Radical Listening: Episode 13

Andrea Vernae and Tyharra Cozier

On this week’s episode, Portland artists Andrea Vernae and Tyharra Cozier join co-hosts Phil Johnson and Clifton Holznagal to discuss their quarantine projects, how to stay busy as an out-of-work creative in the middle of a pandemic, and finding the importance of vulnerability on stage.

Episode 13: Andrea Vernae and Tyharra Cozier

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Q: Since you’ve come to Portland, do you think that being in Portland as long as we have has influenced your art in any way?

A: I came to Portland to be an apprentice, and that was a rough year. I feel I became a woman in Portland. It was the first time I felt truly isolated from my family and friends, and I learned a lot about vulnerability and the power it has on stage. In order to be any type of artist, you have to be vulnerable, because if not, why are we watching you?
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Andrea Vernae

Photo Credit: Christine Dong

Andrea Vernae is a light and fueled with so much passion from the magic city of Miami, FL. She credits her love and passion for storytelling from her incredible family and the beautiful and liveliness of the city she grew up in. She first got her start in acting in her high school drama classroom and ever since then, she hasn’t looked back. 

She then took her talents to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)  where she received her B.A. in Theatre Performance. Then due to the persuasion of a dear friend, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to Portland, OR to be an acting apprentice with the Portland Playhouse.  Ever since the apprenticeship ended she has hit the ground running, her performances include: Antigone Project  Profile Theatre, A Civil War Christmas Artists Rep, Pen/Man/Ship Portland Playhouse, An Octoroon Artists Rep, Revolt.She said.Revolt Again Third Rail Repertory Theatre, EVERYBODY Artists Rep, JUMP Confrontation and Milagro Theatre, The Wolves Portland Playhouse, Redwood and School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play Portland Center Stage.

When not on stage she enjoys writing and creating short films with Sunflower Creations, singing, freestyle rapping, and dancing like no one’s watching (literally).

Tyharra Cozier

Photo Credit: Owen Carey

Coming in hot from Broward County, Florida, Tyharra’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Florida State University and additional training from Portland Actors Conservatory. Tyharra is mostly known for her work with The August Wilson Red Door Project’s Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments, Cop Out and Evolve. Tyharra tried her hand at non-profit theatre by co-founding, Syde-Eye Collaborations, a one-year company exploring the “marginalized lens”. Most recently, you might have seen her in Vanport Mosaic’s Soul’d (herself) and Profile Theatre’s staged reading of Ruined/Mother Courage (Salima/Yvette). You can usually find Tyharra teaching Saturday morning classes to little ones and teenagers at Oregon Children’s Theatre. Tyharra also has a pretty impressive portfolio in property management and commercial real estate, assisting in the operations of Fox Tower, Park Avenue West, and The Studio Building in downtown Portland. Tyharra just made her debut with Confrontation Theatre and Portland Playhouse in Pipeline, and will appear on Hulu’s “Shrill” (Season 2) as Aminah, set to stream in January 2020 and Third Rail’s production of Mary Jane, set to go up in Spring/Summer of 2020 at CoHo. As always, Tyharra wants to thank her friends, family, and pet rabbit for all their support. Additionally, she wants to thank all the women in her life that have helped her survive and thrive.

In a world filled with contentious noise, theater is a place to listen. Hear a story. Respond viscerally. spontaneously, immediately, and as a result engage with the world more openly.

That is Radical Listening.

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