Meet the Cast

Book launch photos2b


Book Launch: Bluestockings Books


Writers and Readers:


Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an associate professor at the City University of New York-BCC. She is the editor of the recently published Routledge anthology, Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity. Select works can also be found in the American Studies Journal, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, The Lauryn Hill Reader, and the forthcoming sci-fi anthology, The Latinx Archive. Dr. Acosta is a Macondo Fellow, a Geraldine Dodge Foundation poet, and a regional representative for the Modern Language Association.

Francesca Mantani Arkus, director, has worked at the Hudson Guild, Anne Frank Center, HERE, Signature, Blue Heron, Phil Bosakowski Theatre, 78th Street, The Director’s Company, Barrow Group, Pulse Ensemble, with Words of Choice, and in readings at New York Theatre Workshop and the Public Theatre. Regionally, she’s worked at Mark Taper Forum, Capitol Theatre and the Open Eye, and served as Assistant Director to Tina Landau on Floyd Collins at Playwrights Horizons.

Cindy Cooper, editor and writer, is founder of the Reproductive Freedom Festival and Words of Choice, theater organizations that celebrate and support reproductive rights, health, freedom and justice, and leads the Reproductive Freedom Walking Tour for Social Justice Tours (allied with Bluestockings). Her plays, 14 full-length and 30 short, have been produced in New York and throughout the country, and are published in 16 volumes; she is the author of eight books on justice-related topics.

Alinca Hamilton is an actor who has appeared in Reproductive Freedom Is What We Want and on the Reproductive Freedom Walking Tour. She has appeared in Julius Cesar, Classic Stage Company; Someone Dies at the End, Edinburgh Fringe Festival; The Seagull, Columbia University, and the film Actress for Hire.  She is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Acting program and has a BBA for Baruch College.

Yvette Heyliger, writer and actor, is the recipient of the AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwright Award and a Best Playwright nomination from the NAACP’s Annual Theatre Awards, among others. A contributor to Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom, Yvette is also a contributor to various on line and print theatre publications and author of What a Piece of Work Is Man: Full-Length Plays for Leading Women. 

Carl H. Jaynes, actor, appeared in New Light Theater Project’s premiere of Still Dance the Stars by Jayme McGhan. He has also performed with the Negro Ensemble Company, Ensemble Studio Theater and Flock Theater of New London Connecticut where he performed the title role in Shakespeare’s Othello. A member of the Words of Choice company since 2006, he has travelled to a dozen states helping present dynamic theatre on reproductive freedom to vulnerable communities.

Stacey Linnartz, co-editor and actor, is Executive Producer of Third Wing Media, which produces film, online content and theatre in NYC. She is a founder and Artistic Director of Kids Creative Collective, a nonprofit organization that makes theatre in underserved NYC public schools. Her acting credits include New York theaters and regional companies across the country, as well as several independent films. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from the NYU Graduate Acting Program.

Cassandra Nwokah is a theatre artist whose work centers on identity politics and the intersectional stories of women of color. She is the founder of Smash the Box, an arts collective serving women of color. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Acting program.


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Carl H. Jaynes, Crista Marie Jackson, Claudia Schneider

CAST MEMBERS in the performing ensemble have included:

Alinca Hamilton (2018) is a born and bred New Yorker with a B.B.A in Entrepreneurship from Baruch College. Her artistic talents range from being an actor to behind the scenes work producing, writing and directing. Her favorite acting credits include Calphurnia (Julius Cesar, Classic Stage Company); Philly (Someone Dies at the End, Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Sorin (The Seagull, Columbia University); Melody June Cooper: Actress for Hire, a short film in which she stars as the title character and co-created. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Acting program.

Donna Jean Fogel is an actor, director, and theater devisor who strives to illuminate the simple, complex, and sometimes mysterious connections between people, places and events. She loves to move and believes in the power of tenderness. Based in NYC for over 20 years, she worked with The Barrow Group (her NYC artistic home), Circle Rep Lab, Blue Light Theater company, among others, and regionally, including Playwrights Theater of NJ, People’s Light, and most recently at Boise Contemporary Theater in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. She directed A Walk in the Woods at The Barrow Group in 2018 and has directed productions at Stella Adler Conservatory/NYU, Long Island University CW Post, and American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She recently earned her MFA in Devised Performance from UArts/Pig Iron in Philadelphia, where she is currently developing a new work, The Next Thing, with Migration Theory.

