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Murielle Borst and Women Artistic Directors of Color

by California Digital News

Murielle Borst-Tarrant, Mia Yoo, Avery Willis Hoffman, and Patricia McGregor gather together at La MaMa to discuss the highs and lows of theatre. 

What happens when you are the only womxn of color in these sometimes all White spaces? 

How do you maintain integrity and sustainability in the theatre field?


Panelist Bios

Muriel Borst Tarrant

Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/ Rappahannock Nations) is an author, playwright, director, producer, cultural artist, educator, and human rights activist.

Murielle began working as an artist early in her life with Spiderwoman Theatre. After attending Long Island University, she began combining Native American myth and creation stories to help compose a subgenre of literature referred to as Indigenous Fantasy. She is the author of the book series “The Star Medicine” and short stories published by Miami University Press.

She is the Artistic Director of Safe Harbor Indigenous Collective. She has recently produced, written and directed “Don’t Feed the Indians- A Divine Comedy Pageant!” at La MaMa. She works on the deconstructing the pedagogy of the arts within Native communities in the NYC education system.

Nominated for the Rockefeller grant in 2001, she won a Native Heart Award. She served as the Special Assistant to the North American Regional representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Global Indigenous Woman’s Caucus Chair (North America) in 2013 to May of 2014. She has spoken at the Indigenous Women’s Symposium at Trent University, at the International Conference at the Muthesius Academy of Art in Kiel Germany, and the Norwegian Theater Academy.

Murielle Borst-Tarrant is the recipient of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 2020 National Playwright Residency Program.


Mia Yoo

Mia Yoo has been the artistic director of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club since 2009. La MaMa is a Tony Award-winning theater that believes art is a force for change. It is committed to battling bigotry and intolerance in all its forms and to providing inclusive spaces for the local, national, and global community.


Avery Willis Hoffman

An artistic director, creative producer and curator of public programs, Avery Willis Hoffman joined Brown University in 2020 as the inaugural Artistic Director of the Brown Arts Institute and Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics. In her recent role as inaugural Program Director at Park Avenue Armory in New York, Avery curated and produced innovative and diverse artistic and public programming initiatives, including numerous large- and intimate-scale cultural events, most recently: the multi-partner digital initiative 100 Years | 100 Women (2020), the 12 episode podcast project, Helga: The Armory Conversations (2021), and Carrie Mae Weems: The Land of Broken Dreams Convening (2021).

Prior to the Armory, Avery was a Senior Project Developer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a museum planning and design firm, where she conducted research and developed content for a number of special projects, including the development of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Avery has also held positions at Focus Features, The Clinton Global Initiative, and TED.

For nearly two decades, her professional career has included multiple projects with acclaimed director Peter Sellars, including Shakespeare’s Othello, Mozart’s opera Zaide, Vienna’s New Crowned Hope Festival, Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, and from 2016-2020, the international tour of FLEXN, Sellars’s collaboration with choreographer Reggie Gray and the Brooklyn flex community.

Avery earned her D.Phil and M.St in Classical Languages and Literature from Balliol College, University of Oxford (as a Marshall Scholar), and earned her B.A. in Classics and English at Stanford University.


Patricia McGregor

Patricia McGregor has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres. Her recent credits include co-author and director of the world premier of Lights Out, Nat King Cole (Peoples Light ) Skeleton Crew (Geffen Theater) Grief (Center Theater Group) Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), Hamlet (The Public Theater), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company), brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center Theater), the world premiere of Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), and the world premiere of Hurt Village (Signature Theatre Company). Her other credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Winter’s Tale, Spunk, Adoration of the Old Woman, Blood Dazzler, Holding It Down, Four Electric Ghosts, Nothing Personal, and The House That Will Not Stand. She served as tour consultant on J. Cole World Tour and will premier a new piece at BAM by composer Ted Hearne and poet Saul Williams. For several years she has directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, a co-founder of Angela’s Pulse with he sister choreographer and organizer Paloma McGregor and was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama, where she also served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

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