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Mama Rashida Forman-Bey
Mama Rashida Forman-Bey is a director, actress, teaching artist, community activist, song writer, storybook author, and Master Virtues Project facilitator. Mama Rashida, as she is known in the community, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She is one of the founding Directors of WombWork Productions, Inc., a Baltimore based, 501c3 social change theatre company. WombWork’s performances tackle relevant social issues endemic throughout the world such as gun violence, domestic abuse, grief, drug/alcohol abuse, gang violence, HIV prevention, sexual assault, health disparities, and racial inequities.
For over 25 years WombWork’s community programs have served to enrich local neighborhoods through cultural programs incorporating yoga, spirituality, traditional African dancing, drumming, singing, and theatre. Mama Rashida conducts character-building and professional development workshops across the United States, primarily targeting youth, youth facilitators, college students and adults. These workshops have included facilitator training for African Rites of Passage (culturally relevant womanhood training and the Virtues Project International, (a character -building model).
Mama Rashida has been seen in numerous productions, including Under the Skin, Tell Pharaoh, and For Colored Girls. She also in October 2018, directed For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange at Coppin State University. She is currently a Distinguished Community Arts Fellow and graduate student at Maryland Institute College of Art. She is a teaching artist and Professional Development facilitator with Young Audiences of Maryland; training many of their staff and teaching artists to incorporate character building into their lessons plans.
Utilizing the performing arts as a tool for transformation, Mama Rashida has been committed to helping urban youth and their families reach their full potential for over 35 years. In her spiritual walk, Mama Rashida considers herself a lifelong learner who companions others in their spiritual journey through drama, meditation, rituals and the most powerful religion in the world, LOVE.
Artists are keepers of the culture. They tell the story of a people. They inspire change. The performing arts has the power to act as a mirror for society, for us to view ourselves, heighten our awareness, inspire community dialogue, and make positive changes in our own lives.
I want to walk in the footsteps of those great Indigenous ancestors; keeping the culture, telling the story, and companioning others in creating magical, life changing moments through the performing arts. In my work, I bring together community voices, stories, culture, history, knowledge and information through theatre, dance, music, and visual arts, to heal the spirit and inspire social change. – Mama Rashida Forman-Bey