Vagina Monologues benefit for Act Like a GRRRL 2/16/18


Actors Bridge Ensemble presents the V-Day Nashville 2018 benefit performance of the award-winning The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, directed by Vali Forrister, on Friday, February 16th. Doors open at 5 p.m. Show at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 – $40 and benefit Act Like a GRRRL scholarships.

For more information on Actors Bridge and Act Like a GRRRL visit www.actorsbridge.org



Girls to the Moon Campference – What is Consent?


What is Consent? Owning Your Body and Power
presented by Cynthia C Harris of Healing Waters Productions

 How do you tell someone no – to dating, to physical attention like hugging or pulling your pigtails, to sexual advances? This session is an age-appropriate definition of consent that will set her up for confidence and success now and throughout her life.

2nd Annual Girls to the Moon Campference

Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
Nossi College of Art

The Girls To The Moon Campference is back! Girls age 10-14 and their caregivers are invited to purchase tickets together and spend the day together, learning about everything from puberty and consent to confidence and creativity. You can also explore our interactive gallery, where we’ll have everything from robotics projects to a nail art bar.

What your ticket gets you:

  • A packed day of learning and sharing on topics including relationships, heath and wellness, creativity and innovation.
  • All-access pass to our Interactive Gallery of exhibits and activities (fashion! coding! so much more!)
  • Boxed lunch
  • Girls To The Moon T-shirt
  • Backpack filled with girl power goodies
  • Discounted price on future GTTM events

For more information: http://girlstothemoon.com/portfolio-item/2nd-annual-girls-to-the-moon-campference/


Girls to the Moon Campference – Nashville

When: Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CDT)
Where: Nossi College of Art
Tickets: http://girlstothemoon.com/portfolio-item/2nd-annual-girls-to-the-moon-campference/

The annual Girls To The Moon Campference is back! We’ll bring back a slate of community speakers and interactive booths on our signature topics of health and wellness, relationships, and creativity and innovation.

Girls age 10-14 and their caregivers are invited to purchase tickets together and spend the day together, but everyone is welcome to choose their own topics and interests and go where they feel most comfortable.

Past speakers and performers have included Project Runway‘s Amanda Valentine, Dr. Sheila Peters from Fisk University, The Cupcake Collection founder Francois Mignon, the young musicians from Southern Girls Rock Camp, and dozens of poets, engineers, scientists, civic and business leaders, and other phenomenal Nashville women.

What your ticket gets you:

  • Access to a packed day of programming for girls and caregivers, with themes including relationships, heath and wellness, creativity and innovation.
  • Entrance to all our hands-on exhibits and activities (fashion! art! so much more!)
  • Boxed lunch
  • Goodie bag and official Girls To The Moon T-shirt
  • Discounted price on future GTTM events

DC Theatre Scene Reviews ALAG in Capital Fringe 2016

Act Like a GRRRL, Capital Fringe (review)

Act Like a GRRRL isn’t quite like anything else you’ll see at the Capital Fringe festival. Its creators and performers are four girls between the ages of 12 and 16, who had two weeks to write about their lives and put together a show featuring autobiographical stories, dances, and songs.

The girls read their pieces directly from the journals they wrote them in, complemented by choreography and introduced by their adult mentors and directors, Jenna Stotts and Cynthia Harris.

The girls open up eloquently and poetically about their struggles with family turmoil, abuse, falling in with “the wrong crowd,” and finding their identity. I laughed out loud or gasped more than once.The result is remarkable and moving. It would be easy for a project like this to just be “good for what it is,” where you appreciate it mostly because the kids worked so hard. But I was genuinely blown away by the quality, beauty, and insight of their writing. It’s all in their own words, culled from spontaneous writing prompts, with no censorship and only light editing and revision.

Erin “Effy Sue” Forrister, Amirah “Aydee Mae” Banker, Faith “Faithy Jean” Sikes, and Josie “Josie Lee” Reganshaw have diverse backgrounds and stories, from Wales to Puerto Rico, from broken homes to white middle class comfort. And you can tell from watching their interactions that they’ve bonded tremendously over the last two weeks. They bring real joy, real friendship, and real solidarity to the stage, and it’s beautiful to see.

The lovely choreography emphasizes this bond. With their physical movements as well as their words, the young women lift each other up and support each other. They embody Act Like a GRRRL’s mission to bust the “competition myth” that tears girls down by making them tear each other down.

Some of the vignettes are admittedly more compelling than others. The show is better when the girls are speaking from deep personal experience or expressing their joy in song and dance than when they’re musing about what it means to be a “GRRRL,” for instance. And in the spirit of “show, don’t tell,” I could have stood to hear less from the teachers and more from the girls. It’s great to hear about the history, mission, and feminist themes behind the show, and interesting to hear about the prompts that led to the various pieces, but the girls’ work really speaks for itself.