Crista Marie Jackson (2008-2017) has performed with Words of Choice since 2008, appearing in New York and traveling to Kansas, Colorado, Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. With a BFA in theatre from Hofstra University, she performed in various Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions. After studying aerial acrobatics, including silk and flying trapeze at the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City, she started performing aerial ballet at Sea World in San Diego in 2011.

Leah Jacobs

Leah Jacobs (2012) is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre, where she originated two plays by playwright Boni B. Alvarez.  Leah has been seen onstage in NYC with the Manhattan Theatre Source, The Leviathan Theatre Lab, Queens Theatre in the Park, Mortal Folly Theatre Company, and The Players Theatre, and has developed work with Ensemble Studio Theatre, CAP 21, and Primary Stages.

Carl H. Jaynes (2006-2018) most recently appeared in New Light Theater Project’s world premiere production of Still Dance the Stars by Jayme McGhan. A graduate of Northwestern University’s school of communications, Carl has also performed with the Negro Ensemble Company, Ensemble Studio Theater and Flock Theater of New London Connecticut where he performed the title role in Flock’s recent production of Shakespeare’s Othello. Carl has been a member of the Words of Choice company since 2006. In that time, he has traveled to more than a dozen states helping present dynamic theater on reproductive freedom to vulnerable communities across the country. Off-Broadway: Fortune and Men’s EyesRobin’s Band, Goin’ Back Home. Most often, Carl can be found working in the administrative areas of theater, having been producer or general manager for such notable works as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, by Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell, Sakina’s Restaurant, by Aasif Mandvi, Wonderland, by Julia Dahl and the world premiere of Living in the Wind by Michael Bradford. 

Stacey Linnartz (actor, artistic coordinator)(2006-2017): Off-Broadway: Modotti (Theatre Row), Amendment 13 (Clubbed Thumb), Lost In Light (The Public), Heaven Can Wait (Actors Studio Theatre), Down The Road (ATA). Regional: Shipwrecked! (Capital Rep), A Streetcar Named Desire (New Harmony), Eclectic Society (Walnut Street), Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It (Smoky Mountain Shakespeare). London: Old Times, Sirocco (Royal Court). Film: The Weekend, Shallow Point, Swinging In Between, Saturday Afternoon. Television: Gossip Girl, As The World Turns, Rescue Me. Stacey is also a writer / producer / actor in the web series The Ghost of Shakespeare, and FIRST WORLD PROBLEM. She teaches with the Kids Creative Collective and is the Artistic Director of the non-profit Alive Process Theatre Company. Please visit MFA, NYU Graduate Acting.

Stacey Linnartz and Krystel Lucas

Krystel Lucas (2011,2016) Theater includes: Elizabeth in In the Next Room or the vibrator play (St. Louis Rep); Market Woman in Death and the King’s Horseman, Gentlewoman in Macbeth (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Kennedy in The Summer House (Passage Theatre Company); Linda in Postcards from Earth (Guthrie Theater); Rosaline in Love’s Labor’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot); Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Inez in Our Lady of 121st Street, Jane in Smash, Mrs. Linde in A Doll House, Black Mary in Gem of the Ocean, Dirty Water in Sliding into the Beast, Angel in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Honey in Tiger Tiger, Helena in All’s Well that Ends Well (NYU, Tisch School of the Arts); Josephine Baker in Memories… (Salt and Pepper Mime Theater). NYU Graduate Acting Program, MFA

Abigail Ramsay (2014, 2010-2012) works in the performing arts as an actor, director and administrator. A graduate of England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she worked in London, acting in theatre and BBC-4 Radio Plays. She has performed in “Lush Valley” Culturemart 2011 at HERE, Off-Broadway in “Shoot 2 Win,” as Donelle in Joe Scanlan’s visual art piece at the Institute of Contemporary Art (UK), Wallspace Gallery (NY), Princeton and Chicago, devised autobiographical story-telling pieces with resettled refugee teenagers through the International Rescue Committee’s Summer program, and directed amateur actors in a French language one-act farce at the National Arts Club (NYC). She received her BA from Brown University. Abigail was born in London and grew up in New York City.

