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: G. Peter Jemison (Seneca, Heron Clan)
Hosted by: Rachel Y. DeGuzman

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, following the performance of Woody Sez

G Peter


G. Peter Jemison’s career spans decades across a wide swath of diverse accomplishments with a worldwide impact. Through his art, Jemison has explored a variety of topics, from creating political works that portray contemporary social commentary to those that reflect his relationship with the natural world. Widely shown and collected, Jemison’s works are rooted in the framework of Native American art. Known for his naturalistic paintings and series of works done on brown paper bags, his art embodies Orenda, the traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) belief that every living thing and part of creation contains a spiritual force. His paintings, videos, and mixed media works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. He is also an esteemed administrator, curator, editor, and writer. In 2004, he was elected Board Member at Large of the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the Association of Museums) and was the founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City. Jemison’s works are included in such significant collections as: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Heard Museum, Phoenix; The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe; The Denver Art Museum, Denver; The British Museum, London, UK; and the Museum der Weltkultern, Frankfurt, Germany.

Coming Up Next:

Guest: Sarah Yarger
Hosted by: Rachel Y. DeGuzman

TUESDAY, MARCH 7, following the performance of Russian Troll Farm

Sarah Y


Sarah Yarger is the Project and Operations Manager at RITs Global Cybersecurity Institute. She manages the SAFE Lab, which handles all security assessments and forensics and assists with creating fake news as needed (for training purposes only!)

Later This Season:

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 Artist for RUSSIAN TROLL FARM:

Henry Avignon

Monday, 2/27 
6 – 8 p.m.

Henry Avignon Artist Statement:

The show is a selection from an ongoing journalistic art project: WTF AmeriKa. Chosen to dialogue with GEVA Theatre’s featured play, Russian Troll Farm, I present 18 smaller scale works and 3 massive murals (making up “The Red Carpet” suite) all of which demonstrate Graffiti Aesthetics and Muralism and constitute a dialogical commentary on the Trump Election Cycle and subsequent perilous aftermaths.

The centerpiece of the WTF AmeriKa selections— THE RED CARPET — is a GRAFFITI / MURAL wall built from many topically related studies / works from across the relevant years of 2016–2022: stuck up, wheat pasted, tagged, stenciled — all metaphorically situated to compliment “Russian Troll Farm” by Sarah Gancher.

The artistic process behind my works is analogue/digital/post human Bricolage suited to both analogue and digital viewing.

Currently on Display in the Lobby:

Paintings by Luvon Sheppard
Presented durning Monday’s at Geva with David Shakes

Renowned visual artist Luvon Sheppard shares painted depictions of Black Rochester, NY in the 20th and 21st centuries. They feature people as well as places, such as Baden Street Settlement, which are personally meaningful to him.

Distinguished actor and historical interpreter David Shakes brought iconic Harlem Renaissance works to life during 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.

Read Luvon Sheppard’s full bio here
Read David Shake’s full bio here

Later This Season:

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 

Hacker Panel

On March 14 after the performance of Russian Troll Farm, join us for a conversation with these cyber experts.

Sarah Yarger
Hacker Panel Moderator

Sarah Yarger is the Project and Operations Manager at RITs Global Cybersecurity Institute. She manages the SAFE Lab, which handles all security assessments and forensics and assists with creating fake news as needed (for training purposes only!)

Meredith Kasper

Meredith Kasper (Mistress Venom) is the Director of People for the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition and a Technical Account Manager and Pentester at Hurricane Labs in Beachwood, Ohio. By night she does the same since she’s a workaholic.

Tom Kopchak

Tom Kopchak is the Director of Technical Operations and a Splunk Implementation Engineer at Hurricane Labs. He also volunteers as a competition director for the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition and is an adjunct professor teaching penetration testing at Baldwin University.


Rick Mislan

Rick Mislan serves as both professor and the Creative Director for the Cyber Range Training Center at RIT. He is both an expert in cybersecurity risk resilience and small scale devise digital forensics. An Army veteran, he served as a Communication Electronics Warfare Officer and has worked with the FBIs Cyber Crime Task Force. He continues to work with local, state, and federal agencies consulting on cybersecurity matters.

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