Welcome to my website. Tanya Turns Up is a nickname I got in college, first used by my classmate, the director David Gammons. I work in film, theater, and visual arts. Please check out the different sections of this site to see some of my projects as a writer, actor, producer, and activist. You can order my book The Big Lie, from Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Amazon. Thank you for visiting.


For the past few years, I have been an advisor to the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, chaired by Soon-Young Yoon. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Women’s Conference, where I was a youth organizer and got some of my first experiences producing with a show of young performers from around the world. On March 8, International Women’s Day, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, there was a fantastic event, with speakers such as Mary Robinson (former president of the Republic of Ireland) and Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women). I was honored to read on stage from the Beijing Platform for Action.

The first documentary I produced, Our City Dreams directed by Chiara Clemente, just became available on Vimeo VOD. Please watch this beautiful and moving portrait of artists Swoon, Ghada Amer, Kiki Smith, Marina Abramovic, and the late Nancy Spero. It played at Film Forum and then on the Sundance Channel. Chiara and I went on to make many more films together, including the Webby Award winning series Beginnings and the 50-episode series MADE HERE for HERE Arts Center.

From January 6 to 17, I was onstage during PS122’s COIL Festival in Sorry Robot by Mike Iveson, Jr., directed by Will Davis. The cast included Tony Brown and Nicky Paraiso. We got a nice write-up from Ben Brantley in the New York Times.

Next up, I’ll be in Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag, written and directed by Sibyl Kempson (a 2014 USA Artists Fellow). This inaugural production of Sibyl’s brand-new theater company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr & Perf Co., will run at Abrons Art Center from April 28-May 17, with compositions by Ashley Turba, staging/choreography by David Neumann, and sets/costumes by Suzanne Bocanegra. The cast includes Rolls Andre, Becca Blackwell, Eleanor Hutchins, Robert Johanson, Tavish Miller, Gavin Price, Amanda Villalobos, and Sarah Willis. Tickets are available now.

I’m also in rehearsals of Andrew Ondrejcak’s Elijah Green with a cast including Helga Davis, Eleanor Hullihan, Yuki Kawahisa, Edgar Oliver, and Stuart Singer, and with choreography by John Jasperse and a soundscape by Kristin Worrall with original songs by Shara Worden. The show will premiere in March 2016 at The Kitchen in New York.

On March 30, I was a visiting artist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. I observed classes, gave the students feedback, conducted a workshop on the nuts and bolts of producing, and did a reading from my book.

On April 13, I was a speaker at an event hosted by the WIN.NYC women’s health and pro-choice networks on representations of childbirth and pregnancy in the media. Other speakers included Jennifer Block (author and former editor at Ms.) and Rachel E. Cooke (of the 1 in 3 Campaign). The moderator was NYU Professor Carol Sternhell.

On April 15 at 9 p.m. on Channel 56 in NYC, I was interviewed about my book on Kweli Washington’s public television show Counter Culture. You can see it soon on the Counter Culture website.

This spring, I am producing two galas, one on Monday, April 20 for PS122 hosted by Alan Cumming and honoring Claire Danes and NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, and the other on Monday, June 1 for Yaddo hosted by Steve Buscemi and Kate Valk, and honoring Laurie Anderson. I have a history with both these organizations, having performed many times at PS122 and having been a fellow at Yaddo. If you are interested in becoming a committee member (which involves a minimum purchase of two tickets at $400 each) or sponsor for either event, please contact me at tanya@tanyaturnsup.com.