Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy

Yvette Heyliger on the Artist as Activist

Here is a new HowlRound article by TheatreNow! Season One guest Yvette Heyliger.

Excerpt: “Artists are the gate keepers of truth. We are civilization’s radical voice.” so said singer, actor, social activist, lawyer and athlete, the great Paul Robeson. Robeson may not have been the first, but he was certainly one of the most outspoken citizen-artists of his day, choosing to set aside his theatrical career to become politically involved—fighting for the causes he believed in, even though it meant his own financial ruin.

What makes a human being, against his own “best interests,” fight for those less fortunate, for the voiceless and the downtrodden?

– See more at:


My ten-minute comedy STATE OF THE UNION – UNDRESSED will be read at Writing The Election, a non-partisan gathering featuring new writing about the upcoming election. Many thanks to Yvette Heyliger for giving me the opportunity to have my work read in Harlem. Unfortunately, I had a prior commitment to read my poetry at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the West Village at the very same time, and won’t be able to attend. There’s still plenty of room at the event, though! Enjoy!

Description: It’s Saturday night at the White House. The Obamas are in a romantic mood.  But why is there a podium in the bedroom?

Download the flyer here: Writing the Election October 29 NYC

Twinbiz presents a non-partisan community event…

Writing the Election

Writers of all stripes celebrate the joy of the political process and Freedom of Speech in a quest to inspire citizens to Get Out The Vote on Election Day.

at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s

National Black Theatre

Monday, October 29th


2031-33 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY

(between 125th and 126th Streets)

FREE and Open to the Public

For Information and to RSVP:

This message has been endorsed by New Black Fest, Classical Theatre of Harlem and Blackboard Plays.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

LPTW’s TheatreNow! Webpage

Many thanks to the League of Professional Theatre Women, which has given TheatreNow! its own webpage at Read how my membership in the League influenced my creation of the podcast series. The League is the nation’s premiere professional organization for women working in all aspects of the theatre.

LPTW and TheatreNow!

I conceived of TheatreNow! in 2009 while serving as the Co-Secretary of the League of Professional Theatre Women. I was so excited to attend meetings and converse with terrific theatre artists and learn about their experience and new projects. I started to think about how wonderful it would be to record these conversations and share them with the public in order to preserve important events in contemporary American theatre history.

So I decided to download some free recording software and use available resources on the internet to record some interviews. I happened to meet Quiara Alegría Hudes’ mother, and asked for her daughter’s contact information. Quiara was happy to give me an interview, and so, TheatreNow! was launched. I followed the inaugural podcast with interviews with women whose careers I felt were interesting and important.

I made sure to include women from many different disciplines, and even now I actively seek out women of different races, nationalities and professions in order to give a balanced and inclusive sampling of contemporary theatre practice.

And so, TheatreNow! grew from one half-hour recording to a series with a new website at, an Archivist – the marvelous Helaine, a staff of Program Assistants, and a theme composed by my Co-Secretary Nancy Ford. The series is posted on, and is very easy to download and share.

In Season Two I began to post transcripts of the interviews for the public’s convenience. AMERICAN THEATRE published a two-page article on the series in its October 2012 issue.

I am now planning my fourth season, and rest assured, it will continue to feature League members, and women whom the League has honored with prizes for their contribution to American theatre.

Anne Hamilton, Producer and Host
Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!

TheatreNow! Podcasts With League Members:
Kristin Marting
Valentina Fratti
Yvette Heyliger

Please download the article here: LPTW and TheatreNow! by Anne Hamilton

Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Yvette Heyliger’s Play WWJD? Wins 7 Audelco Awards

Yvette Heyliger and her twin sister Yvonne Farrow appeared as guests on TheatreNow! (Season One). Yvette has won Audelco Awards for Best Playwright, and Dramatic Production of the Year. Yvonne won for Best Lead Actress. Here is an excerpt from BACKSTAGE (November 17, 2010). The article is by Diep Tran.

“What Would Jesus Do?” was the question of the night at the 38th Annual Vivian Robinson-Audelco Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre.

“Jesus,” a play about HIV/AIDS written by Yvette Heyliger, took home seven awards, including dramatic production of the year. Close behind it was “Langston in Harlem,” receiving four awards, including musical production of the year.

