Maurya is the artistic director of tinypistol. Much of her work—across the disciplines of movement, language, and film—is focused on black and brown people reclaiming their birthright to both wonderment and the quotidian. Maurya was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for twelve years, an ODC artist-in-residence from 2015 to 2018, and holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University. Maurya's poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and appears in multiple journals, including Magma Poetry, Tupelo Quarterly, and an anthology, “The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry.” She was a 2021/22 UC Berkeley ARC (Arts Research Center) Poetry & the Senses Fellow, and her first chapbook, MUTTOLOGY, is forthcoming with Harbor Editions in 2023. www.tinypistol.com
Eric Garcia (he/him) is a San Francisco-based devised dance-theater artist, drag queen, community organizer, and the Co-Director of Detour. He creates immersive and site-responsive performances that straddle nostalgia, radical futurism, collaborative ensembles, and queer maximalism. He has worked with men in detention, senior adults, trans and queer youth, drag performers, and self-identified non-dancers on various dance films and live performance projects. Eric is rooted in the queer nightlife and drag performance scene as Churro Nomi, and produces/hosts Clutch The Pearls, a drag cabaret on the first Sunday of every month at Make-Out Room in the Mission District. Since 2010, Eric proudly serves as Managing Director for both Fresh Meat Productions and the SF Transgender Film Festival. He is a guest lecturer and choreographer at the University of San Francisco’s Performing Arts and Social Justice Department, is on the board of directors for the Embodiment Project, and is a founding member of the Latinx/Hispanic Dancers United Caucus.
Photo credit: Melissa Lewis
Leigh is a theatre performer, dramaturg, director, and producer who has worked widely both within the Bay Area and national industry. They attended Wellesley College and were a member of Oakland's Laney College Fusion Theatre Project. Leigh is on staff as Shotgun Players’ Associate Artistic Director and Crowded Fire Theater’s Director of Artistic Programming & Marketing, where they host a recurring Twitch Stream and are also a Resident Artist. They are also an Artistic Company Member at Shotgun and Oakland Theater Project, Casting Director with the Casting Collective, and Producing Director at The Forum Collective. Leigh has had the immense pleasure of working at dozens of local companies, including Aurora Theatre, Curran, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, PlayGround, Playwrights Foundation, TheatreFIRST, and West Edge Opera. While Leigh wears many hats as a theatre-maker, much of their work and personal passion has been to shift the industry and its culture to be more equitable, inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. Outside of theater, Leigh enjoys swimming, reading, going to concerts, crafting cocktails, and cuddling their dog Langston.
Arteche received her BFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and MFA from San Francisco State University where she received the School of Art’s Distinguished Graduate award. She has been awarded the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award by the San Francisco Foundation, was Kearny Street Workshop’s Featured Visual Artist in the 2015 APAture Festival, and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Growlery. She has shown at East Tennessee State University, SOMArts Cultural Center and at the Wailoa Arts & Cultural Center in Hilo, Hawaii.
Arteche has served on Southern Exposure’s Curatorial Council, SOMA Pilipinas’ Arts & Culture Committee, and was the Visual Arts curator for UNDISCOVRED SF. She co-founded Balay Kreative with Kultivate Labs, a future Filipinx American Cultural Center in the South of Market. She is currently an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, teaching with social justice and community responsive lenses, and is the Co-Director at the Berkeley Art Center. Arteche is committed to collaboratively creating decolonial practices within arts institutions, while creating visibility and providing resources for emerging Black, Indigenous, and POC Artists.
