Event Details
  • Sexual Harassment Education and Prevention
    May 23, 2019
    7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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It Doesn’t Have to Be #MeToo: Sexual Harassment Education and Prevention for Theater
Thursday, May 23, 2019 - doors open at 7pm for networking, panel starts at 7:30
change of venue: Polaris North Theatre, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th floor, NYC
Facilitated by Yvette Heyliger, with confirmed speakers Jenna Chrisphonte of the Dramatists Guild, Tamar Shapiro, the national director of social services for The Actors Fund, Hope Chavez of ART-New York; with a presentation by Aimee Todoroff of League of Independent Theater and stories by Yvette Heyliger, Lexi Orphanos and Janet Schlapkohl.

We‚Äôve heard the stories of #MeToo victims at the hands of politicians, television and radio personalities, film directors and celebrities.¬† In the theatre we have our own #MeToo stories to share.¬† The casting couch is very real and not just reserved for women ‚ÄĒ men have their own stories!¬† This workshop is three-fold-- going from the personal, to educational, to advocacy; followed by a Q & A.¬† Artists will share stories of harassment and misconduct; followed by a power point presentation recognizing and fighting harassment; followed by a panel of representatives from a theatrical organizations who will share what they are doing to empower their members and prevent harassment, misconduct or assault in the theatrical work space.¬†

Content Warning: This session will include conversations about sexual harassment and abuse. While no graphic details will be shared, we offer this warning in case conversations of this nature are a trigger for any guests. Your self-care is our priority and you may step out of the event at any time if you are uncomfortable.
Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30pm - come prepared with your best 30-second summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; $12.50 for non-members in advance ($15 at door). Please use the bright red reservation box on our web page, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com / phone 833-506-5550

    is a creative producer and arts administrator in New York City. Hope currently serves as the Programs Manager at A.R.T./New York consulting with and administering programming for more than 410 nonprofit theaters in New York. Primarily focused on the education, social & racial justice, anti-harassment, accessibility, and grant programs, Hope serves the A.R.T./New York membership as a hub of information and resources to organizations ranging from $1,000-$10million in size. Beyond A.R.T./New York, Hope is also a freelance creative producer with past projects at Joe’s Pub, Roundabout Theatre, La MaMa, FringeNYC, among others. Since 2015, Hope has administered and produced two educational programs for young artists including The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and Keen Teens. She is a proud member of Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) and former mentee in their 2018 cohort of the Leadership Through Mentorship Program.


    currently serves as director of community engagement at the Dramatists Guild of America and The Lillys. Her professional experience includes positions held within Global Affairs Canada, the French Ministry of National Education and the State and City of New York. She received her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from SUNY Buffalo. Her work has been presented at the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Dixon Place, the Dramatists Guild of America and she serves on the board of the 24 Hour Plays.


    is a playwright, producing artist, educator and activist. Most recently, she most hosted a Twitter Chat with HowlRound Theatre Commons to discuss the progress of the theatrical industry in raising awareness and education to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct in theatre spaces.¬† She was a panelist in the inaugural #HealMeToo Festival and also performed an original work,¬†The Dues That Must Be Paid.¬† Yvette is a partner in Twinbiz™, and is the co-recipient of the first National Black Theatre Festival Emerging Producer Award. She has produced events for the theatre community including two with the National Action Network, the leading civil rights organization in the country,¬†#MeToo Theatre Women Share Their Stories¬†and¬†#MeToo: From Testimony to Prevention¬†(at their national conference).¬† She is the recipient of AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre‚Äôs August Wilson Playwright Award and her play won Dramatic Production of the Year.¬† She received Best Playwright nomination from NAACP‚Äôs Annual Theatre Awards. Author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women, she has also contributed to many theatrical anthologies including two yet unreleased publications,¬†Performing #MeToo: How Not to Look Away¬†and¬†The Children of the People: Writings by and about CUNY Students on Race and Social Justice.¬† Other writings include various online and print articles and blogs. Memberships: Dramatist Guild, AEA, SDC, AFTRA-SAG, Harlem Arts Alliance, Theatre Resources Unlimited and she serves as the co-vice president of Programming for the League of Professional Theatre Women.¬† Yvette was an Obama Fellow (2012) and a founding member and longtime volunteer with Organizing for Action.¬† As a citizen-artist, she has worked on many issues including: gun violence prevention, equal opportunity and pay for women artists, and most recently, the #MeToo movement.¬† Yvette lives in Harlem, USA.


    is an NYC-based actor, intimacy director, theatre writer, and advocate. Credits include: Befuddled 101 (IT Award Nominee), Leading Story (Newark Film Festival Official Selection), and The Isles of Fae (prod: Conor Bagley). She first connected with the Yvette and the National Action Network as a performer with their #MeToo Monologue Series in the Spring of 2018. She is also passionate about her work as an intimacy director, with education from Tonia Sina of Intimacy Directors International. She has had the pleasure of choreographing intimacy regularly with The Drama League and Steiner Studios, for stage and film respectively. She hopes to change the way sex and intimacy is portrayed in art through clear consent and communication in every step of the process, and foster a better environment for fearless actors. BFA NYU Tisch. lexiorphanos.com


    is a playwright, actress, director and teacher. Commissions include: UI Labor Center, UI Iowa Women’s Archives, UI Human Rights Center, Center for Worker Justice, Theatre Masters, German’s in the Global Midwest Symposium, and the AFL-CIO. Her work has been performed in LA, Colorado, New York, Tennessee, and across Iowa.  She performs monologues and travels a solo show, which premiered at Riverside Theatre, Iowa City. Her play My Sister was featured in the LA Times, the Huffington post, and the Israeli Times. In 2002 She founded Combined Efforts Theatre, a non-profit organization purposefully inclusive of actors with physical and mental challenges (www.combinedefforts.org); and also founded a summer camp for children using theatrical principals, and nature (www.thecountrycamp.com) and a group for girls with local women supporting career exploration and discussion of challenges and issues (click here) She currently teaches at the University of Iowa. She has been the recipient of the Theatre Master’s award, Visionary Playwright’s award, the Isabelle Turner Human Rights Award, the Richard Maibaum Award, the Human Rights graduate student award the Finkbine Award for Human Rights, and the 6 Women playwriting Festival. 


    is the National Director of Social Services for The Actors Fund where she is responsible for the program development and clinical supervision of the social services staff.  The Actors Fund is a national not for profit organization providing social services, emergency financial assistance, employment and training, housing and health care to performing artists and entertainment professionals.  With 30+years of experience Ms. Shapiro has worked as a clinician, program developer and administrator focusing in the area of the world of work.  She has worked with unions and employers to create Mental Health, Substance Abuse awareness and Respectful workplace educational programs.


    is a director practicing theater in NYC. She has been a part of two Obie Award winning productions, as a performer and as a director. She loves directing in traditional and non-traditional, site specific spaces. Equally adept at classic and new work, Aimee has helmed classic plays by Ibsen and Chekhov, and premieres by Cusi Cram, Daisy Foote, and frequent collaborator Chris Harcum among others. Aimee received her MFA in Directing from Southampton Arts, studying with Marsha Norman, Nick Mangano, and Rinde Eckert, and was the Assistant Director for John Rando and the playwright David Ives for Classic Stage Company‚Äôs production of ‚ÄúThe Heir Apparent.‚ÄĚ She is the artistic director of the indie theater company Elephant Run District, and is passionate about collaborative dialog between artists, audience and communities. In addition to directing and teaching, Aimee created the LIT Anti-Harassment Toolkit and speaks on best practices to create safe creative spaces. aimeetodoroff.org¬†elephantrundistrict.org