Company One Theatre presents Better Future Series 2.0, Curated by Jasmine Brooks

C1’s Better Future Series is a multi-part digital gathering bringing together Boston’s artists, community leaders, and policymakers to understand the needs of our neighborhoods and reimagine the future of our city, both in response to the current pandemic and our ongoing fight against the deep-rooted culture of white supremacy.

In conjunction with this series, Company One Theatre will also be donating to social justice-driven organizations working toward the community concerns discussed in each episode.

MOST RECENT EPISODE:

SEASON 2, EPISODE 3: CENTERING QUEER BELONGING

In honor of Pride Month, C1’s Better Future Series returned to celebrate queer and trans individuals and families throughout Massachusetts — featuring a brand new 10 minute play by Tatiana Isabel Gil, featuring Eddie Shields and Shanelle Chloe Villegas!

This episode’s panel discussion featured Tatiana Isabel Gil (playwright and activist), Kaden Mohamed (Steering Committee Chair of Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition) and Deen Rawlins-Harris (theatre director, producer, and educator).

This episode will feature live ASL interpretation. 

SEASON 2, EPISODE 3 BIOS

Jasmine Brooks, Better Future Series 2.0 curator

Jasmine Brooks (she/her/hers) is a Boston based producer, director and actor whose work centers around investigating the places where social activism and play intersect. Jasmine is proud to be an NNPN Producer in Residence at Company One where she has previously worked as the Assistant to the Artistic Director and the College Coordinator. Jasmine is also the Boston Project Coordinator at SpeakEasy Stage. Recent directing/assistant directing credits include VIETGONE (Company One), WE SUCK! (Fresh Ink Theatre: Mad Dash), SORRY ASS BLOCK PARTY (Company One Theatre/Boston Theatre Marathon), FINAL FLIGHT (Boston University), LIFE AFTER LUST (Open Theatre Project: Gay Shorts 3), and DIVAS (OperaHub). Jasmine holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University.

Tatiana Isabel Gil, panelist and “Wild Flowers” playwright
Tatiana Isabel Gil (she/her/hers) is a queer Latinx playwright, actor and dramaturg with a passion for new work development, art that moves people to take action, and decolonization as a form of healing and empowerment. Favorite projects include her spoken word pieces “Sand” and “Just Add Water” performed in conjunction with VLA dance company’s dance piece Sand, Her ten minute play To Laurelis, Love Me produced with Fresh Ink Theater, and publishing her first book, Little Bunny/Conejite available for purchase on blurb.com in English and Spanish. Learn more about Tatiana and her work at tatianaisabel.com 

Josh Glenn-Kayden, episode co-curator, “Wild Flowers” director
Josh Glenn-Kayden (he/him) is a Boston based director and producer and the Artistic Associate and Casting Director at Company One Theatre. Recent directing projects include Visionary Futures: Science Fiction Theatre for Social Justice Movements (consisting of new plays by Phaedra Michelle Scott, M Sloth Levine, and Jaymes Sanchez) at UMass Amherst, Baltimore by Kirsten Greenidge (UMass Amherst), workshops of Walden by Amy Berryman and The Interrobangers by M Sloth Levine (UMass Play Lab), Greater Good by Kirsten Greenidge (A.R.T. & Company One world premiere, associate director), the world premiere of This Place/Displaced (Artists’ Theater of Boston, ArtsFuse Best Stage Productions of 2018), the New England premiere of Nicky Silver’s The Lyons (Titanic Theatre), and the world premiere of Laura Neill’s Don’t Give Up the Ship (Fresh Ink Theatre). Josh is also the director and co-producer of The Legion Tapes, a sci-fi podcast written by Erin Lerch. Josh has directed and developed new work for the A.R.T., Company One Theatre, Flat Earth Theatre, the Museum of Science, UMass Amherst, Open Theatre Project, the One Minute Play Festival, and TC Squared Theatre Company. Josh holds a BA in Drama from Tufts University and an MFA in Directing from UMass Amherst. www.joshglennkayden.com

Kaden Mohamed, panelist
Kaden Mohamed (he/him) serves as Positively Partners’ Client and Community Impact Manager acting as a liaison between our organization, clients, and communities. Through a lens of intersectionality and equity, he helps to foster and strengthen authentic partnerships and relationships with clients and provides project management, content delivery, training, and facilitation support. Originally from NYC, Kaden moved to the Boston area in 2010 to attend Wellesley College where his experiences and exploration helped him understand and become comfortable with his own gender identity as part of the trans community and inspired him to get involved in social justice and activism.  Kaden began his career working full-time at Keshet, a national organization that works for the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and their families in Jewish life, and he currently serves as the Chair for the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Kaden has participated in numerous panels, has been interviewed about trans issues and rights by the New York Times, WBUR, the Rainbow Times, The Boston Sunday Review, and TBF News, and was featured in Spirit magazine’s 2017 Young Trailblazers list for activists under 30.

