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I’ve always wanted to be an actress. Even during my short-lived escapade as a Biology major at Howard University, I had dreams of being in the Theatre--veterinarian by day, Oscar and Tony winning actress by night! That quickly changed as I realized that my fascination with why people do the things they do and the power of the theatre to expose those reasons was growing exponentially as my life experiences began to grow more complicated. So, I went “all in” and became a theatre major, changing forever the trajectory of my life.

But as life would have it, Love and two beautiful children took me down a different path. I became a teacher in order to help support my young family. For awhile, it seemed like my vivid dreams of being an actress where dissipating in the extreme effort of building a foundation upon which my students’ dreams could soar. Ironically, it was through this avenue that I realized my gift for stage directing, for storytelling and creating, and most importantly, for relating to young people. Although I thought I had set my dreams aside, in reality, the 14 years of being a theatre teacher created an even more urgent need in me to use theatre as a bridge to the young people that crossed my path.

Who is Ayesis Clay? I am a multifaceted theatre professional and arts integration specialist who, through all of my projects, strives to inspire minds to reach their fullest potential by examining the world around them and providing a place to forge their individual and collective voices. I make it my mission, as a creative, to produce thought provoking theatrical performances and, as a teaching artist, to provide workshops and experiences that cater to the students who mirror me when I was their age.

Short Bio

Ayesis Clay is an actress, director, and teaching artist. Her original productions, Standing on the Edge and Sculpting Clay or How I Became Mother of Unicorns (solo show), have toured locations across the US. Ayesis is an inaugural member of the Assistant Director Fellowship for People of Color (Adventure Theatre) and has directed for schools, theaters, and community organizations. 


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