal vocalist hailing from New York City now calling the Bay Area their home. With a broad range of musical styles under their belt, Dizzy has become a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. They have released two solo hip hop albums, City Baby and Algorithm & Blues, and their recent release, Skeleton Key, showcases their soulful, acoustic take on country, blues and folk featuring their signature vocals and heartfelt lyrics. 

Dizzy is not only a musician - they are a mother, a surfer and a visual artist. Their art has been showcased in past Trap Art events, demonstrating their artistic prowess beyond the music world. 

In 2020, Dizzy’s artist statement and lyrics to their original bomba composition, Agua De Esclavo, were published in Chicana/Latina studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social - an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, biannual flagship publication of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS).

Dizzy’s latest album, In Case I Don’t Make it, is a collaborative effort with Women’s Audio Mission, showcasing their incredible range as a bomba composer. Additionally, they are a lead vocalist for psychedelic cumbia band Mala Grena. With their undeniable talent and diverse skillset, Dizzy continues to make waves in the music industry and beyond.

Nedra William

Nedra William (Priestess) Bio:
Nedra Williams is an Olokun Priestess, healer and visual artist from Oakland,
CA. She was initiated in Benin City, Nigeria at the Osemwegie Ebohon Cultural Compound. She received the name, Ohen Imene (the doctor) after completing her sacred dance and 14 day rituals. She was given her Chieftaincy title in 2005.

Ohen Imene is a member of the Egungun society and performs Ancestor rituals
throughout the Bay Area. She has been an African Traditional Religion( ATR)
practitioner for over 35 years.

Nedra William Bio:
Nedra Williams is a visual artist and designer from Oakland, CA.  Her  works have graced album and magazine covers and continue to reclaim spiritual nuance in the Everyday. She is an abstract colloquist, who has  a passion for color, line and form. 

Nedra  uses a variety of varied papers, fabric, stencils and photography as her
collage tools. She favors acrylics because it lends itself to layering and color boldness. As each layer unfolds, the viewer is invited into a deeper dimension of a familiar sign that can suddenly change into a new interpretive twist. 

Romare Bearden’s groundbreaking collage techniques and African- American themes appear in many of her Artworks, she is inspired by Basquiat, Driscoll and Pikoli to dream. When she isn’t working in her studio, she spends time in her garden, reading and crocheting.

Ebony Hatton

Ebony Hatton is a bay area native and mother of 2 beautiful souls. She does everything from making pyramids and candles, painting abstract art, and selling houses, to now being a certified Sound healing therapist. She has run the box office for the Lower Bottom Playaz for a decade. Currently she is Audience Services Engagement Outreach and on the administrative staff for BAMBD CDC and LBP. Her pronouns are she and her. She is into all things metaphysical and enjoys meditating, reading, Parks, tuning forks, singing bowls, and watching the stars.


Maleyah (she/her) is from Berkeley and is a Bay-Area-based cultural worker, artist, student and lover of all things green. When she is not spending time going for a walk or a hike, you can find her researching holistic remedies, writing, reading or dancing. She is supporting Dr. Nzinga in BAMBD CDC as her Executive Assistant and Lower Bottom Playaz as a Program Coordinator. In the future, Maleyah hopes to start a non-profit organization catering to youth development and social justice. 

Stanley “Doe '' Hunt II

Stanley “Doe '' Hunt II is an Berkeley native. He began his acting career with the Lower bottom Playaz at 9 years of age. He was a central part of The Lower Bottom Playas Century Cycle project which garnered him the distinction of being a core member of the only troupe in the known world to stage the entire Century Cycle in chronological order. He played Harold Loomis, Boy Willie, Caesar Wilkes, in the cycle among other roles. Other distinctions include starring in the highly acclaimed coming of age film 'LICKS' which placed second in south by SouthWest in 2012. He was among Indy Wires top 10 actors to look out for in 2013, and voted best actor in feature film at the Chelsea Film Festival in 2014.

Cat Brooks

Cat Brooks is an award-winning actress and playwright. In her role as an artivist, she is also the host of “Law & Disorder” on KPFA and a resident playwright and actress with The Lower Bottom Playaz in Oakland and 3Girls Theatre in San Francisco. As an organizer, she played a central role in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant and spent the last decade working with impacted communities and families to rapidly respond to police violence and radically transform the ways our communities are policed and incarcerated. She is the co-founder of the Anti-Police-Terror Project (APTP) and the Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network. Cat was also the runner-up in Oakland’s 2018 mayoral election, facing incumbent Libby Schaaf.

Arielle Julia Brown

Arielle Julia Brown (she/her) is a multidisciplinary cultural worker who commands and directs cultural spaces as sites for radical imagination, vision building and social transformation in her communities. Raised between Hayward California and Conley Georgia by her beloved migratory people, Arielle now also calls Philadelphia, PA home. Arielle’s practices traverse cultural strategy, performance curation, dramaturgy, facilitation and performance making.Among Arielle’s most personally impactful artistic works are The Love Balm Project (2010-2014), The Doubleback: Freedwomen’s Gaze (2015-2016) and Fallawayinto (2018 - Present). Arielle is the founder, director and curator of Black Spatial Relics, a convener, developer, supporter and presenter of Black radical performance. Arielle is also a co-producer of Remember2019, an eight year effort to center the congregation of Black Phillips County residents in the wake of the Elaine Massacre. Arielle was a 2019 Monument Lab National Fellow. Arielle is a 2021 Leeway Transformation Awardee. Arielle is in the inaugural cohort (2021 -2024) of Called By Water conceived and led by Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and Sharon Bridgforth.