Deen Rawlins-Harris, panelist
Deen Rawlins-Harris (they/them) is a theatre director, producer, and educator from Dorchester/Roxbury, Massachusetts. They create art that amplifies the vibrancy, ingenuity, and humanity of Black people by aligning Black stories stories with historical, ongoing, and prophetic depictions of the worlds they live in. Their work is created for all Black people that cherish intimate portrayals of themselves in art. Deen has worked with many communities internationally, and most recently directed Smoked Oysters by Mary M McCullough in 2020 for TC Squared Theatre Company in Boston. They are currently the associate producer of HowlRound Theatre Commons.

Eddie Shields, “Wild Flowers” actor 

Eddie Shields (he/him) is thrilled to be joining C1 for Wild Flowers! In the past he’s worked with Company One on Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them. Recent NY Credits: Miss Julie (Workshop Theater), A Class Act (Playwrights Horizons), Taliesin (St. Johns), Europa Escapes Europe (Austrian Stage), Midsummer, Twelfth Night (Drilling Theater Co.). Regionally he has performed at Huntington Theater, Berkshire Theater Group, Central Square, Seven Angels Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, SpeakEasy Stage, New Rep Theater, and more. Film/TV: Moonrise Kingdom, Unsure/Positive, Road to Joy. BFA Acting: Adelphi University / MFA Acting Brandeis University. AEA. Eddie-Shields.com. 

Shanelle Chloe Villegas, “Wild Flowers” actor 
Shanelle Chloe Villegas (she/her) is a Boston-based actor, writer, deviser and teaching artist. Currently, she is a teaching artist with Company One Theatre Company working in ESL classrooms. When she is not teaching, Shanelle can be seen performing all around Boston. Her recent works include touring with New Repertory Theatre’s Classic Repertory Company for both their fall and spring tours, Fresh Inks’ Last Catastrophist, Yo Soy LOLAs’ Las Que Sueñan, and Speakeasy Stage Companys’ School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Currently, Shanelle is writing an autobiographical one-woman show about love and pain within her dysfunctional family of color. Shanelle is from the first graduating class of Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Contemporary Theatre program.

SEASON 2, EPISODE 3 RESOURCES

Support the Trans Emergency Fund’s Transitional Housing Initiative!

  • Learn more, digitally sign your support for the program, or make a donation at transemergencyfund.org/transitional-housing
  • If you are transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming, and you are currently experiencing or have experienced homelessness, you can also help by filling out a confidential survey at transemergencyfund.org/survey

Take action by using Black and Pink MA Policy Advocacy Toolkit at tinyurl.com/BPMAToolkit

Keep Up To Date With Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition’s Advocacy Efforts
  • Looking to the future, MTPC is excited to Build Trans Power starting with creating a unique program for leadership, skills training, and workforce development. Driven by community members every step of the way this program will help develop skills and to connect community members with opportunities that will build Trans Nonbinary and Gender Expansive Leaders throughout Massachusetts.
  • MTPC will be magnifying our training and support for employers to transform workplaces beyond acceptance to longer-term accountability so that they can truly foster an inclusive, responsive and supportive work environment. If trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive people can thrive in their professional lives, we are building leaders.
  • MTPC will also be enhancing the Trans ID project to a web portal to make it easier and more accessible for name and gender marker changes on all official state documents in MA and hopefully for all New England States.
Learn more about issues Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition is advocating for at masstpc.org/what-we-care-about/

Stay up to date with the Mayoral election: check out the Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum and hear about each candidate’s positions on policies and issues facing the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC community at https://fb.watch/622r4LGUW1

Resources for queer and trans youth:

About Land Acknowledgements:

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” –  Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

More info:

  • Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.
  • Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.
  • The Navajo Nation has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country. Donate to grassroots organizations within the Navajo community, such as: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Navajo Strong, and Orenda Tribe Covid Response.

