Stage Players: Emjoy Gavino
A short profile of Emjoy Gavino, the founder and executive director of the Chicago Inclusion Project.
- You ready?
I never in my life wanted to run
a theater company in Chicago.
I just wanted to be an actor and get jobs
and float around through life.
My name is Emjoy Gavino.
I am the founder and Executive Director
of the Chicago Inclusion Project.
What we were seeing a lot of in Chicago theaters
and all theaters really, were barriers.
We were separated by our ethnicity,
our gender identity, our physical ability.
We put on a reading,
"The Time of Your Life" by William Saroyan.
People were playing dreamers, dancers,
barkeeps, writers, Americans.
Nobody was playing a stereotype.
One day I got called in to audition for "Wait Until Dark."
Can you find me three keys on a ring?
That's a white lady role.
Ron OJ Parson had greater hopes
for me than I had for myself.
That's kind of when I started to choose
projects that didn't make me feel small.
When we're not part of the narrative, we're invisible.