Told through the bold perspective of a vivacious drag queen named Tanvi, Naturally Tan follows Tanya Thomas' desperation to fit in as a minority in Singapore and her search for acceptance in America.
Fueled by assimilation pains, Tanya delves into the heart of colorism that plagues the Asian diaspora, the complexities of racial identity, and the consequences of damaging beauty standards.
Will Tanya hide behind her insecurities forever or will she embody her worth as a woman of color, mother, and artist?
Naturally Tan is a one-woman seriocomic play written and performed by Tanya Thomas, with direction and development by Jessica Lynn Johnson.
Naturally Tan is a captivating theatrical exploration of colorism, damaging beauty standards and identity representation in the Asian diaspora. Experience a powerful amalgamation of seriocomic elements, music, dance, and compelling visuals through 35 multicultural characters as Tanya guides the audience through her transcendent cross cultural path to self-worth. Naturally Tan adds a distinct voice to the full range and diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) stories.
"I hope that audiences not only find themselves thrilled by the entertaining nature of the show,” said Tanya Thomas, “but recognize the dichotomous reality that our differences can be both a source of pain and strength.”
but also very
funny and entertaining,
"“Naturally Tan” is so relevant...
that takes us on a journey through a world none of us are familiar with."
"“Naturally Tan” is a
through the narration of her friend Tanvi,
a rather wonderful Singapore drag queen...
I loved “Naturally Tan,” and I hope you get the chance to see it for yourself."
"Her story is
Jo Situ Allen (also known as DIRTY ERASER) is a California artist known for her dreamy works in ink and watercolor. She is sought out for her refined, playful, sensitive and thoughtful artwork that reflects her experience as a Chinese American immigrant, naturalist, intersectional feminist, designer and mother of two.
Jo is also the author and illustrator of "The Accidental Naturalist" - a series of books celebrating California's native flora and fauna. www.dirtyeraser.com
Jessica Lynn Johnson (Director and Developer) is a published playwright, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, Advisory Board Member of the LA Women's Theatre Festival, Director for Whitefire Theatre, and Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC. Jessica has aided in the development of over 100 solo shows (and still going strong)! As a performer, Jessica has “edu-tained” international audiences touring her own one person shows ZE and OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYONE for over 15 years. Jessica's projects have taken home awards such as TOP OF FRINGE, HFF ENCORE PRODUCER AWARDS, TVOLUTION BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE, LARRY CORNWALL AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE & several other accolades! Jessica was also nominated for the Female Director of Distinction in Theatre by Girl Trip LLC at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Jessica is so honored to be working on this wonderful solo show, Naturally Tan! www.SoaringSoloStudios.com
Actress and Voice Actor Tanya Thomas presents the worldwide online premiere of her first one woman show, Naturally Tan. Her writing journey began 12 years ago in an acting class when her teacher, Jeff Kober, asked her to write about her cross cultural experiences. She wrote a page and couldn't bear to write more. A myriad of healing experiences later, she put pen to paper with the help of Jessica Lynn Johnson. She hopes her journey and play helps you step into your own light, celebrate your uniqueness, and help deepen our understanding of what is to be human.
Playwright, Performer, Producer
Director and Developer
PAMELA NAJERA MICHAEL
Vijayalakshmi is a world-renowned Indian classical dancer, an acclaimed exponent of Mohiniyattam, the graceful classical dance form from South India. Daughter and disciple of Bharati Shivaji, Vijayalakshmi takes Mohiniyattam to higher levels by constantly exploring uncharted territory and expanding traditional boundaries. She is also a choreographer, actress, speaker, feminist, writer & singer. A recipient of several prestigious awards, including from the Sangeet Natak Academy, she has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in India and around the globe, spanning over thirty countries, sponsored by The Govt. Of India, besides the Bolshoi Theatre, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Lincoln Centre. Her prominent productions include Unniarcha, inspired from Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art form; Swan Lake, inspired from the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky's music; and Paryapti, which draws upon the rich cultural ethos and music of Bengal. She has a Bachelors & Masters in English Literature from Lady Shriram College, Delhi University. She is the Artistic-Director of the Centre For Mohiniyattam, New Delhi & the Founder-Director of The Mohiniyattam Institute, Los Angeles.
