Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Oge Agulué, the son of two Nigerian immigrants, always wanted to be an actor, but never thought it was anything people studied for.
Instead, Agulué says, “I just thought you walked down the street, someone saw you, and you ended up on TV. But, of course, that never happened to me.”
And it never happened to anyone else he knew for that matter. So the young would-be actor decided to do it the old-fashioned way and attend Perdue University where he eventually received his bachelor’s degree in theater. Next, he was off to graduate school at the University of California-Irvine. After getting his degree there, he admits it was off to pounding the pavements just like most young actors needed to do.
And it wasn’t long before I discovered it takes a lot of hard work to make it in this business,” Agulué explains. “The road to success is a difficult one. There’s no road map to follow, and it’s different for everyone. We’re all just trying to find our way.”
Agulué’s way proved promising. Immediately after graduate school he was in some regional productions in California before moving to New York where he booked the role of the General in the touring company of the hit musical “The Book of Mormon.”
“And now, here I am in Philadelphia appearing in ‘Small Fire,’ my favorite role to date,” he says. “The show continues at the Philadelphia Theatre Company until mid-November.”
In the show, headlined by Tony- and Emmy Award-winning actress and dancer Bebe Neuwirth, Agulue plays Bill Fontaine who works for Emily (Neuwirth), the owner of construction company, who becomes dependent upon him.
“I am her right-hand man,” Agulué says. “And when things go sort of awry, he is the one Emily trusts to continue the work.”
Agulué says, “The beautiful thing about some of the shows I’ve been in is that this one, in particular, is beautifully written. The characters are so well drawn, that everything you need to make them believable and come to life is right there in the pages of the script. I just follow the words and go on the journey.”
And all the while Agulué is proudly following his own personal journey — one that encompasses two different worlds.
“I was born here, but I did grow up in Nigeria in my formative years,” he explains. “Since both my parents are from Nigeria it was important to them that I knew where I came from — my culture, my extended family who still live there, and that I have a home wherever I am. I have dual citizenship and I love both countries equally.”
Agulué continues to love his chosen profession as well.
“One of my favorite things about working in the theater is the immediate response you get from the audience, including a big ‘thank you’ when you see them in the lobby,” he says. “And my response is always ‘no, thank you for giving up your time and opening up your hearts for everything we share.”