Hey, I’m Tsebiyah! I’m a New Yorker through and through; a Brooklyn baby born in a Long Island hospital. At 5, my parents relocated us from East Flatbush, to the northern suburbs just outside the city, in Rockland County. In the lush and green immigrant-paradise of Spring Valley, New York, I grew up influenced by a myriad of surrounding cultures, the freedom to play outside, and a household full of music.
My father, Craig Derry, a gifted singer, mentor and vocal coach, nurtured my understanding of music early on- as I had shown my love for it. Between him, and my mom, Hope, who frequently took me to plays, talks, museums and exhibitions, I was constantly consuming art and hearing discussions about it. By 4th grade, I was performing in the annual school musical, and continued to dedicate all of my time to the drama club until I graduated from Ramapo High School.
After a brief stint at St. John’s University in Queens, I went to Sarah Lawrence College. I studied theatre, writing, and literature with a focus on Black, Latino and Spanish history.
During my time at SLC, I studied abroad at the British American Drama Academy, in London, supplementing SLC’s avant-grande culture of developmental, experimental and devised theatre with more traditional training in classical and contemporary theatre.
Since graduating from Sarah Lawrence, I’ve been working in the New York City theatre scene, in everything from musicals to devised pieces, as well as continuing to develop as a vocalist under the training of my father, Craig Derry. I joined the Daughters Collective, which is a fantastic interdisciplinary group of womyn creators who make art for and about womyn, centered around the theme of ritual and folklore. Through Daughters I have been able to give my poetry new voice, and experiment with writing for the stage. I look forward to the future of Daughters and what we make out of it.
In 2016, I traveled to Tanzania with Dramatic Adventure Theatre. We taught children in underdeveloped areas how to write and perform their own plays, and devised pieces of our own entirely from our experiences in TZ. We performed those pieces at the Zanzibar International Film Festival before bringing them back home to New York, at the IATI Theatre on East 4th St. In early 2018, I made my broadway debut (alongside my father!) in the choir of Rocktopia. I also worked with director Lileana Blain-Cruz on a reading of Fences at the Air Force Academy in Colorado as a part of Arts In The Armed Forces 2017-18 season.
Now, after releasing my first single, I’m working on my debut EP, as well as enjoying the magic of another mysterious new music project that I can’t wait to share. I’m also cooking up some writing pieces that will be birthed to a stage one day soon, hopefully. You can always find me on the stages and in the rehearsal rooms of NYC. Check out What’s Happening to catch me onstage soon!
Broadway: Rocktopia (Chorus); Off Broadway: Sistas The Musical (Tamika), Calderon's Two Dreams (Light & Grace). My other favorite roles include the title role in Aida (BergenPAC), The Tempest (Ariel), and Good People (Kate).