Theater Artist and Educator: Tanya Everett

Tanya Everett is a multitalented theater professional working to create equity in American Theater. Tanya is based out of Creative Arts Team, the revolutionary nonprofit that boasts former coordinators like theater visionaries Lin Manuel Miranda and Dominique Morriseau. When she's not working in arts advocacy and education, Tanya is creating, performing, and producing theater all over the city. We had a chance to talk with Tanya about her arts practice, being her own boss, and personal style.

Tanya is wearing the Georgina Dress in teal.

Tell us about your advocacy work.

Creative Arts Team creates programming for a wide berth of NY residents, including youth, adults, and rehabilitation in correctional facilities. I work with youth in the Bronx and in Queens. We are fostered around the Augusto Boal's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, to promote an educational model of self-determination and engagement.

Tanya at the CAT office in the Helena Top and Alana Blazer.

What about your educational experience inspires you?

Traditional modes of teaching are top-loading, filling students with knowledge. CAT programming asks the students to share the knowledge they already possess about themselves and their world, and analyze through their point of view.

What are some strategies you use with your students to cultivate this kind of analysis?

In my high schools for example, if we are discussing healthy relationships, I want to know what examples they do or do not have, and how those real life examples can be broken down to promote a healthier way of interacting.

Tanya preps for an audition in the perfect dress to impress outfit, the Georgina.

How do you plan on continuing to shake up the American Theater?

The American theater needs to see black and brown people experiencing life and loss without white bodies as their oppressors. It needs to see black life interacting with white people and all other people as normal. So I am creating space for art that is honest and true to my experience as a woman of color.

What's next for you?

In late January, I will have a staged reading of a full- length I'm working on in the Fire This Time Festival.

Tanya at the CAT office in the Helena Top and Alana Blazer.

What does "work hard, dress smart" mean to you?

Work hard, dress smart means that I can succinctly transition from playing with adolescents to meeting my peers in the arts without missing a beat! It means creating a flexible but clear image that I'm in control of my appearance. It also reflects a self respect and ownership of my bad-assery! I want to leave an impression on the daily, wherever I am.