Gender Equality: A Benefit Concert for Women’s Law Project

This year, we have asked some of Philadelphia’s most social justice minded artists to present a performance piece that expresses their thoughts, ideas, perspectives and experiences on the topic Gender Equality. To coincide, the Philadelphia Ethical society will be hosting a dialogue session, led by Christian Hayden: Loving As a Revolutionary Act,. Proceeds from the concerts will be donated to Women’s Law Project.

Sunday, July 21st @ 4pm
Philadelphia Ethical Society
1906 Rittenhouse Sq., Philadelphia


Featured Performers

Sonja Headshot (2)Sonja Sofya
honed her musical chops through intense classical piano and voice study, but found a creative outlet through songwriting at an early age. “I had some friends who formed an indie-rock band my freshman year of high school,” she recalls, “But though I begged, they wouldn’t let me join — it wasn’t something girls were supposed to do. So I decided I’d write my own music instead!” Years later, Sonja has carved out a reputation for “nimble pianowork and powerhouse vocals” (Philly Current Magazine), and has performed throughout Philadelphia and the Mid Atlantic in rooms like World Cafe Live, Milkboy, Boot & Saddle, The Tin Angel, and North Star Bar (Philly), Caffe Vivaldi, Jalopy Theatre, and Pete’s Candy Store (NYC), Club Passim (Boston), Radio Bean (Burlington), Midtown Scholar (Harrisburg), and The Black Fox (Washington, DC). She’s shared the stage with artists such as Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady, Chris Kasper, Birdie Busch, Aaron Parnell Brown, Joe D’Amico of Mason Porter, Amy Regan, and David Cope.

Veronica Chapman-Smith

Veronica Chapman-Smith
With a voice that has been described as “exquisite,” “sublime,” and “pure beauty,” soprano Veronica Chapman-Smith has performed with opera companies and orchestras across the country while keeping firm roots in her hometown of Philadelphia. Ms. Chapman-Smith was a part of the new music ensemble The Crossing that won the 2018 Grammy for Best Choral Performance. She has performed a wide variety of operatic roles, including Lily (​Porgy and Bess) with Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Liu (​Turandot) with Opera Birmingham, as well as with ​ Opera Philadelphia, Opera Colorado, Opera Delaware, Opera Theater of the Rockies, to name a few.  Ms. Chapman-Smith has also been a soloist with leading orchestras and choral groups, performing with West Shore Symphony and Memphis Symphony (Home for The Holidays), Colorado Symphony (Opera of The Rocks), Charlotte Symphony (Holiday Concert), Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Ursinus College, and Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal de Caracas among others.

Mary Tuomanen
is a physical theatre artist who trained at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Movement Theatre in Paris. She has taught workshops in neutral mask, clown, mime, puppetry and devised narrative-building at many institutions in the United States including University of the Arts, Washington College and Phillips Exeter Academy. While in France, she has performed in Festivale 100% Finlande and at the Les Jeudis series at the Pompidou Center. Named “Best Theatre Talent” by Philadelphia Magazine in 2015, Mary has been a two-time finalist for the Haas Emerging Artist Award and is a founding member of two companies: Applied Mechanics, an immersive theatre group dedicated to the politics of radical generosity, and Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective. She received a grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage for her collaboration with Aaron Cromie, The Body Lautrec, which won a residency at the 2014 National Puppetry Conference. As an actor, she has performed at the Arden, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, People’s Light and Theatre Company, PlayPenn, Philadelphia International Festival of Art, the Bearded Ladies, and with the cutting-edge ensemble The Riot Group, among others. She was featured in American Theatre Magazine for her role as Napoleon in Applied Mechanics’ VAINGLORIOUS. Her solo work has been performed at the Kimmel Center’s Innovation Studio, FringeArts, the Annenberg Center and Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble. She originated the role of young Andy Warhol in Opera Philadelphia/Bearded Ladies collaboration Andy: A Popera, which was reprised at the Seattle Symphony in 2017.

and hosted by

Jess Conda headshot (2)

Jess Conda
is a Philadelphia based performer, producer, teaching artist and cultural connector. From 2003-2017, she performed and produced with BRAT Productions, a former theater company known for their influence on Philadelphia’s early alt/”Fringe” performance scene.Jess was most recently seen onstage in A Hard Time, co-created with Jenn Kidwell, Mel Krodman and Pig Iron Theatre Company. Regional Theater: Arden Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, six seasons with Shakespeare in Clark Park. Regional Cabaret: Peek A Boo Revue, Get Pegged!, Bearded Ladies, Martha Graham Cracker, Red 40 & the Last Groovement, Songbird. Jess is a two-time Barrymore nominee for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, and was one of Philadelphia Magazine’s Best Stage Talents to See This Season, 2013.Training: Certificate: Pig Iron APT. BFA: Arcadia University.


Love As a Revolutionary Act
Monday, July 29th @ 7pm
Philadelphia Ethical Society
1906 Rittenhouse Sq., Philadelphia

Led by Christian Hayden

A look at Audre Lorde’s work at the intersections of Feminism and Queerness. We look at how Audre Lorde builds a guiding ethic for resistance that blends the intimate and the social, eros and agape.

Suggested Reading: Bring your favorite Audre Lorde Poem!

*Free admission with seat reservation