Event Details
  • Town Hall Open Discussion: Gender Parity
    November 29, 2023
    6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Town Hall (live) – The Trans and Gender-Expansive Experience in Theater

Presented in partnership with

Wednesday, November 29 - networking at 6:30 pm, open forum starts at 7:00pm ET
Polaris North Studio, 245 W. 29th Street, 4th floor, NYC

Our return to our live monthly panels/discussions, with a simultaneous streaming for our friends outside of New York City.  When registering, please note there are options to buy either a live or a virtual ticket.

Moderated by Jaye Hunt (they/them), multi-disciplinary theater artist and literary manager of Parity Productions. With co-hosts Elisa Crespo (she/her), trans Latina activist, nonprofit executive, politician, executive director of the New Pride Agenda; Gylanni Carrington (they/them), inter-disciplinary artist;  Nat Kelley DiMario (they/them), queer & trans multi-disciplinary theater artist, stage manager, and storyteller; Anessa Marie (she/her), music director, conductor, pianist, orchestrator and lyricist/composer; Futaba Shioda (he/him), trans, Asian actor and cultural worker and Garnet Williams (she/they), actor, singer, Parity artist.

TRU monthly conversations continue about issues of current cultural significance. We further expand our conversation about cultural assumptions and how they undercut equal treatment, as well as the challenges of being gender-expansive or trans in our supposedly enlightened business. The fight for equal treatment is a tragic part of our current political environment, and continues to influence and impact the arts and specifically for us, theater.  We will look at the ongoing struggle with conscious and unconscious assumptions that limit opportunities for non-binary and trans artists, as well as create an uncomfortable environment for many. We will consider whether the experience of these issues differs from generation to generation, and examine ways in which generations can help and influence each other.  There's much work to be done, and it all starts with awareness.  Attendees are encouraged to talk about their own experiences with discrimination. TRU offers this as an opportunity for everyone to learn from actual experiences and find ways to support each other while exploring initiatives that might bring us closer to genuine respect and acceptance. 
All attendees are welcome to participate in this conversation. Doors open at 6:30pm for networking and roundtable introductions of everyone in the room – come prepared with your best 20-second summary of who you are, and what you need. The Open Forum will start at 7:00pm. Free for members of TRU, Polaris North and Polarity Productions; $15 for non-members (with a $5 ticket option available to anyone who needs it). Please use the bright red reservation box here on our web page, or email or phone at least a day in advance (or much sooner): e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com

Parity Productions identifies, develops, and produces new work exclusively by women, trans, and gender-expansive playwrights. At all phases of development and production, our creative teams are comprised of 80-100% women, trans, and gender-expansive artists. Our work unrelentingly centers the experiences of women, trans, and gender-expansive individuals onstage and off to provide urgent perspective to our audience and the industry, and to create greater momentum in achieving gender parity within the American theatre.

  • JAYE HUNT (they/them)

    is a multidisciplinary theater artist. They are the Literary Manager of Parity Productions, where they are largely responsible for the annual Parity Development Award. They have collaborated with playwrights on developing many new plays and have extensive experience serving as assistant director on both new works and works in the American theatrical canon. They were a finalist for the 2022-2024 WP Lab and the 2022-2023 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and they are currently a member of the Moxie Arts Incubator. Their work examines and questions normativity, and they work to create equity onstage and backstage.  www.jayehunt.com

  • GYLANNI CARRINGTON (they/them)

    is a queer non-binary artist from pre-gentrified Brooklyn. An inter-disciplinary artist, Gylanni is skilled in theatrical design, installations, and creative direction. They specialize in immersive theatrical experiences that allow audience members to become participants, shifting the traditional theatrical experience from voyeuristic to collectively focused. Gylanni loves new work, and projects that are weird, experimental, and concept-heavy with challenging design elements. An authority on aesthetics, they value performance art pieces that are a feast for the eyes. Gylanni has a B.A. in Theatre/Gender, Literature, and the Arts from Hunter College, where they studied the impact and influence of art on society. They believe the future of art lies in diverse storytelling and prioritizes works that are inclusive and accessible. Gylanni is an abolitionist and knows that the art they wish to make can only be made possible in a liberated world. Unsettling (Park Avenue Armory), A Landfill/Sacred Ground (A.R.T. New York Theatres) https://www.gylannidesigns.com