Act Like A GRRRL is an annual project founded in 2005 by Vali Forrister in Nashville, Tennessee, that aims to help girls 12-18 years old “discover who we are and what we believe,” and to “cultivate strong voices and experience the power of creating something from nothing.” It seeks to explode “the box” of what our culture tells girls they can be — the limitations, the competition, the impossible tightrope of expectations between being too this or too that. Bravo to this project for doing that work, and bravo to the exceptional girls who made this version of the show their own.


Act Like a GRRRL . Directed by Jenna Stotts and Cynthia Harris. Starring Erin Forrister, Amirah Banker, Faith Sikes, and Josie Reganshaw . Devised by the performers . Show operator: Toby Clark . Produced by Rhonda Eldridge and Vali Forrister . Reviewed by Emily Crockett


DC Metro Theater Arts Reviews ALAG NoVa 2016 – 5 Stars

2016 Capital Fringe Review ‘Act Like a Grrrl!’

by Robert Michael Oliver

Act Like a Grrrl! by the Actors Bridge Ensemble opened at the Martin Luther King Library this Thursday.

More paratheatre than straight performance, this rendition of Act Like a Grrrl! represents the end of a two-week journey that began on July 11 when a group of four teenage girls—Erin “Effy Sue” Forrister, Amirah “Aydee Mae” Banker, Faith “Faithy Jean” Sikes, and Josie “Josie Lee” Reganshaw—gathered to explore the true dynamics of what it means to be a young woman.

Working together with Co-Directors Jenna Stotts and Cynthia Harris, these four young dancers, singers, and poets created a host of expressive pieces that addressed such ideas as “Where I Am From” and “Desires.” They then performed their revealing personal expressions of themselves as individuals and as women.

The performance began with a delightfully sweet dance entitled “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” which set the thematic tone of the event: girls grow-up under the burden of a narrow definition of how a girl can act.

Being a longtime high school teacher I can only applaud the work of this fine program, which was created in Nashville, Tennessee, by Vali Forrister.

The form of Act Like a Grrrl! allows the young women to address issues that have come up in their lives, to face them directly, and then to create dreams and goals of where they might go.

Beyond the dancing, the girls presented poems in the form of letters addressed to parts of their bodies; they spoke to their parents about things that upset them; they joyously celebrated what they would be if they were super heroines.

Act Like a Grrrl! is sincere, touching, spirited, and hopeful.

And those four fabulous young women were strong, confident, and as their performance clearly demonstrated, capable of achieving wonderful things in life.

Running Time: 65 minutes

Act Like a Grrrl! plays through July 24, 2016 at the Martin Luther King Library, Room A-9 – 901 G Street NW, Washington, DC. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

Check other reviews and show previews on DCMetroTheaterArts’ 2016 Capital Fringe Page.

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1550.gif


Act Like A GRRRL NoVA in Capital Fringe

We are so excited to be supporting Act Like a GRRRL, Inc. (ALAG) in northern Virginia July 11th – 24th.  ALAG NoVA is in its fourth year.  Our fearless leader, Cynthia Harris, has been a supporter and Guest Artist with the Nashville ALAG circle since the beginning. This is her first year the co-leading the program.   She reports that things are going well! In fact, she couldn’t be happier.  We hope she returns.

If you are in Washington, DC,  July 21st – 24th, you don’t want to miss the show.  The GRRRLs create original work, movement, and songs in one week.  During the second week that work is transformed into a show AND performed as part of the Capital Fringe Festival.

grrrls postcard 5


Spreading the Word about our GRRRL’s Night Out Fundraiser 4/17 & 4/18

This article was written by Amy Strumpfl and was originally printed in the Tennessean.

Nashville’s leading ladies lend talents to ‘GRRRLS Night Out’

Over the past decade, Actors Bridge Artistic Director Vali Forrister has been empowering young women through Act Like a GRRRL (ALAG). An autobiographical writing and performance program for teenage girls, ALAG offers an inspiring celebration of personal truth and authenticity.

And on April 17 and 18, some of Nashville’s most talented leading ladies will gather for another kind of celebration — “GRRRLS Night Out.”

“We usually stage ‘The Vagina Monologues’ as a fundraiser for Act Like a GRRRL scholarships,” explains Forrister. “But when these dates became available at Darkhorse Theater, I started thinking about another kind of event.”

Actually, Forrister had been thinking about it since Superbowl Sunday.

