Meaningful Partnerships


I am not an early morning person by choice.  But that has changed since becoming Rattlestick's Artistic Director.

Recently, on a Wednesday morning at 7:30 in the morning, I walked into the Waldorf-Astoria to see a program involving the charming and self-possessed girls and young women who are the students at the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN). YWLN is an outstanding network of all-girls public schools across the country whose mission is to create powerful young leaders of color. The visionaries behind YWLN are Andrew and Ann Tisch.

I had been invited to attend the YWLN program by Laura Rebell Gross, the Managing Director of Girls’ Education and founder of YWLN’s affiliate school, Young Women’s College Prep, in Rochester, since YWLN has become one of Rattlestick’s newest partners. This promises to be a great partnership since we will bring our Middle Voice artists into YWLN classrooms to introduce students to theater and YWLN students will attend our mainstage shows through a newly-created student matinee program. Middle Voice is Rattlestick's unique collective of young actors, directors, designers and playwrights from diverse backgrounds who are developing their craft under the guidance of our senior artists. We hope that YWLN students' imaginations will be fired by studying with Middle Voice artists and attending Rattlestick productions.

Across town, four days later, I walked up the stairs to the Center (the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center) for a reading of excerpts of plays that were written in response to the horrific shooting in Orlando. Both the Center and Rattlestick were invited to partner in hosting this event. Our Associate Producer, Victor Cervantes, and director, Jenna Worsham, took the lead in finding the artists and guiding the curation of material with Robb Leigh Davis. A beautiful company of artists created an evening of theater that captured the humanity of those whose lives were lost and those left behind to mourn, and the Center made the event meaningful for the LGBT community that it serves. All of us were in tears after experiencing the evening.

We at Rattlestick recognize that we are part of a diverse community of educational, cultural and social organizations. We are seeking deep relationships and partnerships with organizations like YWLN and the Center which gives new audiences the opportunity to be stimulated and uplifted by new theatrical experiences. If you are connected with an organization that may be interested in forming a meaningful partnership like this with Rattlestick, please contact Associate Producer Victor Cervantes at

Daniella Topol