Lisa/August Evans is a Bay Area based Black non-binary performer and cultural worker. Their recent projects include “Blessed Be the Black and Crazy,” an installation project focused on Black mental health that was featured in The 2018 Black Woman Is God Exhibition  and "Confronting The Ghost of Willie Lynch" a site specific haunted house inspired production presented as apart of the 2019 National Queer Arts Festival. They’re a recipient of the 2020 Creatives in Place Residency and recently premiered a digital remount of their solo show “You Really Should Sit Like A Lady” as a part of TheaterFirst’s 2020-2021 Season.

Marvin X

Editor Black Bird Press

Poet, playwright and essayist Marvin X was born Marvin E. Jackmon on May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California. He grew up in Fresno and Oakland, in an activist household. X attended Oakland City College (Merritt College), where he became friends with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. X earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from San Francisco State University and emerged as an important voice in the Black Arts Movement (BAM); he wrote for many of BAM's key journals: SoulBook, Black Dialogue, Journal of Black Poetry, Black World, Black Theatre and Muhammad Speaks Newspaper.. He also co-founded, with playwright Ed Bullins and others, two of BAM's premier West Coast headquarters and venues - Black Arts West Theatre and The Black House in San Francisco. In 1967, X joined the Nation of Islam. When he refused to fight in Vietnam, he fled to Canada, Mexico City and Belize, from which he was deported back to America and served time for draft evasion in Terminal Island Federal Prison. In the eighties, he organized Oakland’s Melvin Black Forum on Human Rights and the All Black Men's Conference. He also served as chief aide to former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver when he returned from exile as a Born Again Christian. In 1996, X founded San Francisco's Recovery Theatre. His production of "One Day in the Life” became the longest-running African-American drama in Northern California. He produced the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness at San Francisco State University, 2001. In 2004, X produced the San Francisco Tenderloin Book Fair. X has taught Black Studies, drama, creative writing, journalism, English and Arabic at a variety of California universities and colleges. He is Co-Founder of Oakland’s Black Arts Movement Business District. He was recently awarded a grant to organize the Black Street Vendors Association. He is the author of 30 books and Publisher of Black Bird Press News and Review.

The Town Participants 


ShakaJamal is a culturally innovative artist, filmmaker and certified trauma informed yoga instructor from Oakland, California. He is the founder of Olu8 Film & Culture and Olu8 Records; creative spaces for the production of dynamic sound, story and visuals. His passion for film, music and yoga grew through travel and while living in South Afrika. Partnering with community members, non-profits and corporations, ShakaJamal’s work reveals the inspiring achievements of change makers—whose stories often go untold.

LeeAnn Dowd

LeeAnn Dowd (she/her) is an artist and maker with a background in producing, facilitation and organizing. She currently supports Dr. Ayodele Nzinga and Lower Bottom Playaz and serves as an Artistic Consultant with Center REP. Previously, she worked with California Shakespeare Theater as Artistic Producer & Casting Manager. She was part of the organizing team of the Bay Area Theatre Accountability Workgroup, and is actively involved in community efforts to transform harmful conditions within the theater industry. She is passionate about systems change, scavenger hunts, meaningful gatherings, and her two cats, Toby & Sasha. For more information, visit www.LeeAnnDowd.com

Leslie Price

Leslie Price, Assistant at BAMBDFest & Managing Director at San Francisco Youth Theatre, is a theatre educator, director, and writer. She directs SFYT's 415 Teen Ensemble focusing on productions with social justice themes of interest to young people. From 2005-2016 she served as the Children's Director for The Theatre of Western Springs in the Chicago area, creating curriculum and producing a variety of plays and musicals including the premiere adaptation of Al Capone Does My Shirts by San Francisco's Gennifer Choldenko. In addition to her work with BAMBDFest and SF Youth Theatre, Leslie is a regular contributor to Clef Notes Journal, an arts magazine in Chicago.

TaSin Sabir

TaSin Sabir's artistry spans various mediums, including photography, painting, and web & print design. TaSin graduated from California College of the Arts with a BFA in Fine Arts Photography and her work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries around the Bay Area and beyond. TaSin has also published three photography books. TaSin works as a freelance photographer and designer, creating unique projects for her clients, one being BAMBDFEST / Lower Bottom Playaz.


KimberLee is a Bay Area native who harnesses the power of storytelling to mend generational trauma. Recognizing the profound human response to stories, she works closely with clients to craft narratives that have the potential to transform beliefs. Her primary focus lies in supporting our nation's most marginalized communities, displaying a deep sense of empathy for the struggles faced by working-class communities of color. Her films serve as a poignant medium to shed light on critical social issues and advocate for equity and justice. You can view her work at TalkOakland.org.

Reg Clay

Reg Clay (Stage Manager) is proud to once again work with Dr. Ayo on this important project.  Reg last worked with Dr. Ayo on 3GirlsTheatre and their production of Cat Brown’s one woman play Tasha.  A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Reg has acted, stage managed and produced shows all through the bay area, working with Bindlestiff Studios, the Pear Theatre, Ray of Light Theatre, Plethos Productions and many more.  Be sure to check out his podcast, The Yay w/Norman Gee & Reg Clay on all podcast apps.

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