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.
YVETTE HEYLIGER, playwright, director, solo performer, producing artist and member of the newly-formed Indie Theater Now Playwrights Council, started out in show business as an actress, appearing on the NBC hit Cosby Show as “Aunt Sarah,” Bill Cosby’s sister-in-law. After many years now on the other side of the footlights writing, directing and producing, she has returned to the stage as a solo-artist in her first one-woman show, Bridge to Baraka, which was most recently presented at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Summerfest 2014. Prior to that, it was presented at: National Black Theatre Festival, Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, Manhattan Repertory Theatre Winter One-Act Play Competition, Tribecca Performing Arts Center’s Writers in Performance and Uptown/Downtown works-in-progress showcase. An advocate for parity for women theatre artists, Heyliger performed an excerpt of the play entitled, Bridge to Baraka: I Am That Bear, in “We Are Theatre,” produced by the Guerilla Girls. Yvette was identified by All For One as an “up-and-coming solo artist” and was invited to perform an excerpt of Bridge to Baraka for their 2012 festival “Salon.” Yvette is proud that a spin-off of the play entitled, Bridge to Baraka: The Pen Instead of the Gun was published in the book, 24 Gun Control Plays, on line at www.StageReads.com, and has been read in Gun Control Theatre Actions in the US and Sydney, Australia. Renamed The Pioneers of the Modern Gun Rights Movement, a new version of this short-subject play is now published by www.indietheaternow.com and was presented at the Stop Gun Violence NOW Theatre Festival in New York.
Yvette’s company, Twinbiz™, has produced plays in many festivals and at various theatres. In recognition of this, Yvette and twin sister/partner, Yvonne Farrow, are co-recipients of the first National Black Theatre Festival’s Emerging Producer Award. Four of Yvette’s plays were selected for presentation on the National Black Theatre Festival main stage: Autobiography of a Homegirl, Hillary and Monica: The Winter of Her Discontent, What Would Jesus Do? and Bridge to Baraka. Her play, I Think I Would Remember If I Had Sex with Denzel Washington was a finalist in The Davenport Ten-Minute Play Contest. Her play, White House Wives: Operation Lysistrata!, won Planet Connections Theatre Festivity’s Outstanding Book, Music, Lyrics or Play With Music award and was published by www.indietheaternow.com. Her play, What Would Jesus Do?,received multiple AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, including the August Wilson Playwright Award for Yvette and Dramatic Production of the Year for the producer, Billie Holiday Theatre. She received the NAACP Theatre Award’s “Best Playwright,” nomination for her published play, Autobiography of A Homegirl. Selections from this play were published in Smith and Kraus’ The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2003 and The Best Stage Scenes 2003. Look for Yvette’s soon-to-be released book, a collection of her plays entitled, What A Piece of Work Is Man!: Full-Length Plays for Leading Women. Yvette is also a contributing editor for Black Masks magazine.
Yvette is a member of AEA, SDC, AFTRA-SAG, and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. She vowed to do her part to fight for parity for women in the American theatre as a member of (or with a leadership role in) the following organizations: the League of Professional Theatre Women, 50/50 in 2020 and the Women’s Initiative (made up of members of the Dramatists Guild), where she has been most active in recent years. Passionate about marrying artistic action to civic action, Yvette is a a Senior Fellow with Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, non-partisan, non-electoral national grassroots organization dedicated to fighting for gun violence prevention, immigration reform, women’s issues, and other important issue-based campaigns of our time.