GINA CORNEJO

writer, performer, storyteller, pilgrim

WORTHAM CENTER PRESENTS

A Swannanoa Solstice

December 18, 2022 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

For the last 20 years, this beloved local holiday tradition has ushered in the winter season with a world-class display of folk, drawing in more fans each year. This season, Solstice welcomes a charismatic mix of new and returning artists to perform a seasonal variety show of Celtic, American-roots and world-influenced music — a multifaceted reflection of Appalachian heritage to spread wholesome holiday cheer.

The 2022 line-up welcomes back Robin Bullock, Josh Goforth, Natalya Weinstein & John Miller as Zoe & Cloyd, Phil Jamison, E.J. Jones, and host Doug Orr. New to the celebration this season are storyteller Becky Stone and writer and singer Gina Cornejo.


Story Parlor Artist-in-Residence: Gina Cornejo


July 2022, Artist-in-Residence COMPLETED

Thursday, July 14 / Thursday, July 21 / Thursday, July 28 (SOLD OUT)


Gina Cornejo presents: “Dirty Laundry”

Story/Arts residency program champions BIPOC, LGTBQIA+, and individuals from other historically marginalized groups by providing a platform for their work, an artist stipend, coaching opportunities, community support, and more.

DIRTY LAUNDRY is an intimate, autobiographical, and immersive performance written by Gina Cornejo and in collaboration with Stewart/Owen Dance. The creation of fresh iterations of DIRTY LAUNDRY continue to be imagined and will be revealed exclusively at Story Parlor. Guests will be immersed within projected multimedia of DIRTY LAUNDRY the film and live cringeworthy-yet-charming spoken word from Gina, as she unapologetically discloses the irreverent unraveling of her marriage and divorce. This genre-bending performance aims to unearth gritty topics that are often left buried, and is both an invitation to open dialogue and an offering of solidarity.

Note: This performance uses explicit language describing adult situations.

Recommended for ages 16+.

@dirtylaundry_avl

ginacornejo.com

stewartowendance.com

GINA CORNEJO AIRS ‘DIRTY LAUNDRY’ FOR ALL TO SEE AND FEEL

The Mezzanine Podcast, with Cass Herrington (Citizen Vinyl in Asheville, North Carolina, 2/28/22)

"On today’s show, we’re going to meet a writer and performer who’s not afraid to touch topics that most of us would find too embarrassing or uncomfortable.

In fact, she says, it’s those themes that allow us to discover deep truths about ourselves.

Her name is Gina Cornejo, and her latest work is called “Dirty Laundry.” Because, that’s what it is – personal stories that she wants to air out publicly. She shares intimate details about relationships, marriage, and her personal journey with divorce.

The show was supposed to premiere in January at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, but the Omicron variant forced them to cancel. Instead, Gina and her collaborators with Stewart Owen Dance decided to film the piece and stream it online through the month of February. We’re going to talk to Gina about the stories that make up “Dirty Laundry” – then we’ll go further back to meet someone from her past who still joins her on stage."

DIRTY LAUNDRY the film

Featuring choreography from Stewart/Owen Dance and original autobiographical writing from Gina Cornejo, this cringeworthy yet charming film brings together seven artists to enchant viewers. Both an invitation to open dialogue and an offering of solidarity, DIRTY LAUNDRY the film passionately unearths gritty topics that are often buried.

Note: This performance uses explicit language describing adult situations.

Recommended for ages 16+. SOON TO BE VIEWED WITH SPANISH SUBTITLES.

Stewart/Owen Dance and Gina Cornejo’s performance of DIRTY LAUNDRY is made possible by the generous support of private donors and Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

@dirtylaundry_avl

DIRTY LAUNDRY written + concieved by Gina CornejoPhoto credit: Vanessa Owen and Gavin Stewart
"Black Balloon" written by Gina Cornejo Photo credit: Vanessa Owen and Gavin Stewart
2.12.22 ONLINE PREMIERE Director of Photography: Josh FInckProduced by: Stewart Owen Dance

Gina Cornejo

Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gina Cornejo (she/her & they/them), is the daughter of a Peruvian mariachi singer and a professional jazz dancer. A proud Queer Americana/Peruana. She is a writer, solo performance artist, dancer, singer, choreographer, voice over artist and credentialed pilgrim. She firmly believes our distinct path of artistic expression is one based on the risk of venturing out to seek within.


