BETTER FUTURE: JOY + WELLNESS
We’ve all been through a lot this year. That’s why this January and February, C1 and The Theater Offensive will dedicate our energy toward making space for health, relaxation, and artistically-fueled joy, with virtual, participatory workshops as varied as our community: from Drag Story Hour to skin care consultations, from trivia nights to social justice embroidery circles. You’ve kept us going through the pandemic, and we want to be there for you too.
WORKSHOP LEADER BIOS
Maisha Najuma Aza (she/her) meaning, “Powerful Life, Abounding in Joy”, wholeheartedly embodies her name. Her wanderlust personality has taken Maisha from New York, to Atlanta, to Seattle, New England, to Chicago, Perú, before she finally decided to call Atlanta GA, where she was raised, home again. Simultaneously building her healing practice and attending Smith College School for Social Work, Maisha obtained her master’s degree in Social Work, vastly increasing her knowledge of mental health and trauma, which informs her healing practice. A natural progression from her massage therapy background, and a kundalini awakening experience that connected her to her ancestral wisdom, Maisha jumped headfirst into sacred sexuality work. This is the place her soul had always known. With this revelation, Maisha intensified her spiritual and healing bodywork, a practice she began in 1996. This renewal of her spiritual healing lead her down the Tantric Shaman path, inspiring her to share her gifts with the world through launching Black Girl Tantra, LLC.
Jessie Baxter (she/her) is a Boston-based dramaturg specializing in new work and nerdery of all kinds, and is a believer in the meditative properties of crafting. Jessie graduated from Emerson College, where she studied dramaturgy, directing, and gender studies. She is currently the Business Manager and Creative Producer at Company One Theatre, and the Literary Director and Co-Founder of Fresh Ink Theatre, a small company specializing in developing new work by New England-based playwrights. When she’s not working on plays, Jessie can be found eating pastry, watching PBS, and road tripping with her family.
Phil Berman (he/him) is a singer-songwriter and educator in Somerville, MA. His queer Americana Broadway folk band Phil and the Flying Leap is poised to release their debut album Play the Part in early 2021. Phil is the music director for Rock and Roll Daycare and is the co-founder of Fiddlefox, a children’s publishing startup celebrating music and storytelling traditions from around the world. Phil has worked as an actor, musician, and puppeteer in Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Company One), Brundibar and But the Giraffe! (Central Square Theater), The Embryos (Fresh Ink Theater), and Floyd Collins (Moonbox Productions). His original puppetry series for young children, Puppet Playtime, ran weekly at Puppet Showplace Theater for four years. During the pandemic, he’s been spending lots of time writing with friends on zoom, playing D&D, and cooking with his fiance, Josh. www.philandtheflyingleap.com, www.fiddlefoxmusic.com
A Brooklyn Queen with a Boston attitude, Neon Calypso (she/they) is a drag artist who presents the struggles of intersectionality and what it means to be queer, black, and femme with performances reflecting on life experiences through song, dance, and spoke word. You can catch her in NightGowns with Sasha Velour, a new digital docuseries on the streaming app Quibi, exploring the process of producing a live NightGowns show and a behind the scenes introduction to the core cast.
Ally Dawson (she/her) is an Actor turned Aesthetician with over 10 years experience in both the spa and medical field. As a multi-ethnic, and multi-racial practitioner, she is passionate about creating a business that champions the intersectionalities of all her clients. Whether it be a virtual consultation, or an in person facial, Ally focuses on creating a safe space where her clients can relax, laugh, and work towards their skin goals. Skin education is the cornerstone for all of her work and you will leave every session equipped with the tools you need to create lasting change.
