Welcome to my website. Tanya Turns Up is a nickname I got in college. 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.


The television premiere of Catherine Gund’s Born to Fly about daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb, on Monday, May 11 on PBS’s Independent Lens was viewed by approximately 1.5 million people. There was a wonderful review by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sarah Kaufman in the Washington Post. The DVD recently went on sale. You can support both the film and the amazing cinema Film Forum by purchasing it through this link. It is also streaming on Netflix.

I’ve been producing Dangerous Curves, a short film by Laura Dawn, and I’m excited to report that we are in post and beginning to submit to festivals. Dangerous Curves is the story of an autistic man in rural Iowa who starts a sprint car team with the first transgender driver and how their friendship heals both of them. Laura, founder of ART NOT WAR and former Creative Director of MoveOn.org, has directed over 100 social impact media pieces. This is her first film.

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, Chiara and I 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.

We were also commissioned to make a tribute film about Susan Newhouse, who died in August. She was a passionate supporter of many causes, such as the Fresh Air Fund and National Dance Institute. You can read more about her here.

I produced an eight-hour long film POSING by Jennifer Rubell that was on view in her exhibition Not Alone at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London.

I’m in rehearsals with Andrew Ondrejcak for Elijah Green. The show will premiere in March 2016 at The Kitchen in New York. There was a work-in-progress for potential presenters on July 24, 2015. In April, Andrew and I were named as co-recipients of a MAP Fund award, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In August, the production was one of six projects selected for the National Theater Project grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Through the Brooklyn Generator Project, I acted in a reading of Sarah Matusek’s new play The Harvest House, which is a horror story, on October 25th.

On July 14, 15, and 16, I joined 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 took place at The Kitchen in NYC.

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.

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.

During Art Basel Miami Beach in December, the Rubell Family Collection, where I am the Communications and Special Projects Officer, will open NO MAN’S LAND, featuring works by more than 100 women artists. This will be the eighth annual exhibition 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.

After many months of research and interviews, I 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.

Professor Kerry Macintosh included a section about The Big Lie in her article about fertility and sex education for the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. You can read her excellent piece here.

Toni Williams had me as a guest on her show Brooklyn Savvy to talk about my book, The Big Lie with an amazing panel of women. It aired on Sunday, October 25 on New York public television channel 25 (NYC Life). You can watch the episode here.

In April, I was interviewed by Kweli Washington for his public television show Counter Culture. You can watch the interview here.

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.