Girl Be Heard was founded in 2008 under the name Project Girl Performance Collective. Director Ashley Marinaccio, Co-Founder and Founding Artistic Director of Girl Be Heard, was asked to write a play for the Estrogenius Theatre Festival, and gave birth to the first Girl Be Heard workshop by teaching the cast of twelve young women from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds to write their own show and tell their own stories.
The result was transformative. This collective soon formalized a girl-empowerment workshop and curriculum to deliver a unique mentoring experience. Since its inception, the theatre company has grown from twelve to nearly 200 members, and has gone on to tour the country and raise the visibility of issues affecting girls. The collective is based in New York City and serves thousands of youth via school performances, workshops, and nonprofit partnerships in the five boroughs and Tri-State area.
Girl Be Heard has written and performed countless award-winning shows including: Girl Power: Survival of the Fittest, which debuted in the NYC Fringe Festival and the New Jersey State Theatre in 2009; Project Girl Congo, commissioned by Panzi Hospital USA and performed in the White House in 2010; Child Bride, commissioned by the United Nations Girl Up Foundation in 2011; Trafficked, about girls in New York City enslaved in the $38 billion-a-year sex trafficking industry; Embodi(ED), illuminating girls’ struggles with body image, eating disorders, and the multi-billion-dollar diet industry; and its upcoming mainstage show, Blurred Lines, exposing the normalization of rape culture in contemporary society and asking for a shift in cultural awareness.