Fierce as F**K: Jessica Henderson
Interview by: Julia Sears
Jessica Henderson is a tour de force actor, producer and creator of the webseries Growing Down. Her confidence vibrates through her work with assertive humor and unapologetic honesty. We caught up in a busy Union Square coffee shop to discuss self assurance, rising above, and the most important conversation anyone can have.
Fierce as F**K: ALex Spieth
My first glimpse of the one-of-a-kind Alex Spieth was in a performance at the NY Fringe Festival. She played a child’s imaginary friend, stowed away on mythical pirate ship. (There was a fish sword involved.) I was instantly struck by Alex’s unique nature. In life and in performance she is unabashedly, fabulously herself. It’s this distinct quality that makes her webseries [Blank] My Life so utterly relatable. Here’s what Alex had to say on flexibility in the creative process, fear of failure, and grappling with the stigma of the “nagging woman”.
Fierce as f**K: Elena Kritter
A decade ago I met a beautiful soul named Elena Kritter. In the time since she has become a talented actor, producer, and director in New York City. Elena’s creative energy flows out of her. Her joy in making art is infectious. We caught up recently to discuss everything from female Russian Fighter pilots to the art of healing.
We Cry Havoc: Women and the Theatre of War
This piece of theatre is a conversation about women, war, and perception. By personifying women as warriors we seek to interrogate what blocks our nation’s collective pathway to equality. However, the threads of our examination run deeper than the military.The struggle of inclusion into combat roles is a microcosm of what many women experience in their own lives and careers.
Fierce as F**K: Maggie Moore
Maggie Moore spent the last three months fighting tooth and nail as an organizer on the Hillary Clinton Campaign in North Carolina. We are collaborators on a devised play about women in the military called We Cry Havoc. She’s a co-creator of the project which means she’s doing everything. I mean everything, from writing, to choreographing, picking music, shaping the plot, driving our actors to residencies, being a dramaturge, and constantly checking my atrocious spelling. She is creative to her core and that quality radiates through her work in the political and artistic world. With a fresh eye on theatre, a deep background of political experience and a genuinely beautiful commitment to telling authentic stories, Maggie’s perspective is a timely one to share.
Fierce as F**K: Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Pirronne Yousefzadeh is a brilliant, accomplished, talented director—and funny to boot. Her recent theatrical endeavors have been seen at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and InterAct Theatre Company. She and I met many years ago when I assisted her on a production about the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. The play was all about the importance of showing up for what you believe in and standing up to injustice. Pirronne exemplifies those ideas every day as an artist and as a citizen. We caught up in her Brooklyn apartment to talk politics, rapid response theatre, and how to be a feminist warrior.
Fierce as f**k: Charly Evon Simpson
Interview by: Julia Sears
Charly Evon Simpson is playwright, performer, and poet. Charly’s work spans it all, from plays that flirt with magical realism, to contemporary explorations of trauma and healing. She is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Hunter College and from time to time appears in short plays and one woman shows. I ventured to the Upper West Side to visit with Charly and talk about about self motivating, her feelings on the constitution, and how hard it is to say “I’m a playwright.” Charly’s adorable dog George was also present (dog barks not included in the transcript below).
Fierce as F**K: Taylor Reynolds
This illustrious sunbeam right here is Taylor Reynolds, a freelance director and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of The Movement Theatre Company in Harlem. Taylor and I met many years ago when she was studying directing at Carnegie Mellon. Since then, I’ve watched with admiration as she continues to direct and produce work that celebrates the complexity of womanhood. The two of us sat down for a glass of wine in Brooklyn to discuss people-pleasing, moments of enlightenment, and what pisses her off about The Diversity Conversation.
Fierce as F**k: Tess Howsam
Tess Howsam is a tour de force producer, director, playwright and actress. She is also the indomitable Artistic Director and founder of the Brooklyn based Exquisite Corpse Company. We had a cozy chat in my Brooklyn apartment about post-election theatre, Ted Cruz’s love of soup, and the founding of the Exquisite Corpse Company.