SEASON 2

SEASON 2, EPISODE 1: PRIORITIZING MENTAL HEALTH & ACTIVISM

Kicking off the second season of C1’s Better Future Series, Episode 1 aims to highlight support systems for the communities in Boston that have been on the forefront of the many challenges of 2020, from gun violence to the growing impact of COVID-19.

On December 9 at 7pm, Tonasia Jones (Director of Programs, The Theater Offensive), Jenese Brownhill (Director of Juvenile Justice Division, Justice Resource Institute), and OJ Slaughter (photographer and organizer) joined us for a conversation on the necessity of prioritizing mental health in activism and the power and responsibility of artists in the fight for social change. Featuring a performance by Oompa!

This episode featured live ASL interpretation. 

SEASON 2, EPISODE 1 BIOS

Jenese Brownhill, LICSW, Director of the Juvenile Justice Division at JRI, oversees the development and expansion of programs such as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance (MOVA) and Victim of Crimes Act (VOCA). Jenese has spent much of her career providing mental health services to system-involved youth and families in community based settings. She is dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing and future of justice-involved youth, adults and families to develop safer communities. Outside of JRI, Jenese is an Adjunct Professor at Boston College School of Social Work. She has been a contributor to Social Work Today regarding the continued needs for justice-involved youth and families and to encourage diverse and qualified social workers to explore this area of practice as a meaningful career path. Jenese holds a Master’s in Social Work from Boston College.

Tonasia Jones (she/her) is a Boston based Disruptor, Program Director, and Creator (Actor/Director) whose work focuses on diverse collaboration and inclusive storytelling to conquer the societal divides through new and reimagined work.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, in recent years she has ventured to work in places such as Washington DC, Alexandria Virginia, Ashland Oregon, and England. Her roots in classical theater have given her opportunities of traveling England, Washington DC, and New England Areas.  Her administrative work has enabled her to work for amazing New England Theater organizations such as Arts Emerson (Creative Producer), Huntington Theatre (Casting/Producing Apprentice), Bad Habit Productions (General Manager), Brown Box Theatre Project (Artistic Outreach Manager), The Theater Offensive (Programs Coordinator), and StageSource (Program Director).  Her Acting and Directing work has enabled her to work freelance at New England theaters & universities such as Greater Boston Stage Company, Suffolk University, A.R.T, Fresh Ink, The Theater Offensive, Speakeasy Stage Company, Huntington Theater, and more. Tonasia holds a BFA in Acting from Emerson College, and is dedicated to collaboration and changing the perspectives of diversity, ethnicity, and gender norms through theatre.  Utilizing theater to make those uncomfortable conversation happen. She strives to make today’s theatre genuinely reflect and mirror the world as it is “now”. Outside of theatre Tonasia has passions for hiking, Rosie (her american bulldog), dim sum, and embroidery.  

OJ Slaughter is a Boston based Photographer, Creative Director, Community Organizer, and Creative Consultant who uses a hands on approach to service their community. Their attention to detail and research skills allows them to be a step ahead of trends and creative content. They strive to create work that is cohesive to brands and artists design needs. Their work for major news organizations like WBUR and curation skills that have been noted by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Institute of Contemporary Art prove that they can organize and curate spectacular events at any scale. Talented with a digital camera, social media skills, empathy, resilience and the Adobe Suite, they are well equipped for any challenge that is thrown their way. 

OOMPA is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them. She was named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style won her the Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year in 2019, following her 2018 Unsigned Artist of the Year victory among an unprecedented 12 total nominations. In a 2019 feature, WBUR’s the Artery describes the lyric-focused rapper as having a “natural tenderness with language” and calls her verses “funny…incisive and memorable.” Oompa showed this poetic prowess as the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2016 National Poetry Slam. With the release of her newest album, Cleo, Oompa has sold out the Sinclair and a number of other Boston venues. She has been featured by NPR, the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, WGBH, digboston, and NBC 10 and is the recipient of the 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship, enriching Boston and the world beyond with her work.   

SEASON 2, EPISODE 1 RESOURCES

>> Take care of yourself this winter.

