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Slaying Demons and Stereotypes With Actor Rotimi Agbabiaka

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Actor Rotimi Agbabiaka first discovered the theater playing in his mother’s closet in Lagos, Nigeria, where he grew up. With each new outfit he tried on, “the possibility I could be anything or anyone was opened to me,” says Agbabiaka, a veteran actor of productions at Cal Shakes, Marin Theatre Company, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Beach Blanket Babylon.

But after emigrating to the United States as a teenager and pursing an acting career, Agbabiaka encountered an American theater scene that didn’t recognize the same endless possibilities for him as a queer, black, immigrant man. In his hilarious one-man play Type/Caste, Agbabiaka exposes the challenges he’s faced, reminding us that “our stories create demons, but our stories can also slay demons.”

Rotimi Agbabiaka performs at the San Francisco International Arts Festival on June 2, 2017, at Fort Mason Chapel, and June 15 at the Flight Deck in Oakland.

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