Director LaTanya Richardson Jackson and actress Pauletta Washington are working together on the August Wilson play “Two Trains Running,” which will be at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre in the Southwest Arts Center through March 10. The two women have husbands whose careers have a higher profile: Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington
But the reasons their husbands are better known, both say, are due in part to willing choices each woman made and stinging choices made for them. They discussed those decisions before a rehearsal last week at the arts center.
Though both are classically trained and saw early momentum in their stage careers, in the early years of their careers the big, breakout film and television roles never seemed to go to darker-skinned, shapely women such as them.
“I always have felt a bit bitter that the industry didn’t recognize the pure talent because they are looking for superficial things,” Washington said, as she gestured to Richardson Jackson, though in some ways she was speaking for herself as well.
But both women put voluntary brakes on their careers after they began having children. Two traveling actors can’t make a stable home, they said.