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.
LATEST AND UPCOMING NEWS
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.
I produced the Yaddo Spring Benefit on Monday, June 1, hosted by Steve Buscemi and Kate Valk, and honoring Laurie Anderson. There were performances by Ayad Akhtar, Eisa Davis, Jason Hart, Young Jean Lee, and Max Moston; with a DJ set by AndrewAndrew. You can read about it in the New York Times and see the photos at PMc.com. This event was the most financially successful Yaddo benefit in at least fifteen years.
The Miami-based Rubell Family Collection, where I am the Communications and Special Projects Officer, has decided the theme of its next exhibition. It will feature works by dozens of women artists, including some new commissions. This will be the eighth annual exhibition, opening during Art Basel Miami Beach, that I work on.
I produced the Performance Space 122 Gala on Monday, April 20, hosted by Alan Cumming and honoring Claire Danes and NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. There were performances by Peaches, Meow Meow, Edgar Oliver, Faye Driscoll, and Casey Spooner; and remarks by Justin Vivian Bond, Tamar Rogoff, and Mandy Patinkin. You can read about it in Variety, and it made New York magazine’s Approval Matrix: Highbrow/Brilliant. Also, it raised double the revenue of any previous PS122 gala.
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.
Currently, we are in post-production on ENCAMPMENT, a short film about the installation of her father Francesco Clemente’s latest exhibition of elaborately hand-painted tents built in collaboration with Marwar Tents in Rajasthan. The show is at MASS MoCA until January 2016.
Catherine Gund’s Born to Fly about daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb had its television premiere on Monday, May 11 on PBS’s Independent Lens. There was a wonderful review by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sarah Kaufman in the Washington Post.
I’m in rehearsals with Andrew Ondrejcak for Elijah Green with a cast including Helga Davis, Eleanor Hullihan, Robert Johanson, 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. There will be a work-in-progress for potential presenters on July 24, 2015. In April 2015, Andrew and I were named as award recipients for this show by the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
On July 14, 15, and 16, I’ll be joining a cast of about 50 people brought together by Brooke O’Harra, Nicky Paraiso, and Kate Valk to do a performance of Jeff Weiss and Richard C. Martinez’s work. The marathons will take place at the Kitchen in NYC. Please see more info and purchase tickets here.
From April 28-May 17 at Abrons Art Center, I was 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., featured compositions by Ashley Turba, staging/choreography by David Neumann, and sets/costumes by Suzanne Bocanegra. The cast included Rolls Andre, Becca Blackwell, Eleanor Hutchins, Robert Johanson, Tavish Miller, Gavin Price, Amanda Villalobos, and Sarah Willis. You can read about Sibyl and the show in the New Yorker and in this review by Sarah Matusek.
From January 6 to 17 during PS122’s COIL Festival, I was 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.
BOOKS AND OTHER APPEARANCES
After many months of research and interviews, I recently turned in the proposal for my next book, The Tunnel: Existential Dilemmas and Radical Transformations to my amazing agent Meg Thompson of Thompson Literary Agency. I am excited about what I am learning and writing.
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 participants 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 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.