Commissioned plays centering on local ‘Changemakers’
Geva Theatre Center is commissioning new work inspired by “The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World,” a community-curated exhibit at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.
Geva is engaging 25 playwrights and creators to write short original pieces focused around one or more featured “Changemaker” of their choosing for “Tenacious Women: Shaping Change in Rochester and Beyond.”
"We are so excited that ‘The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World’ has inspired the work of our sister cultural institutions,” said Kathryn Murano Santos, senior director of collections and exhibitions at RMSC. “The exhibit development was an incredible effort, process and partnership with community curators, organizations, and diversity, equity and inclusion consultants. Seeing this work live on in new forms is a testament to the power of the diverse stories told in this groundbreaking exhibit.”
This series builds on Geva’s “Rochester Stories,” a series of commissions dedicated to exploring local history and culture. The 25 plays and works will celebrate the accomplishments of diverse regional and Haudenosaunee women who impacted the world.
The commissioned writers are Siobhan Brown, Reenah Golden, Prince Gomolvilas, Idris Goodwin, Kirsten Greenidge, Naomi Iizuka, Delores Jackson Radney, Tim J. Lord, Mona Mansour, Sarah B. Mantell, Ramiz Monsef, Tara Moses, Brian Quijada, Harrison David Rivers, MJ Savastano, Andrew Siañez-De La O, Penny Sterling, Laura A. Thomas, Katherine Varga and Karen Zacarias, with youth writers Tali Beckwith-Cohen, Autumn Flowers, Amanda Gillen, Ta'Neesha Murphy and Jyonnah Ware.
The young artists will be mentored by a living “Changemaker” featured in the RMSC exhibit.
“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 ‘Changemakers,’ both past and present.” said Pirronne Yousefzadeh, associate artistic director and director of engagement. “‘Tenacious Women’ builds on Geva’s commitment to tell Rochester’s stories and galvanizes us all to shape our futures by becoming changemakers ourselves.”
Geva is planning to offer new podcast episodes and Amplify Series community conversations in the next stages of the “Tenacious Women” project. Updates will be provided as the work continues to evolve.