Photo credit: Lara Kaur
Berkeley, CA-based composer, bassist, and producer Lisa Mezzacappa has been an active part of California’s vibrant music community for nearly 20 years. Her activities as a composer and ensemble leader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, adventurous jazz, non-traditional opera, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance, and visual art. Recent projects include Cosmicomics, a suite for electro-acoustic jazz sextet based on Italo’s Calvino’s stories about the origins of the cosmos; Organelle, a chamber work for improvisers grounded in scientific processes on micro and cosmic scales; Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle for large ensemble and films drawn from the writings of Victorian lady adventurers; and Touch Bass, a collaboration with choreographer Risa Jaroslow for three dancers and three bassists. She also co-leads the community improvisation ensemble, the duo B. Experimental Band, with drummer Jason Levis, as part of the Do-Over Music series in Oakland, CA, and is collaborating with writer Beth Lisick on the serial audio opera The Electronic Lover. https://www.lisamezzacappa.com
Photo credit: Tim Rowe
Margo is an award-winning actor/director/playwright/educator and the Artistic Director of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and was recently awarded the 2021 Kenneth Rainin Fellowship in Theater and listed as one of the YBCA 100 honorees.
Acting credits include Black Odyssey, Fences, Twelfth Night, A Raisin in the Sun, A Winter's Tale, American Night: the Ballad of Juan Jose and SPUNK for the California Shakespeare Theater; JAZZ, Skeleton Crew, Gem of the Ocean, Fences, and Seven Guitars for Marin Theatre Company; Ah! Wilderness, Once in a Lifetime, and Marcus or the Secret of Sweet at American Conservatory Theater; Exit Strategy and Trouble in Mind at Aurora Theater; Marcus Gardley's A World in a Woman's Hands at Shotgun Players; Barbecue (also directed) and MF with a Hat at SF Playhouse.
As a founding member multi-diverse theater company Campo Santo, acting roles include Dennis Johnson’s Nobody Move, Chinaka Hodges’ Mirrors in Every Corner, Jessica Hagedorn’s Fe in the Desert and Stairway to Heaven, Naomi Iizuka’s Hamlet: Blood in the Brain, 17 Reasons (Why) and Polaroid Stories, floating weeds, a world premiere by Philip Kan Gotanda, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, by Jose Rivera, Bethlehem by Octavio Solis, and Hurricane by Erin Cressida Wilson. She has toured France with Word for Word as Missie May in The Gilded Six-Bits by Zora Neale Hurston and Oceola in The Blues I'm Playing by Langston Hughes.
Recent film credits include Leslie White in All Day and a Night, Nancy in Blindspotting, and the voice of Melba in Pixar's SOUL. TV credits include Nancy in Blindspotting on STARZ, Helen in Chances, and Marsha Watkins and Blind Witness on Nash Bridges.
She debuted as a Theater Director with the world premiere of Joyride, from the novel Grand Avenue by Greg Sarris, which was the Bay Area Critics Circle Winner for Best Original Script; the SF Weekly Black Box Awards for Best Production, Best Ensemble, Best Director; Drama-Logue Awards- Northern California for Best Production, Best Ensemble; the Backstage West-Garland Awards- Northern California for Best Production, Best Ensemble, and the Bay Guardian GOLDIE Award Winner for Stage. She most recently directed Hieroglyph by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, which was a co-production of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and SF Playhouse, filmed live on stage and streamed virtually. Other credits include How I Learned What I Learned for Lorraine Hansberry Theater/Ubuntu Theatre/Marin Theatre Company, Barbecue, Red Velvet and The Story for SF Playhouse/Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and Thurgood and Rejoice! for the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Prior directing credits include James Baldwin’s Sonny's Blues for Word for Word, which toured France. She co-directed Eisa Davis’ Bulrusher with Ellen Chang, and Once on This Island, Hamlet: Blood in the Brain, SPUNK, The Trojan Women, It Falls, Ragtime, and A Streetcar Named Desire for Chabot College.
Margo completed her first writing project in April 2005 with the world premiere of The People's Temple at Berkeley Repertory Theater, which won the Glickman Award for best new play in the Bay Area for 2005. She was a part of a collaborative team of four writers who used interviews of survivors and archival material to form a play exploring the People's Temple movement and the tragic ending at Jonestown. The play went on from Berkeley Rep to Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. In 2013 she premiered her semi-biographical piece, Be Bop Baby: a Musical Memoir, (lyrics and book by Margo Hall, with original music composed by Marcus Shelby) at Z Space, featuring the 15-piece Marcus Shelby Orchestra, which chronicled her life growing up in Detroit with her jazz musician stepfather, who was with Motown.