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Ashley Zaragoza

Ashley-Website-2Ashley Zaragoza
Teaching Artist

Where Ashley got her girl power: Growing up in a family mostly made up of females, Ashley was born with girl power. From memorizing a speech by Margaret Thatcher at the age of 9 to fighting (and winning) to sing the male lead part in her Catholic School’s rendition of the Sister Act 2’s “Oh Happy Day” scene, Ashley may have been a quiet one but always knew when to speak up for herself. She also attended a theatre arts high school, where she continued to speak and express herself using performance. Now studying improvisation and sketch at the Upright Citizens Brigade, Ashley uses her comedic skills to create strong female characters to help end the “Are Women Funny?” argument. Inspired by the feminist work of Amy Poehler, Ashley wanted to use her skills and experiences to help inspire other young women to change the world by being themselves. After hearing about Girl Be Heard from a friend, she knew it would be a perfect fit.

How Ashley has been staging the revolution: When she was just a junior in high school, Ashley got her first internship at Vital Theatre Company, which she kept throughout the end of her high school career. After graduating high school, she was later hired as a teaching artist where she worked with her high school students using forum theatre as a way to engage the students in their academics and to teach them helpful skills such as interviewing and auditioning. Ashley was given two residencies in elementary schools where she assisted in creating a curriculum centered around bullying for the students which ended with a performance for their parents and peers. In addition to the work she’s done as a teaching artist, Ashley also worked as a production assistant for the Marc Jacobs Spring 2014 fashion show and assists in managing the front of house for the fall and spring productions at her former high school every year since she’s graduated. Ashley was one of two of the only students on her high school’s leadership team; she worked as a teaching assistant and served as the President of the Glee Club her senior year; and she co-produced a talent show for her peers to showcase work they’ve done in and out of the classroom. She’s also done volunteer work for Relay for Life, volunteers as an usher for the Culture Project, and has participated in all sorts of workshops from the Kevin Spacey Foundation’s Richard’s Rampage to the Vineyard Theatre’s performance boot camp and other experimental theatre projects. She currently puts up her original sketches in shows around the city and features her friends and peers she’s mentored as actors in many of her pieces.

When Ashley isn’t staging the revolution she can be found taking her improv classes at the UCB, writing sketches at home, forgetting why she walked into the kitchen, camping out for Saturday Night Live, accepting an Oscar in her bedroom mirror, or trying to spread more laughter and love to the world.

Hear more from Ashley by emailing ashleyz@girlbeheard.org.