“During this year’s Super Bowl, there was a compelling ad campaign that asked what it means to do something ‘like a girl.’ Run like a girl, throw like a girl — it’s never meant as a good thing. Of course, that’s what we’re all about — helping these girls to step beyond society’s expectations and limitations to become strong, confident GRRRLs.”

In the spirit of that movement, Forrister decided to invite some of Nashville’s best and brightest writers, actors, musicians and dancers to share what it means to them to do life “like a GRRRL.” Directed by Forrister — along with Actors Bridge company liaison Rachel Agee — the cast for “GRRRLS Night Out” includes Kim Bretton, Amanda Card, Wendi Dalby, Caroline Davis, Michele Flynn, Cassie Hamilton, Cynthia Harris, Gabrielle Saliba, Annie Sellick, Tasneem Grace Tewogbola, Abby White and Alicia Williams.

“It’s an amazing lineup, with everyone presenting original works created just for this event,” Forrister says. “And all proceeds go to scholarships for the Act Like a GRRRL program in June.”

For Saliba, a dancer, choreographer, educator and longtime ALAG leader, “GRRRLS Night Out” provides a natural extension of her work with ALAG Nashville and its satellite program in Washington, D.C.

“A big component of the program is bringing in guest artists — strong adult women from all walks of life who share their own stories and demonstrate what it looks like to pursue your dreams,” Saliba says. “It’s powerful because the girls carry these stories with them and draw from their wisdom long after the program ends.

“I feel lucky to be involved in ‘GRRRLS Night Out,’ and I’m excited to share my story,” she adds. “But I’m even more excited to hear from all of the other performers. There’s so much talent and so much passion for this program. I think these stories will resonate with everyone, both on stage and in the audience.”

If you go

What: Actors Bridge Ensemble presents “GRRRLS Night Out”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave.

Tickets: $20 in advance via http://grrrls-night-out.eventbrite.com; $25 at the door



HWP to Join Actors Bridge Ensembles’ GRRRLS NIGHT OUT Fundraiser

Actors Bridge Ensemble presents GRRRLS NIGHT OUT – an All-Star Performance of Original Stories, Dances and Songs
to Raise Money for Act Like a GRRRL Scholarships

Two Nights Only at the Darkhorse Theater 4/17 & 4/18!

This year’s GRRRL Scholarship fundraiser was inspired by an advertisement during this year’s Super Bowl, which asked 100 million viewers across the nation to consider, “What does it mean to do something like a girl?”  Run like a girl. Throw like a girl. Fight like a girl.  Every example revealed one startling reality — “like a girl” was never a good thing.

Healing Waters Productions (HWP) is honored to support Act Like a GRRRL* (ALAG), Actors Bridge’s autobiographical writing and performance program, where teenage girls write about their lives and transform their thoughts into public performance.  ALAG has spent the last decade exploding the box that traps young women into a constricted and destructive definition of what it means to be a girl in our society and empowering them with the tools to live bold, authentic lives.  HWP Founder, Cynthia C Harris, has been supporting ALAG as audience member, ally,  and guest artist since its creation in 2005 by Vali Forrister.  HWP supports ALAG’s mission to empower teenage girls to explode the box in which our society can limit them. If you’re wondering about the effectiveness of the program, to date, 100 percent of our graduates have gone to college. There is no reported truancy, unwanted pregnancy or drug abuse among participants. In short, this program works!

The fundraiser is directed by Actors Bridge Company Liaison Rachel Agee and Artistic Director/ALAG Founder Vali Forrister.  The performance will feature a high-profile collection of musicians, actors, writers and cultural observers to define what it means to them to do life “like a GRRRL.” For two nights only, on April 17 and 18, they will speak, sing, dance, and shape-shift their stories to life as part of GRRRLS NIGHT OUT: an all star fundraising performance for GRRRL scholarships at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.

HWP’s Founder, Cynthia C Harris, joins the cast including Kim Bretton, Amanda Card, Wendi Dalby, Caroline Davis, Cassie Hamilton, Gabrielle Saliba, Annie Sellick, Tasneem Grace Tewogbola, Abby White and Alicia Williams.

Performance Schedule: Friday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.  |  Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Darkhorse Theater
4610 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209

Advanced Tickets (General Admission ): $20 available at http://grrrls-night-out.eventbrite.com

Door Tickets (General Admission): $25. | Cash, check and credit cards accepted.

*The Act Like a GRRRL summer session runs June 13-26, 2015. Performances are June 25 and 26 at the Belmont Black Box Theater, where Actors Bridge is a professional theater in residence. Tuition is $1250. Some need-based scholarships are available.