  • Massachusetts General Hospital’s Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous and People of Color >> bit.ly/mgh-bipoc 
  • Self.com’s Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country >> bit.ly/self-black-mental-health
  • Join us for our Better Future: Joy + Wellness programs, in partnership with The Theater Offensive >> bit.ly/bf-joywellness

>> Take a joyful selfie.

  • Use #BetterFutureC1 and let’s spread some happiness.

Listen:

Violence in Boston Impact Center

VIB’s Social Impact Center was established to prevent and reduce the impact of violence by addressing immediate and basic needs: housing, food, clothing, and public safety for the disenfranchised residents of the City of Boston. Learn more about the Social Impact Center here 

 

About Land Acknowledgements:

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” –  Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

More info:

  • Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.
  • Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.
  • The Navajo Nation has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country. Donate to grassroots organizations within the Navajo community, such as: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Navajo Strong, and Orenda Tribe Covid Response.

SEASON 2, EPISODE 2: FIGHTING FOR BLACK TRANS RIGHTS

On March 19 at 7pm EST, C1’s Better Future Series returns for a conversation with Black trans leaders and artists in Boston to amplify the ongoing fight for justice, equity, and safety.

Featuring Trans Resistance MA co-organizers Chastity Bowick (Director of the Transgender Emergency Fund) and Athena Vaughn (Transgender Health Care Access Coordinator at Fenway Health Institute), alongside rapper, wordsmith, and performer Trap Beat Tranny* (familiar to C1 audiences from Greater Good and Wig Out!).

Creative producer: Jasmine Brooks. Technical producer: Mads Massey

*If you’re cisgender, Trap Beat Tranny requests you refer to her as TBT

SEASON 2, EPISODE 2 BIOS

Chastity Bowick (she/her)
Chastity Bowick is a New England-based activist, civil rights leader and transgender health advocate. She is currently the Director of the Transgender Emergency Fund, the leading crisis agency for transgender communities in Massachusetts, and she is committee member of the Boston Medical Center Transgender Task force. Chastity was a committee member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition 2014-2018, prior to which she led the transgender health programming at AIDS Project Worcester. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Advancing Equity Award presented by The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth; PrEP for Pride Community Service Award by Fenway Health and Lee Entertainment (June 2018), 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ People of Color in Greater Boston by Get Konnected (August 2020), Audre Lorde Trailblazer Award by Fenway Health (October 2020), Lavender Rhino Award by History Project (October 2020), and TDOR Resiliency Award by Trans Resistance MA (November 2020). Chastity is honored to have received these awards but if she could, she would trade them in to provide those less fortunate with health, nutrition, and housing.

Trap Beat Tranny (they series and she series)
Trap Beat Tranny (TBT 4 da cissies!) is a Boston-based trans trap doll rappin as protest for Black queer/trans liberation. She eats trap beats up like cis dudes wish they could, spittin rhymes as rituals and singing songs as spells. Trap Beat Tranny gives high energy rap performances with catchy and witty lyrical hooks that make you wanna throw ass or throw hands (or I’m throwin yo ass OUT!) But They don’t choose Violence, They live in a world where Violence seeks Her-so She writes about it. Trap Beat Tranny’s debut album CYBERBULLY drops March 26, 2021-so follow her on Spotify, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp to make sure you don’t miss the release!”

Athena Vaughn (she/her)
Athena has been a leading figure in the LGTBQ community for over fifteen years. Driven by her faith & her lived experience as a black, trans-woman,  Athena is committed to fighting for the rights & dignity of Transgender & Gender Non-Binary and  people everywhere. Athena began her work in social justice at Boston Glass and AIDS Action. Currently, she is the Transgender health care access coordinator at Fenway Health Institute advocating for greater health care access to Transgender and LGTBQ individuals. She also works as the Assistant Director at Transgender Emergency Fund. Athena is an advocate, a leader and an activist. Athena is passionate about creating safe spaces for other members of the LGBTQ+ community: often doing so by organizing local balls for trans and queer individuals to express their full selves and sits on the New England Ballroom Collective as the current president. She is also an ordained Minister under watch care at Community Tabernacle of Deliverance in Lynn.

