WEYNI MENGESHA // artist profile
All Photos by Peter Konerko for @ This Stage Magazine
What energizes you as an artist?
Collaboration. As a director, I get a front row seat to the journey of an actor creating a character… it is incredible. Writers, reading their poetry. Music — whether in the rhythm of the text I am directing or in the music I play while prepping/researching shows. Music is big part of my process.
What’s been inspiring you lately?
People. I really didn’t know anyone in the LA theatre scene when I got this job at Boston Court last year. Based on my work and aesthetic, the artistic directors suggested designers and actors to meet with. I ended up with a great team that have been amazing to jam with. I really enjoyed dreaming up this world with them.
“If I wasn’t an artist…”
I’d be working with young people. I spent about seven years developing The A.M.Y. Project and working with other organizations that deal with mentorship/teaching performance art for social change.
“As a child, I was…”
Imagining worlds. I grew up an only child with my Ethiopian extended family often visiting. Telling stories and playing music. I think it’s where I first learned the art of telling a great story.
Who are your artist allies?
I have two baby boys whose wonderful imagination and creativity I get to experience everyday. My husband (who is also a storyteller) is very supportive, and we talk a lot about our different projects at home.
Who are your artistic heroes?
People who figure something out, and then are not scared to throw it all away to learn more.
What’s your favorite (or go-to) LA “spot?”
Okay. Define art. Go!
If we are all millions of fragments from the same organism, art binds us back together… for a moment… to see what the other sees.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently directing Bars and Measures by Idris Goodwin at The Theatre @ Boston Court, which runs through October 23.
What’s your creative goal for the next year?
To keep choosing pieces that scare me, so I can continue to grow as an artist.