Chanelle John (she/her) is a healer, organizer and artist based in Boston, MA. In 2014, Chanelle and her sister Simone founded Hive Soul Yoga, a community wellness business bringing holistic healing to Boston’s communities of color. Hive Soul’s classes strive to make yoga accessible to people of all shades, sizes, ages, abilities, + identities. Chanelle has taught POC Practice, Boston’s first hip hop yoga class for people of color, since 2015. In addition to teaching Hive Soul’s signature classes, Chanelle speaks and writes professionally about yoga, diversity, and social justice. When not teaching or mentoring yoga teachers, Chanelle can be found organizing with Stinging Nettles Brujx Collective and the We Want Freedom Collective. Follow her @hivesoulyoga and https://linktr.ee/hivesoulyoga.
Shan Moten (they/them) is originally from PG County, MD by way of the South. They identify as a Black, transmasculine troublemaker and when they are not diving into speculative fiction or breaking a sweat with Trans Boxing , they spend their days as a Youth Worker/Educator/Coach. Shan has over ten years of experience specializing in Tennis, weightlifting, and facilitation. They believe there needs to be more queer and trans people of color decolonizing fitness and contextualizing wellness and movement in a way that is affirming of various body types and acknowledges systemic barriers to wellness.
Yune (Yu-nee) Neptune (she/her) is an ethereal, charismatic, passionate and crazy af. She’s been doing drag for 11 years, hustling from daytime jobs to drag gigs. Since the pandemic, she’s been like everybody else. A potato coach and munchin a lot. She’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but when you sip her jussssssttttt right, she’s a whole experience and vibe. She daydreams the night sky away, with a crazy dream to conquer, so we hope you’re in for a crazy ride. You can find all her social media handles @Yuneneptune.
Julian Saporiti (he/him) is a musician and scholar who studied at Berklee College of Music and earned his MA in American Studies from Wyoming and is currently finishing a PhD in American Studies at Brown University. His multimedia project No-No Boy which NPR has called “an act of revisionist subversion” blends songs, archival imagery and storytelling into a unique work. No-No Boy has received national critical acclaim for its blend of scholarship and art and has been performed everywhere from rural bars and churches to Lincoln Center. The project’s latest album is due out on Smithsonian Folkways spring 2021.
KaMani Sutra (All pronouns with respect) is a South Asian (teluGAY) gender queer bearded drag artist from Washington DC who transcends western drag expectations by their performance repertoire and their aesthetic senses. #telugay
Trap Beat Tranny (TBT) (they series and she series) is a rapper, wordsmith, and performer. Her recent local credits include NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYR (Harker, Sparkhaven Theatre), DEAL ME OUT (Lucien, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), DAEMONOLOGIE: SMOKE & MIRRORS (Delphine Levesque, Intramersive Media), and GREATER GOOD (Kyle, Company One/American Repertory Theater). Post onset of COVID-19 and the uprising, TBT has been working on music, taking virtual theatre, poetry, and music gigs when they manifest, and trying to keep herself intact while doing what is necessary. Purchase “The Preview” on Bandcamp, proceeds go to directly supporting Black trans/GNC folks!
Fen Tung (she/her) is a co-founder and Fitness Director of BollyX – The Bollywood Workout. Alongside her co-founders who have a background in Bollywood dancing, they created BollyX by combining authentic South Asian dance moves with HIIT (high intensity interval training) principles for an exhilarating and effective cardio workout that anyone can do! Fen began her fitness career as a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer in 2003. A year later, she got her AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Certification and began teaching exercise classes. In 2010, Fen became a Master Trainer for ISCA leading certification trainings in Kickboxing and Primary Mat Pilates. Additionally, she is certified in ISCA Kettlebell and Boxing. Other formats she is certified to teach include STOTT Pilates & Totalbarre, Zumba, Les Mills BodyPump and BodyCombat. Fen graduated from MIT with a Biology degree.
SOCIAL JUSTICE EMBROIDERY
Led by Jessie Baxter
EMBROIDERY 101: Stitch A Social Justice Slogan
January 10, 2021, 11am-12:30pm EST
Join us for an introductory workshop on hand embroidery with C1 Business Manager & Creative Producer, Jessie Baxter. Learn a few stitching basics to create your own social justice hoop art. This session is geared toward beginners and no previous experience is necessary, but stitchers of all levels are welcome.
