This Emancipation Thing

Sara Lyons
Past event


Pull up a cushion, have a cookie, get comfortable. Speak if you like, or just listen: This Emancipation Thing is an invitation to connect, to resurrect the second-wave feminist consciousness-raising circle in a new theatre event led by an interracial, gender-expansive ensemble. How do our relationships, our desires, our relationships with our bodies vibrate between 1968 and 2023, across generations? Whether for an hour or for six, settle into a womb of listening and care as contemporary LA-based feminists of all ages and genders intervene in the past, collapsing time in a new kind of theater experience from director Sara Lyons. With reproductive rights slipping through our fingers, what wisdom must we awaken from the activists who ushered in Roe v. Wade (1973)? What of that past must we crumble — and how will we emerge from the rubble?


Please note: This Emancipation Thing contains nudity, mentions of suicide, and frank discussions of sex and gender-based violence.

This Emancipation Thing is repeated three times, evolving live each time with inspiration from audience participation. If you’d like to see all three performances, contact the box office at

A truly remarkable artistic research experiment crafted for the stage.

Grace Courvoisier, LA Dance Chronicle

about the artist

Sara Lyons

Sara Lyons is a Los Angeles-based director who seeks to explode form and politic in critically embodied, often interdisciplinary new theater and performance works. Working frequently in adaptation, social practice, and new media as well as theater, their work has been presented nationally and internationally by The Kitchen (NYC), REDCAT, Los Angeles Performance Practice, OUTsider, SFX Festival (NYC), Ensemble Studio Theatre (LA), HERE Arts Center (NYC), La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (NYC), Edinburgh Fringe, and more.

In addition to This Emancipation Thing, recent projects include Sophia Cleary’s One & Only (The Kitchen), an experiment in theater for an audience of one; Paul Outlaw’s BBC (Big Black Cockroach); and BigBlackOctoberSurprise, a Kafka-inspired live horror farce in which a white Tr*mp-supporting woman wakes up as a “monstrous vermin” — a Black man (REDCAT 2019). Sara’s ongoing project I’m Very Into You is an original adaptation of the published 1995 email correspondence by feminist literary legend Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark. Called “worth keeping an eye out for” by American Theatre magazine, I’m Very Into You is an ongoing queer archival performance project engaging queer and feminist artists in communities around the country.

Sara has received residencies from Ucross Foundation, Thymele Arts (2020 Resident Artist), PAM Residencies, and Los Angeles Performance Practice/Automata LA.

Sara holds an MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University and is an alum of the Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC program for artists working at the intersection of performance and politics at NYU. They have lectured at UCLA, Sarah Lawrence College, and Cal Poly Pomona, and their critical writing has been published by and

Instagram / Website

cast & creative team

Conceived and Directed by Sara Lyons, and co-created with The Ensemble

Performed by Jennifer Jonassen, Jack MacCarthy, Staci Mize, Chenoa Rae, Michelle Sui

Media and Interaction Design: Joseph Amodei

Scenic Design: Emily MacDonald

Lighting Design: Chu-Hsuan Chang

Sound Design: Jonathan Snipes

Associate Sound Designer: Yasmine El-Tayeb

Assistant Scenic Designers: Yessi Garcia-Garibay, Alan Tollefson

Stage Manager: Max Kunke

Production Manager: Christa Troester

Producers: Nikki DiLoreto, Jessica Hanna