keeping viBe running
Toya Lillard Executive Director
Toya is a native Houstonian from an artistic family who grew up having viBrant arts experiences in theater and music. She brings more than 15 years of experience in arts education and has directed plays, developed curriculum, led advocacy efforts, and implemented innovative teaching artist training programs both in and out of our city’s schools. After graduating from Houston’s prestigious High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Toya attended Vassar College and further developed her interest in arts education, particularly in the use of theatre to help youth address issues relevant to their personal and civic development. Toya also holds an M.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. As a theater teaching artist, Toya has worked extensively and passionately with teenage girls in New York City. Joining viBe is a “dream come true” for her!
Noelle Ghoussaini viBeStages Program Director
Noelle Ghoussaini is an American-Lebanese playwright, director and arts educator. She holds an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in Performance Studies, French and African Studies from Northwestern University. She has lived, traveled, performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Her work is dedicated to using arts to examine and re-imagine our society within a political, social and historical context.
Andalusia Knoll viBeGirlsRadio Program Director
Andalusia Knoll is a multimedia journalist, popular educator and
organizer. She is a a program director with Brooklyn based VibeGirls Radio, a producer with the national Criminal Justice Dialogue Project Thousand Kites, and a freelance journalist who has reported for various news outlets including Democracy Now! Free Speech Radio News, and TeleSUR. She is in love with that little box of technology known as the radio and has conducted bilingual radio and video trainings with youth and social justice organizations across the United States and Latin America. When she’s not producing or teaching radio you can catch her riding her bike on the streets of Brooklyn.
Mahayana Landowne viBeSolos Program Director
Mahayana Landowne is a New York based director looking to create work with dramatic visions that transcend daily life. Recent productions include : MIXED (Baruch Performing Arts), Impossible Country (Mudbone Collective), Baruch Voices (Baruch), Picasso Project (Luna Stage), Blue. (Vital Theater), Carcass (Diaspora Drama), The Heiress, (The Roundtable Ensemble at the Mint), Machinal (U. of Rochester), Post-Code (American Living Room, HERE), and Terrible Infant (Fringe Festival). Musicals include: Spring Bling, Summer in the Hummer, and The Dick Cheney Holiday Spectacular (Ace of Clubs), Western Unidad (Ice Factory Festival, Ohio Theater), Post-Code (American Living Room, HERE). Favorite past productions include: The Skriker, Antony and Cleopatra, The Seagull, brass logic, Streetcar Named Desire, Obgynt, King Lear, and Mud. Affiliations/ Fellowships include: Drama League 00’, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab 04, Directors Lab West 06, League of Professional Theater Women, Woman’s Project, Second Stage, NYU-BFA Acting and Yale School of Drama, MFA Directing. For more info check out: yana.landowne.org
As a Director, she is using her skills to do creative grassroots organizing for social issues including the NYC Dance Parade (www.Danceparade.org) which brings together over one hundred dance organizations to dance down Broadway, and many art action activities that promote participatory art culture.
She also leads workshops in Creativity through Radiant Axis (Radiantaxis.com).
our viBrant founders!
Dana Edell Co-Founder
Dana is currently the executive director of SPARK Movement, a national activist movement working to end the sexualization of girls. With SPARK, she collaborates with a team of girl activists to create and launch actions nationwide. SPARK’s petitions have received more than 100,000 signatures and have ignited national conversations about LEGO’s line of toys “for girls” and Seventeen Magazine’s airbrushing of teenage models. Prior to her work with SPARK, she founded and served as executive director of viBe Theater Experience from 2002-2012. viBe is a nonprofit performing arts education organization that offers free afterschool arts programs to underserved teenage girls in New York City. She produced and co-directed more than 60 plays and 7 CDs of original music all written/ performed by girls aboput the issues girls face daily. She has over 15 years of experience as a teacher and leader in arts and advocacy programs with teenage girls.
Dana’s activist and arts work with girls and young women has been the focus of articles in the New York Times, and New York Daily News, CNN.com and she has spoken as an expert on girls’ issues on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, Fox News, and the BBC.
Dana has taught theater and social change, education, and qualitative research methods courses to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students at New York University, Manhattan Marymount College, Bard College Prison Initiative at Bayview Women’s Prison and the City University of New York. She has a BA with honors in Classics/Ancient Greek from Brown University, an MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University and a PhD in Educational Theater from NYU.
chandra thomas Co-Founder
chandra thomas is the co-founder of viBe Theater Experience. She is consistently amazed by the 175+ “viBe Girls” who have shared their creative voices through their original plays, solo shows, music and performances. As a professional actor/ writer/ producer, chandra has worked and studied for over 15 years across the United States and internationally. Her long-standing artistic interest is in the development and creation of fresh, new works. To this end, chandra has originated roles in plays as well as performing in film, television and voiceover. She has also written and produced new plays and theatrical experiences. As an educator, chandra teaches collaborative theatre development, business for performing artists and performance as empowerment. She currently teaches at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Recently, she completed a performance as empowerment workshop series at the Ferris School for Boys, an all-male juvenile detention center in Wilmington, DE. She has also taught at Creative Arts Team at the City University of New York, New York Film Academy, University of Minnesota, Webster University, among others. chandra graduated, with honors, with a BA in Theatre Arts and BA in Sociology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University.