Cornerstone Theater Company


2018 Institute: Meet the Players: Anissa Weinraub

This summer we traveled to the other side of the country to make a new play called, The Cardinal with and about the people of Queens New York, the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. The production is part of Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency, which has brought together thirteen participants (“the players”) from across the United States and Canada to live, learn, and create together. In one month’s time, and working alongside Cornerstone staff, Ensemble and community members, these creative souls are learning Cornerstone’s process for creating community-engaged theater. By participating in classes, workshops, and taking part in every aspect of the play-making process from casting, auditions, rehearsals, costume/design build, and acting. This blog series is an opportunity for you to “Meet the Players”!














Anissa Weinraub AKA Makeup putting on lady and Chorus

A little bit about Anissa

Anissa is a public school educator, theater-maker and organizer, living and working in Philadelphia. Currently, her best work can be viewed during any school day at the Academy at Palumbo HS, where she is lucky enough to teach students about speculative fiction, visionary theater, and how to claim their fullest selves in order to push back against structural oppression.  She loves facilitating ensemble-based devising processes, telling stories to live audiences, and convening groups of people to strategize toward collective change. She is very excited to learn and grow alongside everyone this summer.

What inspired you to join Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency this year?

“I’ve been working and creating in 3 mostly-separate spheres — as a Philly public high school teacher, an education justice organizer, and a theater maker.  I wanted to push myself to live inside the middle of the Venn diagram of those three worlds. I felt that being engaged with Cornerstone’s community-based theater making practices would catalyze me into realizing how I can work at the intersections of my passions, and use theater to advance deeper change-oriented projects.”

What has been your favorite moment thus far?

“I’ve loved working with the women from Pomonok — in their garden and onstage.”

What do you hope to learn from your experience this summer?

“I want to make a project that brings teachers, students and parents together to share stories, build trust, and envision a transformed educational landscape in Philadelphia. I’m hoping this summer’s work will help me strategize that project.”

 Complete this sentence. Queens is….

“…full of people making their way in the world.”

 Why do you think people should come and see the play?

“A family that consists of 3 generations of amazing Puerto Rican women (AKA – Wanda’s family) have a gorgeous song and dance number about the power of planting a garden — both in the earth and in the next generation.  Let’s just say, there will be cartwheels!”


The Cardinal performs August 10 & 11th. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets today!

“Me doing our Composition — which actually was REALLY good! We made a piece that explored land, in terms of indigenous sovereignty and colonial theft.”

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