Tsehaye Geralyn Hebert

Composer Librettist Playwright

Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert (she/her/hers) is a citizen playwright (Alliance Kendeda National Graduate Playwright Award; American College Theatre Festival; Voices Rising Fellow, Vermont Studio Center; Midwest Black Playwrights Project; Native Voices and Visions; RhinoFest/Prop Thtr.; Cultural DC/SourceFest; Frank McCourt Memoir and Sundance Theatre Lab finalist).

The Northwestern University (NU) alum earned the MFAW at School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC) where she penned The Chicago Quartet, set in iconic Chicago neighborhoods and across its defining eras.  Each earned distinction, the Alliance-Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award among them, for The C. A. Lyons Project.  She is the first Black woman, the first NU and SAIC alum, and the first person with a disability to have won the Kendeda.   

Her writing engages community from page to stage.  Fearless in her scope, Hébert's work might include anarchist Lucy Parsons, anti-lynching advocate Ida B. Wells, and social reformer Jane Addams having tea (You Are Cordially Invited to Tea, Mrs. B.), or a trio of dancers at the dawn of the GRIDS/AIDS crisis (The C. A. Lyons Project).  

Hébert  imagines an American Theatre canon that authentically reflects America.  The recent 3Arts Fellow is passionate about accessibility.  She explored  Black American Sign Language, non-verbal communication, and visual literacy in African American popular funk music in staging.  Sculptor Preston Jackson (Illinois Laureate, SAIC Emeritus Professor) and Author-Visionary Anita Gonzalez (Urban Bush Women) mentored her in this project.

As an homage to her birthplace, the bona fide gumbo girl is completing the final works in The Louisiana Plays.  Triaging between her grandparents’ rural family seat, her Baton Rouge birthplace and her mother’s beloved New Orleans, she relishes quiet world-changing moments onstage alongside the hyperbole and spectacle of Mardi Gras! Steeped in Afro-Creole culture, the second great granddaughter of Creole storyteller, Dorlis Aguilliard, she lived in a polyglot world of music, dance, storytelling, and activism.  Her mother played a mean stride piano, Chopin.  The movie theatre her father managed doubled as a venue for James Brown and others. Both grandfathers played violin.  Born into a family of larger-than-life creatives, there’s no wonder she found her way to the theatre.  She got it honest!

She sits on the honorary board of Piven Theatre Company and volunteers in the theatre community.  Race, sexuality, gender, geography, and economics are rooms in her big accessible and inclusive house. Everyone is welcome to heal, grieve, cry, celebrate and laugh out loud!

  • The C. A. Lyons Project                                                                                                                                                    Alliance Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA; American College Theatre Festival, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; National New Play Network 
  • Tale of the Lychee Woman                                                                                                                                              Sundance Theatre Lab Finalist; Something Wonderful, Workshop Selection, Chicago IL
  • pygMALI                                                                                                                                                                            RhinoFest SAIC Award Winner, School of the Art Institute Chicago IL
  • You Are Cordially Invited to Tea, Mrs. B.                                                                                                                      Voices Rising Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center; Johnson VT 
  • I Get the Blues, Sometimes I Do                                                                                                                                          Down for the Count Festival Playwright – Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas TX 
  • Elegy for Miss Lucy                                                                                                                                                            Cultural DC/Source Festival, Top 20 Finalists, Washington DC
  • Bedtime Story                                                                                                                                                                       Native Voices and Visions Award, Playwright, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA; 1st Place, New Works/New Vision Midwest Playwrights Project, Madame C. J. Walker Center, Indianapolis IN
  • Everything I Need to Know About Disability, I Learned Being Black                                                                     3Arts Fellowship, University of IL Chicago; Program on Disability Art, Culture and Humanities. Chicago IL
  • A Meditation on Violence, a Piece...Peace Yet To Be Named.                                                                    Playwright-in-Residence, Chicago State University.  Chicago IL.  Commission
  • Yvonne, Rhona and Tracey Spend the Evening Together Again                                                                      ​​​​​​​Chicago State University
  • Heart of the Matter                                                                                                                                                  Independent Production.
  • Counting the Costs                                                                                                                                                          Artist-in-Residence, Valporaiso University, Valporaiso IN  Commission

The Chicago Quartet

The C. A. Lyons Project, pgyMALI, Elegy for Miss Lucy, A Meditation on Violence, A Piece…Peace Yet To Be Named

The Louisiana Plays

Tale of the Lychee Woman, Bedtime Story, The Inheritance, FrancesAgnes, E/O