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My name is Ynika! I am a theatre artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan and the Ifugao people of Banaue, Philippines. I currently serve as the New Work Fellow at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

You can find more about me and my work below. Let's get to know each other!

Another world is possible.

This is the phrase that has shifted my entire perspective on what it means to create theatre. 

I have quickly grown tired of creating theatre and contributing to the creation of theatre that reproduces harmful narratives, representations, and realities. I believe that what we create on stage and in our media is what we produce (and re-produce) in our "real life" relationships and interactions with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. I am inspired by the work of Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed. After learning more about this framework in my undergraduate theatre studies at Kalamazoo College (c/o 2021), I didn't realize its power until I began working with local theatre communities, specifically after becoming a company member at Face Off Theatre Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2020 (after working with them as a guest director in previous years). Face Off Theater Company is a nonprofit theatre in Kalamazoo and is the first (and only) theatre company in the area that was founded and is currently operated by Black women, whose mission is to create accessible, diverse, and equitable theatre opportunities for other artists of color in the area. I loved working with Face Off. I also know that it is unacceptable that they are the only company in the area that provides opportunities explicitly for artists of color. I graduated college and emerged into a theatre community where nobody looked like me or did work for/about people like me.

In 2023, I began to apply my passion and skills to regional theatre and accepted the position of New Work Fellow at Tony Award-winning company Woolly Mammoth, whose mission is to produce "courageous and invigorating new work to radically redefine theatre as a catalyst for an equitable, creative, and engaged society." I am proud to learn from and work with the artists in this pillar of American theatre, supporting the shaping of stories that stretch the boundaries of creativity and imagination.

It is so easy (especially for myself) to see the cruelty and inequitable realities of our surroundings and let myself see only this. But the work of August Boal, and the activism work and words of Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Angela Davis, and adrienne maree brown (my most salient sources of inspiration and motivation) have greatly contributed to a well of hope from which I now function and create art.


So, when I say another world is possible, I also say we have to create it, urgently, and through whatever means available to us. I help create theatre that represents the world I want to see, both on stage and through consent-based, trauma-informed, and culturally competent processes. 

Let's create it together.

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