No Dream Deferred

Meet the Team

Meet the people behind No Dream Deferred

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LAUREN E. TURNER

Artistic Director

Lauren E. Turner (she/her) is a director/performer/producer and community facilitator. Listed by American Theatre Magazine as one of “6 Theatre Workers You Should Know”. Lauren is also the founding Producing Artistic Director of No Dream Deferred NOLA, a community-anchored theatre production company. In 2020, No Dream Deferred received a Big Easy Theatre Award for Best Play for their production of IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER by Tarrell Alvin McCraney. Lauren is driven by her interest in equitable, place-based, culturally relevant theatre especially as it pertains to the global south. Lauren’s work lives where storytelling, community building, and politics intersect. Lauren is an artEquity trained Equity, Diversity and Inclusion facilitator and founder of Equity and Justice for Institutional Change (EJIC), an organizational development consulting firm. She is a Round 4 recipient in the Leadership U: One-on-One grant program,funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, designed to further develop prominent emerging leaders and change agents in the American Theatre. Lauren has also served as a Mellon Fellow through Tulane University’s Community Engaged Graduate Program, mentoring Tulane University graduate students who wish to implement community-engaged practices into their work. Lauren received her Master of Fine Arts in Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi and her B.A. from North Carolina Central University. Lauren lives joyfully in New Orleans with her partner Jason, and their 3 children, Austyn (9), Elijah (5), and Nia (5).

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CHIVAS MICHAEL

Creative Director

Chivas Michael’s work has been seen both nationally and internationally. He developed and originated the Role of Maliq in the Broadway-bound SuperFly the Musical, directed by Bill T. Jones. His work has also been seen at The Royal Shakespeare Company UK, The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Classic Stage Company; Villa la Pietra, Florence, Italy, Lincoln Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Yale Repertory Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, The Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, Shakespeare on the Sound, and New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. Chivas also facilitates community dialogue on issues the confront those living at the intersection of race, non-cis gender identity and sexual orientation. Education: BA, Dillard University; MFA, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program: Tisch School of the Arts. 

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ANN MCQUEEN

Program Manager; The Writer's Lounge Podcast & EJIC Coordinator

Ann McQueen (she/her) is a playwright and creative living in New Orleans, La. She studied Communications and Theatre at The University of New Orleans. Her debut stage play "Riding Halley’s Comet" opened to rave reviews and has opened doors to explore writing opportunities in several genres including film, poetry and podcasting. With her writing style and authentic characters, Ann hopes to give a fresh voice to African-American characters and bridge the gap between audiences of all diverse cultural backgrounds. Currently, Ann is creating a collection of works that explores the BIPOC experience in white supremacy culture.

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AMARA SKINNER

Production Manager

Amara Elizabeth Skinner  (she/her) is a very talented freelance sound designer, audio engineer, stage manager, and production manager. She is a trained musician, dancer, actor, and aspiring model. She nurtured her talents at Loyola University of New Orleans by obtaining her bachelors degree in Music Industry Studies in 2019. Since then, Amara has worked as for many musical artists, theater companies, festivals, venues, as well as various corporate audio visual companies in the Greater New Orleans Area.  She started as an audio engineer for Bayou Boogaloo Festival,  Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Dancing Grounds, and corporate companies like Encore Event Technologies, Freeman, and PSAV. She started sound designing for local theatre production companies such as The Nola Project and The Radical Buffoons in 2020. KM Dance was the first production company to hire Amara as a stage manager. From there, she began stage managing with Jefferson Performing Arts Society, The Nola Project, and The National World War II Museum. She gained experience working personally for musical artists by interning for 2-Cent Entertainment, Water Seed Music, Nesby Phipps, Big Freedia, and Freewater. Now, she works closely with local artist T-Ray the violinist as his production assistant. She started working with No Dream Deferred as production manager in 2021.  She continues to freelance as a sound designer and audio engineer. Amara’s ultimate goal is to serve as a rolemodel for the LGBTQ and gender nonconforming community. Her motto is, “There are many ways to live your life and your options are limitless.“

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ILYANETTE MARIE BERNABEL

Director of Cultural Curation

Ilyanette Marie Bernabel (ily/a/nette) (she/her/ella), a DominiRican (Dominican and Puerto Rican) New York native and self-proclaimed Afro-Taíno, is a multi-hyphenated performing artist, creative producer, independent cultural curator, and published poet and scholar with a passion for seeking truth and constructive knowledge for sustainable social prosperity and collective intergenerational healing through creative self-expression for revolutionary elevation in global majority communities. In addition, she values producing and prioritizing culturally relevant content specific to historically marginalized communities. As Ilyanette states, "New Orleans has kept me inspired and motivated by her eclectic style and overall vibrancy in cultural traditions which feels close to my Caribbean roots. I feel a strong sense of home." She is now based in New Orleans where she works professionally in theatre, film/television/commercials, and voiceover. Currently, she serves on the board of a local theatre company, The NOLA Project and strives to become an arts and cultural leader and establish herself as a socialpreneur. Her pride and joy is building a legacy with her partner, Chantz and fearless daughter, Indigo (3).

