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Rebecca (She/Her) is a Black queer playwright, theatre maker, creative writer, interdisciplinary artist and communications strategist based in Minneapolis (on the Indigenous lands of the Dakhóta and Ojibwe peoples). She’s deeply passionate about the intersections between theatre, performance, interdisciplinary practice, narrative, communications, and social innovation. She holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts, an M.A. in English Literature, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts/Business Administration. She also studied publishing at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Rebecca is founder and artistic director of CLEVELAND-HARRIS THEATRE COMPANY, a Minneapolis-based, BIPOC/Queer-led theatre, performance and public imagination project. In addition, she has 10+ years of experience in strategic communications, the nonprofit sector, arts & culture, and academia. 

During her time in the Sesame Street Writers’ Room fellowship program in New York City (created by Sesame Workshop), she wrote a pilot titled Sasha K. Jenkins, Kid Scientist. The script, “Decoding Hamad’s Dream,” was for a children’s T.V. series focused on STEM and problem-solving.

Rebecca NichlosonPhoto Credit: Carina Lofgren. Walker Art Center Citizenship Series (2019)

Rebecca is currently communications director with The Center for Cultural Power, where she uses communications and narrative strategy to amplify the efforts of cultural strategists working to advance equity and social justice through culture change.

Rebecca has served as communications director for the African American Leadership Forum,  where she developed and implemented the organization’s communications strategy and spearheaded the development and implementation of communications plans for campaigns, its leadership academy, and a collective impact program focused on empowering Minnesota’s Black community.

In addition, she’s served as director of digital storytelling for Art 4 New York and has worked as communications associate in the civic tech sector; developing communications plans for projects centered on technology for public good and New York-based civic tech initiatives.

Rebecca is the recipient of a Liberace Award, the Howard Stein Fellowship, the Matthews Fellowship, an America-in-Play Fellowship, and received an Honorable Mention for her spoken word poetry from the McKnight Foundation. Her performance poem, Conjuring Transcendence: Zones, Borders, & Spiritual Visibility (2019) was presented at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and published in the Star Tribune (2020). In 2021 she wrote the libretto and vocal arrangement for Dear America, Beat Your Heart Defiantly, Naked & Open with Love, as part of the Minnesota Opera’s MNiatures program cohort. 

Rebecca NichlosonPhoto Credit: Carina Lofgren. Walker Art Center Citizenship Series (2019)

Her fiction, poetry, and performance works include Black Aurora, Blood as Sea Water, Children of the First Hummingbird, Intelligence, and Zar-Baby, among others. Rebecca is the recipient of a Cedar Cultural Center Commission for Multicolored Musings: Jewels of Love, Loss, & Triumph (a three-part collection of genre-defying songs she wrote, arranged, and performed).

Mara (Pt. 1) includes songs that tell the story of her full-length play with music, Mara Queen of the World; about an African American slave living on a plantation in 1830s Alabama, led into the forest by a mysterious light and given a magic quilt to defeat a dark force. The Infinite Power of a Human Piano (Pt. 2) is a poem that envisions the sound of our humanity. The piece includes an ode to Okonkwo, protagonist of Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart, and vocal excerpts from songs reflective of Black America. Lastly, Romance Elegy (Pt. 3) is a celebration of complex romantic and self-love.

She has also written and edited content for Black Enterprise, a premier business and wealth-building magazine with readership of over 2 million, conducting interviews with nonprofit leaders and entertainment professionals including Alan Jenkins, co-founder/ executive director of The Opportunity Agenda (a communications, research, and policy organization). Rebecca has also interviewed playwright/screenwriter Dominique Morisseau (former story editor for Showtime’s Shameless), as well as Emmy-nominated actor/comedian Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) and series creator Kenya Barris.

During her time at Black Enterprise, she provided support for the company’s associated media outlets, such as Our World with Black Enterprise, a network television show featuring interviews with celebrities, newsmakers and thought leaders from around the country, and edited content for the 2015 Black Enterprise Tech ConneXt Summit in Silicon Valley.

As a book reviewer for, she authored over twenty book reviews of fiction and non-fiction and contributed to “Everybody Pays For It,” published in The Huffington Post. 

Her playwriting, creative, and performance works have been showcased at numerous venues in NYC and Minneapolis, including Red Eye Theatre, Pangea World Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Walker Art Center, East Side Freedom Library, Twin Cities Public Television, The Cedar Cultural Center, The Playwright’s Center of Minneapolis (where she was a two-time Many Voices Fellow), Harlem Classical Theatre (playwrights playground), The Fire This Time Festival, and Signature Theatre Company (as part of Columbia University School of the Arts “New Plays Now”), among others.

Her play Hello, I’m Eve was the 2013 winner of the Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award. In addition, Rebecca has taught at the Loft Literary Center and Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

Follow Rebecca on Linkedin.