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STAFF

JESSE BLISS

Founder/Artistic Director

Jesse Bliss is an international playwright, director, producer, actress, poetess and veteran arts educator. System impacted herself, Ms. Bliss has been facilitating theatre and writing workshops in prisons over two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts  from California Institute of Integral studies and a teaching credential in Arts, Media and Entertainment.

 

Her work has been produced around the world at venues such as the United Nations, Off-Broadway, Edinburgh Festival, Traxx at Union Station, Lincoln Heights Jail, S.P.A.R.C at the Old Jail in Venice, The Last Bookstore, King Eddy Saloon, The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts, Casa 0101 Theater, Theatre of Note, Occidental College, UCSC, UCLA, and California Institute of Integral Studies to name a few. Her plays ROOTS AND WINGS, DIAMONDS, TREE OF FIRE, A RECORD OF LIGHT, and NIGHT FLOWER have had a significant impact for both artists and audiences. Her writing has been published by Brooklyn and Boyle, Center Theatre Group, Writ Large Projects, and Angel City Review, among others. She has taught and created curriculum for Center Theatre Group, The Geffen, Inner-City Arts, Unusual Suspects, Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, J.U.I.C.E. and Inside OUT Writers among others. She is a featured artist in Kate Crash's LA WOMEN, LOOK WHAT SHE DID, Yahoo News' SHINE, and an Emmy Award Nominated segment on Spotlight Arts, Standup for the Arts. Documentaries. Her writing workshops for incarcerated girls inspired her celebrated graphic chapbook, in collaboration with Alfie Numeric, I LOVE MYSELF GOLDEN, loved on both sides of the walls. 

 

Her ground-breaking trilogy, written by BIPOC women writers includes MATRIARCH, LUMINOUS STREETS: A DTLA Theatrical Tour exploring matters of women’s survival and pursuit of justice, and WOMEN AT WORK , have been met with enormous appreciation. Most recently, Ms. Bliss is writing the World Premiere of THE JOY RIDE, a mobile show performed by world-class artists delivered out of vintage convertible exploring matters of racial injustice, COVID-19, friendship and artistry.   Ms. Bliss is Co-Producer and Co-Host of KPFK 90.7’s THINK OUTSIDE THE CAGE, a radio program exploring all matters of mass incarceration.

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GABRIELA LÓPEZ DE DENNIS

Associate Producer

Gabriela López de Dennis is an award-winning storyteller—writer, producer, director, actor, content creator. She has been working in the arts and entertainment industry for over 20 years. Gabriela is the owner of the design studio, Soap Studio Inc., and one of the co-founders and CEO of Lone Stars Entertainment, an independent production company that produces films, videos and web content. She recently co-produced the Women at Work virtual performance (which included a work in progress she wrote), The Joy Ride mobile, outdoor, multi-disciplinary show, and the Matriarch outdoor performance, for The Roots and Wings Project with its founder and creator of these projects, Jesse Bliss. She was invited to perform in and co-curate the event, Frankenstein 200: 4 Women at the Villa Diodati, as part of the El Camino College’s award-winning program, “Art of Science/Science of Art,” created by Betty L. Sedor.

She is a producer and writer (episode ‘Where Did All the Color Go?’) on the award-winning digital series #HighlandPark. She is producer and co-creator of the award-winning documentary short series Overcomers, which was aired on PBS/WORLD Channel (Episode 1: Jasmine). The series was produced for the American Graduate initiative and made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NALIP. Gabriela also produced the pilot episode of the digital series she wrote and directed, Hoop Girls, an official selection and nominee at the 2017 Official Latino Short Film Festival (New York), based on her stage play. Hoop Girls was originally developed through TeAda Productions and Center Theatre Group, and was part of the [Inside] the Ford summer readings at the Ford Theatre. It had a full production at CASA 0101 Theatre in Los Angeles, a workshop production at Rutgers University in New Jersey, a reading by Amigos del REP at the San Diego Rep, and was part of Center Theater Group’s Boyle Heights Theater Tour in collaboration with CASA 0101 Theater. Her latest project to be released is the sci-fi short film she wrote and directed, Are You Still There?, also based on her stage play. Gabriela was included in Remezcla’s list of “10 Latino Filmmakers You Should Know.”

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TOBIAS TUBBS

Re-entry Coordinator

Tobias Tubbs is previously incarcerated and was given a youthful offender death sentence---L.W.O.P. (Life Without the Possibility of Parole) but through a commutation, he was pardoned and released after 30 years. He is a fierce advocate for the rights of those formerly and currently incarcerated. As a keynote speaker, artist, author, and mentor, he teaches resiliency and the importance of The Arts when it comes to healing individually and collectively. Tobias is currently working on multiple projects: He is the lead of of the healing through narrative/art with Wordsuncaged. He is a community partner with Theater of the Oppressed with Professor Brent Blair (USC) where he appeared in the starring role of the play PAUSE. He is a consultant for LACOE, and he produced the DTLA Site-Specific Theatrical Tour LUMINOUS STREETS for The Roots and Wings Project. He is an advocate of both arts and healing and is using his freedom to change the world.

BOARD of directors

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JESSE BLISSPresident

Founder and Artistic Director, The Roots and Wings Project

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TOMAS BENITEZSecretary

Development Director, Plaza de la Raza

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EDUARDO ESPINOZA, Treasurer

Senior Project Manager, EAH Housing

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KIERA NEWSOME

Advocate, Innocence Project

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