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Art Meets Activism

News Story

BA in Acting (International Performance Ensemble) major Larissa Jeanniton '17 speaks with the CCAR about her involvement in social justice theater company Girl Be Heard, performing for ambassadors at the US Mission to the UN in Geneva, meeting Malala, and why and how students can become civically involved.

BA in Acting (International Performance Ensemble) major Larissa Jeanniton ’17 is making a differenceboth at Pace and beyond. On campus, she's the assistant artistic director of non-profit theater company the Dare Tactic, an RA at 182 Broadway, and member of the Civility Team, for which she helped to organize a panel of trans speakers to discuss issues affecting the LGBTQA community. Off campus, she's a member of social justice theater company Girl Be Heard, performed a show about girl’s empowerment, education, sex slavery, sex education, and menstruation perceptions around the world at the US Mission at the UN in Geneva in front of ambassadors of Switzerland, Sweden, and Pakistan; performing before the premiere of Malala Yousafzai's film, He Named Me Malala (and got to meet her!) and much more. 

"When I first came to Pace, I was excited to be an acting major in this awesome program but I felt I needed something elsea reason to speak or tell a story on stage. My professor, Ashley Marinaccio [a Pace alumna], was my IPE professor my freshman year (and total social justice bad ass). She turned me on to the idea of social justice theater and I ran with it. I was inspired in ways I never could have imagined and then Ashley told me about her theater company, Girl Be Heard. It was literally a theater collective that specialized in cultivating/developing the voices and stories of girls to be performed. Ashley was probably the reason I auditioned simply because I wanted to be her so bad my freshman year (and still do! haha), but I stayed because of the ways it challenged me to grow not just as an artist but as a young black woman in college in 21st century America," says Jeanniton.

Read more about Jeanniton's experiences and advice for students in the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) Activist Spotlight.