Could it be a star is born at Berkeley Rep?
Oakland Tribune columnist Dave Newhouse wrote a terrific piece in last Sunday's newspaper about Jaden Malik Wiggins, the 11-year-old actor in Athol Fugard's Coming Home.
In the show, which closes on Sunday, February 28, Jaden plays Mannetjie Jonkers, the son of Veronica, the main character played by Roslyn Ruff. Kohle T. Bolton, a dynamic 5-year-old, plays the younger version of Jaden's character.
Thomas Silcott, another of Jaden's adult co-stars, makes some astute observations about the young actor:
"Of the 11-year-olds I've seen on stage, a lot of them are very dutiful and will do anything you ask. But they don't go beyond that and take it on themselves. And that's what Jaden does. He willingly becomes more creative...the boy is like a sponge. He's really smart, very talented and knows how to take what you teach him and make it work."
Jaden, it turns out, has performing in his blood. His father, D-Wayne Wiggins, is one of the founders of Tony! Toni! Toné! Here's Jaden on his experience so far on stage at Berkeley Rep:
"It's going really good. What I've learned the most? I thought that you only did the plays once, and that's it. But I learned that you do it weeks, months and, sometimes, years."
You can read Dave Newhouse's column here.
Talented kid! He plays the heck out of the bass in the band POPLYFE, too. Great to see kids doing something positive with their lives in this age when so many are so passive or lost.
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