Written by Sander Gusinow
The Off-Off Broadway scene surges with revolutionary female voices. Whether writers, directors, or producers, women have advanced the Off-Off community for decades, continually clawing against the gender bias of the for-profit theater world. It is a time-honored tradition for us to acknowledge some of this swelling talent; celebrating a chosen few women for their time, commitment, and good old-fashioned theatrical know-how. Without further ado … part three of an expose of some of the hardest Working Women in Off-Off Broadway!
Jessie Fahay: Ripple Effect Artists
Some theater company’s founders are content to name themselves after a Shakespeare quote and call it a day. Not so much Jessie Fahay, Founding Executive Director of Ripple Effect Artists. Her cutting-edge company uses masterful, unapologetic work to provoke discussion and dialogue about the most sensitive of subject matter. In asking an audience bold and insightful questions, Fahay fosters dialogue she hopes will create a ripple effect at home, in the community, and beyond.
From exposing a faulty healthcare system in Deathbed to jumping headlong into the sexual violence inherent in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Fahay refuses to shrink from the controversial subjects. According to her, these visceral topics are too integral to who we are as human beings to ignore. A lioness when it comes to work she believes in, Fahay is never afraid to get down-and-dirty if a performance is on the line. (including personally corralling audience members in the bitter cold when her theater lost power)
Believing wholeheartedly ‘We are here to create and contribute, not compete,’ each show at REA partners with a nonprofit charitable foundation and donates a percent of the box office to fund their efforts. True to Ripple Effect’s mission, the charitable work doesn’t end domestically. Bringing teaching artists to Peru though the Alegria Foundation, Fahay creates ripple effects within Ripple Effect; ensuring her company’s mission of charity, provocation, and goodwill continues to expand.