February 17, 2014
6:30pm – 8:30pm
A Celebration of
our breaking walls mentor, BILLIE ALLEN artist & activist;
To be inspired
by how telling their stories transforms our writing-performing artists in Bethlehem, Berlin, Brooklyn and Cape Town;
To raise funds
in support of breaking walls 2014 Cape Town
Contribute to our cause!
Contributions to breaking walls, a 501(c)(3) public charity, are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
For more information contact
Fran Tarr, breaking walls director at email@example.com or 212-989-7353
Meet Billie Allen
Artist, Activist & breaking walls Mentor
In her own beautiful words, our breaking walls mentor, Billie Allen, shares her story of art & activism.
”I was born to an activist mother in Richmond, Virginia. By the age of five I was attending rallies to organize the tobacco workers. That same year I sacrificed my Easter outfit to raise money for the Scottsboro Boys’ defense. I kept my eyes on them everyday because, you see, I was seeing what it was like to have your world defined for you and what it is like to be liberated.
“At the same time my mother brought me to New York to see the ballet, opera, and watch Uta Hagen and Paul Robeson perform on Broadway . . . My mother, the granddaughter of a slave, stood by my side as Marion Anderson sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the Lincoln Memorial when she was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall because of her color; and, ensured my education at the Hampton Institute, now Hampton University.
“After University I came to New York to study dance and acting. On the Town was my first Broadway musical with many others to follow. I studied acting and directing with Lee Strasburg, Lloyd Richards and Howard Clerman. Some of my other Broadway credits include: Raisin in the Sun, Blues for Mr. Charlie, Critic Choice.
“I am a founding member of Frank Silvera Writers Workshop and League of Professional Theatre Women, in NYC. I sit on the advisory board of The Cherry Lane Theatre, AMAS Musical Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Riverside Theatre & the Womens Project. I serve on the advisory committee of American Theatre Wing and am an active member of TONY Administrator committee.
“Coming full circle, in 2013 I organized Get-Out-To-Vote rallies in Harlem; and, nurture the amazing young men and women of breaking walls.
“Why you ask me? Because each of these steps on my life’s journey has led me to a clear understanding of these young men and women of breaking walls, these young roots reaching out for water, and discovering their place in our society, our culture and the wide-wide world – and why that discovery is invaluable to their future and Ours.”