For #womenshistorymonth Hook & Eye Theater is honoring the women on whose shoulders we stand. For 31 days, we salute women who inspired, molded, and raised us to be who we are. #31shoulders #shesheshe


Marion Craven

My Great Grandmother, Marion. She was a survivor and classy as hell. She called me her "little Sarah Bernhardt" even though I was the shyest little kid. She made me feel seen and heard and loved and I still feel her powerfully positive impact on my life today.

- Emily Kunkel (Core Member)


Grace C. Babak

My Mom, whose memory still inspires me every day. She was a very creative and patient person with an amazing laugh.

- Cynthia Babak (Core Member)


Chrisele Cariño Kaeo

This is Chrisele, my sister. She was only 31 years old when she lost her battle to cancer, but she is an inspiration to me every single day. She gave it her all to battle the disease, and that inspires me everyday to take on whatever challenges I may encounter head on. She inspires me to keep on going and to become the best person I can be.

- Jeremy Rafal (Performer)


Wendall Harrington

She is my mentor from Yale. She has been considered the nation's leading projection designer for more than three decades. Women usually not mention much in this design world.

- Nok Kanchanabanca (Sound Designer)


The matriarch of my family. At age 18, speaking just a lick of English, she left her home in Madrid to join the US Air Force. Today she works in education and takes her devious granddaughters to relevant movies like Black Panther. #hipgrandma

- Javan Nelson (Performer)


Cristina Cortez

This is my grandmother, Cristina. Despite growing up in a time and place where education was a privilege and even less of a privilege among women, she ended up becoming a very successful businesswoman. She had a natural talent for math and she knew how to make deals. And she was awesome at it. One amazing story that I remember hearing from her was how she and her children survived the World War II. At the time, her hometown in the Philippines was under attack, and she hid her children in a barn full of animals until the attackers left. She was ready to fight to protect her children if they were ever discovered, but fortunately, she knew how to hide themselves very well.

- Jeremy Rafal (Performer)


Grace C. Babak

My Mom, whose memory still inspires me every day. She was a very creative and patient person with an amazing laugh.

- Cynthia Babak (Core Member)


Pauli Murray

Justice warrior, gender pioneer, poet, lawyer, priest, Pauli Murray and her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt inspire the world of our play.


Georgia Venk

My mother with a degree in botany and love of science. . . provided amazing support all my life. On her shoulders I stand.

- Ginny Venk (Core Member)


Clara Teresa Cardenas

My maternal grandmother. A strong resilient woman who has always pushed herself to learn more about herself by exploring the world, and who is constantly on the lookout for ways of improving the lives of those around her.

- Alejandro Fajardo (Lighting Designer)


June Phelps/Diana Heitman/MaryJo Heitman

My maternal grandmother, mother and paternal grandmother. The gift of silly. And more silly. Reminding me not to take myself to seriously.

- Carrie Heitman (Artistic Director)


Gloria Gaborik

My maternal grandmother. She was Grace, Love, Joy, Curiosity & Creativity. To this day, she inspires me to show up in the world with an unending commitment to discovery, creativity and laughter - all the while, living a life rooted in service and connection with other humans.

- Patrick Burlingham (Set Design)


Charlotte Kunze Gurlich

Charlotte Kunze Gurlich was my great-grandmother, who immigrated to New York from Germany in 1925. She was known for her steadfast, hardworking attitude as well as her talent for sewing and needlecraft. I stand on her shoulders as a woman whose career has its foundations in traditional craft techniques, and I feel especially inspired and connected to her whenever I have the chance to use her tools for my own work.

- Krista Intranuovo (Costume Designer)


Barbara Lindsey

Outdoorswoman, hiker, skier, kayaker, teacher, baker, I don't think she makes candlesticks . . . giver, gardener, progressive, activist, eternal smiler, my mom.

- Chad Lindsey (Artistic Director)


Hildegard von Bingen

She was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is one of the first female composers. Usually we only hear about men composers and did not hear much about lady composer back then.

