The advisory for this special issue was selected for their expertise, tenacity, and advocacy for TGNC artists. This Avengers-level team of theatre practitioners proved to be an integral part of the creation of this series (a few co-authored pieces in the issue as well). In addition to supporting us with key areas of coverage, these advisory members also recommended cover artists, writers, and Role Call nominees.
Working all across the country, these advisory members from the TGNC community are playwrights, actors, directors, stage managers, theatre administrators, community leaders, healers, educators, and more. They hold so much talent, truth, and dedication to community. Take a look at the people who helped bring this series into fruition.
“I would like to experience an American theatre that is committed to dismantling white supremacy and all its ills,” says Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi (she/her). “And while I understand visibility is not the same thing as liberation, I hope this issue has helped a few more folks feel celebrated today. Let us continue to work towards making a world free of oppression.”
Dubbed the Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa, Figueroa Edidi is a Black Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American performance artist, a Helen Hayes-nominated actress, author, educator, speech writer, a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright (Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem (2020), For Black Trans Girls…, Ghost/Writer, The Diaz Family Talent Show, Quest of The Reed Marsh Daughter, The Dance of Memories), advocate, dramaturg, a Hayes-nominated choreographer and co-editor of The Black Trans Prayer Book. She is the founder of the Inanna D Initiative, which curates, produces, and cultivates events and projects designed to center and celebrate the work of TGNC artists of color. She is the curator and a co-producer of Long Wharf Theater’s Black Trans Women at the Center: An Evening of Short Plays. Her radio play Quest of The Reed Marsh Daughter can be heard on the Girl Tales podcast, and her play The Diaz Family Talent Show can be read on the Play at Home website. She was featured as Patra in King Ester and acted as a story consultant for the series. She wrote episode 9 (“Refuge”) of the web series Homebound. www.LadyDaneFE.com
“I hope TGNC theatremakers feel a sense of community when reading this series,” says Kasson Marroquin (he/they). “I hope the lifted voices and important perspectives of TGNC members of the theatre community are truly heard, absorbed, acknowledged, and included in the conversations about the future of the American theatre. I hope the audience walks away inspired and feeling empowered to be authentic allies for all underrepresented communities (inside and outside of the theatre) and to actively work to craft a future for this industry that is truly inclusive and equitable.”
Marroquin is an AEA stage manager who has worked across continents and contexts for the past 10 years. Off-Broadway and regionally, Kasson has collaborated on projects and productions at Playwrights Horizons, MCC Theater, New Victory Theater, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe, and Spoleto Festival USA. Kasson’s dance experience includes work at the American Dance Festival, Cora Dance, and two years working with the dance company Pilobolus, stage managing domestic and international tours and a run at the Joyce Theater, as well as co-developing and co-teaching an inaugural and ongoing dance-centric virtual stage management curriculum. Event work includes the 2019 Queer Liberation March Rally, Yo-Yo Ma’s Day of Action events in Denver and Warren, Ohio, and The Good Place activation at San Diego Comic-Con. Kasson’s career began in Dallas with companies that include Shakespeare Dallas, Kitchen Dog Theater, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Theatre Three, and Park Cities Dance. Kasson grew up in and around Austin, and holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of North Texas and a MFA in Stage Management from the University of California, San Diego.
“I hope the industry will see this issue and understand the breadth of TGNC artists that are making work and forging a better industry for all of us,” says Mashuq Mushtaq Deen (he/they). “I hope they will understand that we are complicated people with unique insights, and will not limit us to TGNC-themed work, but instead will see that our potential is equivalent to their default—the cis white male writer—we’re not here to work on TGNC plays, we’re here to work on all of it.”