Creative Direction + Design
Cameron Jordan Photography is known for playful and ethereal images that are simultaneously raw and dreamlike. She is dedicated to making positive changes in the world through her craft and does editorial and lifestyle imagery. She has had work featured in Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Conde Nast. Clients include Disney, Tile, Apple, Vonage, Sol Angeles, Bel Kazan, Imagine Dragons, Kucoon, Matches Fashion, and many more. She is so pleased to collaborate with Tanya to create the image for 'Naturally Tan.'
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Serina is a Creative Director and Designer from an artistic family that spans three generations of sign-painters. She found her way to LA after living in Miami, Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Ibiza. With a focus on human-centered design, Serina's passion, curiosity and authenticity shine through everything she creates.
A background in entertainment, lifestyle, brand advertising and experiential, from start-ups through to Fortune 500 companies, Serina's work covers high-profile brands across a diverse array of categories. Clients include AT&T, Google, Salesforce, T-Mobile, Samsung, The Honest Company, Zumba, World Animal Protection, and more. From ideas to fruition, Serina is an all around creative solution finder with heart.
Pamela Najera Michael immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1979. Pamela was formerly a full time medical assistant and switched professions at 35. She danced professionally with a background in jazz, ballet, and hip-hop for over 15 years. Pamela has found true satisfaction in being of service to her fellow solo-artists in designing a ‘uniquely-you’ choreography fit for any level of dance or none at all. Pamela also wrote, produced, and performed in her own one-woman-show called Too Old Too Asian Too Short.
Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian classical music on tabla. Sameer completed his Jazz studies learning from his peers on the bandstands in San Francisco and Oakland to Harlem and Brooklyn. His own interests and love of tabla helped guide Sameer to become a co-founder of the non-profit collective Brooklyn Raga Massive.
Today he lives in Brooklyn, NYC and is actively involved in performing, curating, producing and teaching through various institutions including the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Carnegie Hall’s Global Encounters and Ragas Live Festival. Sameer has had the pleasure to make music with many great musicians including 2019 NEA Jazz Master recipient Reggie Workman, Harry Belafonte, Marc Cary, Casey Benjamin, Wallace Roney, Pandit Ramesh Mishra and numerous other luminaries. From bebop to avant-garde jazz, and European classical percussion to North Indian classical tabla. Gupta continues to compose and perform music from a true multi-cultural perspective that now bridges several continents. www.sameergupta.com
Gerry Gibbs is a Grammy nominated Drummer, Producer, Band Leader, Composer & Arranger. Gibbs has released 13 albums as a leader. His first, back in 1996, Gerry Gibbs Sextet – The Thrasher featured saxophonist Ravi Coltrane with Quincy Jones as Executive Producer and his second release First Visit, with the Third Trio From The Sun, featured 7-time Grammy winning producer Greg Kurstin (producer of Adele’s megahit “Hello”). More recently Gibbs released Gerry Gibbs & The Thrasher Dream Trio, We’re Back and Live In Studio which featured Jazz luminaries Ron Carter & Kenny Barron. These celebrated trio recordings featured many special guests including Cassandra Wilson, and Roy Hargrove. After performing with this legendary trio, Gibbs created the Thrasher People Band with the release of the double CD Weather or Not, that featured Gibbs’ acoustic jazz arrangements of Weather Report compositions as well as original material. Gerry will be releasing his next CD in August 2021. It will feature the music of his father, Terry Gibbs, featuring Gerry's 4 all star trios feat Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Patrice Rushen, Stanley Clarke, Geoff Keezer and Christian McBride.
Mena Melath is a young singer from Kasaragod in Kerala, India. Mena brings virtuosity and allure to her eponymous debut, Omanathinkal Kidavo - the celebrated lullaby of Irayimman Thampi, through her sublime voice. The song is featured in Naturally Tan.
Her latest Malayalam song 'Unni En Kannile' is available on Spotify.
Nikhita Thorpe is a singer-songwriter and voice actor whose first gig was voicing a movie trailer for Brahms: The Boy 2. Watch Naturally Tan to hear a snippet of a song she wrote when she was 4 years old.