BEA CORDELIA is an award-winning, Chicago-bred, internationally slandered writer, filmmaker, performance artist, actor, producer, educator, & activist whose work uplifts & reimagines the narratives of transgender people. Her “life-changing” solo show Chasing Blue has featured in Steppenwolf Theatre's LookOut performance series & The Brick’s inaugural Trans Theatre Festival in Brooklyn. In 2016 she developed her first multimedia installation The Cosmic Body in a University of Chicago Performance Lab residency through Salonathon, was made a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Creative Writing Fellow for her poem “The Future,” and made headlines for her lawsuit against the City of Chicago regarding its sexist & transphobic ordinance forbidding the exposure of breasts in establishments with liquor licenses. In 2015 she self-published her first chapbook of poetry, 28.06 // Dear Sylvia, which recounts the history and impact of the Stonewall riots. She is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency, and is currently working on the forthcoming web series the T with co-creator Daniel Kyri, production company Full Spectrum Features, & distributor OTV | Open Television.
"Bea Cordelia, the cocreator and cowriter of the T, is poised to be a breakout star... [I]n her solo scenes, Cordelia gives a heartbreaking performance without saying a word, deftly tapping into universal emotions of love, loss, and confusion."
"Chicago-made webseries to watch in 2018" by Brianna Wellen, Chicago Reader
"It’s no secret that there’s a lack of trans and black queer representation in the media. Here to answer the call for more nuanced depictions of the queer community is the T, a series from Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri, both writers-in-residence for the city of Chicago.
"Trans, Queer-Themed Web Series ‘the T’ Drops Official Trailer" by Mathew Rodriguez, INTO
"'Native Chicagoans Cordelia and Kyri were selected for their originality and commitment to telling stories that are unique to Chicago,' said Commissioner Mark Kelly, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 'We are excited to have two award-winning artists as our Filmmakers in Residence this year and look forward to seeing the forward-thinking series they are planning to produce.'"
"Bea Cordelia, Daniel Kyri 2018 Chicago Filmmakers in Residence" Screen Magazine
"I've never seen this before onscreen, this relationship, it's rich, it's complicated, there's like a great history here...it gives you a peek into the millennial experience."
OUT CHICAGO w/ Scott Duff 03.18.18, WCPT (interview 52:47-1:05:30)
"The digital artists, who ranged from students to award-winning filmmakers, pitched projects highlighting a range of relevant social issues including...transgender people in marginalized communities..."
"Chicago Filmmakers Give $100,000 For Socially Conscious Digital Art" by Josh McGhee, DNAinfo
"Having been fortunate enough to see Bea Cordelia live and in person and right here on the radio...[she's] a tremendous performer, incredible writer, great thinker, and just really putting out some fantastic ideas."
OUT CHICAGO w/ Scott Duff 08.14.16, WCPT (interview & performance 20:13-34:22)
"Bea describes the feeling of inspiration coming to her like the wand choosing the wizard. She says the writing lives in her and her fans are certainly under the spell."
"BEA*HAVIOR: Artistic Fight For Equality" by Carly Carano, VAM Studio
"Bea Cordelia’s 'The Body Electric' sets the room on fire. Be careful: These words could easily short out the lights and you’ll only have her presence and fury to power the place."
"Fly As Hell," Newcity Stage
"I allow anyone who is in the audience who has never knowingly met a trans person before to walk away from a performance of mine with a clear example of a human being."
Bea Cordelia on her work for "'Queer, Ill And Okay': Defusing HIV, Disability And Otherness In The LGBT Community" by Nico Lang, NewNowNext
"The [poem and dance piece] explores the difficulties of finding love as a trans woman...with a sincerity and bluntness that mainstream culture rarely allows trans performers. Cordelia's performance represents The Fly Honey Show at its best—a space for lesser-heard voices to be sexy, messy, funny, and honest."
"The Fly Honey Show grows into a Chicago institution" by Ashley Ray-Harris, Chicago Reader
"I have studied, researched...written about, performed about, and lived...trans experience, and queer experience...and that makes me really capable of fighting for that shit."
"[T]he city of Chicago has an ordinance that prohibits women from appearing topless in establishments that have liquor licenses, and [Bea] thinks we need to get rid of that."
"Episode 31: Bea Cordelia" with Jon Schneidman, National Ave
"[Bea Cordelia], a Chicago native, often uses interactive performances to explore issues of trans identity and her relationship with her body. Some of her performances incorporate breast exposure forbidden by the city's rules."
"Performance artist to Chicago: Get off our areolas" by Derrick Clifton, Chicago Reader
"And especially [an intersectional dialogue] that'll affect levels of policy and education and stuff that can have a more universal trickle-down effect for the betterment of literally everyone."
Bea Cordelia on HIV/AIDS activism for Bea Cordelia & Joseph Varisco, prod. StoryCorps, Alphawood Gallery, & Art AIDS America
"She's someone who you just know is going to be big, and: is absolutely already big in her own right."
"Trans is Beautiful," The CanCast with Candice Czubernat
home page photography credit to Greg Stephen Reigh
logo design credit to Collin Quinn Rice