Alonzo Lee Moore is a principal dancer with Dancing People Company and an actor and choreographer with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. You can see him this week and next as Gus, the coat-checker-wannabe-actor in “It’s Only a Play,” a Terrence McNally piece I directed for the Ashland Contemporary Theatre.
Next season, Moore will be dividing his time between Ashland and his hometown in Texas, where he plans to build a community art center. We chatted over Sunday brunch at Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine in downtown Ashland.
AM: I live in a very rich area in Texas, where the culture and the heritage runs deep. The families have been there together since the 1840s. It used to be cornfields, open land and cattle. Now it’s all subdivisions and strip malls. The economy is booming down there. It’s all urban.
Within our community and within our society we’ve advanced as a people. We’ve had the civil rights movement and we’ve had all of these amazing opportunities to grow, succeed and achieve equal rights; but in doing so, I feel that we’ve lost what was driving us to strive for those things.
What’s being lost is all of the values that we grew up with, all the songs, the holidays, and the stories that we used to know. I feel that I need to go back home and preserve some of that. How else would I preserve it? I sing; I’m a dancer and an actor. Why don’t I go back and use the crafts that I have learned and enrich the youth in my community and weave the fabric back again?