SEASON 2, EPISODE 2 RESOURCES

  • Support the Trans Emergency Fund at TransEmergencyFund.org
    • If you are a transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming person who is currently experiencing or has experienced homelessness, you can help realize Trans Emergency Fund’s new housing program by filling out a confidential survey at TransEmergencyFund.org/Survey
  • The 2021 Trans Resistance March & Vigil is on June 12 at Franklin Park!
  • TBT’s new album CYBERBULLY comes out March 26!

About Land Acknowledgements:

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” –  Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

More info:

  • Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.
  • Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.
  • The Navajo Nation has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country. Donate to grassroots organizations within the Navajo community, such as: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Navajo Strong, and Orenda Tribe Covid Response.

SEASON 1

SEASON 1, EPISODE 1: THE CHINATOWN IMPERATIVE

On Friday, June 12, 2020, Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s newly appointed CEO Ben Hires, Pao Arts Center director Cynthia Woo, and C1 PlayLab Pao Fellows Kit Yan & Melissa Li came together for a conversation aimed at understanding the needs of Chinatown residents and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gentrification of this vital neighborhood, and reimagining its vibrant future.

This episode was  moderated by Karthik Subramanian. Creative producer: Jasmine Brooks. Technical producer: Mads Massey.

EPISODE #1 BIOS

Ben Hires (he/him) joined BCNC as CEO in June 2020. Since his first job as a youth counselor at a therapeutic program, Ben has significant experience in nonprofit leadership and serving young people and families. He held leadership positions in programs, strategy, and external relations at the Boston Children’s Chorus where he played a key role elevating the choir’s social justice mission to bring diverse young people and their families together. As Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Boston Public Library, he established and maintained building strong relationships across education, cultural, and civic engagement sectors in order to advance the Library’s mission of providing educational and cultural enrichment free to all Boston residents. Prior to being the CEO, Ben volunteered as a mentor for BCNC’s College Access Program for youth and as a member of the Pao Arts Center Advisory Committee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science, a Master of Theological Studies, and a Master of Science in Arts Administration all from Boston University.

Melissa Li (she/her) is a composer, lyricist, performer, and writer based in New York and Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 Musical Theater Factory Maker, a 2019 Macdowell Colony Fellow, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate (New York Musical Festival, Winner “Outstanding Lyrics”), Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for “Best New Play” 2007), and 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive). Her works have received support from The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, and others.

 

Cynthia Woo (she/her) has been the inaugural Pao Arts Center Director since Jan 2017. Cynthia holds a Master’s in Art History from Tufts University with a certificate in Museum Studies. Before coming to BCNC, Cynthia worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Center for the Arts and LynnArts Inc

 

 

 

Michelle Wu (she/her) has been a voice for accessibility, transparency, and community engagement in city leadership. First elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, Wu is the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council. In January 2016, she was elected President of the City Council by her colleagues in a unanimous vote, becoming the first woman of color to serve as Council President. Councilor Wu was the lead sponsor of Boston’s Paid Parental Leave ordinance and Healthcare Equity ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity — both of which passed unanimously through the Council and were signed into law by Mayor Martin J. Walsh. She also authored Boston’s Communications Access ordinance, which guarantees translation, interpretation and assistive technology for access to city services regardless of English language proficiency or communications disability. Wu got her start in City Hall working for Mayor Thomas M. Menino as a Rappaport Fellow in Law and Public Policy, where she created the city’s first guide to the restaurant permitting process from start to finish, and was also a driving force to launch Boston’s food truck program. She later served as statewide Constituency Director in the U.S. Senate campaign of her former law professor, Elizabeth Warren. As a former restaurant owner, legal services attorney, and legal guardian of her younger sister, Wu understands firsthand the barriers that families and communities face.  She has a background in community advocacy, having worked at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, providing legal advice to low-income small business owners, as well as at the Medical-Legal Partnership at Boston Medical Center on immigration law cases for survivors of domestic violence. In 2016, Councilor Wu was honored as one of Ten Outstanding Young Leaders by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and as part of Marie Claire magazine’s New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America. Michelle Wu graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, and lives in Roslindale with her husband Conor and her sons Blaise and Cass.