- Nok Kanchanabanca (Sound Designer)


I am incredibly fortunate to have grown up with my Baba Lindsey and my Baba Tachco, and to have them as I've grown into womanhood. Between them they have 8 children, 16 grandkids, and countless others who have learned from and been inspired by them. They inspire my frankness and my nurturing, my desire to serve and my creativity. My gratitude for these dynamic women is endless.

- Morgan Lindsey Tachco (Creative Producer)


Natasha Navejas

My sister (far left). Mother of two. Major furniture retail designer. Perennial picture of grace. And, in truth, one of the strongest human beings I’ve ever known.

Javan Nelson (Performer)


Laura London

My mother Laura with my dad.  Laura, who passed when I was a young child, was by all accounts very special and beloved, and only as a grown woman did I learn how alike our natures and interests were:  she was a mathematician (at a time rare for women), avid theatre-goer, writer of small poems, compassionate friend and loving aunt spreading her joy of reading and learning.  She has always inspired me to be the best person I can in her name. 

- Elizabeth London (Core Member)


Grace Kunkel, Caitlin Kunkel

My sisters, Caitlin and Grace. We celebrate each others wins and support each other through the hard stuff. We are each less than 2 years apart and couldn't be more different from each other- they show me everyday how essential it is to be yourself, to go for what you want with everything you've got, and to take as many photos of your dog as possible for the family text chain.

- Emily Kunkel (Core Member)


Johanna Rechlin Tibbetts

Here planting a Victory Garden while my Gramps was off to war, my grandmother went to college, worked as a dietitian, and taught me to live an accountable independent life.

- Chad Lindsey (Artistic Director)


Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was an African American film and theatre actress, singer, and dancer. She was the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Dorothy inspires me as a Black actress and performer.

- Asia Mark (Performer)


Rose R. Simmons

Bright light in a dark room. Immigrant; Mother of two productive members of society; Survivor and Thriver. From a tiny island she sprang with big dreams-  an indomitable spirit. She's made this place her home and for almost 20 years now has served her community as a Social Worker. She has worked tirelessly, aiding women and children in need and encouraging those once downtrodden to keep thriving. Her story is an American story- one that speaks to actively and actually making America great. This is my mother, on her shoulders I stand.

- Nylda Mark (Performer)


June Phelps

My maternal grandmother. We called her G. Despite the formality of this particular picture, G had an insatiable curiosity. I took all my cues from her. And my daughter, Wren, had to have her middle name, obviously.

- Carrie Heitman (Artistic Director)


Johnette Luxeder

My sister has been there for me through thick and thin. She is classy, artistic, fun, and a very giving person - I'm so fortunate to have her as my big sister and inspiration.

- Cynthia Babak (Core Member)


Ms. Poppy

Ms. Poppy has been my pen pal for 14 years. She was a guidance counselor at my all female high school. She is the most compassionate, supportive, and generous person I know. Every day of her life has been committed to lifting women up and giving them the tools to succeed. I’m so lucky she’s in my life.

- Emily Kunkel (Core Member)


Becky Sullivan

For years, Becky Sullivan was my art teacher. What she actually taught me was balance, proportion, composition, world history, philosophy, anthropology, discipline of process, respect for materials, the power of a line, and the art of critique. Her basics became mine." - Chad Lindsey (Artistic Director)


Marie (Mamie) Krichbaum

My great-grandmother, Mamie Krichbaum. She would give you things you didn't know you needed, but you did. I couldn't be more sure its her voice that I miss the most. She would sing songs in languages I didn't understand, but I loved listening. Now I look up the songs so I can understand. And my middle name, Marie, is hers.

- Carrie Heitman (Artistic Director)


Helene Harms and Beatrice Walters

My mother and my daughter came from difficult beginnings but find the joy and beauty in life and others. And may not look it but both are tough as nails and can handle any difficulty that comes their way.

- Holli Harms (Collaborator)