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Susan Heyward

Season 1, Ep. 13

Laura and Todd sit down with the awe-inspiring Actress Susan Heyward to discuss power dynamics, racism, typecasting and religious trauma. In improvisational theater, ‘status' refers to the power dynamics at play in a relationship between two characters. Sometimes, however, those power dynamics spill over into the real world, particularly for Black women actors. Susan who is a phenomenal actress, probably best known for her role as Tamika Ward in the hit Netflix comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black. She also starred in the PlayStation Network original series, Powers, and the HBO period drama, Vinyl. On stage, Susan made her Broadway debut in the 2013 production of The Trip to Bountiful alongside Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, and Cuba Gooding Jr. and, in 2018 and 2019, she played Rose Granger-Weasley in the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In this episode, Susan shares the definition of ‘misogynoir’, a term used to describe the specific prejudice directed at Black women, and how she has seen it play out in her personal life and her career. She explains how tapping into an ‘as if’ reality as an actor, breaking free from her instinct to code-switch, and making a commitment to healing from her trauma have helped her reclaim her power and why she believes that context and a deeper understanding of our shared trauma can facilitate collective healing. Trauma is all around us, but Susan believes that whatever we put our attention on will grow, which is why she encourages you to turn your attention toward healing today! Make sure not to miss this insightful conversation with the remarkable Susan Heyward!

Susan Heyward on Twitter

Susan Heyward on Instagram

Susan Heyward on IMBD

Orange Is the New Black



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


The Body Keeps the Score

Religious Trauma Syndrome

‘How You Start is How You Finish? The Slave Patrol and Jim Crow Origins of Policing’

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4 Corners Productions

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