Jessy Yates is a New York theatre devisor, actor, and performance artist with Cerebral Palsy. Before heading off to get her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, she got her start in the community theatres and classical music scene of Cleveland, Ohio. She has now taken her talents to the fine city of New Haven, where she will be attending Yale School of Drama as the first physically disabled actor to come through the MFA program. She has been awarded a full scholarship by the Ruderman Foundation to help play a part in pushing forward disability visibility within the arts and media. She has performed at such notable venues as BAM, The Public Theatre (Library Space), Queens Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NJPAC, and Florida Studio Theatre (regional). She is a fierce advocate for disability rights and makes political burlesque. Her solo show, You're Going to Hell if You Laugh, has been seen at Dixon Place and The Lark's online showcase, Telethon. When not performing Jessy blogs and has written pieces for Alternet and Salon.
Her work aims to give voice to the disability community through simply making abject bodies visible on stage. She believes that the body doesn’t need to spout political messages to be inherently political. Her work simply places bodies of difference on stage and asks the viewers to confront whatever prior notions they may have had. She also acknowledges that disability and even life itself can be a hilariously awkward. Her works wants to place the messiness of life on stage and recognizes that we are all just trying to figure out the ridiculousness that is being a human being.