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Yes, and.

Dear Beloved Artistic Community,

It’s September. Back to school is in the air, and this year I’m sharpening my #2 pencils as well. Yes, you read that right. For the next two years I will be a full time student at Silberman School of Social Work right here in New York City.

For the past 11 years, I have been with The Anthropologists researching, exploring, making and performing in plays. Our motto is “where art meets action” and for 7 unique shows I have been inspired over and over again to take action–some small, others bigger. My household ditched paper towels in 2017 after creating This Sinking Island, I began attending protests and rallies after being inspired by the garment workers of Mahallah, and mid-pandemic I became a volunteer Sexual Assault Advocate after spending years with the stories we told in Artemisia’s Intent.

My life has been irrevocably changed by The Anthropologists and the work that we do together. The truth is, I’m still changing and now this work is driving me to take my artistic impact and push it into the outside world in a new way.

So what does it mean for our relationship - mine and yours? To borrow a phrase from the improvisational world, I’m taking a “yes and” approach! I am an artist YES! AND I will be a social worker. YES, I want to inspire action with my art, AND I want ways to make those actions possible.

I will still be an artist, because you are what you make and what we make is art.

What will this look like? Well, for the next two years, I’m going to need to take a hiatus from my favorite place in the world, the stage. The good news is, I still get to spend time in my second favorite place, the audiences of our productions and community events. I will still be an Anthropologist, peeping in on all the slack channels and offering my help and artistry where I can. And I will still be an artist, because you are what you make and what we make is art.

With love and gratitude,


Mariah Freda joined the company as an artist in 2012 when she was cast in MAHALLA, and was named Artistic Associate in 2015. During her decade+ with the company, she has helped to devise and perform in The Blackout, The Anthropologists Save The World!, No Man's Land, This Sinking Island, Artemisia's Intent, No Pants In Tucson, the No Pants digital series, #Beavers, and most recently, as deviser and producer on axes, herbs and satchels. She'll continue working with The Anthropologists as Artistic Associate in a revised capacity, while we bring new Creative Partners on board. We're excited for the next part of Mariah’s journey and can’t wait to see how her theatrical instincts shape her work as a social worker.

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