Who We Are

PROGRAM AND ADMIN TEAM

Past Artistic Core Members
  • Lexi Adsit
  • Elokin Orton-Cheung
  • Jen-Mei Wu
  • Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • Luna Merbruja
  • Ryan Li Dahlstrom
  • Vanessa Rochelle Lewis
Board of Elders
They advise us, drop wisdom on us, and believe in us
  • Ms. Cherry Galette, Mangos With Chili
  • Jen-Mei Wu, Comrade Lover / Liberating Ourselves Locally / Indiegogo
  • Kebo Drew, QWOCMAP: Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project
  • Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mangos With Chili / Lambda Award -winning writer of Love Cake, Dirty River, and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home
  • micha cárdenas, Ph.D., Co-author, Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs, and game designer, UNSTOPPABLE
  • Pam Peniston, Queer Cultural Center / National Queer Arts Festival
  • Patty Berne, Sins Invalid
  • StormMiguel Florez, Independent Artist
SUPERCREW
Our team of past and present trainers and producers

Cassandra Falby (Trainer, Lighten Up Stanford; Artistic Director Support, The Fades) is a West Indian American genderqueer femme who has lived in the Bay Area for almost 20 years and reconnected to her artistic self not long after her arrival. As a drag king, she has sashayed across various stages along the West Coast. Cassandra was part of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project’s first filmmaking workshop cohort and now sits on their advisory board. She is a member of the QTPOC4SHO artist collective and the House of Lordes performance collective. She is a geek, a creator, and a psychotherapist who believes that humor and sci-fi/fantasy have the capacity to heal. Cassandra is a Brouhaha alum (Spring 2014).

Devi Peacock (Trainer, Brouhaha stand-up 2017, Lighten Up Stanford) is the founder and the Artistic and Executive Director of Peacock Rebellion. They have shared their snarky tender social justice emo raunch across the US and in Canada, most often as part of the QTPOC cabaret Mangos With Chili. They’ve featured at the National Queer Arts Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, the United States Social Forum, APAture, LitCrawl, the Fresh Meat Festival, SFinExile, and elsewhere. Scroll up for more info about Devi in their other Peacock bio.

Motor City native Karinda Dobbins (Guest Faculty, Brouhaha: QTPOC Stand-Up Comedy) was born into a politically active family of skilled storytellers and sharp wits. Her worldview was shaped by their accounts of protest, civil rights and empowerment, subjects that were always leavened with humor. To date, she has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; featured at Bay Area comedy clubs the Punch Line and Cobb’s; opened for Greg Proops, Trevor Noah and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Karinda made her primetime national television debut on Coast-to-Coast Episode 1 on NickMom Night Out.She served as guest faculty for our Fall 2014 Brouhaha training.

lafemmebear, aka LeahAnn Mitchell (Artistic Director, The Fades) was an up and coming music producer and engineer in Los Angeles working alongside artists including Boyz II Men, Grammy-winners the Jackie Boyz, Eric Dawkins (The Underdogs), Polo Molina (Will.I.Am/Black Eyed Peas), and Interscope Records producers from the Nelly songwriting team. She came out as a transgender woman in 2013 and was effectively blacklisted from the industry, in spite of her skill and experience working with major label talents from companies including Sony. Now #lafemmebear is making a comeback on her own terms. After dusting off her music-making chops with a self-titled EP in early 2018, she dropped a lush new rnb hiphop driven, eclectic collection entitled “Blaq * a note to the world” – a genre-blending experience speaking on the trials of woman femmes trans femmes and black queer femmes specifically. #lafemmebear headlined Utah’s Pride 2019 in Salt Lake City Utah! Performing to a crowd of over 30k people! She also was featured in a full write-up in Billboard magazine for Billboard Pride, as an upcoming lgbtq artist and creator to watch, with the release of the music video “Shutup! with Bell King”! She was previously the lead in The Red Shades, a transgender superhero rock opera that has played sold-out showcases at several venues in San Francisco and Oakland, and has been featured in media outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, and KPFA.

