THEATER | Trena Bolden Fields celebrates leaders of the Civil Rights Movement


Trena Bolden Fields does not have an extensive track record in Twin Cities theater, but she certainly has an impressive one, having worked at two of the area’s premier venues. Played the fast-tailed floozy Ruby in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars at Penumbra Theatre Company, joining excellent company. She was at Illusion Theater in No Distance Between Us. She also has been on-stage here as Cordelia in King Lear with Cromulent Shakespeare Company and in Dreaming Harriet Tubman at Stages Theatre Company.

Fields—an actor, writer, speaker, and life coach—says she uses her “creative abilities, knowledge of the industry, and career counseling background to help people navigate their careers and create personal success” and has “a strong passion for the arts” and believes in “empowerment and transformation.”

Recently, the dedicated professional crafted a series of monologues, Daring to Think, Move, and Speak, to showcase key leaders and supporters of the Civil Rights Movement. It details the lives and legacies of five African-Americans who would not bow to the injustices of their time. “These monologues,” says Fields, “help educate people about individuals who helped create equality for all while changing our country and our world.” Directed by Kim Hines, Daring to Think, Move, and Speak has its premiere this week at Dreamland Arts. Trena Bolden Fields took time between rehearsals to answer questions via e-mail.

What goes into being a life coach?
I think one has to be open, dedicated, have the ability and capacity to listen deeply, and ask great questions to help people define and achieve their goals.

What went into portraying Ruby in Seven Guitars? What did you draw on as an actor?
I drew on knowledge of the script, time, my experiences and observations, and inspiration from the directors and cast.

It must have been a thrill to do an August Wilson script.
I really loved being a part of the production at Penumbra. I think it was a great production and I truly appreciated the opportunity. I look forward to performing in another August Wilson play as well as performing [again] at Penumbra.

How has been working with Kim Hines as a director?
It is great working with Kim. She understands the process of an actor as she is an actor herself…and she is patient, insightful, gracious, and extremely knowledgeable. I am very happy and excited to work with Kim!

Why did you write Daring to Think, Move, and Speak?
I feel it is important for the mainstream to know and learn more about women’s contributions to the [Civil Rights] movement. I also feel it is important for people to learn more about different people who helped to make our country a better place to live.

You have what you describe as “a strong passion for the arts” and a belief in “empowerment and transformation.” Would you say a bit more about that the empowerment and transformation piece?
Being supported and empowered to do your own work and achieve your goals is important. So I believe in supporting, encouraging, and empowering people, helping them move forward in their own power while celebrating their accomplishments and achievements. To achieve their goals. Things are always changing. People have the ability to change their situation and transform their lives to represent more of what they truly need and want out of life. I believe individuals can and do make transformation in their life and the lives of others.

What’s next?
I am planning to perform this show around the world. I also would like to finish a chapbook that I have been working on this year. I am excited by this work and I look forward to sharing it.

Daring to Think, Move, and Speak runs January 20-23, 2011. Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased through Dreamland Arts.