Mirirai Sithole appeared in Molière in the Park’s live stream of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur’s translation of Molière’s biting satire The School for Wives, directed by MIP’s Founding Artistic Director Lucie Tiberghien.
Sithole brought an impressive resume to the challenging role. Her New York theatre credits include If Pretty Hurts… (Playwrights Horizons), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (MCC) (Lortel Award, Drama Desk Ensemble Award), The Homecoming Queen (AUDELCO nomination, Atlantic Theatre Company), Suzan-Lori Parks’ The Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature Theatre Company), and many more.
The live stream was presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), and in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, LeFrak Center at Lakeside and Theatre for a New Audience.
Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career?
I have always enjoyed being a theatre maker and I recall realizing that someone I loved deeply who was a year ahead of me in high school got accepted into the recording music program at NYU and that’s when I knew that anything was possible. I had never really been shown options in the arts but once I saw it happening for someone else, I wanted that opportunity as well. Just in theatre.
What about this career choice did you find most appealing?Collaboration, community and storytelling.
What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
I applied for college and ended up at a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Subsequently, I did internships every year after freshman year with various arts organizations and all of them eventually led to jobs.
Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging?
Many people were very encouraging and very inspiring! I feel grateful to have had so many examples of people actually living their lives as artists.
Did you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change?
I never attempted a career change as a way to get away from acting but there were definitely moments when I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.
When did your career reach a tipping point?
My career has tipped positively and negatively. That’s life. What I aim for is balance as my career continues to thrive on.
Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome?
I can get very much in my head when I’m in process and I have to remind myself that the best way for me to tell stories is getting out of the mind and into the body.
What single skill has proven to be most useful?
I’m not sure there is one single skill that has proven most useful. But I do believe the ability to collaborate with others is paramount for any successful process. The ability to communicate my wants and needs in a rehearsal room while also making sure there is grace and ample room for others to vocalize their artistic desires.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud of every audition, every appointment, and every time I got to perform for others live. All of it is truly a privilege even when it’s a grind.
Any advice for others entering your profession?
Detach from the idea that you know what the outcome will be and enjoy the ride! Find your tribe, build our aesthetic and share it. And don’t let them box you in. Especially if “them” is you. 🙂