Artist Statement

I am a director who creates work that sheds light on the socio-political issues that define our times. As a queer woman raising in a single parent working-class household, I am interested in telling working-class stories that touch on the intersections of economic struggle and gender. I am particularly drawn to how the events of September 11th, 2001 shaped my generation. This has been a question that I have asked in much of my work, which has looked at the implications of the war on terror, patriotism, religion, security and surveillance, xenophobia, and the refugee crisis. My mission is to create theatre that transforms the way we see the world and create theatre that challenges the status-quo.


In 2006 I was living in Beirut, Lebanon when the country went to war. Living in war has affected both my personal life and creative life immensely, prompting me to use theatre as a means to explore complex questions around violence, war, and peacebuilding. I am a founder and Artistic Director of Girl Be Heard and Co-Op Theatre East, two New York City-based progressive theatres actively involved in creating social change. My work with both companies and as a freelance director, playwright and performer has received critical acclaim for its innovative and intellectually ambitious yet accessible storytelling and generous exchange between performer and spectator. 


My involvement in feminist, queer and peace activism has led me to question how information, personal agency, and awareness of my own community’s struggles are being transmitted to the broader society which may not be as familiar with these issues. Theatre is a starting point for new dialogue and ideas. By creating theatre that challenges the status quo, we ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences and can finally begin to break down historical confines and act beyond our comfort zones.



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© Ashley Marinaccio