“A dense malevolence and cynicism informs Wayne’s performance, and Hawthorne is delightfully unhinged as Sweets.”
– Lovell Estell III for stage Raw
Sammie Wayne IV is an award winning actor and lighting designer; a stage manager and director. His talent is no stranger to the Robey Theatre Company as he has worked at the Robey both as cast and crew. Most notably, winning two 2013 NAACP Theatre Awards for Best Supporting Actor for Anna Lucasta produced by the Robey; and Best Supporting Actor for Camp Logan, co-produced by the Robey, along with Sparkling City Entertainment and JuVee Productions.
Sammie Wayne stays busy as his multi-talents has lead him to work in many aspects of the theatre, as well as film. Currently, Mr. Wayne is directing a one woman show called Macho Like Me, written and performed by Helie Lee. Macho Like Me will be performed this year at: The Hollywood Fringe Festival in June; The Santa Monica Playhouse in July; The Edinburgh Theatre Festival in August.
Sammie has a B.S in Computer Science from DePaul University, and was a Computer Programmer-Analyst and Software Engineer for General Motors and Northrop Grumman.
Sammie now happily enjoys working for more than a decade living his purpose.
I had in opportunity to interview Sammie Wayne number Four regarding his role as Johnny Williams, the bar owner in No Place To Be Somebody.
Question: This play may not be for the faint of heart, what made you say yes to performing the role of Johnny?
Sammie Wayne IV: Probably because I’m not for the faint of heart. I love acting and when Ben offered me the lead role in a Pulitzer Prize winning play…how the hell..I mean heck could I say no.
Question: People have describe No Place To Be Somebody as “edgy” or “gritty,” what are some words you would use to describe this play?
Sammie Wayne IV: The word that comes to mind when I think of the play is “raw.” The language is colorful, the subject matter has so many layers, everything from religion to racism to revenge.
Question: Give a few words you would use to describe your character?
Sammie Wayne IV: A few words to describe Johnny Williams: Proprietor with a purpose, pimp with problems, and a pragmatic preacher.
Question: What is Charlie Fever, and do you think such a phenomena exits?
Sammie Wayne IV: It’s a phrase I heard growing up in the 60s in Mississippi. It often referred to black people trying to “act white” coupled with the notion that being white was better than being black. However, within the context of this play, it is described as a hatred so deep for white people that you would do anything within your power to wipe them out.
Question: How have people been reacting to the play?
Sammie Wayne IV: Several dear friends, people who have known me for years, a few of their responses were: “Wow,” or “Whew…that was a ride” Some shared their feelings about the colorful language that was used.
Question: Do you have a favorite line from the play, doesn’t necessarily have to be a line Johnny says?
Sammie Wayne IV: I have several but here is a little something from one of lines from Gabe says (played by Leithe Burke)…
“They’s mo’ to begin’ black than meets the eye!…Being black has a way’a makin’ ya mad dos’ of the time, hurt all the time an’ having’ so many hangups, the problem’a too-side don’t even enter yo’ min’! It’s buy-in’ what you don’t want, begin’ what you don’t need! An’ stealing’ what is yo’s by rights! It’s all the stuff that nobody wants— It’s the body that keeps us standin’! The soul that keeps us goin’! An the spirit that’ll take us thooo! Yes! They’s mo’ to begin’ black than meets the eye!”
You can catch Sammie Wayne IV now through May 8th at the New LATC located 514 S. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90014.