STITCH AND SIP
January 15, 2021, 8:30pm-9:30pm EST
Grab your favorite beverage and settle in for a fun and informal evening craft circle. Sign up for this session to continue your project from Embroidery 101, or bring another hand craft of your choice to work on while we chat and listen to music! Open to stitchers, knitters, and crafters of all experience levels.
TRIVIA EXTRAVAGANZA BONANZA
Led by Julian Saporiti
SESSION 1: January 9, 2021, 7-9pm EST
SESSION 2: January 23, 2021, 7-9pm EST
Begun as an impromptu zoom gathering amongst friends across the country, Julian Saporiti’s Trivia Extravaganza Bonanza is the world’s least competitive trivia game. We make up the rules as we go. Points are arbitrary, fun is the priority, and drinking is encouraged. Players will be split into teams of 4 and there will be three rounds of questions concluding with the famous “risk it, biscuit, or triscuit” mega super jackpot question. Tune in to find out what any of this means! Limited availability.
VIRTUAL DRAG STORY HOUR
Led by KaMani Sutra, Neon Calypso, and Ra’jah O’Hara!
C1, The Theater Offensive, and the Boston Public Library present VIRTUAL Drag Story Hour. Each Thursday session, a different drag performer will read a children’s book with LGBTQ themes — featuring Neon Calypso, KaMani Sutra, and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Ra’Jah O’Hara! Drag Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
January 14, 2pm-3pm EST: Neon Calypso reads Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato
January 21, 2pm-3pm EST: KaMani Sutra reads The Boy and The Bindi by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera.
January 28, 2pm-3pm EST: Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow. Join us for an exclusive first look at Born Ready which will be published this April 2021!
BRUNCH A MOVE:
An immersive morning feast of music and imagination for young children and their grownups
Led by Phil Berman
January 31, 2021, 11-11:45am EST
Pop over for a quick get together! Join Phil for a digital brunch to remember as you sing and play your way through the fanciest morning of your quarantine. Party along, mimosa in hand, as we pour little teapots, flip the world’s biggest pancakes, and serve toddler brunch fashion realness with our socially distant community.
SKIN CARE 101: GLOWING ON THE GO
Led by Ally Dawson
SESSION 1: January 7, 2021, 7-8pm EST
SESSION 2: February 5 , 2021, 7-8:30pm EST
Back by Popular Demand! We’re excited to bring you another session of expertise from Serving Face First’s Ally Dawson — now expanded to 90 minutes to make sure there’s time to answer all your skin care questions! What’s necessary, what can go? How can you cut time, cut costs, and still get glowing results? Whether you attended our first session or not, come maximize your skin care routine on a budget!
DRAG MAKEUP 101
Led by Yune Neptune
February 13, 2021, 5-6:30pm EST
In this hands-on class, you will learn basic Drag Queen Makeup characterization techniques on how to exaggerate and “feminize” features, including advanced highlighting and contouring of the face and neck, what works better for stage, the use of upper and lower false eyelashes and their positioning when creating a new eye shape, as well as concealing the eyebrows for an elevated brow design. This class will mention the optional use of wigs, but not necessarily cover their application extensively. Please bring any wigs or hairpieces you would like to use and, time permitting, wear them at the end.
Please keep in mind Drag Makeup takes a long time and we will consume the entire 90 minutes creating ONE look.
