ROCHESTER, N.Y.: Geva Theatre Center has announced the Tenacious Women new works initiative, a commission inspired by the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s exhibit The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World. Geva has commissioned 25 playwrights to write short pieces focused on one or more featured women of their choosing.
“We are thrilled to be working with such an aesthetically diverse and brilliant group of writers as they create new work that reflects the perseverance, richness, and activism of Rochester’s change-makers, both past and present,” Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Geva’s associate artistic director and director of engagement, said in a statement. “Tenacious Women builds on Geva’s commitment to tell Rochester’s stories and galvanize us all to shape our futures by becoming change-makers ourselves.”
The commissioned writers include Siobhan Juanita Brown, Reenah Golden, Prince Gomolvilas, Idris Goodwin, Kirsten Greenidge, Naomi Iizuka, Tim J. Lord, Mona Mansour, Sarah Mantell, Ramiz Monsef, Tara Moses, Brian Quijada, Delores Jackson Radney, Harrison David Rivers, MJ Savastano, Andrew Siañez-De La O, Penny Sterling, Laura A. Thomas, Katherine Varga, and Karen Zacarías.
Additionally, five local young writers who created videos for Geva’s John’s Children civic arts project last fall have also been commissioned, and will be mentored by a living change-maker featured in the exhibit. Youth writers include Tali Beckwith-Cohen, Autumn Flowers, Amanda Gillen, Ta’Neesha Murphy, and Jyonnah Ware.
The future of the new works, which are expected to be completed by the end of March, has been left open to foster broad creative latitude. Geva is planning to offer new podcast episodes and community conversations in the next stages of the Tenacious Women project, and updates will be provided as the work evolves.
Geva Theatre Center bills itself as the most well-attended regional theatre in New York state, offering world-class productions and a broad slate of educational, outreach, and literary programming.
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