Actor Santoya Fields is to play Aisha Laboru in Whistleblower’s forthcoming production ‘Echoes of Ebola’ at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater on 42nd Street in Manhattan in June.
Santoya has been pursuing her dreams in theater, film and television in New York City since 2003. She played Rachel in the New Brooklyn Theater’s play of the same name, by Angelina Weld Grimké, directed by Courtney Harge, about a family trying to cope with the lynching of one of its members. Then, as now with ‘Echoes of Ebola’, the production was being performed against the backdrop of the strengthening ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
In ‘Echoes of Ebola’ Santoya plays a young African scientist working for a US Big Pharma company striving to find the cure for a pandemic virus threatening the world. But dedicated Aisha doesn’t realize that she is unconsciously aiding and abetting a sinister depopulation agenda.
“I connected with Aisha’s idealism, her passion, and her purpose,” said Santoya. “I saw her as an unlikely yet very timely hero. I was drawn to her fearless persistence. I am honored to bring a voice to this character and this cause.”
Santoya’s other stage credits include Moola in ‘Who Is Afraid Of The Moon’ at the Venus/Adonis Festival. She was a member of the ensemble for the development of the musical ‘Baby Hold on to Me’ in New York and Houston, Texas, last year, and she also played Dee in ‘Testify’, a choreopoem by Monica Prince.
Her most recent film project was an award-winning short by Eden Entertainment about Eartha Kitt entitled ‘Love Always, Eartha’, in which she played Gracie, one of the singer’s cousins.
She also had a small role in ‘The Confession’ Hulu series starring Kiefer Sutherland and John Hurt in 2011, and worked behind the scenes on ten episodes of the production.
Santoya was awarded a full scholarship to study ballet, modern and jazz at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York in 2003, but she moved first into a career in TV production. She did not return to her focus on performing arts until 2010 when she took lessons at Brooklyn Music School with the world-renowned opera singer Lina Tetriani and at the Susan Batson Acting Studios. Now she is certain that the performing arts is where she belongs, and she is determined to one day perform on Broadway. Santoya is a passionate singer and writer and she lists Meryl Streep, Viola Davis and fellow St Petersburg, Florida, actor Angela Bassett among her industry role models.
‘Echoes of Ebola’ director Zenon Kruszelnicki said: “As soon as she stepped into character at the first audition we knew we had found our Aisha. Her understanding of the complex emotions of the role was excellent, and she held myself, and my team, spellbound, especially when she sang a mournful African ballad. We are so looking forward to realizing ‘Echoes of Ebola’ with Santoya.”