Courtney Surmanek


Courtney Surmanek (they/them/”C”) is a queer, Ashkenazi Jewish educator, artist, and worldbuilder. A third-generation New Yorker, Courtney calls the occupied lands of the Matinecock and Lenape (Queens, NY) home.

C's work spans theater-making, cultural organizing, oral history, healing arts, and creative ritual. C values intergenerational collaborations, and is invested in the use of the arts and creative play to support people in knowing themselves better and living in the world more fully. The participatory art projects they create and facilitate are often rooted in radical imagination, storytelling, and community care. They collaborate with The Clinic Performance and Ping Chong + Company to bring this kind of work to life.

C believes in the power of theatre, art making and creative play as tools for making policy and planning efforts more accessible and equitable. To explore this, they’re currently a dual degree M.F.A./M.S. Candidate in Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue and Urban & Regional Planning at Virginia Tech, and a 2020 Visiting Fellow at Skidmore College's Storytellers' Institute.

In 2019, Courtney was a 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. Courtney is a Broadway Advocacy Coalition Member and recent Co-Organizer of The Theater of Change Forum at Columbia Law School. They hangout with Streaks of Lavender, a queer collective of artists building ourstory.

Download my theatre resume here and my general resume here.

Photo Credit: Whitney Brown Photography