Helena D Lewis

Helena D Lewis

BandSpoken Word

Funny and real.

Biography

Actress, poet, playwright, Helena D. Lewis is a passionate performer gifted with keen insight. A slam veteran, Ms. Lewis was a Nuyorican Poet's Cafe 2000 semi-finalist and member of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe 2000 National Slam Team, which placed third at the National Poetry Slam in Providence, Rhode Island. Ms. Lewis is also a Soul Cafe 2000 finalist, Hottest Poets MTV Networks 2002 finalist, and winner of the Stephen Sondheim Slam Production at the Public Theater in New York City. Ms. Lewis has performed at numerous universities and colleges across the country including, Cornell University, DePauw University, Princeton University, Kansas State University, Yale University, and has been featured on Good Day New York, NJN News Network Spoken Word Cafe, 98.7 KISS FM, Suburban Essex, Montclair Times and can be seen on the Peabody Award winning series, "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" on HBO. Her one-woman show, "Just Me," an autobiographical work that chronicles her social service work with HIV positive prostitutes and male prisoners, debuted at the 2002 Downtown Urban Theater Festival in New York and has since been performed at the Roar Theater Festival in New York, SpokenWorks Theater Festival in New York, Dixon Place in New York, Rutgers University, Bowery Poetry Club in New York, Nuyorican Poets Café, and Luna Stage in Montclair, New Jersey. Her second one-woman show, "Call Me Crazy," will be part of the 2006 Downtown Urban Theater Festival at the legendary Cherry Lane Theater in New York City. In 2004, after a sold-out performance of "Just Me" at the Luna Stage, Ms. Lewis was offered the opportunity to direct and write a series of shows mixing poetry with stand-up comedy and monologues, which she conceived and entitled "More Than Words," for the theater's 2005 season of the series, "Phases." Ms. Lewis most recently worked with Darrin Henson and Vanessa Williams in "Dreams Do Travel" and is featured in "Art of Resistance" performing her poem "Social Service Blues," which is currently part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum in New York City. Ms. Lewis performed at the 2004 National Hip-Hop Political Conference along with Wyclef Jean and was chosen to perform along with Savion Glover and Reg E. Gaines at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe 30th Anniversary on Broadway at Town Hall. She also co-hosted the 2003 and 2005 Midnight Poetry Jams at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina with Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Ms. Lewis has performed Off-Broadway in "Snippets: Which Way To Broadway?" at Primary Stages and performed and wrote for "Snippets" in Connecticut. In addition, she has performed at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) as part of the "Sacred Circle Cafe" in 2005. Ms. Lewis is currently a member of the troupe HerStory, a multi-cultural cast of female performers that is presently touring the United States. She can be seen in the Hip-Hop horror movie, "Golddigger Killer," which won Best Narrative Feature at the Odyssey Awards, "What Goes Around Comes Around," the television pilot for "Freshman Seminar" playing the role of Professor Cassandra Moore, and is a featured artist in "Art of Love & Struggle: Women in Hip-Hop."

In addition to her career as a preformer, Ms. Lewis is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and HIV/AIDS Health Educator who developed, implemented and supervised a drop-in center for drug-addicted prostitutes for the Community At Risk Reduction (CARR) Program in Newark, New Jersey. She also spoke at the 2004 New Jersey Woman and AIDS Network Annual HIV/AIDS Symposium and her work with prostitutes has been featured on New Jersey News Network. Ms. Lewis currently works at a Department of Corrections (DOC) Community Release Program for women and spent three years working on a CDC/HRSA Correctional Demonstration Project providing prevention case management to HIV positive male inmates. She also lectures on developing community based organizations, the dynamics of drug addiction and prostitution and effective street outreach to individuals at high risk for HIV/AIDS.