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Survivor Theatre Project's Mission is to empower survivors with the tools to break silence and end sexual violence through empowerment, creativity, and public performance.

We are a performance company committed to survivor leadership in the movement to end sexual violence. We believe that art is a powerful tool for individual and collective transformation.

 Our Vision

Survivor Theatre Project brings survivors themselves into the center of the effort to break silence and end sexual violence through empowerment, creativity, and public performance. Performances are engaging, poignant, funny, and provocative, and open up dialogue within our communities to address the reality of how common sexual violence is, and what we can do to stop it. 

We are guided by an anti-oppression framework to allow multiple, complex identities and experiences deserving of expression, exploration, recognition and healing, within the context of sexual violence. We define sexual violence to include child sexual abuse, incest, ritual abuse, sex trafficking, rape, molestation, sexual violence in institutions (such as prisons and the military), on the border and as a tactic of war.

How It Works

Survivor Theatre Project offers... 

  • WORKSHOPS for survivors that teach practical and creative tools for healing and empowerment.
  • PERFORMANCES by survivors that engage our communities in the movement to end sexual violence.
  • TRAININGS for mental health professionals, facilitators, and advocates working with survivors.

For all inquiries email: info@survivortheatreproject.com  

STP Staff Bios

About Leila Zainab, Co-Director & Touring Company Performer

Leila is a queer South Asian-American feminist, activist, visionary, and performer. Leila recently started serving as Co-Director for the Survivor Theatre Project, and now serves a second season as troupe performer. Leila has a background in youth work, facilitation, leadership development, creative expression,  reproductive health, and empowerment work both locally and internationally. Leila combines her analytical social justice lens with her compassionate heart when co-creating space, and supporting others in collective healing. Pronouns: she/hers/they/theirs.

Contact Leila at: programs@survivortheatreproject.com

About Melissa Redwin, Founder, Co-Director & Performance Project Co-Faclitator

Melissa is a survivor, professional theatre artist, director, and educator who focuses on work with survivors of sexual violence and theatre as a mode of community education and healing. Originally from North Carolina, she holds an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She founded Survivor Theatre Project in 2008, developing a devised theater curriculum and training facilitators in creating original theatre with survivors in a trauma-informed space. Melissa currently serves as Artistic Director and Program Facilitator at Survivor Theatre Project.Melissa works as a freelance actor and play director in Western Massachusetts. She also teaches and performs with Enchanted Circle Theater, a professional educational theater company based in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which is dedicated to engaging, enhancing, and inspiring learning through the arts.

Contact Melissa at: survivortheatreproject@gmail.com.

About Michal Shapiro, Company Manager

Michal began as Company Manager with STP in February of 2016 and brings 8 years of experience in program coordination and community collaboration that is deeply rooted in an ethic of love, social justice and equity. She has worked with youth and families in Boston since 2008 as a Youth Worker and Community Organizer. Prior to STP, Michal was the Youth Program Coordinator at Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción’s (IBA) Youth Development Program (YDP), which employs youth ages 13-19 years old in year-round jobs. Over the course of three years with YDP, Michal successfully built and maintained collaborations and partnerships with city-wide community-based organizations and youth groups that fostered YDP’s integration of social justice, arts, and community organizing. In August of 2016 Michal will begin to pursue her Master’s in Social Work at Interamericana University in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Contact Michal at: info@survivortheatreproject.com

About Sarvenaz Moshfegh Asiedu, Touring Company Director

Moshfegh-Asiedu graduated in 2000 from Basel Conservatory (Switzerland) with a Lehr-diplom in classical cello and music pedagogy.  After completing a Post-bacchalaureate degree in Fine arts at the School of the Museum of Fine arts in 20001, she spent three years at the Lee Strassberg Institute for Film and Theatre.  After returning from Ghana, where she worked in arts education, she completed a second undergraduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapies. She is now completing her Masters in Psychology and Counseling a Goddard College; the focus of her studies in psychology have been the psychological, spiritual, and societal effects of incarceration. The title of her creative thesis is "What IS Freedom?" Moshfegh-Asiedu is also collaborating with Timothy Muise, an incarcerated prisoners right's activist on a number of creative projects, including: 

thepassthepenproject.wordpress.com and lovedestroysrazorwire.wordpress.com.

Moshfegh-Asiedu has been a part of Survivor Theatre Project since 2014 as the Touring Company director and as a theatre program facilitator. She directed and guided the 2015 Touring Company in creating Called to Speak which performed at the NELQUIT's Power of Women, the SANE Nurses Annual Conference, Latinas Y Ninos Program, the Office of Community Corrections, and other venues in 2015. In 2016, in addition to directing the Touring Company, Moshfegh-Asiedu is facilitating a Survivor Theatre program at My Sister's House at The Dimock Center for survivors in addiction recovery.

Sarvenaz Moshfegh Asiedu lives in Dedham Massachusetts with her two daughters, a parakeet, two goldfish, 20ish guppies, four rats, and a red cornsnake.

Contact Sarvi at: sarvenaz.moshfegh@gmail.com  

About Iréne "I-SHEA" Shaikly, Touring Company Director 

…is an eclectic ARTist (performance and teaching artist), a Momma, a Survivor, an Advocate for social systemic change, a Humanitarian sharing space on this plane.   Irene “I-SHEA” Shaikly has carved her way into various musical frames integrating her multicultural background in her music, style, and presentation.  I-SHEA, who calls herself “The Original Jewminican,” (a Dominican and Jewish woman with an Arabic last name) is a drummer/percussionist, singer/songwriter, dancer, theater, and teaching artist originally from the Bronx, NY.   Coming from classical arabic records, and being the merengue, boleros, salsa, rumba, and 80’s hip hop kid, I-SHEA absorbed her World while creating her own sound as a soulful hip hop/reggae/latin/World Music ARTist.  She is the founder of LA FEMME EXPRESSION, an Original Jewminican Productions – bringing women/femme performance art on the platform.  Building connections and community through performance art, education, and organizing, her mission is to spread the movement of universal love and truth, to continue to inspire and motivate individuals to seek their highest authentic selves through storytelling, music, movement/dance, theater, and poetry.  
Irene “I-SHEA” Shaikly has an undergraduate degree in Social Services and a graduate degree in Elementary Education.  She has worked with children, youth, and women around the East Coast, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.  As an advocate for social change and femme/women empowerment, she has worked at places like Necessities/Necesidades (now known as Safe Passage), The Care Center in Holyoke, Enchanted Circle Theater, New WORLD Theater, Job Corps, and has been an artist in residence in public schools all around New England teaching theater, drumming, and songwriting.