Meet the Moxie Commission: Leah Vicencio
Producer-Stage Manager Week continues at the Moxie Commission! You've already met Sally and Narissa, and now we're thrilled to introduce the final member of the cohort: Leah Vicencio! Leah is an incredible multi-hyphenate already making moves to drive change in the theatre industry even as she finishes her last year of college! We're lucky to have her on the team for our virtual season.
Check out her bio and featured pictures of her past work, and read on for a Q&A with Leah about the magic leading up to a performance, Annie, democratizing the theatre-making process more.
Leah Vicencio is a Filipino-American director, producer, dramaturg and administrator. She aspires to uplift and amplify stories and artists that truly represent the human experience in all of its forms and cultivate community through theater. She was a part of The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals 2019 cohort and most recently a part of NAMT’s Early-Career Directing cohort. Credits include: On This Side of The World (Asst. Director), The Mad Ones Lab (Director), Fake The Stakes (Director), Dying City (Director), Columbinus (Director), Coherence (Asst. Director), and …And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi (Dramaturg). She has worked with companies such as Second Stage, Keen Company and most recently with Seaview Productions on Ratatouille: The Tik Tok Musical. She is also the managing director and head of marketing for The Broadway Sinfonietta, an all female, majority women of color orchestral collective whose mission is to support the existence, excellence, and equity of female BIPOC musicians in the Broadway industry. She is graduating the University of Florida this spring.
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What drives you to work in the theatre?
When I was a child, I was obsessed with theatre. Growing up in Tampa, I would look forward to the shows that would come to the Straz. One of my earliest memories in the theatre was watching the production of Annie. I was taken back by the spectacle of the sets and story, but even more by the fact that girls my age were on stage. I was so enamored by the possibility of being a part of this fantastical world. As I started to get more involved in theatre I started realizing that the magic is truly found in the moments leading up to the spotlight. This magic is found in the backstage chats, the audience anticipation, the first rehearsal jitters, and now showing pictures of the past moments trying to explain what exactly made that moment special. I think as I dive more into working in theatre I continue to strive to make more of those magical moments. However, instead of the magic being generalized to learning stage makeup or a simple box step when I was younger, it is now in finding a community, celebrating the little victories that come with creating, fighting for equity and representation, and connecting people with stories that remind us that we are not alone, for there is no right way to interpret humanity.
Who is a woman+ artist who inspires you and why?
Over the past couple of months I have been working with the incomparable Macy Schmidt with the Broadway Sinfonietta and the entire process so far has been pretty life changing. It has been so inspiring working with and supporting women who are unapologetically following their mission. I am so grateful to have a small part in creating a space where women from all walks of life can flourish by following what they are meant to do. Also, there’s nothing quite like listening to a live orchestra!
Another source of inspiration has been working on a show at my University as an assistant director and dramaturg. The cast is majority women and it has been an empowering and inspiring experience to dive into this story with these wonderful people. My cast is composed of seniors like me, so this process has been a way to find closure while being feverishly grateful to be in the moment.
What excites you about virtual theatre?
Over this ongoing quarantine moment, I have had the joy of working on a few virtual theatre projects. Despite the screen migraines and the odd dissociation that comes with switching from virtual to reality, I have been fortunate to make some really great connections through this medium. I think that virtual theatre has democratized the process of theatre making. This accessibility is empowering and has been able to connect people with new experiences and collaborations. I also think that since there is a limitation on what can be made virtually, it has allowed many to stop and pause, providing more spaces for conversations that were once neglected. I’m excited to see how we can stretch this medium to continue this critical reflection and hopeful on seeing how we move forward when we can meet in person again.
What have you been reading, watching, or playing this year that you would recommend?
Oh boy, what haven’t I watched in 2020! Off the bat I dove into Normal People. It had such a fragility and grittiness to it that inspired me to look more into intimacy direction. I can go on and on about how beautiful it is! Schitt’s Creek was my quarantine binge and Bridgerton most recently. However, I find myself most nights falling asleep to true crime and cult documentaries. So a bit all over the place!
What makes you feel hopeful right now?
Where do I start? I feel hopeful every time I get to share a space with people who inspire me. I feel hopeful every time I open my Instagram and am reminded of the beauty of the world amidst the chaos. I feel hopeful every time I navigate a space (or Zoom room) and am welcomed by faces that look like mine. I feel hopeful every time I learn what it is to unlearn. After this time, I am excited to see how the world and industry will morph into a more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming space.
Stay tuned for more announcement's about the Moxie Commission, including our director cohort, behind the scenes content, and tickets, coming soon!
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