Kit Yan (they/them) is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit is a 2019 Vivace Award winner, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Fellow, 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, a 2019-2020 Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow, and a 2019 NAMT selection for Interstate. Kit’s forthcoming musical works along with collaborator Melissa Li include a production of INTERSTATE at Mixed Blood Theater in March 2020, a first draft commission of MISS STEP from 5th Avenue Theater, a commission from Keen Company for a Keen Teens one act musical, and co-commission from Company One and Pao Arts for a new chinatown based musical. INTERSTATE, won 5 awards at the 2018 New York Musical Festival including Best Lyrics. Kit’s show QUEER HEARTACHE has won 5 awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals. Kit’s forthcoming playwriting works include a rolling world premiere of their play t(estosterone) a documentary play based on interviews with trans people about hormones developed in the Civilians R&D lab and produced at the Artists’ Theater of Boston and The Hub in D.C., a forthcoming reading of their new play Mr. Transman, an alternative pageantry play in NYC, and a workshop of a new play Pepper at the Playwright’s Center about childhood sexual abuse and the intersection of trans identity. Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater. In 2018 Kit founded Translab an incubator for Transgender and Non-binary voices in the American Theater along with MJ Kaufman and supported by WP Theater and the Public Theater.

 

 

EPISODE #1 RESOURCES

Fill out the 2020 Census and spread the word to five friends!

Census data affects our communities in many ways, such as the free and reduced school lunch program, affordable housing, hospital funding, and emergency assistance. You have the power to help by filling out your census. 

 

Participate in Pao Arts Center’s “Love Letters to Boston Chinatown”

Pao Arts Center is taking part in The Love Letters to Chinatown Project to help celebrate and strengthen the API community of Chinatown and Greater Boston. Pao Arts Center is collecting love letters: poems, stories, illustrations, paintings, etc. inspired and dedicated to Boston Chinatown to help uplift our neighborhood during these difficult times. They will be translating these letters and posting them up around the neighborhood as they receive them. 

 

Support BCNC’s Brighter Futures Campaign

During these extraordinarily difficult times, BCNC serves a particularly vulnerable population – low-income and recent immigrants disproportionately impacted by the current crisis.

 

Families count on BCNC to provide:

  • Counseling and support groups
  • Daily academic support and arts enrichment lessons for children
  • English classes and 1-on-1 advising
  • Translation of critical resources
  • Distribution of financial aid and meals
  • Projects to respond to anti-Asian racism

 

About Land Acknowledgements

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.”  Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

Actions:

  • Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.
  • Print and customize your own #HonorNativeLand Art  
  • Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.

SEASON 1, EPISODE 2: REIMAGINING SUMMER IN UPHAM’S CORNER

Robust planning for the summer in Upham’s Corner ended when Covid-19 struck. On Friday, July 17, 2020, we hosted a conversation with Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Director of Programs Ramona Lisa Alexander, City of Boston Chief of Arts & Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega, and Co-Owner of HipStory Tim Hall, as we worked to reimagine a summer that serves our youth under these conditions.

This episode will be moderated by Summer L. Williams. Creative producer: Jasmine Brooks. Technical producer: Mads Massey.

EPISODE #2 BIOS

Ramona Lisa Alexander (she/her) is currently the Director of Programs at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative for the Fairmount Cultural Corridor (a creative place-making initiative).  Additionally, she is the Co-Chair for Boston Creates, a citywide cultural cultural planning process, under Boston’s Chief of Arts and Culture. Prior to joining DSNI & FCC team she worked as the Manager of Performance Programs in the Education Department at the Boch Performing Arts Center in Boston. She is an award winning actress, enthusiastic about using theater as a model for social change while encouraging others to think out-side their own “.universe of six blocks.” (Ntzoke Shange).  A vibrant theatre performer, educator, community organizer and consultant.  Alexander has worked with various organizations, integrating the therapeutic aspects of theater, movement, and writing with community outreach and development. Alexander has also directed over 15 youth centered theatrical productions for various arts organizations that include; D.R.E.A.M Studios (Springfield, MA), Underground Railway Theatre (Cambridge, MA), Portland Play house (Portland, Or) Church of God in Christ (Benton Harbor, Michigan) and the National Black College Alliance Boston Chapter. Alexander holds an MFA from Brandeis University, studied Caribbean Folk Dance at the Edna Manly School of Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, and participated in the Guthrie Theatre Experience Training Program in Minneapolis.  Alexander also holds a certificate with the BEST Initiative’s  Youth Worker Training program

Kara Elliott-Ortega (she/her) is an urban planner and cultural organizer focusing on the role of arts and creativity in community development. Prior to becoming the Chief of Arts and Culture, she served as the Director of Policy and Planning for the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. Kara’s work to implement Boston Creates, Boston’s 10-year cultural plan, includes creating new resources for local artists, developing a public art program, and supporting the development of cultural facilities. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Kara received her bachelor’s from the University of Chicago and her Master in City Planning from MIT.

