Xanthia Walker

March 3, 2016: Performer

Xanthia Angel Walker is a director, facilitator, and educator. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and a BA in Theatre and a BA in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies from University of Minnesota. Xanthia is the co-founding artistic director of Rising Youth Theatre, which creates socially relevant original works of theatre through partnerships between young people, professional artists, and communities. Rising Youth Theatre was awarded the 2014 Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and in 2012 was awarded the inaugural Phoenix Mayor’s Arts Award in Theatre by Mayor Greg Stanton. Favorite directing credits include Antonia by José Casas at Rising Youth Theatre, The Soul Justice Project with Phonetic Spit and the Mesa Arts Center, Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka at Arizona School for the Arts, which was awarded Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Overall Production at the 2014 National Youth Arts Awards; aDoBe by Jose Casas at Rising Youth Theatre; Shipwrecked by Sigrid Gilmer at Rising Youth Theatre; Woman and Girl by Charlie Steak at Space 55. She co-curates The Light Rail Plays at Rising Youth Theatre, an annual public art theatrical adventure on the Phoenix Metro Light Rail system. Xanthia is the 2009 Winifred Ward Scholar, awarded for excellence in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Her article “Pronouns, Playbuilding, and the Principal: Negotiating Multiple Sites of Activism in a Youth-Focused Theatre for Social Justice Project” is featured in the anthology Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre. Xanthia’s manifesto, titled “For the Future of Theatre for Young Audiences” is published in the Fall 2012 issue of TYA Today. Xanthia is the winner of the 2015 Phoenix New Times Big Brain Award in Performing Art.