Actress Hadar Busia-Singleton loves to travel and splits her time between Accra, Ghana’s capital city, and New York City. The 24-year-old daughter of the late filmmaker and actor John Singleton and Ghanaian actress Akosua Busia, said in a recent phone interview that she is excited about exploring Boston — especially the vegetarian food scene — while she is here performing in the Huntington Theatre Company’s “The Bluest Eye,” at the Calderwood Pavilion through March 26. The play, adapted from Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel of the same name, tells the story of Pecola (Busia-Singleton’s character), a young Black girl who believes her life would be better if only she had blue eyes. “I feel very protective of her,” Busia-Singleton said. “She’s a very precious little girl and very impressionable.” Even though the story is set in Ohio in the 1940s, the actress said that during these trying times with the pandemic, its message is a welcome one. “I think we need to be more empathetic toward other people, not pity them,” she said. “Pity is a platform; that’s a very elevated point of view. Pity does nothing for people. Empathy does more for people and this show — even the storytelling structure of the show … it’s like reading a book — really welcomes people into something that hopefully has them go out with a little bit more empathy than they came in with.” She added that the show’s director, Awoye Timpo, often reminds the cast that the performance and its message present “an opportunity for a little bit of community healing.” We caught up with Busia-Singleton, who was raised in Accra and in Los Angeles, to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination? Brazil because of the fruit, music, and memories with family. Bahia is so special. It’s really rich with Black culture and I just felt very at home there. I also love Avignon in France and the weekend market where you can find knickknacks and old photo buckets.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Ripe summer nectarines or whatever fruits and veggies are in season. I also have a habit of finding the best fresh pasta in whatever city I’m in. I’m big on Italian restaurant vibes.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I’d actually love to visit Gorée Island soon. It’s a small island just south of Senegal. Senegal is home to some of my favorite films and it’s where my parents married. Also, I love Thieboudienne [a fish and rice dish that has been dubbed Senegal’s national dish] but the vegetarian version. I’d love to visit São Tomé, too.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Probably my Nintendo Switch console, and this one super random water bottle that I’ve grown very attached to. I don’t know why, but water just tastes better from it.
Aisle or window? [Definitely] window. It’s sweet to listen to music and cloud gaze.
Favorite childhood travel memory? Passing through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol en route to Accra. My mum was raised for a while in Holland and introduced me to a popular Dutch cartoon bunny, Miffy. She ruled the airport really. I have many a Miffy memory, and associate her image with traveling and the foreshadowing of sunny adventures. The playgrounds in Amsterdam were always incredible, too.
Guilty pleasure when traveling? Beaches, restaurant hopping, and airport people watching.
Best travel tip? Take very little, pack days ahead, and ignore the interweb!