Yvette Heyliger

Yvette Heyliger

YVETTE HEYLIGER is a playwright, producing artist, educator, and activist. Author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women, she has contributed to various anthologies including On Holy Ground: The National Black Theatre Festival Anthology, ARTemis Arts Wisdom Anthology, She Persisted: 30 Ten-Minute Plays by Women Over 40, She Persisted: Monologues from Plays by Women Over 40,...
YVETTE HEYLIGER is a playwright, producing artist, educator, and activist. Author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women, she has contributed to various anthologies including On Holy Ground: The National Black Theatre Festival Anthology, ARTemis Arts Wisdom Anthology, She Persisted: 30 Ten-Minute Plays by Women Over 40, She Persisted: Monologues from Plays by Women Over 40, Performing #MeToo: How Not to Look Away, Performer Stuff, The Monologue Project, Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom, Later Chapters: The Best Scenes and Monologues for Actors over Fifty, WE ARE THEATRE, 24 Gun Control Plays, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2003 and The Best Stage Scenes 2003. Textbooks include The Children of the People: Writings by and about CUNY Students on Race and Social Justice and Performing #MeToo: How Not to Look Away. Other writings include various articles for The Native Society: Personalizing Thought Leadership, The Dramatist, Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance, Black Masks: Spotlight on Black Art, and HowlRound. Yvette is a Finalist for the Advance Gender Equity in the Arts 2022 AGE Legacy Playwright Grant, a recipient of AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwright Award and Dramatic Production of the Year. She received Best Playwright nomination from NAACP’s Annual Theatre Awards. After many years in front of the footlights, Heyliger returned to the stage as a solo artist in her one-woman show, Bridge to Baraka, which she performed in the United Solo Theatre Festival and the National Black Theatre Festival among others. Memberships: Dramatist Guild, AEA, SDC, and AFTRA-SAG. Service: Honor Roll!, League of Professional Theatre Women, and the Dramatists Guild. Community memberships: Harlem Arts Alliance and Theatre Resources Unlimited. A partner in Twinbiz™, she is the co-recipient of the first National Black Theatre Festival Emerging Producer Award. She has a BA and MA from New York University; an MFA in Creative Writing - Playwriting from Queens College; and a Master of Theatre Education from Hunter College. She was an Obama Fellow during President Obama’s re-election campaign and was a founding member and a longtime volunteer with (the now-defunct) Organizing for Action. As a citizen-artist, she has worked on many issues including gun violence prevention, equal opportunity and pay for women+ artists, and the MeToo movement. Yvette lives in Harlem, USA.

