Leia is the current artistic director of The Confined Arts at Columbia University's Center for Justice. Founded by Pastor Isaac Scott, TCA illustrates and showcases the talents and creative voices of artists directly impacted by mass incarceration and intersecting social justice issues. The artist-led platform uses collaborative activism to express the restraints produced by injustice and aims to influence policy change and lay the foundation for imagining a world anchored in empathy, healing, and prevention-based policies. Through artistry and representation, TCA seeks to abolish dehumanizing language, reductive narratives, and socially degrading stigmas that are used to describe the past experiences and limit the futures of individuals impacted by incarceration.
Sandbar Collective: Exploring Theatrical Depictions of Femininity
Leia founded and coordinates Sandbar, a collective dedicated to evaluating the landscape of contemporary plays that depict femininity with an awareness of intersectionality. This group of theater professionals from various disciplines meets bi-monthly to discuss and review both recently produced and yet-to-be-produced plays that depict female-identifying, trans, and gender-non-conforming characters.
Criticism and Dramaturgy
Leia is currently a staff writer for All About Solo. Her dramaturgical and educational writing can also be read in Roundabout Theatre Company's Upstage Playgoer's Guide. Through her writing, she strives to practice and encourage reflection and offer information and perspectives that invite new ways of understanding theatre and arts education work.
Peer Facilitation Training
While volunteering for the University of Michigan’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC), Leia taught peer facilitation skills through the use of theatrical techniques. These skills were employed in Relationship Remix, a peer-led workshop that educates undergraduate students about healthy sexual relationships. Leia's Peer Facilitation and Performance Skills guide was presented at the 2017 NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference.
Sustainability in Theatre
Co-founded with Larissa Marten, Herd is a female-led, sustainability-focused community of theatre makers. The collective develops new works and creates live entertainment that promotes a re-connection with and respect for nature through production practices and creative content. Herd emphasizes the importance of community-specific and local theatre to discourage unnecessary and wasteful travel. Learn more about Herd's sustainability guidelines and efforts here.
I Killed the Cow
Sexual Assault Prevention
In conjunction with the 2018 tour of I Killed the Cow, Leia designed a post-show interactive workshop to develop sexual misconduct prevention and response skills. At each city on the tour, the show partnered with a local sexual health organization to connect audiences to options for support or further discussion after the show.
Learn more about I Killed the Cow's partnerships and how to bring the show to a location near you.
Prison Creative Arts Project
As a facilitator with the Prison Creative Arts Project, Leia led improvisation and devised theatre workshops in men's and women's prisons in Michigan. She is honored to have worked with and learned from the program's longest running troupe, The Sisters Within.
Learn more about her work with PCAP, including how it brought her the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
Educational Theater Company
In her work with the University of Michigan's Educational Theatre Company, Leia co-developed Change It Up!, an interactive bystander intervention workshop which utilizes forum theatre to teach effective intervention strategies to university-aged students. Additionally, she devised a performance to support and inform students transferring into the university.