1) Kimberly

2) Janay

3) Rav'n*

4) Jen

5) Lizz

6) Kim*

*denotes a first-hand account

Performer Bios

Abby Yarian (Janay)

Abby is a local actor currently residing in Littleton, CO. She is honored to be a part of You Know Me and to be able to spread awareness on this topic. She is excited to get back into the world of theatre and would like to thank Tara Wolfe and everyone at Human, Kind Theater Project for giving her this opportunity.

Amber Irish (Jen)

Amber is honored to have the opportunity to participate in tonight’s production of You Know Me. Her favorite roles have included Leeann in A Piece of My Heart, Becky in Becky Shaw, Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and a member in the experimental show, 3600. She'd like to thank Tara for her beautiful direction and patience, Stephanie for her wonderful support, the cast for their bravery and talent, and the strong women who live these stories every day.

Astilia Chokanu-Wenholz (Kimberly)

Astilia has been doing theatre for over eight years and just finished her first year at an acting conservatory in New York. She is so honored to be a part of this wonderful play! She has been in about 20 different stage productions and 9 short films. This is her first production with Human, Kind. She would like to thank her friends and family for being so incredibly supportive of her dream(s) and always believing in her.

Jennie Leski (Lizz)

Jennie Leski is delighted to be making her debut with Human, Kind Theater Project. She recently graduated from Southern Methodist University with her BFA in Theatre, with a specialization in Acting and Directing. She has also trained in improvisation at Second City. Her favorite credits include Fabiana Cunningham (Last Days of Judas Iscariot), Sherry (Tigers Be Still), and Li’l Bit (How I Learned to Drive). She is so excited to be a part of this project and to support a person’s right to choose. She would like to thank her family for all of their love and support!

Kim Bennett (Herself)

Kim is proud to be a part of this important work of theatre and thanks you the audience for supporting women's rights to have control of their bodies and their destinies. Kim has a BFA in Theatre from Jacksonville University in Florida, spent 25 years raising her 2 kids in Atlanta where she was active in the theatre community, and has been living in Colorado Springs for the past 5 years, performing with a number of local theatres there. She wishes to thank Tara for championing the cause, and the brave women who shared and presented these stories.

Rav'n Moon (Herself)

Rav'n Moon is proud to be working with Human, Kind Theater Progect again!! She is a Denver native with roots all over the Denver metro area. Recently Rav'n portrayed Madame Leveau with Pandemic Collective and Queen Gertrude in 5th Wall's production of Hamlet. She has also worked with the Bitsy Stage, the Denver Element, and on some short films. In addition to acting, Rav'n teaches hip hop dance for children and seniors, and you might see her at a local open mic trying out her stand up skills! Thank you for coming tonight and supporting women.

Tara Wolfe, Director

Tara Wolfe is a professional director, improviser, and teaching artist located in Littleton, Colorado. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Dual Honors in Directing from the University of the Arts in 2015, and received her Masters from the University of Denver in 2018. She is the Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Human, Kind Theater Project, as well as the director of Third Kind Improv. Her work has been seen all over Denver, including The Clocktower Cabaret, Curious Theatre Company, the Evergreen Players, Bovine Metropolis, and more. Tara also works as a Peer Support Specialist, helping people in crisis with in-the-moment support. She is so grateful to the incredible women who have shared their voices and stories for this production, as well as to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for their continued fight for reproductive freedom. 

Stephanie Kiel, Assistant Director

Stephanie is a Sophomore at Colorado State University. She’s studying Business Accounting with plans to continue pursuing theater and music alongside her work in business. Stephanie has been actively involved in theatre for the past six years and directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2018. Right now, she performs with Rams Improv Comedy, the CSU Improv troupe. Stephanie would like to thank her family for supporting her, Tara Wolfe for bringing her onto this amazing project, and you, the audience, for getting involved in this important issue!

About You Know Me:

A Note from the Director

What is the nature of shame? And how is it turned into a weapon? With fear, you turn one person against another. With shame, you turn them against themselves. Shame makes us small, steals our voice, replaces self-worth and dignity with guilt and disgust. Shame is a toxin that infects individuals, families, and communities, and if left unchecked, it can turn deadly. Women have been forced to endure shame for so many things: menstruation, weight, aging, not having a partner or having too many. As women, we are accustomed to being made to feel like we are inherently wrong. And there are some shames that go so much deeper, that are reinforced by our leaders, our loved ones, even ourselves, and that is the case with reproductive health.

 

From the Garden of Eden to the Heartbeat Bill, women have been viewed as makers of poor decisions, not to be trusted with their own bodies and futures. In a world where less than 1% of sexual predators spend any time in prison (think of what a good family they must have come from), it is not such a surprise that legislators are once again waging a war against women. These laws are not about life. If they were, an 11 year old wouldn't be forced to deliver her rapist's baby, a grieving woman who'd suffered a miscarriage wouldn't be interrogated by police. If the goal is to preserve life, why aren't female lives a part of the equation?

 

With these laws, legislators want to diminish women with stigma, threaten them with prison time, kill them by interfering in their individual health decisions. But tonight, we will fight back by peeling away  shame and revealing the courage that lies beneath. For some of you, this is the first time you will hear these types of details. For some of these women, this is their first time speaking them. We ask that you have an open mind and heart, and that in tough moments you reach first for compassion.

 

Now please enjoy the show.

-Tara Wolfe

For those who need additional support tonight, we have compiled a list of resources that can help. From support groups to music therapy, there are many ways to recover, even if traditional therapy doesn't work for you. If you can't find what you're looking for, call the Colorado Support Line 1-844-493-8255; they have peers who can meet your specific needs.

Special Thanks

A heartfelt thank-you to Jane Aiello, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Mercury Cafe. And to the women who opened up (sometimes to a complete stranger) to share their story: we hear you and we thank you.

About Human, Kind Theater Project

Human, Kind is dedicated to reinventing the theatrical experience for all. From Acts of Kindness to pivotal social theater, we support our community both on and off the stage. With creative options for patrons, a dedication to a safe and welcoming atmosphere, and an eye for artistic excellence, Human, Kind is changing the landscape of theater in Denver. We thank you for being here and supporting our efforts, because we couldn't do it without you.

To learn more about the Human, Kind, click here.

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