Lexi Adsit (former Managing Director; Trainer and Producer, Brouhaha 2015-2019, STAY Festival, Lighten Up Stanford, The Fades) is a fierce and femme TransLatina woman, trouble maker, and ground-breaker with an MA in Ethnic Studies from SF State. Lexi has been a part of many groundbreaking projects including but not limited to: Founding the Queer Yo Mind Conference at San Francisco State University, Producing Peacock Rebellion’s Brouhaha: Trans Women of Color Comedy-Based Storytelling, and Co-Founding and Co-Coordinating the International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering. Lexi has also been featured on Autostraddle for her article “24 Things You NEED To Do To Help Trans Women of Color Survive” and Salon for her article “Stonewall is in Our Blood”. She has performed at The News @ SOMArts, Ships in the Night @ The New Parish, and elsewhere, and keynoted the Philly Trans Health Conference.

Lisa Evans (Trainer, Brouhaha: Trans POC Sketch Comedy) is a black non-binary actor, poet, and cultural worker who has worked most recently as the California Shakespeare Theater’s Associate Director of Artistic Engagement. They are a 2016 YBCA Fellow and co-founded both the How Spirit Moves Us Project, a healing arts project focused on using performance art to celebrate the struggles, resistance and resiliene of Black Queer and Trans folks, and the #BreakingtheBinary Project, an initiative that works with theater arts organizations across the United States to create sustainable practices for TGNCNB2-S (trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary, Two Spirit) inclusion. Lisa was the founding Queers&Allies Coordinator at Youth Uprising, an Adult Ally Organizer with the QT Network of Alameda County, a Mentor Artist with Destiny Arts Center’s Queer Emerging Artist Residency, and a graduate and lead sketch comedy trainer for Peacock Rebellion’s Brouhaha program. They can be seen in award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Dunye’s short film Black is Blue.

Luna Merbruja (Trainer, Brouhaha: Trans Women of Color Comedy Storytelling) is a Mexican-Athabaskan writer and multimedia artist. They are the author of Heal Your Love, a member of the 2014 Trans 100 List, international performance artist, and community healer. Their writing has been featured in Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic, Everyday Feminism, Autostraddle, and other publications. This city-raised, small town -loving video gamer is also a filmmaker and co-organizer of VandL Productions, a book editor at biyuti publishing, and Project Advisor at Mirror Memoirs.

Maya Chapina (Producer, Agen(c)y: Nonprofit Dreams and Disasters)

Micia Mosely, Ph.D. (Trainer, Brouhaha: QTPOC Stand-Up Comedy), comedian, actress, and educator, has been praised by newyorktheatre.com as “smart, timely and…downright hilarious.” This bi-coastal black lesbian and socio-political performer earned her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and has kept audiences laughing in a variety of contexts and venues. Micia wrote and starred her one-woman show, Where My Girls At?, an off-Broadway comedy about Black lesbians (produced by Nursha Project, directed by Tamilla Woodard). WMGA? was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award (Best Solo Performance). Since 2008 she’s toured her standup comedy across the nation, including performances in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, the DC Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, and New York City. In 2013, Micia debuted Survivor Hampshire: The Social Justice edition. She is currently working on her new play X-Marks the Spot.

Nava Mau (Coach, Brouhaha: QTPOC Comedy Extravaganza) is a trans Latina from Mexico City and San Antonio, Texas. She’s funny, she’s bright, and she’s been telling stories since she could speak. She recently served as the Bilingual Program Coordinator at Community United Against Violence (CUAV) in San Francisco, where her work included peer counseling and facilitating an arts-based wellness support group for surivovors of violence. Her long-term goal is to bolster the stories of intersectionally marginalized people in order to expand their representation and access to resources.

Nia King (Trainer, Brouhaha: QTPOC Stand-Up Comedy) is the author of Queer and Trans Artists of Color. She is also the host and producer of We Want the Airwaves podcast. She taught Brouhaha with Micia for the first year of the program.

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (Producer, Brouhaha: QTPOC Stand-Up Comedy)is a queer, fat, Black femme performance artist, writer, filmmaker, educator, and Faerie Queen Mermaid Gangsta for the revolution. She is a former co- Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, co-host of East Bay Open Mic, Culture Fuck, former Senior Editor of Black Girl Dangerous, and one of the founding members of Deviant Type Press. She has been published in As/Us JournalThe Womynist, Full of Crow, and Black Girl Dangerous, has written/directed/produced two films that have screened in the Queer Women Of Color Film Festival, performed in a wide variety of Queer and Queer People Of Color theatre projects and cabarets, and been a featured reader at literary events all over the Bay Area.