QUEER INTIMATE PATHWAYS:
Tantric Tools for Body and Creativity
Led by Maisha Najuma Aza of Black Girl Tantra, LLC
February 14, 2021, 2-4pm EST
Life is all about discovering our human and creative potential. We do this by exploring and discovering the world around us as soon as we are born and all through adulthood. At every age discovering the self is essential for establishing intimate relationships. When we are allowed to be curious, we naturally pay attention to our bodies, to the world around us and how we are affected by it. Some of the best ways to enhance these interactions and boost our creativity is through the use of our body’s senses, through breathing and through curious play. As queer and trans people of color, we are often interrupted and discouraged from exploring our bodies, our sexuality, and our creative self-expression, starting within our families of origin and within cultural systems. Because of this, we are often guarded and hypervigilant in relationships, without many opportunities to explore intimacy without an agenda. In this queer and trans poc affirming space, Black Girl Tantra will offer practical, tantric and sacred intimate tools for everyday body connection, exploration and creativity. This is a QTPOC body celebration!
ROOTED IN MOVEMENT:
A Trans Boxing Workshop Series
Led by Shan Moten
Rooted in Movement is a 2-part series designed to introduce you (the participants) to various modalities of connecting with your body. Utilizing mindfulness and boxing as an anchor, we will bridge connections between personal wellness philosophies and movements for liberation, and turn up the heat with accessible conditioning to strengthen your core and set the foundation for new wellness routines.
SESSION 1: February 19, 2021, 7pm – 8:30pm EST
Grounding in Space | Forward/Boxing Stance | Conditioning & Movement
SESSION 2: February 21, 2021, 2pm-3:30pm EST
Guided Breathwork | Reframing Goal Setting | Conditioning
D&D WITH TBT
Journey with DM Trap Beat Tranny and an adventuring party into the world of Palimpsest, an alternate, urban fantasy Earth, in which Christianity never became the dominant religion of the world and magic was discovered rather than nuclear energy.
This is a POC only affinity space, with priority being given to Black and Indigenous folks and Queer/Trans People of Color. The Dungeons & Dragons campaign will span 4 sessions, including a session zero for character creation, following the schedule below:
SESSION 0: February 7, 2-5pm EST
SESSION 1: February 8, 6-8pm EST
SESSION 2: February 15, 6-8pm EST
SESSION 3: February 22, 6-8pm EST
Thanks to all who filled out an application! The campaign is now underway.
Open Mic Night
Hosted by Tim Hall
February 26, 2021, 7pm – 8:30pm EST
Multihyphenate musician and performance poet Tim Hall will be your guide for an evening of storytelling, songs, slam poetry, and more — provided by YOU! Let us know when you sign up if you’d like to perform, or just kickback and enjoy the night!
Note for performers: We have 12 performance slots available. You can perform live or prepare a prerecorded video. The event will take place in a Zoom room, and you will have screensharing and soundsharing abilities. If you need further tech support, let us know, and we can help you troubleshoot ahead of the event!
Led by Fen Tung
February 27, 2021, 12pm – 1pm
BollyX is a Bollywood-inspired cardio dance fitness workout that’s set to the hottest beats from India! No dance experience is required to join in on the fun. Take a break from work, shake off stress, get your heart pumping and come unleash your inner rockstar with us!
Open to all fitness levels. We recommend bringing water, and wearing sneakers and loose comfortable clothes. Kids age 12-17 are welcome with parental supervision. BollyX.com
Better Future Joy + Wellness Story Circles
February 28, 2021, 5pm EST
The Theater Offensive and Company One invite you to participate in facilitated story circles that bear witness to the importance of health and wellness in the arts and activism. Through storytelling, listening, and community dialogue, Better Future Joy & Wellness Story Circles will deepen our understanding of the shared dreams and desires related to joy and wellness that are important to our whole community.
YOGA: POC PRACTICE with Hive Soul Yoga
Led by Chanelle John
Every Wednesday, 6:30-8pm EST
Meet Chanelle from Hive Soul Yoga in the zoom studio for our hour-long all levels vinyasa yoga class, preceded by an intention setting and backed by a hip hop playlist. Want more of the positive Hive Soul community vibes? Stick around after class for the Hive Soul Mat Chat, a new virtual community check-in. This is a POC-only affinity space.