Plays

  • Immigration Story: B. Wende of Davison, MI
    This monologue is an adaptation of a 2012 Immigration Story posted by Wende, B. of Davison, Michigan on www.barackobama.com; a rarely heard account of a family who escaped slavery only to, generations later, immigrate from Canada to the US.
  • “You’re My Last Little Girl,” Mae Mobley (Monologue)
    A professional black woman in her 60's shares her story of recovery after leaving a predominantly white institution.
  • Bedroom Farce: Reloaded
    Three Bedrooms. Three Couples. One Connection. This farce for the 21st century asks, “What brings a couple of heterosexual swingers, their gay son, his new husband, a transwoman, and her closeted boyfriend all together one fateful night?” The play pushes beyond traditional mores of the past to explore sexual attraction, gender identity, and alternative lifestyles of the present.
  • The Dues That Must Be Paid
    A middle-aged African American woman recounts a cautionary tale of how, as a young actress, inexperience and gullibility made her easy prey for a seasoned veteran actor.
  • What Are Those?! (monologue)
    A middle-aged African American theatre artist in the midst of a career change, describes her experience as a new teacher in an urban public school.
  • On the Brink of Middle Age (audition length monologue)
    On the Brink of Middle Age explores the mixed emotions of a woman entering a new stage of life and who, in a flash of insight, reclaims and redefines womanhood in the new millennium.
  • On the Brink of Middle Age (monologue)
    On the Brink of Middle Age explores the mixed emotions of a woman entering a new stage of life and who, in a flash of insight, reclaims and redefines womanhood in the new millennium.
  • I Think I Would Remember If I Had Sex With Denzel Washington
    In this ten-minute play, middle-aged twin sisters seek an autograph and some face-time with the heart throb of stage and screen to whom they gave an unforgettable night in their youth.
  • The Pioneers of the Modern Gun Rights Movement
    A spin-off of Yvette Heyliger's solo show, Bridge to Baraka, this expanded short-subject play (formerly called "Bridge to Baraka: The Pen Instead of the Gun") is set in a public high school classroom. It gives an historical insight into the issue of gun control from the perspective of race and class. During the volatile 1960's, Blacks were subjected to un-checked police brutality and murder...
    A spin-off of Yvette Heyliger's solo show, Bridge to Baraka, this expanded short-subject play (formerly called "Bridge to Baraka: The Pen Instead of the Gun") is set in a public high school classroom. It gives an historical insight into the issue of gun control from the perspective of race and class. During the volatile 1960's, Blacks were subjected to un-checked police brutality and murder. Malcolm X told Blacks it was their Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.” The six-month old Black Panther Party of Self Defense agreed, taking action to send a message to California state lawmakers opposing any new gun control legislation, making them the unlikely pioneers of the Modern Gun Rights Movement.
  • Bridge to Baraka: The Pen Instead of The Gun
    A spin-off of Yvette Heyliger's solo show, Bridge to Baraka, this short-subject play gives an historical insight into the issue of gun control from the perspective of race and class. Published in 24 Gun Control Plays edited by Caridad Svich.
  • Bridge to Baraka
    Emboldened by the 1960’s Black Arts Movement, Yvette X stakes her claim as a female dramatist coming of age artistically, racially and politically during the ongoing fight for parity for women in the American Theatre. Against the backdrop of the 1960’s, Bridge to Baraka is the journey of the daughter of an absentee Black Muslim father and a bourgeois Baptist mother, who flees the margins of the Black...
    Emboldened by the 1960’s Black Arts Movement, Yvette X stakes her claim as a female dramatist coming of age artistically, racially and politically during the ongoing fight for parity for women in the American Theatre. Against the backdrop of the 1960’s, Bridge to Baraka is the journey of the daughter of an absentee Black Muslim father and a bourgeois Baptist mother, who flees the margins of the Black Experience in America to challenge long-held beliefs that she is “not black enough to recite a black poem.” At the heart of this breakout solo show with poetry by Amiri Baraka and Sonja Sanchez, is a message that people of all stripes—especially women theatre artists—can take a page from: We are the beneficiaries of a short-lived, explosive and controversial literary movement which empowers America’s melting pot to tell their own stories, their own way, and to get those stories to the masses “by any means necessary!”.
  • White House Wives: Operation Lysistrata!
    Can a sex strike change the course of history? In this full-length anti-war comedy with music, First Lady Laura Bush proposes a preemptive sex strike to the wives of the architects of the impending war in Iraq. But will they enlist? Inspired by Aristophanes’s “Lysistrata,” the play captures his strong anti-war message, laced with the bawdy sexual humor so enjoyed by ancient, as well as present-day, audiences.
  • A Better Wife
    A Better Wife
    In this short subject play, a wife gets more than she bargained for when she places a want-ad in the newspaper looking for a better wife for her husband.
  • The Valentine
    In this short-subject play, a family is schooled about the hazards of mixing puberty and social media.
  • Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent
    This one-act comedy explores what might have happened if the former First Lady and the infamous intern had a chance meeting before the scandal broke. Can Hillary save Monica from herself and secure a future run for President of the United States?
  • What Would Jesus Do?
    Family, church, sex… and HIV. This full-length inter-generational drama with music tells the story of a God-fearing wife and mother who is exposed to HIV by her “down low” husband and is inspired to take action when she asks, “What would Jesus do?” The surprising answer may just bring her Biblically-correct church to its knees! Music infuses this timely and (unfortunately) still-relevant play, which...
    Family, church, sex… and HIV. This full-length inter-generational drama with music tells the story of a God-fearing wife and mother who is exposed to HIV by her “down low” husband and is inspired to take action when she asks, “What would Jesus do?” The surprising answer may just bring her Biblically-correct church to its knees! Music infuses this timely and (unfortunately) still-relevant play, which challenges interfaith and secular communities to do more to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its stigma in our homes, communities and houses of worship.
  • Homegirl
    Against the backdrop of the first black woman to win the Miss America title, this full-length drama portrays Roanetta wrestling with issues of race, color and beauty when her daughter’s absentee father shows up with his white fiancée. Homegirl candidly yet humorously, takes a look at the impact that playing with only white dolls has on the self-esteem of women of color. (Formerly called Autobiography of a Homegirl.)
  • Father's Day
    In this full-length drama, victim becomes perpetrator when an estranged husband and father turns to his daughter for comfort. Will they seek the help they need to begin the process of healing and thwart the cycle of sexual abuse?