For 17 years, she claimed Chicago as her artistic home. Ms. Cornejo has created and contributed original writing, performance/production concepts, and original choreography to several ensemble built productions featured within the award-winning World Premieres of Teatro Luna (Chicago) and Teatro Luna West (LA): America's All Latinx and All Women of Color Theatre Ensemble. Ms. Cornejo was featured onstage in S-E-X-OH!, MACHOS, LUNATIC(A)S. Within this ensemble she has assisted in conducting, facilitating, and refining, workshops and ensemble built productions within the artistic avenues of writing, directing, solo performance, movement, music, and vocals.


As an ensemble member of Teatro Luna (2005-10) she became an active touring cast member of S-E-X-OH! and MACHOS (2007-2008). Chicago Non-Equity acclaim was awarded to the Teatro Luna ensemble with two Jeff Awards: Best New Work (LUNATIC(A)S, Choreographer and Original Cast Member) and Best Ensemble (MACHOS, Choreographer and Original Cast Member).


Other theatrical credits include, but not limited to: The House On Mango Street (Steppenwolf Theatre, World Premiere, Nenny Cordero), A XMAS Cuento Remix (Milagro Theatre, Rolling World Premiere, Ixchel, Ensemble, Ms. Jefferson/Choreographer), Cabaret (Metropolis PAC, Texas/Fraulein Schneider US/Dance Captain), I Thought You Could See Me (Teatro Luna West, writer/performer/collaborator), voice over/print artist for clients USAA and KFC.


Detailing a snapshot of her pilgrimage along the sacred Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James), "When She Passes," is her original creation featured within Teatro Luna's Audible Original, "Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts."


Cultivating honest, raw expression and healing through writing and performance, her original piece "Atmosphere," was recently featured in "Still: Life" a performance of tremendous diligence and tender Covid-safe collaborations with Stewart/Owen Dance. Performances were held virtually and within various locations throughout the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, in downtown Asheville, 2020.


Currently, Gina Cornejo resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in January with her collaborators, Gavin Stewart and Vanessa Owen, of Stewart Owen Dance. January allowed this trio to produce a film of the original script, "DIRTY LAUNDRY," written by Cornejo. This recent pivot away from live performances at the end of January, of this never-before-seen production, will transition into a new iteration in film form. (Virtual premiere occurred from FEBRUARY 12-26.)


Most recent performances:


Story Parlor Artist-in-Residence: Gina Cornejo


July 2022, Artist-in-Residence COMPLETED

Thursday, July 14 / Thursday, July 21 / Thursday, July 28 (SOLD OUT)


Gina Cornejo presents: “Dirty Laundry”

Story/Arts residency program champions BIPOC, LGTBQIA+, and individuals from other historically marginalized groups by providing a platform for their work, an artist stipend, coaching opportunities, community support, and more.

Photo credit: Michael-Jamar Jean Francois, 2022, Asheville, NC
Photo credit: Michael-Jamar Jean Francois
DIRTY LAUNDRY still. Photo credit: Josh Finck and Stewart Owen Dance
Atmosphere still. Photo credit: Michael-Jamar Jean Francois

Recent Projects


First Draft Resident Artist

Gina Cornejo

REVOLVE - Asheville, NC

"we are a contemporary art space that revolves around our community for our community"

September & October 2021

For more:

revolve.org @revolveavl

seetherbooks@gmail.com @seether_bookstore


when sugar was sugar was sugar

Written & Performed by Gina Cornejo

First Draft Residence Artist

Writer, Solo Performer, Storyteller, Actor

September & October 2021

Sugar-rimmed and deviously detailed, Gina Cornejo, has crafted an intimate evening of 9 autobiographical tales of her examinations within the matrix of modern misogyny.

when sugar was sugar was sugar” navigates the theme of eroded innocence of a once pure sweet tooth for love, freedom, trust, and respect. Elements of power play dynamics, heart-focused hierarchy, manipulation, and prismatic misogyny are sprinkled throughout the stories you will hear.

