After a successful opening week of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry's revelatory masterpiece, we chatted with some members of the creative team about their lives and artistic visions. Costume designer Naila Aladdin Sanders shared a bit about her passion for the arts (both onstage and off):
TW: Hometown? Home now?
Naila: I was born and raised in Los Angeles and still live nearby in Altadena, California.
TW: Who are your theatre idols?
Naila: The only person that comes to mind is Shirley Jo Finney, who took over as director after a very good friend was killed the night before rehearsals were to begin. The play was The Ballad of Emmett Till. Her healing words were crucial to the process of dealing with both tragedies.
TW: What would you be doing if you were not a designer?
Naila: If I were not doing costume design, I would be more involved with my other artistic pursuits; I am an exhibiting fiber artist with a concentration on silk painting.
TW: Who are your heroes in real life?
Naila: My hero is most definitely my mother, who raised four children alone.
TW: What is your most treasured possession?
Naila: My most prized possession right now is the flying pig that I just found in a Colorado gift shop a few weeks ago! I can’t wait to take him home and find him a place to live.
TW: Who are your favorite writers or playwrights?
Naila: My favorite playwrights are some that tell stories about my culture, mostly because I have designed one or more of their plays and had the opportunity to fully explore the text: Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, Tarrel Alvin McCrany, Branden Jacob-Jenkins, and Levi Lee Smith, to name just a few.
TW: When and where were you happiest?
Naila: I am happiest when I can go in my studio, shut out the outside world and make art.