SAMARA GAEV, Founder and Artistic Director of Truthworker Theatre Company, is a New York based activist, educator, theatre director, and performer. Her work has taken her to Zimbabwe, Senegal, Hawaii, Brasil, Peru, Cuba, Scotland, and throughout the U.S. Gaev has 16 years experience using performance as a tool for cross-cultural healing & social change, including initiating theatre and writing intensives for formerly incarcerated, gang affiliated, and pregnant and parenting youth. Under her direction, Truthworker Theatre Company has written, devised, and self-produced two original hip-hop theatre productions: BAR CODE: A Performative Analysis of the School to Prison Pipeline and IN|PRISM: Boxed In & Blacked Out in America. Samara is honored to have served as Artist/Scholar in Residence at Columbia University’s Teachers College: Graduate School of Education, and to be lead teaching artist at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, directing their Arts & Justice theater program for teens. She is also the National Education Coordinator for Question Bridge: Black Males, a board member of Project Rhythm, and Curriculum Writer for Hurricane Season: The Hidden Messages in Water. Gaev consults as an anti-oppression trainer with community organizations and institutions nationally, such as Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Beautiful Trouble, The Nature Conservancy, and Good Shepherd Services. Her work as a performer, educator, and lecturer has afforded her opportunities to present at colleges, universities, and conferences including New York University, Marion Institute’s Connecting for Change Conference, Yale University, Vassar College, Columbia University, and Oberlin College. Samara has had the opportunity to train with such choreographers as Bill T. Jones, Garth Fagan, and Urban Bush Women, and is a company member of Organic Magnetics, under the direction of Maija Garcia—Creative Director and Associate Choreographer of FELA!. Samara has also performed extensively with Universal Arts Co. in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, co-directed by Obbie and Bessie award winner Robbie McCauley, and The Beat, which brought her to Zimbabwe’s Harare International Festival for the Arts as a performer & teacher. Gaev graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She completed advanced training in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed from the Paul A. Kaplan Center for Educational Drama and received her Master’s Degree in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a thesis that explored trauma, advocacy, and witnessing. Samara is a recipient of the 2009 Next Generation of Leadership Fellowship through the Center for Whole Communities, where she is now faculty. Her active involvement in progressive social change has taken her beyond the classroom and the stage, and towards actualizing the change she wishes to see.