Candy is dandy but best consumed in moderation. There are intentionally more stories than time allotted for proper digestion. Therefore, each evening the audience will be given permission to collectively select the order in which to witness the show.

During her First Draft Residency, Cornejo became meticulous in formulating her vividly honest and flawed identity surrounding her nearly 40 years of male dominated relationships. “when sugar was sugar was sugar” serves as an over arching theme of the collective patriarchal relationships we are actively seeking relationships within in hopes to sever ourselves from old narratives and cultivate newness in being our unbound selves.

Within this tender sweetness of self-reclamation Cornejo has - finally, proudly - given herself permission to identify as Queer and she/her + they/them.

*with the sweet comes the sour: this event contains adult content as well as complimentary candy

"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" Wortham's Community Engagement Director, Jared McEntire, recorded a series of personalized songs to celebrate those who collectively pledged a challenge gift to support the end-of-year campaign. This rendition of "Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered," is performed by Asheville-based performing artist, writer, singer Gina Cornejo, with accompaniment by Jared McEntire.

• • • • •

Music and lyrics by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers

(from the musical, Pal Joey).


Recorded in the Diana Wortham Theatre, 2020.


"I Say A Little Prayer/Breathe" Mash-up rendition for the Season Preview 2021-22 at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts. Spanish and English vocals are performed by Asheville-based performing artist, writer, singer Gina Cornejo, with acoustic guitar accompaniment by Jared McEntire.

• • • • •

Original song "Breathe" by Lin-Manuel Miranda

(from the musical, In The Heights).

"I Say A Little Prayer" song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David,

sung by Dionne Warwick, 1966.


Recorded in the Diana Wortham Theatre, 2021.


Stewart/Owen Dance presents a timely, brand new performance experience.

Six local dance artists and four local writers team up to share moments of isolation and inter-connectedness that take viewers everywhere from the stage to the courtyard.

Still: Life is a beautiful and poignant journey of dance and spoken word vignettes set in five out-of-the-ordinary performance locations within the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts facility. Audiences travel with a guide in small, physically distanced groups to experience each point of the performance exhibit.

Still: Life, presented at the Diana Wortham Center, 2020.


Original writing and performance by Gina Cornejo, titled "Atmosphere," featured in Still: Life.

Performance collaboration with Gavin Stewart and Vanessa Owen.

Stewart/Owen Dance 2020 Season


Body of Work

Credentialed peregrina along the Camino de Santiago, The Way of Saint James, in Spain and Portugal.

Camino Frances, 2014

Camino Portugues, 2015

Camino Finisterre, 2017

Camino San Salvador, 2018

...as well as varied days hiking along the Camino Primitivo and Camino Norte.

"El Camino de Santiago, in English “The Way of Saint James,” is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of Jesus’s apostle Saint James the Elder lie. The Camino has existed as a Christian pilgrimage for well over 1,000 years, and there is evidence of a pre-Christian route as well. Throughout the medieval period it was one of the three most important Christian pilgrimages undertaken. Indeed, it was only these pilgrimages—to Jerusalem, to Rome, and to Santiago de Compostela—which could result in a plenary indulgence, which frees a person from the penance due for sins." American Pilgrims on the Camino website

Previous travels include: Peru, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Morocco, Thailand, Costa Rica, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Portugal, and 25+ US States.

Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts

"When She Passes," by Gina Cornejo:

writer, original story and concept.

Featured on Audible, 2019.

"When She Passes," recalls a tragic, yet tender, turning point that occurred while in Spain and Portugal, when hiking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, The Way of St. James. "Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts" created by Teatro Luna West. Download on @audible to show support for original stories written by Latinx, and women of color artists!

Still: Life

"Atmosphere" by Gina Cornejo:

writer, original story, concept and performance.

Performed in collaboration with Stewart/Owen Dance.

November, 2020, live performance at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

Virtual performance of Still: Life available by donation.

Art installation, "Spectrum of Hope: What We See at the End of the Rainbow," by Liz Williams, debuted at the Durham Arts Council with support from Southern Equality, Makers Circle, Click! Photography Festival and LGBTQ Center of Durham. Southern Equality @southernequality + @southernequalitystudios

#LGBTQArt #LGBTQArtist #SpectrumOfHope

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