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JESSICA MIXON

Content Strategist

Jessica Mixon (J.Mix) (she/her) is a multi-hyphenated artist born and raised in New Orleans. From an early age, her love for music influenced her to learn piano be ear and develop the discipline of singing four-part harmony with her sisters. A graduate of the Loyola University Voice Program ‘14, J.Mix developed a deeper appreciation for classical music, and genres of all styles. Like most artists, Covid-19 shifted the ways in which she had grown accustomed to utilizing her creativity. J.Mix was highly involved in local theatre and film productions, and traveled internationally with the vocal group, The Victory Belles, until Fall of 2020. Today, J.Mix is a revolutionary, director, producer, singer/songwriter, roller-skater, model, podcast host of The Self-Aware Millennial, and owner of 17th Productions LLC, which specializes in roller skating culture as creative expression.

Visit www.jessicamixon.com for more.

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KEAH MOFFETT

Art Director, Editor, & Animator

Keah Moffett (she/her) lives by this motto: Be brave enough to start a  conversation that matters. Mississippi-born and New Orleans-raised,  Keah was introduced to the arts at a young age and knew that she  wanted to use her art to change the world. As a Broadcast Journalism  student at Hampton University, Keah realized her love for storytelling  and cameras while producing her first documentary “Shades of Black  America” on the history of colorism. After graduating cum laude from  Hampton, Keah received her MFA in Motion Pictures and Television at  Academy of Art University in San Francisco. There, she wrote,  directed and produced many short films, including “The Missed Education: Finding My Identity,” which won Best Documentary at the  AAU Media Awards. Keah also co-hosted the Media Awards— the  only non-journalism student to do so— and received a spot in the Spring Show as a top screenwriter— the only non-writing major to do  so.  
Since graduating, Keah has continued to make documentaries on  subjects ranging from the removal of Confederate Monuments in New  Orleans to the Alton Sterling murder and protest.
Keah has appeared  in films and music videos by artists such as Solange, Young Paris, and  Anäis. Her choreography has been seen in videos by Trombone Shorty, PJ Morton, and Big Freedia. She has performed at President Obama’s first Inaugural Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,  Annual Baby Doll Ladies Dancing Parade, New Orleans Jazz and  Heritage Festival, and Essence Festival.  She continues to dance as a captain of the New Orleans Society of  Dance’s Baby Doll Ladies and as a dance team coach for the Golden  Hearts Dance Krewe at Passion Dance Center.
As a designer, She recently completed a Post- Bacc certificate in Digital Design from Tulane University. She is an ADDY Gold Award winner for her work as a graphic artist.
Keah is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority.

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TIFFANY VEGA-GIBSON

Line Producer

Tiffany Vega-Gibson (she/her) is a Native New Yorker and Puerto Rican based in New Orleans, LA. She works as an independent consultant through her performing arts management and DEI consulting company, La Vega Management, which has worked with dozens of organizations throughout the US. She most recently served on the Steering Committee for the New Orleans based theatre company, No Dream Deferred, and currently serves on the National Board of the Parent Artist Advocacy League and the Board of Directors for Kyoung’s Pacific Beat. She is also on the Steering Committee for the Latinx Theatre Commons and is an active member of Arts Administrators of Color, Alternate Roots, the Creative and Independent Producers Alliance, Women of Color in the Arts, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is a certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion facilitator through artEquity and Northwestern University. She is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans and a Senior Account Executive at the marketing firm O’Brien|Garrett. She is also a member of the Year 3 cohort for the Intercultural Leadership Institute. Her online Theatre Management and Producing course has been taken by hundreds of students from all over the world. Previously, she was the General Manager at Hi-ARTS NYC (Formerly Hip-Hop Theater Festival). She holds an MFA in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Maryland-College Park.

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LEFTY LUCY

Art Administrator

Lefty Lucy (she/her) Lefty Lucy is equal parts artist and admin. Recently returned from starring in the World-Premiere of her burlesque play, A PEEPSHOW NAMED DESIRE—a vaudeville inspired by Blanche DuBois at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, she has been working on stage and off since childhood. After participating in the Serendipity Theatre Company Youth Ensemble, she attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA then, “Arts High” now), and capped off her theater education in New York City. After over a decade working with Costume designers for festivals, productions, and large scale events including the annual Broadway Bares, she became the first ever Wardrobe & Prop Master for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and filled the role for most of the decade.

When not working in the theater (directly), Lefty holds the title of Miss Coney Island in perpetuity, is a founding producer of the International Nerdlesque Festival, and was featured as one of the Burlesque All-Stars on the Fan2Sea Cruise. You can find her every other Wednesday hosting her original gameshow, BURLESQUE BINGO at the Allways Lounge & Cabaret in New Orleans, or virtually every Tuesday @6pmCT modeling for her FREE costumed sketch night: LET'S ART! (Zoom ID 663 825 580). For more about her in person and online pursuits, follow her @LeftyLucy on Instagram or visit ILoveLeftyLucy.com

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