Deen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a Playwrights Center CORE Writer, and a Lambda Literary Award Winner. His full-length plays include Flood, The Empty Place, The Shaking Earth, Draw the Circle, Tank & Horse, and The Betterment Society (upcoming publication). Deen’s work has been presented/developed by a number of institutions, including Sundance Institute/Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, The Public Theater, NYTW, MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Target Margin Theatre, Keen Company, New Harmony Project, Phoenix Theatre, Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, BEAT Festival, PACE University, Hampshire College, Averett University, Dixon Place, Passage Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Tofte Lake Center, and the Berkshire Fringe Festival. He has also received a 2017 Kilroy’s List Honorable Mention, been a Jerome New York Fellowship finalist (twice), O’Neill Conference semifinalist (thrice), Weissberger Award nomination, Playwrights Center Core Writers finalist (twice), and has received a James Baldwin Award and a Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize honorable mention. He is a member of the NYTW Usual Suspects, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, founding member of the Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, and the Dramatists Guild. He earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama. He is represented by the Gurman Agency. In his spare time, Deen is also a participating citizen (#flarebkny) and a man of many hobbies, including bread-baking, soap-making, and playing the guitar.
“At our first meeting, Lady Dane Edidi reminded us that we have so much more to say and offer the theatre at large than just T2GNC-specific content,” says Rad Pereira (they/them). “We have existed at the forefront of most cultural movements since the beginning of time as we know it. We are particularly equipped to navigate this moment between worlds. Pay us to lead. Don’t just consume our content, trauma and contributions; fight for our safety, well-being and prosperity.”
Pereira is a two-spirit Afro-Indigenous, Jewish, Brazilian (im)migrant artist currently based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn). Their practices range from renegade participatory ritual facilitation, to popular theatrical and TV/film performance, to community-based educational artmaking and healing centering an Afrofuturist longing for transformative justice and queer reindigenization of culture. Alongside the countless unmentioned side hustles, Rad’s working-class Virgo hands have had to juggle since childhood. Some recent credits they want you to know about: As a community artist they created The (Im)Migrant Hustle and produced Bang Bang Gun Amok I + II at Abrons Art Center, and facilitated Decolonization Rave and Cosmic Commons with You Are Here. They were a 2017 NYC Public Artist in Residence with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Children’s Services working with LGBQTIA foster youth. As an actor they performed in High Maintenance on HBO, The Oresteia at Shakespeare Theatre, The Tempest at Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Riot Antigone at La MaMa E.T.C., Chautauqua! at the Public Theatre, Emily Dickinson Outer Space and A Land of Nations at Bushwick Starr, and Madonna col Bambino with Clubbed Thumb. Rad has spoken and consulted at the United Nations, Queens Museum, Rio de Janeiro Museum, Instituto Republica, SITI Company Thought Center, A Blade of Grass, Broadway Advocacy Coalition at Columbia University, the 8th Floor, Working Woman of Color Conference, Dance/NYC Symposium, and Culture/Shift. They have taught performance at Pace University, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Door. Currently Rad is the Director of Community Engagement with You Are Here, and is co-writing a book on performance and social justice with Jan Cohen-Cruz. @______rad___ .
“It has been a joy to serve on this committee and create community with other TGNC artists,” Regina Victor (they/them/theirs) says. “I hope that this issue is the beginning of necessary coverage of our community and other communities within theatre who often struggle for visibility.”
Victor is a Black director, multidisciplinary artist, and arts critic. Presently Sideshow Theatre’s artistic director, and one of Newcity’s Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago two years running. They are the dramaturg for Jeannette The Musical, book by Lauren Gunderson, music by Ari Afsar. Victor has helped develop world premieres by Antoinette Nwandu, Anna Deavere Smith (Notes from the Field), and Sarah Ruhl, and is directing works in development by Brynne Frauenhoffer, Terry Guest, and Calamity West. They co-founded Rescripted in 2017, an arts journalism platform by and for artists, and have written for other publications, including American Theatre, Playbill, and the Chicago Reader. Other notable artistic collaborations include Steppenwolf Theater, Jackalope Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Timeline Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre. Learn more at www.reginavictor.com.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!