The event took place at the Harlem Stage Aaron Davis Hall on Monday night. The ceremony began at 7:30 p.m. with an opening performance of “We Are Family” by Impact Repertory Theatre, in accordance with the evening’s theme.

Toni Deniece Seawright, a cast member of “What Would Jesus Do,” who also led the cast performance of the lead song from the play, felt the evening helped spread Heyliger’s message about HIV/AIDS awareness.

“I am so excited for Yvette, she’s been trying so hard to get our message across to the masses…I think tonight she accomplished that,” she said. “Now, she can put that show up anywhere she wants to and people will take notice of it.”

Thadius Daniels, a member of the Black Gents of Hollywood, who also won an Outstanding Pioneer Award, felt the evening was significant for its emphasis on black theater and on dialogue.

“[The Adelco Awards are] significant because it gives us a chance to honor what we do,” he said. “To have something to say is very important…and we have to continue to tell our stories and have venues to tell our stories and the Adelco Awards…is a continuation of honoring that tradition.”

List of awards and their recipients (Edited) :

Set Design –Patrice Davidson for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Playwright – Yvette Heyliger for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Production – Jamil A.C. Mangan for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Production – Johnnie Mae for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Lead Actor – Jerome Preston Bates for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Lead Actress – Yvonne Farrow for “What Would Jesus Do?”

Dramatic Production of the Year – “What Would Jesus Do?”


Yvette Heyliger’s WWJD? Nominated for 9 Audelco Awards

Twin sisters Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow capped off Season One of TheatreNow! with a two-part interview. Each spoke about her own artistic path, and also their forays into collaboration with one another.

In the Spring, Yvette’s play WWJD? enjoyed a sold-out run at the Billie Holliday Theatre in Brooklyn. Yvonne starred in the show. We’ve just learned that WWJD? has been nominated for nine Audelco Awards.

Congratulations! You can learn more about Yvette and Yvonne’s artistry at

TheatreNow! Season One Complete

Season One of my audio podcast series TheatreNow!, an oral history of leading American female theatre artists is complete. You can find it at . The inaugural segment features playwright and librettist Quiara Allegria Hudes, who wrote ELIOTT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE, and the libretto for IN THE HEIGHTS (2008 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, and 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama nominee). Please listen to additional guests already online including: Ruth Margraff, Claire Lautier, Valentina Fratti, and Catherine Filloux, Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow.

Yvette Heyliger speaks about her play WWJD?, which has been nominated for nine Audelco Awards. (

Read more interviews and features about Catherine Filloux’s writing at:

TheatreNow! Interview – Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow (Twinbiz) – Parts I and II

TheatreNow!’s newest podcast features twin sisters whose artistry encompasses practically every talent needed to succeed in show business. Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow are founders of Twinbiz,  a company whose mission is to write, direct and produce original works for stage, television and film. The interview was recorded on May 30, 2010, a few days after Yvette received her M.F.A. in playwrighting from Queens College in New York City.

Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! – An Interview with Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow – Part I

Please also visit Part II,  by clicking below. (For a faster download, please close out Part I and be patient – it will load.)

Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! – An Interview with Yvette Heyliger and Yvonne Farrow – Part II

Yvette Heyliger is a playwright, a director and a producing artist based in New York City.  Her book, What A Piece of Work Is Man!: Plays for Leading Women by Yvette Heyliger is due out in the Fall of 2010.

Yvonne Farrow is an actress, writer, filmmaker, model, and choralographer. She is based in Los Angeles. She wrote, produced, co-directed and starred in the award-winning short film I’d Rather Be Dancing. Please visit her website at

The twins often collaborate. Yvonne starred in Yvette’s award-winning play WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?, which completed a sold out run at the Billie Holliday Theatre in Brooklyn this Spring. It is a fearless drama which explores the impact of HIV/AIDS on the African-American community. You can reach them through

Anne interviewed Yvette and Yvonne in May.

CORRECTION: Please note that Danai Gurira is the actor and writer’s name. I pronounced it incorrectly in the segment. -Anne

Anne Hamilton, Dramaturg and Playwright.

TheatreNow! Staff: Anne Hamilton, Producer and Host; Linsey Bostwick, Editor