My name is Gaven, rhymes with "Raven"... they/he/siya. I am a brown, first-generation, gender non-conforming, Filipinx American theatre maker based in New York City. In addition to my work as a dramaturg, director, and playwright, I am the Community Engagement Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. Theatre Communications Group named me a Rising Leader of Color in 2021.
As an artist living with Bipolar Disorder, I am an advocate for empathetic and responsible representation of persons with mental illness, disabilities, and neurodiversity on and off-stage. I am also an advocate for suicide prevention and healing for those affected by it.
I have experience with new play development, production dramaturgy, community & audience engagement, direction, and arts administration. I am a globally conscious and interdisciplinary artist who believes that theatre is a transformative tool for underrepresented communities to imagine and create radically new inclusive worlds. I work closely with LGBTQIA+ community leaders, artists with disabilities, and international artists whose work focus on Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, and Belonging (EDIB) Initiatives. I believe in an artistic collaborative process that centers on feminist and queer concepts of radical compassion, love, empathy, and community-building. I advocate for LGBTQIA+ and feminist issues, mental health awareness, inclusive accessible theatre, and advancement of diverse representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. I have had the honor to intern and work at various companies in various artistic, administrative, and dramaturgical positions: The Juilliard School Drama Division, Musical Theatre Factory, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, New York Theater Workshop, Ma-Yi Theatre, the TEAM, Roundabout Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, Playhouse on the Square (Memphis, TN), and Bremen Schaulspielhaus. B.A. American Studies, Dickinson College; M.F.A. Dramaturgy, University of Massachusetts Amhers. I am also a proud former teacher of Teach for America's Memphis Corps from 2012 to 2014. I completed a year-long professional apprenticeship in the Drama Division at The Juilliard School.
My original work has been developed by Leviathan Lab, The Shelter NYC, and Orchard Project. I've been featured in articles by American Theatre Magazine and the Philippine Inquirer US. I live with my 12-year-old dog! Random fun facts: I play the ukulele, compose songs, write poetry, speak German, and continuing to learn Sign Language (going into 2 1/2 years)!