Anya Pearson is an actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist.


Anya Pearson is an award-winning actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist. She splits her time between Portland, Oregon and New York City. She is the current playwright-in-residence for Shaking the Tree Theatre in Portland, Oregon. She is the inaugural winner of the prestigious $10,000 Voice is a Muscle Grant from the Corporeal Voices Foundation run by best-selling author Lidia Yuknavitch. The award was given to a writer of color from Oregon who demonstrates exemplary merit and a passion for social justice. Anya is working on a triptych of projects aimed at giving voice to survivors of sexual violence and combating rape culture: a play, a documentary, and a collection of poetry. She is dedicated to amplifying the voices of other survivors, giving voice to their experiences, and sparking dialogue that seeks to combat the insidiousness of rape culture in our society. The play, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, is a fusion of poetry, theatre, and violent and visceral contemporary dance, which poses the question: how do we heal from trauma? Made to Dance in Burning Buildingsplayed to a sold out house at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater on April 24, 2018 and will receive its World Premiere at Shaking The Tree Theatre in February 2019. The documentary follows the development of the play, her passionate quest to empower other survivors, the stories of other survivors, and dissects rape culture as a whole. The collection of poetry explores Anya’s own experience as a survivor. Anya recently received a $10,000 commission from Bag & Baggage Theatre to adapt Measure for Measurewith an African-American lens focused on the prison industrial complex and its effect on black families. She also recently received a $6,000 commission from Orphic to adapt Agamemnonwith an African-American lens focused on the effect of the war on drugs. Anya has also received a commission form Shaking the Tree to write a play about Queen Charlotte who was married to King George III who was the King during the American Revolution. She was rumored to have been of African descent. Currently, Anya is starring in the devised piece ______ The Wolf,also at Shaking the Tree. She also wrote the script for ____ The Wolf. It is an exploration of male/female relationships told through the Little Red Riding Hood Fairy Tale. In February, Anya was a featured panelist at one of the talkbacks of Eve Ensler’s new play, In the Body of the World, at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. In May, an excerpt from her multi-disciplinary piece, Above a Whisper, a fusion of poetry, narrative, dance, visual art, and film, which tackles sexual harassment, debuted at SALTat Shaking The Tree. Anya runs a production company called Urban Haiku whose mission is to produce groundbreaking work that transcends the traditional boundaries of theatre while also serving as the catalyst for art and community action to combine for real social change.In June, Anya produced a multidisciplinary night of performance and panel discussion around sexual violence in association with The Old Church and their “We Can Listen” Series. At the event, she curated a panel of rape survivors who discussed their experiences as well as what survival means to them. As an actor, she is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and has appeared in numerous regional theatre productions and independent films. She is a graduate of the prestigious two-year program at the William Esper Studio in New York City where she studied acting with Terry Knickerbocker. She is also a graduate of the writing program at Marylhurst University. Her best production is truly her 6-year-old daughter, Aidan. 



For more information on Anya or any of her projects, feel free to email her at


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