Yvette Heyliger: Lessons to Learn

I am encouraging my students to be students of the world: to look around them, to see what’s happening, see how their lives are affected by world events and the changes of our society because that’s fodder for future plays that they may write or that they may participate in as artists.

YVETTE HEYLIGER Playwright/Director/Producing Artist/Author is a lifelong theatre artist, as well as an educator, and the author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women. Yvette is a long-time activist for women in the American theatre and was recently named a finalist for the Advance Gender Equity in the Arts 2022 AGE Legacy Playwright Grant. 

The Children of the People: Writings by and about CUNY students on race and social justice, offers the perspective of past and present CUNY students–some, now faculty–on the success of this experiment.

Join us in the James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center to celebrate the launch of the book with an evening of readings by the book’s contributors Connie Gemson, Yvette HeyligerJose LopezKate McCaffreyLee Painter-KimJavier RiverosCynthia Tobar, and Alison Wong who will be joined by the editors Rose M. KimGrace M. Cho, and Robin McGinty, followed by a discussion lead by scholar, editor, and activist Conor Tomás Reed on the writing of the book as well as the current state of CUNY and public higher education. 

Date and time

Thursday, September 15, 2022

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Location

The James Gallery

365 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10016

YVETTE HEYLIGER is a playwright, producing artist, educator, activist, and author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women. Yvette has contributed to many anthologies including On Holy Ground: The National Black Theatre Festival Anthology, ARTemis Arts Wisdom Anthology, She Persisted: 30 Ten-Minute Plays by Women Over 40, She Persisted: Monologues from Plays by Women Over 40, Performer’s Stuff, The Monologue Project, Later Chapters: The Best Scenes and Monologues for Actors over Fifty, Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom, 24 Gun Control Plays, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2003, and The Best Stage Scenes 2003. Yvette has also penned theatre industry-related articles for magazines, blogs, a scholarly journal, and textbooks including The Children of the People: Writings By and About CUNY Students on Race and Social Justice and Performing #MeToo: How Not to Look Away. Realizing that in order to grow as a playwright she needed to see her work living and breathing on the stage, Yvette hung up her shingle and became a producing artist. Yvette’s plays, including her one-woman show, have been presented in theatre festivals in NY and LA, as well as at the prestigious National Black Theatre Festival. Yvette is a long-time activist for women in the American theatre and currently serves as a member or in a leadership capacity with Honor Roll! (an advocacy group for women+ playwrights over 40), Dramatists Guild’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Access committee, the League of Professional Theatre Women, and 50/50 in 2020. Awards: Finalist – Advance Gender Equity in the Arts 2022 AGE Legacy Playwright Grant finalist, AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwright Award, National Black Theatre Festival Emerging Producer Award, and Best Playwright nomination NAACP’s Annual Theatre Awards, among others. Memberships: Dramatist Guild, AEA, SDC, and AFTRA-SAG. Yvette Heyliger | New Play Exchange

Social Media: 

Facebook: Yvette Heyliger | Facebook

Twitter: Yvette Heyliger (@Twinbizness) / Twitter

Instagram: Yvette Heyliger (@twinbizness)

LinkedIn: Yvette Heyliger | LinkedIn  

Joan Kane: Speaking Truth

I had to tell my story. I needed to be able to say, ‘Look, I grew up in a time period in Brooklyn where racism was horrific and it was rampant.’ I needed to talk about sexual assault. I needed to talk about survival; how you can have horrible things happen to you. . . And I think it’s relevant today . . . I wanted to give some hope to folks: Look! Yeah, you can do it! You can go, you can push ahead. Tell your stories. Make sure that your truth is out there. For me, it’s very important that my truth is out there because, I believe, it’s truth that sets us free.

Joan Kane (writer/actor/producer) is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus.

The theatre is my church and I am a true believer. I see shows, I write plays. I produce, direct and perform. I love to see stories brought to life and I love making them.

Almost 13 by Joan Kane will be presented by Ego Actus in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Greenside Venues, 6 Infirmary St in August 2022. The play dramatizes the memories of a young girl’s violent summer in Brooklyn. Emotionally broken from witnessing a murder and ore, she finds herself dancing with a ghost. Can she survive being caught between a disintegrating family and racial violence?

This is a solo adaptation of the memories of a young girl’s hot, sweaty summer in Brooklyn. Can she survive being caught between a disintegrating family at home and racial violence on the streets? All she wants to do is jump in the waves at Coney Island and see the fireworks. Joan wrote the original 15 character play at the LaMama playwriting symposium in Umbria, Italy.

EGO ACTUS PRESENTS “ALMOST 13”
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY JOAN KANE,
DIRECTED BY BRUCE A! KRAEMER.
These are the memories of a young girl’s violent summer in Brooklyn.
Can she survive a disintegrating family and racial violence?
WHERE AND WHEN:
In the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
at Greenside Venues, 6 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LS, Scotland
August 8 to 13 at 18:30
August 15 to 20 at 18:30
August 22 to 27 at 16:10
Tickets £12.00 (Concession £10.00)
Run time: 50 minutes

Edinburgh Festival Review

Published August 23, 2022 by Paul Levy

This is visceral, credible and well written drama, documentary yet delivered in part-fictional style through character acting, storytelling, occasional heart-breaking humour and a life-affirming message that lingers as we leave the theatre, pondering, humbled and ready to start talking further about Almost 13.

