Courtney Surmanek


Courtney “C” Surmanek (they/them) is an educator, artist, and worldbuilder. C's work spans theater-making, cultural organizing, oral history, and healing arts. The participatory art projects they create and facilitate are often rooted in radical imagination, storytelling, and community care. 

C is currently an Instructor with the Center for Communicating Science and School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech, and a dual degree M.F.A./M.S. Candidate in Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue and Urban & Regional Planning at Virginia Tech. C collaborates regularly with The Clinic Performance and Ping Chong + Company, and dreams wild dreams with Streaks of Lavender, a queer collective of artists building ourstory.

They’re a recent Visiting Fellow at Skidmore College's MDOCS Storytellers' Institute, SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Social Practice Artist-in-Residence with ProjectArt, Fellow at The Performance Project at University Settlement, and EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics. From 2017-18, they participated in the Mitchell Art Gallery at MacEwan University’s Artist-in-Residence program, The Art & Law Program, and the Center for Artistic Activism’s Art Action Academy.

A third-generation New Yorker with Ashkenazi Jewish roots, Courtney calls the occupied lands of the Matinecock and Lenape (Queens, NY) home.

Photo Credit: Whitney Brown Photograph