Tim Hall (he/him) is a musician and performance poet from Detroit, MI, now residing in Boston. His poetry draws inspiration from his lived experiences – charting the nuances of blackness, masculinity, and the beauties of life. He’s an Assistant Professor in the Professional Music Department at Berklee College of Music, was nominated for Session Musician of the Year by the Boston Music Awards (2018, 2019), received a 2019 Artist Luminary Award from local youth arts non-profit Zumix, and was honored by WBUR’s Artery 25 as 1 of 25 millennials of color impacting Arts and Culture in Boston.

EPISODE #2 RESOURCES

Fill out the 2020 Census

Census data affects our communities in many ways, such as the free and reduced school lunch program, affordable housing, hospital funding, and emergency assistance. You have the power to help by filling out your census. 

 

Register to vote! 

Massachusetts’ State Primary Election is September 1, and the registration deadline is August 22. Find your voting info: https://www.rockthevote.org/

Massachusetts Voter Table compiled election turnout data for Upham’s Corner in comparison to the City of Boston as a whole, over the past several years, which is visualized below: 

Upham’s Corner Main Street Community Preservation Act Virtual Meetings

Join Upham’s Corner Main Street this month for a Community Preservation Act Meet and Greet on July 21st and 28th from 12pm to 1pm. Learn more about the Community Preservation Act, and share your project ideas with the CPA team! Please RSVP by emailing thadine.brown@boston.gov. You will receive a login link after you sign up.  

Upham’s Corner Health Center hosts a food pantry every Wednesday at 2pm at 415 Columbia Rd, Dorchester.

 

About Land Acknowledgements:

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

More info:

  • Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.
  • Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.
  • The Navajo Nation has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country. Donate to grassroots organizations within the Navajo community, such as: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Navajo Strong, and Orenda Tribe Covid Response.

SEASON 1, EPISODE 3: BEYOND SAVING OURSELVES

Since May 2020, we have experienced a nationwide resurgence of action in support of Black Lives Matter following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks by police officers. Just as in other major American cities, Boston is also experiencing an explosion of gun violence. Local activists, community leaders and artist-activists, many of whom are Black women, have been leading the conversation around ending gun violence and police brutality in our community. 

On Friday, August 14, 2020 panelists Monica Cannon-Grant, Founder of Violence in Boston, Ashley Rose, C1 Playlab Playwright and Poet, and Summer L. Williams, C1 Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director came together for a conversation highlighting the necessity of community organizing, racial healing and the role of art in moving forwards toward a Better Future in Boston. 

Creative producer: Jasmine Brooks. Technical producer: Mads Massey.

EPISODE #3 BIOS

Ashley-Rose (she/her)
Ashley-Rose is a Haitian-American educator, writer, and restorative justice specialist from Boston, MA. She has worn many hats, including being the Lead Organizer responsible for implementation of Participatory Budgeting in Boston, to teaching S.T.E.A.M, peacemaking and poetry in schools, drug rehabilitation and community centers for over 15 years. Ashley-Rose has earned countless accolades for her work in the arts and organizing, including winning the Boston Music Awards Spoken-Word Artist of the Year, San Diego National Poetry Award in 2016, the OneIn3 Impact Award for being the most influential person under age 35 in Massachusetts, and also being honored as the Extraordinary Woman of the Year for the City of Boston. She currently works at Suffolk University creating curriculum and trainings for educators, corporations and institutions in the areas of restorative justice, arts and science.

Monica Cannon-Grant (she/her)
Monica Cannon-Grant is an Activist and Community organizer From Boston. She has resided in the Roxbury area for 17 years. In 2016 she was a Candidate for State Representative for the 7th Suffolk District losing her election by 90 votes. She was the Executive Director of The Tito Jackson Community Fund where she has organized his Annual turkey where they gave away 4,000 turkeys last year.

