2010 UWG Graduate, Tangela Large, Stars in Pulitzer Prize Play

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In 2008, then University of West Georgia freshman, Tangela Large knew she had dreams of one day becoming an actor, but had no idea those dreams would quickly become her reality. After graduating from UWG in 2010, she received the opportunity of a lifetime to enroll in the Master of Fine Arts program at Brown University on a full scholarship.

In only her second year at Brown University, Large has reached an apex in her graduate career. This summer she landed a role in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and 2012 Tony Award-winning play ‘Clybourne Park.’

‘Clybourne,’ written by playwright Bruce Norris, is a written response to Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun.” The play portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play and is loosely based on historical events. It was even described by the Washington Post as a play that “applies a modern twist to the issues of race and housing and aspirations for a better life.”

‘“Clybourne Park’ is sort of where ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ left off,” shared Large, who landed two separate roles in the play. “Being in this play was such a blessing. I saw two different productions, and I got a chance to meet Bruce Norris and hear his inspiration and views about his play writings. I basically fell in love with the play because I felt that the text was romantic and also very necessary.”

Large played Francine, who is the trusted maid for the Stoller family and Lena, the great niece of Lena Younger, who is the well-known matriarch in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

“Francine and Lena don’t have any connections, but I think it’s so interesting that Bruce Norris pays tribute to the masterpiece: ‘A Raisin In The Sun,’” said Large.

“I was attracted to the redemption of the play, meaning that you have two distinct very different black women. Francine is to please, and Lena is to speak. I play maid for an hour, and then I turn around and play an educated activist for another hour. It’s such fun when an actor has the opportunity to visit two worlds in one play.”

The East Point, Ga., native credits UWG for helping prepare her for a journey such as this in her acting career.

“UWG believed in me,” she said. “It’s hard to put your love, trust, time and energy into a young adult because we have a tendency to be finicky and indecisive about our career goals. I knew I always wanted to be an actor, I just needed support and to be taught the right tools, and UWG gave me those tools.”

After a busy and well-accomplished summer, Large continues to shine bright while reaching for the stars. She said her ultimate goal is to become a working actor on Broadway and regionally, with a great work ethic and repertoire.

“I respect art so much because it can take you around the world,” she concluded. “I hope and pray that theatre will give me insight and experience.”