Julissa Roman (2016-2017), originally from Perú, is a graduate of HB Studio, LAByrinth Theater Master Class and the New York Film Academy short term filmmaking program. She has most recently been seen as “Rosa” in the feature film Exposed, performing next to Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas. She has previously worked with Catherine Filloux at La MaMa Theatre in the play Luz interpreting the character of Luz and directed by Jose Zayas. Other theater credits: A is for Abortion Play (NY Fringe); The Death of a Dream (directed Obie Award winner Frank Perez); Crossings (N.Y. Fringe and Europe Theater Encounters); Girl Who Died Often (Repertorio Español); Build Your Own (by Padraic Lillis). Film credits: Nueva York (Tribeca and NY Latino F.F.); 4 Latas (San Diego F.F. and Human Rights F.F. Argentina) and her latest leading role in the short film, Marie, which will be showing at the Women in Action Festival (Santa Monica)

Claudia Schneider (2008-2018): Performances include: A Single Woman (The Culture Project, NYC), Correct Usage and Common Errors (Playwrights Horizons), Cindy Cooper’s The Dwelling Place (The Actor’s Chapel, NYC), Martin Charnin’s WINCHELL (Brooks Atkinson-Broadway Workshop), Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They got That Way (The Irish Repertory Theatre, National Tour), Cowgirls (NY Workshop with Judy Kaye}, Six Degrees of Separation (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Name for the Moon ( Lincoln Center with Barbara Barrie), Waiting for the Parade (Redfield Company),  A Williams’ Evening (with Patricia Neal & Eli Wallach, National Arts Club);The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Diary of Anne Frank, California SuiteBroadway Bound. She recently played Hannah in the Maine premiere of The Spitfire Grill. Recent Film and TV: Third Watch, Mona Lisa Smile, Black Rain. She performed in a special Words of Choice benefit in 2006, and has performed in the cast of Words of Choice since 2008. In Summer 2011, she is performing in theater in Maine.

Also meet:

Francesca Mantani Arkus(director 2006-2018) has directed and collaborated on numerous pieces in New York City at New York Theatre Workshop (reading series), HERE, Blue Heron Arts Center, Phil Bosakowski Theatre, Access Theatre, 78th Street Theatre Lab, TADA, The Director’s Company, Barrow Group, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Emerging Artists and Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.  She has served as Assistant Director to Tina Landau on Floyd Collins at Playwrights Horizons and Time of Your Life at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Seattle Rep, and A.C.T. in San Francisco. Francesca is a director with New York University’s First Look Theatre Company, and a board member of Alive Process Theatre.

Kelly Vieau (stage manager, 2011-2013) is a graduate of the Purple Rose Theatre Company’s apprenticeship program in Chelsea, MI, where she worked on five shows and trained with stage management. She stage managed Guys & Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, Oklahoma and Sweeney Todd at The Encore in Dexter, MI. Kelly has recently moved to New York and has stage managed The BEcompany holiday Cabaret, the workshop of Blood Potato and has recently been named Resident SM with the company. She has toured with Words of Choice in spring 2010 and served as SM for Peking Roulette in the MITF, and done production work on a music video that aired in Istanbul.

Cindy Cooper (creator, producer) is an award-winning playwright and journalist in New York. Her plays have won awards from Pen & Brush, Samuel French Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, Nantucket Playwrights Festival, Malibu International Festival, and others. How She Played the Game about six women from sports history, was produced in New York at The Women’s Project and at Primary Stages, as well as 100 other venues, including in Budapest, Montreal, England and Helsinki. A two-time Jerome Fellow, her plays are published in 14 volumes, including Women Heroes and Hit the Nerve. Her articles have appeared in Women’s eNews, Ms. Magazine, The Nation, Marie Claire, In These Times, On The Issues Magazine, others, and she has written seven non-fiction books, including Mockery of Justice, made into a CBS movie. A former practicing lawyer, she served as the Communications Director at the Center for Reproductive Rights. In 2009, she was named Anne E. Fisher Champion of Choice by NARAL ProChoice America.