Reimagine has been hosting candlelight vigils since March 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to break down taboos and hold space for all that we've lost. This gathering features playwright and performer Susan Lieu who will discuss her new memoir The Manicurist's Daughter with V, the celebrated author, playwright, and activist formerly known as Eve Ensler. Musician and composer treya lam is tonight's honor ceremony leader.
Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese American author, playwright, and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. A daughter of nail salon workers, she took her award-winning autobiographical solo show 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother on a ten-city national tour, with sold-out premieres and accolades from the Los Angeles Times, NPR, and American Theatre. Eight months pregnant, she premiered her sequel, OVER 140 LBS, at ACT Theatre. She is a proud alumna of Harvard College, Yale School of Management, Coro, Hedgebrook, and Vashon Artist Residency. She is also the cofounder of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company based in San Francisco. Susan lives with her husband and son in Seattle, where they enjoy mushroom hunting, croissants, and big family gatherings. The Manicurist’s Daughter is her first book.
V (formerly Eve Ensler) is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist, and author of the Obie award winning theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, published in over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries and recently heralded by The New York Times as one of the most important plays of the past 25 years, among numerous other honors.
Her plays include Lemonade, Extraordinary Measures, Necessary Targets, OPC, The Good Body (Broadway and National Tour), Emotional Creature, and most recently Fruit Trilogy, which debuted Off-Broadway in June of 2018. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir and The New York Times bestseller I Am An Emotional Creature. She recently finished performing In the Body of the World as a one-woman show which she adapted for the stage from her critically acclaimed memoir to rave reviews at Manhattan Theatre Club after its debut at the American Repertory Theater. Film credits include The Vagina Monologues (HBO) and What I Want My Words to Do to You (Executive Producer, Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Freedom of Expression Award, PBS) and Mad Max: Fury Road (Consultant). In May of 2019 Bloomsbury Publishing released her book, The Apology. In September 2020 she presented That Kindness, a play based on stories and interviews with CNA/NNOC/NNU frontline nurses. The play premiered on Facebook Live with a cast that included Rosario Dawson, Marisa Tomei, Billy Porter, and Rosie O'Donnell. Her musical about climate change, Wild: A Musical Becoming, directed by Diane Paulus with music by Justin Tranter and Caroline Pennell and featuring Idina Menzel, premiered at the American Repertory Theater’s Loeb Drama Center in December 2021. Her new book is a collection of her work over the past forty years titled Reckoning (Bloomsbury).
V is founder of V-Day, the 20 year old global activist movement which has raised over 100 million dollars to end violence to end violence against all women (cisgender and transgender), those who hold fluid identities, nonbinary people, girls and the planet, and the founder of One Billion Rising, the largest global mass action to end gender based violence in over 200 countries. She is a co-founder of the City of Joy, a revolutionary center for women survivors of violence in the DRC, along with Christine Schuler Deschyrver and Dr. Denis Mukwege, and appeared – along with Christine and Dr. Mukwege - in the award-winning documentary film City of Joy released globally as a Netflix Original in 190 countries.
Her writings regularly appear in The Guardian and TIME Magazine. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”
V is the 2018 recipient of the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lily Award.
A survivor of violence, V has dedicated her life to ending violence against women and girls.
treya lam is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who’s joyously complex identity informs but does not define their work, whether solo or when collaborating with a variety of multidisciplinary ensembles. their strident voice, politically charged songwriting and fluency on guitar, piano and looped viola recalls Nina Simone and Andrew Bird. treya’s debut Good News was created entirely by womxn and genderqueer collaborators and released via Kaki King’s label.
lam is a OneBeat fellow, NYCLU Artist Ambassador and active member of the Resistance Revival Chorus. their song Dawn was featured on the RRC’s debut album This Joy - released on Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records. lam has performed original music at Lincoln Center, MASS MoCA, the Prospect Park Bandshell and the American Museum of Natural History and opened for Ani Difranco, Valerie June and Kaki King.
They are currently developing otherland - an interdisciplinary grief ritual and chamber protest album that explores grief as a catalyst for radical empathy, intersectional solidarity and repairing our relationship to the earth.
Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and – at our own pace – actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth.