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You Wouldn't Expect explores the staggering truths about the coercive influence of the government sponsored eugenics program in rural North Carolina in the mid-1960s. 

"Ms. Anselmi succeeds at imparting her solid research on the subject through her sharp dialogue spoken by her strong characters." 

Theater Scene - Darryl Reilly

September 19 - October 7, 2018

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YWE_Erin Gilbreth, Adiagha Faiah, Atiya

Erin Gilbreth*  - Photo by Basil Rodericks

Erin Gilbreth*, Adiagha Faizah, Atiya Taylor - photo by Basil Rodericks

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Mr. Kinley and Mary Tom YWE 2018_edited.

September 19 - October 7, 2018

 Okema T. Moore* & Cherie Danielle - Photo by Basil Rodericks

Carl Fisk & Erin Gilbreth* -

Photo by Basil Rodericks

Ross G. Hewitt & Okema T. Moore photo by

Ross G. Hewitt & Okema T. Moore - Photo by Basil Rodericks

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Left to right:  Malikh Mallette, Ross Hewitt, Carl Fisk, Okema T. Moore*, 

Cherie Danielle, Adiagh Faizah,  Atiya Taylor. 

Seated -Erin Gilbreth*, Cezar Williams- Director 

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Erin Gilbreth* - Mary Tom Walker

Okema T. Moore* - Temperence Hedgepeth

Cherie Danielle - Nilene Cooper

Malikha Mallette - Barbara Lynch

Adiagha Faizah - May Rivers

Atiya Yanique Taylor - Ginny Rivers

Ross G. Hewitt - Richard Banor

Carl Fisk - Mr. Kinley

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

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Production Team

Director - Cezar Williams Recent credits include the Off-Broadway premiere of Dancing on Eggshells (Billie Holiday Theatre), Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David (National Black Theatre), The Hunting Season (Planet Connections Festivity), How To Be Safe (The Dirty Blondes in rep at the Kraine Theater), directing all seven short plays in the 8th Annual (The Fire This Time Festival), Free Will (The Arthur Seelen Theatre), Ghost Town and Tailypo (Detroit NY Festival), Lunchtime in Heaven (48 hours in Harlem), Nightfall and Slow Gin Fits (The Fire This Time Festival 2013 & 2014).  He has worked at venues including The Actor’s Studio, Williamstown Theater Festival, 59 e.59th Street Theater, La Mama, The Cherry Lane, and the Bleeker Street Theater. Cezar is a graduate of New York University where he was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. He is the Artistic Director of the Obie Award winning Fire This Time Festival and he is the co-founder of Robinson Williams Productions, a theater production company based in Yonkers, NY. Cezar Williams is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. For professional inquiries contact him at


Production Stage Manager:  Belynda Hardin

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Fight Choreographer: Carl Fisk

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Marketing Maven: Lily Warpinski

Projection & Lighting Designer: Elizabeth Mak

Design team

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Set Designer: Jamie Larson

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Assistant Costume Designer:

Ty Andreson

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Props Master: Liana Jackson

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Costume Designer: DeShon Elem

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Sound Design - Caroline Eng


Playwright Marilynn Barner Anselmi 

in a post-show interview with Adam Szymkowicz

Links we think you will want to check out

 Philip Yanos Ph.D.

  Written Off                     Posted Jun 02, 2018                    

The Long Shadow of the Eugenics Movement - Its Influence Persists

Check out this great article about one of the Major themes in the play

We are so excited to have Philip Yanos join as a a guest panelist at our talk-back following the Saturday, September 22nd performance!

Between Choice and Coercion:
     Women and the Politics of Sterilization in North Carolina, 1929-1975                
article by Johanna Schoen

Between 1929 and 1975, the North Carolina Eugenics Board authorized over eight thousand eugenic sterilizations. By stressing the irreversible and permanent effects of sterilization, historians have emphasized the involuntary character of sterilization for poor and minority women.... It highlights that women were not merely victims of state sterilization policies, but tried to control their reproduction even if it meant taking advantage of less-than-perfect programs.

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