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 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: Jayme Bermudez
Hosted by: Rachel DeGuzman
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, following the performance of Somewhere
With over 20 years of experience in Positive Youth Development and the Arts Jayme Bermudez teaches and does Artistic Expression, because the art’s saved him as a youth growing up in the inner city and facing all the textbook disparities. By teaching Artistic Expression, each project, each idea is a purge of his mind allowing him to heal from past traumas and in turn creating a platform for a younger generation to learn how to heal. Jayme Bermudez has dedicated his craft to educating younger generations in dance and theater and using the arts to tackle hard topics like Segregation/Integration, colorism, cultural identity and basic life skills. The arts have also become a tool to help BIPoc students find themselves in history pages by discussing certain themes and ideas for shows. Jayme Bermudez started in his late teens as a dancer, and later becoming a part of the Movida Dance Company teaching and performing as a principal dancer for 15 years. Jayme Bermudez later branched out into creating his own dance company for at risk youth in the community called TRU ART teaching young people how to express The Real U. His last theater project In The Heights was a collaboration with RIT /NTID bridging the Latinx community with that of the Deaf Community and was one of the most rewarding experience in his career. Jayme Bermudez is now working with Borinquen Dance Theater as the assistant Artistic Director and is looking forward to creating more platforms for BIPOC artist in his new role with Borinquen Dance Theater.
Later This Season:
Russian Troll Farm
Guest: Sarah Yarger | Host: Rachel DeGuzman
we are continuous
Guest: Harrison David Rivers | Host: Thomas Warfield
And So We Walked
Guest: Pete Hill (Cayuga, Heron Clan) | Host: Rachel DeGuzman
Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Johnston | Host: Rachel DeGuzman
See all of our Insights conversations from this past season on our YouTube page.
September 30, 2022
8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Geva Theatre Center Fielding Stage
The A Feminist Lens Symposium is presented by Geva Theatre Center in conjunction with its stage production of JANE EYRE. The novel was written by Charlotte Brontë and the play was adapted and directed by Elizabeth Williamson, Geva’s artistic director. Our intention is to gather and, through myriad forms of discourse, build on the work of scholars such as Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar (The Madwoman in the Attic, 1979) and Dr. Bette London (The Pleasures of Submission: Jane Eyre and the Production of the Text, 1991). This symposium introduces diverse and intersectional voices from the greater Rochester region -and beyond – to the ongoing analysis of JANE EYRE through feminist and Black feminist lenses.
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.
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:
September 18 & October 2
October 30 & November 13
January 29 & February 12
Russian Troll Farm
March 12 & March 26
And So We Walked
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
May 21 & June 4
Actors Madeleine Lambert and Cedric Mays with Geva Associate Director of Education, Lara Rhyner.
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?”