Symone Jackson Interviews The Amazing Ruben Santiago Hudson
New York native, playwright, actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Winning national awards for his work in all three categories, Santiago-Hudson returns to the theatre stage with his one-man play Lackawanna Blues – the same play he won an OBIE special citation Award for.
Debuted off Broadway at the Papp Public Theatre in 2001, Lackawanna Blues was later adapted as a television movie that aired in 2005 on HBO. The play is a montage of reminiscences, memories, testimonials and roman a clefs of ‘Miss Rachel’ and his childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie; portraying more than 20-colorful characters of would-be philosophers, petty hustlers, lost souls and abandoned lovers – in a celebration of the eccentric boarding house.
Santiago-Hudson delivers anecdotes and testimonials accompanied throughout by live blues music with Grammy winning Blues guitarist, composer and actor, Chris Thomas King. Santiago-Hudson taught himself to play the harmonica during his broadway stay for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars; Santiago-Hudson received a Tony Award for his performance in the August Wilson play. No stranger to the Broadway stage, Ruben appeared in Jelly’s Last Jam written by George C. Wolfe, The Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer and Cabin in the Sky.
Appearing in film and television in Coming to America, Shaft, The Red Sneakers, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Selma, American Gangster, Honeydripper, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, BET’s The Quad, ABC’s Designated Survivor, Castle, and NBC’s Law & Order.
In addition to the play, Santiago-Hudson reoccurs on the OWN network’s original series David Makes Man. This drama is the first television series from the Oscar Award winning Tarell Alvin McCraney about a young African American prodigy living in Florida looking for a way out of his poor neighbor. David Makes Man was inspired by events in McCraney’s life, explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination.