Engagement at Geva

Engagement at Geva Theatre’s overarching objective is to connect more people and organizations with the art presented on its stages. To build more connected relationships with existing patrons and partners. To build new and meaningful relationships with people and organizations with whom we have traditionally had no or little connectivity, the sticky kind of connectivity that endures.

Leading these initiatives is Rachel Y. DeGuzman, Geva’s Director of Engagement.


Geva Insights Logo red

Geva Insights is a series of post-performance conversations with thought leaders, experts, and members of the community who contextualize or provoke more in-depth consideration of the themes inherent to each play in Geva’s 50th season. These unscripted, unrehearsed chats are produced and hosted by Geva’s Engagement department.

Coming Up Next:

Guest: Zoe Walker-Itoh
Hosted by: Rachel DeGuzman

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, following the performance of Ain’t Misbehavin’



Zoe Walker-Itoh (actor, director, educator and writer) is a transplant from New York City to Rochester. She performed in the original Broadway Ain’t Misbehavin’ production, replacing original member, Nell Carter. She has acted and directed several productions of the show often using original research and choreography used to create the original production.

Zoe has acted and directed in Tintypes, Blues in the Night, a one woman show entitled Ragtime an Rhythm and Blues. As theater director at St. Bonaventure University, she directed many musicals including Into the Woods, Evita and Twelfth Night.

Zoe holds a B.A. in theater and masters in education degrees from City University of New York. She also holds a masters in educational administration from St. John Fisher College. She is a recent retiree of the Rochester City School District.

Later This Season:

Woody Sez 
Tuesday, 2/7/23 
Guest: G. Peter Jemison (Seneca, Heron Clan)  |  Host: Rachel DeGuzman 

Russian Troll Farm
Tuesday, 3/7/23 
Guest: Sarah Yarger  |  Host: Rachel DeGuzman

we are continuous
Tuesday, 3/28/23 
Guest: Harrison David Rivers  |  Host: Thomas Warfield

And So We Walked
Wednesday, 4/19/23 
Guest: Pete Hill (Cayuga, Heron Clan)  |  Host: Rachel DeGuzman

Tuesday, 5/16/23 
Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Johnston  |  Host: Rachel DeGuzman

See all of our Insights conversations from this past season on our YouTube page.

Mondays at Geva

The stages are dark on Monday evenings at Geva, so the art and action shift to the lobby and café where brilliant local visual artists, performers, musicians, and speakers broaden our consideration of the onstage productions. Geva Theatre invites the community to join us for a series of art openings and to party for a couple of hours each month!

Featured Artists for AIN'T MISBEHAVIN':

Luvon Sheppard and David Shakes

Monday, 1/23 
6 – 8 p.m.

Renowned visual artist Luvon Sheppard shares painted depictions of Black Rochester, NY in the 20th century.They feature people as well as places, such as Baden Street Settlement – which are personally meaning to him.

Distinguished actor and historical interpreter David Shakes brings iconic Harlem Renaissance works to life at the Mondays at Geva art opening for Luvon Sheppard’s theatre exhibition. Mr. Shakes is a 2022 recipient of the Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award presented by Geva Theatre.

Click Here for Luvon Sheppard’s Full Bio
Click Here for David Shake’s Full Bio

Later This Season:

Henry Avignon 
Russian Troll Farm 
Monday, 2/27/23 

Adam Eaton with Luna Sol Child
we are continuous

Monday, 3/27/23 

Perry Ground (Onondaga, Turtle Clan), Daystar Rosalie Jones (Pembina Chippewa), Haudenosaunee artists
And So We Walked

Monday, 4/10/23 

Gold Party with honorary host Her Majesty Queen Marie-Adelina I

Monday, 5/15/23 

Out of The Rehearsal Hall

“Out of the Rehearsal Hall” takes a deep dive into the theatrical process, spotlighting special guests whose areas of expertise span the full range of artistic disciplines that bring theatre to life at Geva. Actors, playwrights, designers, composers, choreographers and more. In this podcast series, we explore it all.

Sunday Salon

Following every second and fourth Sunday of our Wilson Stage productions, Geva presents a special live talkback with some of the actors from the show. This is a free, moderated discussion where the audience may ask questions.

Season 50 Salon Sundays:

Ain’t Misbehavin’ 
January 29 & February 12

Russian Troll Farm
March 12 & March 26

And So We Walked
April 16

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
May 21 & June 4

Actors Madeleine Lambert and Cedric Mays with Geva Associate Director of Education, Lara Rhyner.

Meet Rachel

Rachel DeGuzman

Director of Engagement

Rachel DeGuzman comes to Geva Theatre Center with more than 20 years of experience in the arts and community engagement/activation. Her achievements have earned her a number of awards, including the 2016 Essie Calhoun Diversity in the Arts Award, presented by Geva. She was also honored as one of the accomplished leaders featured in Rochester Museum and Science Center’s recent exhibition, “The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World.”

In addition to her work at Geva, Rachel is also the founder and executive director of 21st Century Arts Inc. and is the managing curator of the community-rooted arts space, The Black House.

DeGuzman’s past positions include director of advancement and external relations at Rochester City Ballet, marketing and publicity manager at Nazareth College Arts Center, director of development and marketing at The Commission Project, and director of development at Garth Fagan Dance. Rachel currently serves on the board of Visual Studies Workshop (VSW). Her past board positions include the Women’s Council: A Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Affiliate, William Warfield Scholarship Fund, Greentopia, and Rochester City Ballet, among others. She has worked with Visit Rochester, Janklow Arts Leadership Program at Syracuse University, the Avenue Black Box Theatre, Artists Co-creating Real Equity/PISAB, and other local and national organizations to create opportunities and foster greater equity in the community at large and the arts and culture sector, in particular.

It’s no secret that the programming at Geva Theatre Center is evolving with the rest of the nonprofit theater world to begin to reflect the authentic creative expressions of more people, from multiple perspectives. As director of engagement programs, I ask myself, everyday, “How can engagement programs at Geva reflect the art on the stage and a strategic shift in vision and mission as well as contribute to building the meaningful relationships that are necessary to achieve equity and live up to our organizations anti-racism commitment?”

– Rachel