Hadar Busia-Singleton on fresh pasta, his Nintendo Switch and memories of Miffy

Actress Hadar Busia-Singleton loves to travel and divides her time between Accra, the capital of Ghana, and New York. 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 was excited to explore Boston — especially the vegetarian food scene — as she is performing here at the Huntington Theater Company’s “The Bluest Eye”, at the Calderwood Pavilion until March 26th. 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 off if only she had blue eyes. . “I feel very protective of her,” Busia-Singleton said. “She’s a very precious and very impressionable little girl.” Even though the story is set in Ohio in the 1940s, the actress said that in these difficult times with the pandemic, her message is welcome. “I think we need to be more empathetic to others, not pity them,” she said. “Pity is a platform; it is a very high point of view. Pity does nothing for people. Empathy does more for people and this show – even the show’s storytelling structure…it’s like reading a book – really welcomes people into something that will hopefully get them out with a little more of empathy than they did. She added that the show’s director, Awoye Timpo, often reminds the cast that the performance and its message presents “an opportunity for a bit of community healing.” We caught up with Busia-Singleton, who grew up in Accra and Los Angeles, to talk all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? Brazil because of fruit, music and family memories. Bahia is so special. It’s really rich in black culture and I really felt at home there. I also love Avignon in France and the weekend market where you can find trinkets and old picture buckets.

Favorite food or drink while on vacation? Ripe summer nectarines or any seasonal fruits and vegetables. I also usually find the best fresh pasta in any city I find myself in. I love Italian restaurants.

Where would you like to travel but haven’t? I would love to visit Gorée Island soon. It is a small island just south of Senegal. Senegal is home to some of my favorite movies and it’s where my parents got married. Also, I like Thiéboudienne [a fish and rice dish that has been dubbed Senegal’s national dish] but the vegetarian version. I would also like to visit São Tomé.

An item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Probably my Nintendo Switch console, and this super random water bottle I’ve become very attached to. I don’t know why, but the water just tastes better.

Aisle or window? [Definitely] the window. It’s sweet to listen to music and watch the clouds.

Best childhood travel memory? Passage through Amsterdam Schiphol airport en route to Accra. My mother grew up in Holland for a while and introduced me to a popular Dutch cartoon rabbit, Miffy. She really ran the airport. I have many memories of Miffy and associate her image with travel and the foreshadowing of sunny adventures. Playgrounds in Amsterdam have always been amazing too.

Guilty pleasure while traveling? The beaches, restaurants and people watching at the airport.

Best travel tip? Take very little, pack days in advance, and skip the interweb!

JULIETTE PENNINGTON