Tuesday 24 March 2015

Women You Should Know - Practivist Nafeesa Monroe

Women You Should Know:
Practivist Nafeesa Monroe

[Editor's note:  We've combined a Women You Should Know with a feature for our Practivist series. Practivism is pragmatic, proactive, promotable activism. Nafeesa Monroe certainly qualifies as a practivist, by taking her art, craft and training to the next level with the Classics in Color project. You can be a practivist, too, if you like her mission, you can support the project via Fractured Atlas.] 

How old are you, if you don’t mind? 

AAAAHHHH! The one thing I CAN'T SAY! I've been in the theatre for more than twenty years.

What is the main focus of your practivism at this time and how does that manifest? 

Making theatrical classics (including Shakespeare and what might be considered other classic works for the stage) accessible and relatable to a culturally and ethnically rich community. It manifests itself through the creation of Classics in Color: A Theatre Company, which  is in its inaugural season and fundraising stage

Classics in Color focuses on producing vibrantly-cast classical works for the stage, expanding the perception of classical theatre. As a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic ensemble, Classics in Color embraces the theatre of inclusion, on stage and off, opening up and extending the understanding of classic tales. Classics in Color: classical theatre for all the people, by all the people.

Currently CIC is co-producing an ethnically diverse production of the play "Proof" by David Auburn. This shift in the ethnic background of the family in this play allows a different audience base to see themselves on the stage in this story. It also expands the conversation about women and math to include women of color and what challenges they face in math and other STEM programs.

We could use your help to make it happen. Your financial support is tax-deductible. Every little bit counts and makes a difference!

What route did you take to get here?

I have been performing on stage for more than 20 years. A few years ago, I received my MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. This led to teaching Shakespeare primarily in public schools to young people who did not see themselves represented on the stages they attended. I decided to do something more pro-active, and thus created the theatre company. It's still growing, as am I and its mission. It's a challenge, but worth it.

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