Janis Astor del Valle
Assistant Professor of Practice in Arts Management
Janis Astor del Valle is an award-winning writer, performer, and filmmaker whose work promotes discourse and fosters understanding of LGBT issues and cultural diversity. She is in development with her feature screenplay, Where the Señoritas Are, a romantic comedy which won the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Her short, A South Bronx Tale, has screened in numerous festivals, including the New York International Latino Film Festival, NewFest, and the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
The Bronx-born Puerto Rican lesbian portrayed Tania in the independent film, Collision (dir. Jeff Frederick), and has performed at such venues as Hartford Stage, HERE, the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe, Yale, and the University of Miami. Her plays have been produced by Dixon Place, INTAR, Pregones, Cornell University, and the University of Santa Cruz, and are published in six anthologies, including Puro Teatro and Action: The Nuyorican Poets Café Theater Festival.
Astor del Valle holds an MFA in film from Columbia University and a BA in theatre from Marymount Manhattan College. She currently tours her solo plays, both directed by Carolyn Kirsch: Trans Plantations, which explores her identity crisis as a New York–born Puerto Rican lesbian uprooted from the Bronx and transplanted to Connecticut; and Becoming Joaquin, about a transgender Latino and his family who are in therapy, struggling to accept his identity.
Previously, Astor del Valle was the executive director of Youth Rights Media. She has taught theatre and creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and served as director of Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center. Before returning to Connecticut, she was a youth development specialist at the Point, a community cultural center in the South Bronx.