Monica sits on the Advisory Board for an organization named Community Call. Monica is a Former Chair of the Young Adult Committee for the NAACP and current member. Monica believes in the Motto “Our Community Our Responsibility” which is why she is the CEO/Founder of the Violence In Boston Inc Non Profit whose mission is to improve the quality of life & life outcomes of individuals from disenfranchised communities by reducing the prevalence of violence and the impact of associated trauma.

She also was the Lead organizer in the Fight Supremacy March to counter-protest the “Boston Free Speech Rally” in 2017 and One of the Lead organizers for “Hands Off Our Pride counter-protest to Straight Pride. As a former Black Lives Matter Activist, On June 2nd Monica organized 55,000 people to protest the murder of George Floyd and the many others murdered by Police across the country. On June 22nd she led a protest for Rayshard Brooks.

Summer L. Williams (she/her)
Summer L. Williams is a Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director of Company One Theatre in Boston, and award-winning director. Her most recent directing credits include Wolf Play at Company One Theatre; School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play at SpeakEasy Stage Company; Miss You Like Hell by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Erin McKeown with Company One Theatre and OBERON at American Repertory Theater; the World Premiere of Leftovers by Josh Wilder with Company One Theatre; Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney with Company One and OBERON at A.R.T.; Smart People at Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY and Geva Theater in Rochester, NY; Barbecue at Lyric Stage Company of Boston—Winner of the 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director; Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at Company One Theatre; Bootycandy at SpeakEasy Stage Company; An Octoroon and Colossal with Company One Theatre—Winner of the 2016 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for both productions. 

Regional credits: Intimate Apparel at Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Shiv as a part of The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy; Shelter of Last Resort by Miranda Craigwell as a part of XX PlayLab 2014; the New England Premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero Of Namibia, Formerly Known As Southwest Africa From The German Sudwestafrika Between The Years 1884-1915; Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On; Lynn Nottage’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston; The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or The Secret Of Sweet as part of The Brother/Sister Plays (2012 Elliot Norton Award nominated for Outstanding Production and winner of the 2012 IRNE Award for Best Play); Neighbors, Grimm; The Good Negro; Voyeurs De Venus (Winner of 2009 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); The Bluest Eye (IRNE and Elliot Norton Award nominated); The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot; Spell #7 (IRNE nominated); Jesus Hopped The A Train (2004 Elliot Norton Award for Best Fringe Production); and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (IRNE nominated).

EPISODE #3 RESOURCES

Volunteer with Violence in Boston

Help Violence in Boston prepare their Social Impact Center for its grand opening on September 7!

>> Email violenceinboston@gmail.com to volunteer.
>> Learn more about the Social Impact Center here.

2020 Census

September 30. That’s when the U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census — a full month sooner than previously announced. The bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups.

Census data affects our communities in many ways, such as the free and reduced school lunch program, affordable housing, hospital funding, and emergency assistance. You have the power to help by filling out your census. 

>> If you haven’t already done so, fill out your census at my2020census.gov and spread the word to five friends.
>> In Massachusetts, you can sign up to phonebank with MA Voter Table and MassCounts at bit.ly/vbm-signup
>> It’s not too late to apply for a temporary part-time position with the 2020 Census at 2020census.gov/jobs

Register to vote! 

Massachusetts’ State Primary Election is September 1, and the registration deadline is August 22. Find your voting info here.

About Land Acknowledgements:

Company One Theatre is based in Boston, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Wampanoag and Massachusett People.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.” Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

More info:

>> Download Native Land Digital’s Native Land Map to identify the territories your city or town is built upon.

>> Learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag’s fight to retain their current land in trust and sign their petition to show your support here.

>> The Navajo Nation has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the country. Donate to grassroots organizations within the Navajo community, such as: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Navajo Strong, and Orenda Tribe Covid Response.

Company One Theatre is curating
the Better Future Series 2.0 to AMPLIFY…

  • Our continued effort to affirm the fullness of #BlackLivesMatter through our work on stages, as a staff and board, and the ways we use our platform

  • The ways we can continue to build and invest in our communities, despite the systems that are actively trying to tear us apart

  • The power of art in social justice, advocacy and changemaking 

  • Actions we can take to create a Better Future defined by justice, equity, and artistic innovation both here in Boston and across the nation

Better Future 2.0 is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities, which provided funding through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

© 2021 Company One — Boston Theatre tel: 617.292.7110 — fax: 617.307.4475 — email: info@companyone.org — 539 Tremont St — Boston, MA 02116