Summer Series July 20th Edition

Opening Act Summer Series

Monday, July 20, 2020

Summer is here and Opening Act is ready to Yes, And … with a weekly roundup of notable events, helpful resources, and delightful distractions to keep you connected, inspired, and activated through the summer months. Delivered to your inbox every Monday morning, the OA Summer Series will keep you up to date on what’s worth knowing so you can relax and enjoy your summer!

If you have friends or relatives who would like this weekly resource guide, you can tell them to sign up here.

Hi Noon Improv Thursdays @ NoonSay hi and feel a high with Hi Noon Improv! (Thursdays @ noon, 30 minutes) Did you know that just 20 minutes of improv practice promotes overall wellbeing? Join Opening Act’s Jeremiah Thompson (Act 2 Fellow) and Cathleen Carr for this weekly improv boost to keep you connected and resilient! Jeremiah and Cathleen both believe strongly that anyone can benefit from the pro-social skills activated through improv practice. This free, weekly, 30-minute session is suitable for anyone needing a lift and a laugh. No experience necessary and all are welcome. Registration is required.

Halima Henderson
Feel better by doing Yoga with Halima! (Monday @ noon, Friday @ noon, Saturday @ 11:30am, Sunday @ 10am) Teaching since 2014, Halima’s Vinyasa yoga classes focus on proper alignment and straightforward yet challenging sequences in a light-hearted, welcoming environment. Halima believes a mindful practice can decompress and strengthen the body, mind, and spirit! Off the mat Halima is a NYC based actor and Opening Act teaching artist who’s a proud U of Michigan alum. Classes are Pay What You Can.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something”
John Lewis

May we honor the life and legacy of John Lewis – whose passing stung us awake this past weekend – through continued commitment and action towards a just world. An excellent tribute is to gather family and friends to watch John Lewis: Good Trouble, a just-released documentary of his monumental life and work. Let’s get into some good trouble, together.

Thrilled to catch this glowing piece about Opening Act Artistic Advisory Board member and Brooklyn native, Dominique Fishback in Entertainment Weekly! Starring opposite Jamie Foxx in the upcoming Netflix feature film Project Power, Dom has been an incredible mentor to Opening Act students in the classroom and on the stage.

Uzo Aduba has been activating and mentoring Opening Act students for years as a member of our Artistic Advisory Board. Listen to Uzo speak with Variety’s Mark Malkin about the world, playing the iconic Shirley Chisholm, and young people driving the change we wish to see.

Black Theatre United (BTU) hosts Our Voices. Our Votes. Our Time, a Virtual Town Hall on Friday, July 24th at 7:00 pm ET. Featured guests will be Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight & Fair Count, and Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean Vice President of Fair Count. This conversation will be moderated by Tony, Emmy and Oscar Award winning Actor, Activist and BTU member Viola Davis. Register here to join this important conversation. Founding members of Black Theatre United include Opening Act Artistic Advisory Board member Kenny Leon (who just won the Obie!)and Opening Act supporter, Billy Porter.

Follow along with Opening Act Teaching Artists, Dana Shulman, Ayo Oneké Cummings, and Jose Suazo (Act 2 Fellow) as they guide you through an Opening Act virtual workshop.Recorded for students at the Graphic Educational Campus in Manhattan, this 25 minutes of fun, energizing, and creative play is a much-needed spark for you and the kids in your life!

Have you completed the Census yet? Opening Act is more than happy to nudge you along! The Census will shape how power and resources are distributed across NYC and the country for the next decade. Watch this short video about why the Census is important, then read this handy graphic to keep you motivated! And now… let’s complete the Census because if we aren’t counted, we don’t get counted!

Youth mental health is so important, especially during COVID-19. For people from birth to age 24, NYC Well is here to help. Check out this comprehensive and easy to read guide to connect you or your young person to resources and support.

Opening Act’s two-week Summer Arts and Leadership Conservatory wrapped up on Friday, July 17th with an excellent talk back with Jeremy Pope, who made history earning two Tony Award Nominations in the same seasons for Choir Boy and Ain’t Too Proud, and is currently starring in Netflix’s Hollywood.

Jeremy Pope with Opening Act

Talking to students via Zoom from Los Angeles, Jeremy demystified his journey from just starting out actor looking for work, roles, and representation to his current success on stage and screen. He urged the young artists of Opening Act to, “Keep going, as hazy as it seems, especially right now. We are the next generation of artists and activists. Keep asking, ‘Why not us, why not me, why not now?’”

Congratulations to the incredible Opening Act students who completed the 2020 Summer Arts and Leadership Conservatory! Your hard work, commitment, and curiosity drives us onward! And special thanks to Opening Act Teaching Artists Andrea Ang, Claire Fort, and Caitlin Gaspar for your excellent facilitation, artistry, and endless support!

Thanks for reading and please reach out with suggestions and submission ideas to and don’t forget to follow our Act 2 Fellows on Instagram! See you next Monday!

Got your back!