Bruce A! Kraemer (producer, designer, and playwright) is the producer of all Ego Actus shows.


Joan was named one of the 2011 People of the Year in honor of her contributions to the
NY theatre scene and inducted to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com. Her
shows have been nominated for 61 awards, winning 21. Joan has also directed plays and
readings at the Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, Workshop Theater, Nylon
Fusion, Articulate Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Oberon Theatre, the Samuel French Short
Play Festival, the Actors Studio, T. Schreiber Studio, the Broadway Bound festival and
many others. Joan graduated from the High School of Performing Arts, studied acting at
the Neighborhood Playhouse and has an MFA in Directing from The New School and an
MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College. Early in her career she was an
Equity, AFTRA and SAG actress. She later became a teaching artist for Henry St
Settlement, Young Playwrights and Theatre for a New Audience. Joan went on to teach in
New York City Public Schools and she was a staff developer and at Fordham University
as an adjunct professor for both under graduate and graduate classes. Joan is a member of
The New York Madness Company, Rising Sun Performance Company, The Episcopal
Actors’ Guild, the League of Independent Theatre, the Dramatists Guild, New York
Women In Film and Television and the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers. She
is a voting member for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Artistic Achievement
committee and a Nominator for the Kilroys List. Joan is also an ex-officio Vice President
for Programming on the Executive Board of Directors of the League of Professional
Theatre Women.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @EgoActus, @kanejoan1
Facebook: EgoActus, Joan Kane
Instagram: egoactus, joankane9, kanejoan
Website: http://www.EgoActus.com, http://www.JoanKane.us

#ALMOST13 #One WomanShows #metoo #ViolaDavisFindingMe #EGO ACTUS #Sexualassault #Playwriting #Women’sRights

Emma Palzere-Rae: Raising Representation Awareness

Theatre is a way to bring people together in a non-confrontational way. You could do theatre as a political act and say it’s a political act; you can do theatre as an art and bring people together in the room to have that experience while people are being entertained and reacting emotionally; that they react and get them thinking and hopefully move them to take action these days.

Emma Palzere-Rae is a playwright, actor, director, producer and non-profit administrator. Emma spent 15 years as part of the NYC theater community, where she began producing one-woman plays and founded the Womenkind Festival. Over its ten-year run, Womenkind presented nearly 75 different performers, mainly original works. She is the Associate Director at Artreach, Inc. (Norwich, CT), and has also held the position of Artistic Director for Plays for Living (NYC), a touring company dedicated to social change, where she also wrote and developed plays for the repertoire.

Theater has the power to heal — bringing people together for a common shared experience, to laugh, to cry, to learn and, perhaps, to have a personal revelation or catharsis. Theater provides a space for personal and social change. Through my solo plays, I create theater that is a channel for that healing. 

Be Well Productions is receiving a grant to develop a new work! Thanks to @CultureSECT for all their work in creating this funding opportunity for our local artists and organizations.

Emma’s plays include “Aunt Hattie’s House”, about what compelled Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and “Live from the Milky Way… It’s Gilda Radner!” Her current projects include “The Woodhull Project” about 1872 Presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull; and the two-act “Finders Weepers”. Her one-woman plays tour throughout the country under the banner of Be Well Productions. Emma is passionate about nurturing theater artists and co-founded The Way of the Labyrinth Playwright’s Retreat, held every June since 2015 in southeastern Connecticut. Emma has also been an adjunct professor in the Arts Administration program in the Dramatic Arts Department at the University of Connecticut. Emma serves on the steering committee of the League of Professional Theatre Women (CT Chapter) and the boards of the CT Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New London Arts Council, and East Lynne Theater Company. She is also a member of Actors Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild, where she serves as the regional representative for New England-West. Emma holds a B.F.A in Acting with minors in Creative Writing and Speech from Emerson College, Boston. In 2021, Emma was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the CT Office of the Arts.

An Arts & Health Agency

​Supporting mental health and wellness through the creative and performing arts since 1985!

  • Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/BeWellProductions/
Instagram: @emma_be_well

@ artreachheals

#BeWellProductions 

#CreativityHeals 

#VictoriaWoodhull 

#HarrietBeecherStowe

#JuliaMargaretCameron


Erika L. Ewing: Fashioning Change

When we’re talking about the power of The Arts — the healing, the transformative powers — we’re really talking about the fact that we’re human. We’re humanizing the experience of others. So, we lead with empathy, and we lead in such a way that we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It’s more than meeting people for where they are –it’s BEING where they are. It’s getting inside of where they are . . . I can see new possibilities. NOW what can I do to change things?

