Yaya Yao is a writer, performer, and educator born and raised in Toronto’s Little Portugal. She has worked as a popular educator with youth in arts and social justice settings for over fifteen years.
Yaya’s writing has appeared in CV2, Fireweed, No More Potlucks, and TOK 7. She developed Tongue, a short play, through Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip (2006) and fu-GEN Theatre’s Kitchen (2008) playwriting units. She is the recipient of the 2008 Wayson Choy Scholarship of the Humber School for Writers.
As a performer, Yaya seeks to weave spoken word, music, movement, theatre to produce with a sense of honesty and adventure. She has performed at numerous venues in Toronto, Montreal, and Hong Kong.
Yaya has been blessed with opportunities to stretch her practice in creation and training processes with groundbreaking arts organizations such as Ill Nana/DiverseCity Dance Company, MataDanze, the Backforward Collective, Asian Arts Freedom School, and the now defunct Theatre in the Rough.