  • ELISA CRESPO (she/her)

    is a Trans Latina advocate, executive, and former public servant who has fought to promote civic engagement and elevate the LGBTQ community’s voice in halls of power. Prior to becoming the first executive director of the New Pride Agenda, Elisa served as Education Liaison to the Bronx Borough President’s Office. She made history by becoming the first transgender woman of color to run for public office in the Bronx. Under her leadership, the NEW Pride Agenda spearheaded a statewide coalition whose advocacy resulted in a $4 million dollar multi state agency Transgender Wellness & Equity Fund, making New York the second state in the country to establish a fund of its kind. Elisa graduated from John Jay College obtaining her Bachelors in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights.

  • NAT KELLEY DIMARIO (they/them)

    is a Brooklyn-based queer & trans multi-disciplinary theater artist, stage manager, and storyteller. Their work strives to center and uplift queer voices and stories by, for, and about the trans community, and collaborative storytelling is at the heart of their process. Recent favorites: Into the Woods (Broadway 2022), Lewberger & the Wizard of Friendship (Theatre Row), backstroke boys (Fault Line Theatre), Thelma & Louise & the Time Machine (Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival). In addition to their work in the theater, Nat currently serves as Production Manager for The Sound Museum, a new audio fiction podcast on the Faustian Nonsense network, as well as starring as “Sloan”. Nat is an alum of Fordham University and the Juilliard Professional Apprentice Program. natkelleydimario.com @natdimario 

  • ANESSA MARIE (she/her)

    is a composer/lyricist, conductor, music director, pianist, and orchestrator based in NYC. Her song cycle, Finding Beautiful (written with Danny Bristoll), debuted at NYMF in 2019. Musicals currently in development include: A First Glimpse of Light, Reign, Society, Untouchable. Broadway: Moulin Rouge (K1/Conductor Sub), Chicago (K2/Accordion Sub), Aladdin (K1 Sub). Regional/Off-Broadway include: White Girl in Danger (K1/Conductor/MD), Wizard of Oz (Orchestrations, Geva), The Griswold’s Broadway Vacation (AMD/Rehearsal Pianist), Joy (AMD/Rehearsal Pianist), Wonderboy (Orchestrations, 5th Ave), The Golden Record (Arranger/Orchestrator), Into the Woods (MD, OOTB), The Gunfighter Meets His Match (Goodspeed Musicals, MD/Vocal Arrangements), Miss Step (5th Ave- Reading, MD), ​Queering the Canon (Joe's Pub, MD),​ Interstate (NAMT, MD), The Office Musical Parody (Jerry Orbach, MD), Finding Beautiful (NYMF, Signature Center). Anessa also has a passion for education and ensuring the arts live on, and has served as a guest artist with NYU, Pace University, Fordham University, CAP21, LIU-Post, Broadway for Arts Education, The International College of Musical Theatre, The Growing Studio, Musical Theatre Factory, etc.

  • FUTABA SHIODA (he/him)

    is a trans, Asian actor and cultural worker invested in labor rights and community autonomy. An Obie Award and Paul Robeson Award winner for his work bridging art and advocacy, Futaba organizes with Anticapitalism for Artists and Equity Next and lends his skills to Creatives Rebuild New York and The Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project. Select Theater Credits: Gerd in A Transparent Musical (Center Theatre Group), Clown in The 39 Steps (Rep Theatre of St. Louis), Galatea in Galatea (WP Theater), NoFi in BLUSH (SoHo Rep), Molly (u/s) in A Little More Alive (Barrington Stage Company), Alexi Darling/Swing in Rent (20th Anniv. Tour), and developmental work with Lincoln Center, Signature Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Ogunquit Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, and Bucks County Playhouse.  www.futabashioda.com / @futabashioda

  • GARNET WILLIAMS (she/they)

    is a writer, singer, and actor originally from Atlanta, Ga. Last seen in Skyward: An Endling Elegy (Lincoln Center), Cats (PAC), She Sings Me Home (Round House MD), and her one woman show Ugh: Another Girl and a Piano.