Erika Lucille Ewing is a social impact entrepreneur and a
multimedia creative, actor, activist, and fashion designer,
“ARTIVIST.”

As former Chief of Staff of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York (BLMNY) Erika along with the powerful women of BLMNY organized the “Find Our Girls’ March to bring attention to the missing Black and Brown girls and youth across the globe. 

Got To Stop LLC is a social impact consulting company and lifestyle fashion brand that raises awareness about social injustice and empowers communities to take action. Got To Stop LLC designs clothing to invite courageous conversations around racism, poverty, health disparities, human trafficking, gun violence, voter suppression, domestic violence, and criminal justice reform.

Erika is very active in her Harlem community. In 2020, she co-produced the Black Lives Matter Mural in
Harlem. Erika has gained a stellar reputation and credibility as a community connector.
Most recently, Erika’s contributions to UNITAS (United Together Against Human Trafficking) curriculum
development team helped earn UNITAS the 2022 Anthem Award for its Transformative Anti-Human
Trafficking Curriculum. The curriculum is currently being implemented in NYC and D.C. public schools.

In addition to creating fashion for change, one of Erika’s goals is to create conversation collections for luxury fashion brands and cars. You can reach out to her at any of the social media channels.
Erika believes in the power of the arts to heal, unite, and be a catalyst for social justice, change, and
transformation.
Got To Stop LLC… It’s Not A Movement. It’s A Lifestyle

Erika holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and a Master of
Fine Arts in Theater Arts from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University. She is a member of the Actors Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

IG/FB Twitter:
@gottosopllc

Margarita Espada: Teatro Yerbabruja, a Conduit for Change

The immigrant stories that are here. . . when they see in us the possibility that it’s real. That’s why I focus on a specific community because we know the challenges . . . so young artists they see in us, [and] know that [change] is possible and we are here to support them.

Margarita Espada has traveled the world in her careers as an artist, educator and cultural organizer, training in physical approach to theater practice. Margarita is the founder and director of Teatro Experimenantal Yerbabuja, an art organization with the mission to use the arts as a tool for social change.  She is part of the faculty at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University where she teaches theater and activism.

Teatro Yerbabruja’s mission is to use the arts as a tool for social change, to promote professional artists and to nourish emerging artists. Its programs are designed to promote creativity and to motivate civic dialogue. (The Yerbabruja is a medicinal plant from Puerto Rico that flourishes in the harshest of conditions.) 

Teatro Yerbabruja’s mission is to use the arts as a tool for social change, to promote professional artists and to nourish emerging artists. Its programs are designed to promote creativity and to motivate civic dialogue.

The Yerbabruja is a plant that flourishes in the harshest conditions and survives for a better tomorrow with just the sunlight for hope. Our mission at Yerbabruja is to connect community, art, and education and create a positive impact in the lives of the people we connect with through our work! 

Yerbabruja believes that artistic enrichment and social revitalization go hand-in-hand, and together build strong and sustainable communities. Teatro Yerbabruja’s programs are anchored in the values of racial justice that honor the contributions of people of color, and that are truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We understand that definitions of art, culture, and creativity depend on the cultural values, preferences, and realities of residents and other stakeholders in a given community.   

We create and produce experimental theater & use theater and other art forms to increase and encourage the understanding among people of different cultural backgrounds; provide opportunities to minority artists through performance, arts and workshops to develop their works. We provide knowledge and appreciation for the arts.

Get involved:  volunteer; artist opportunities; vendor opportunities

Margarita received her Master of Fine Art in Dramaturgy  from Stony Brook University and her Bachelor of Art in Education from Puerto Rico University. She is a New York State and Puerto Rico-certified theatre teacher with over 30 years of experience as an educator, performer, playwriter, arts activist, and cultural and community organizer.  

She has conducted research, supported school and organization change efforts, and facilitated teacher / professional learning around applied theater, culturally responsive practice, curriculum design, problem solving, and reflective communication. Margarita also works as a project manager for Center for Community Inclusion, Long Island University. Her works includes coordinating with Family Engagement Specialists/Parent Liaisons in various districts to develop and conduct family friendly practices within schools.

  Margarita has won multiple awards for her arts excellence and community work including Suffolk County Proclamation,2019, Recognition Senator Boyle, 2019. Martin Luther King Living Legend Award, NAACP Islip, NY, 2018. Citation for  Cultural Organizer, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, 2018, Artist of the Year, Legislator Monica Martinez, Suffolk County, NY,2016.

  She has received numerous awards and proclamations for her leadership, her art and community work including Suffolk County Proclamation,2019, Recognition Senator Boyle, 2019. Martin Luther King Living Legend Award, NAACP Islip, NY, 2018. Citation for Cultural Organizer, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, 2018, Artist of the Year, Legislator Monica Martinez, Suffolk County, NY,2016. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times and by the Associated Press, Newsday, and numerous other media outlets.

Location: Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery

17 2nd Avenue
Bay Shore, NY 11706
631.626.3603

Facebook: #teatroyerbabruja

Instagram: #teatro.yerbabruja