Composer/Performer Karma Mayet has appeared onstage at New Dramatists, Living Theater/Culture Project, The Joyce, The Kitchen, DNA, on MTV, Off Broadway and internationally. She’s worked with artists ranging from directors Robert Wilson and Peter Sellars to musicians such as the The Roots and Lizz Wright.
Karma’s stage appearances as actor/singer/dancer includeKeith+Mendi Obadike’s FOUR ELECTRIC GHOSTS, the musical FELA!, the Women in Jazz series at the Schomburg/NYPL, and the debut of GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin, a new musical by Imani Uzuri and Zakiyyah Alexander in collaboration with Sonia Sanchez, at Joe’s Pub.
Collaborators have included film-maker Michelle Parkerson, composer/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, composer/pianist Major Scurlock, performance artist Lil MonstaH (Black), and the late guerilla theater innovator Rebecca Rice of D.C.’s Living Stage Theater Company--whose mentorship informs Karma’s ongoing practice of arts education as social activism.
Karma has worked in liberatory community arts and youth advocacy at Living Stage (Arena Stage), Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Brooklyn Community Services, The NYC Dep’t. of Cultural Affairs, in various correctional facilities, and The Center for Community Change. She has taught students from early childhood through graduate school, at Children’s Studio School, CUNY, Rutgers University, and The Cooper Union.
Karma has consistently linked her creative practice with community building and advocacy, specifically with a focus on intercultural bridge building between Latino and Black youth as well as among various class divisions within Black lesbian social groups.
She was Managing Editor of Calabash: a Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters, published by NYU, and Co-editor, with Joe Ray Sandoval, of the Anthology Same Blood: Voices of Barrio Youth. For many years, she wrote a featured article for the groundbreaking D.C. area Black lesbian monthly magazine, Women in the Life, “Inner Visions”, which focused on ethical questions around justice within inter- and intra-personal relationships in marginalized groups.
Karma is composer and librettist of Indigo, a Blues Opera. Indigo, a theater piece infused with music and dance, tells a story of human bondage and of erotic love as a site of resistance, via Lesbians on the Underground Railroad, Reincarnation, Delta Blues, Mysticism, and Thunderstorms. Time travel in the piece is facilitated by deep-woods rituals and heirloom quilts encoded with divine messages.
Her poems have appeared in exit the apple.com, Nocturnes, Cave Canem’s Gathering Ground, Redbone Press’ Voices Rising, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University and is a Fellow of the Cave Canem Workshop-Retreat for African American poets. Her work has been supported by The Field, the D.C. Humanities Council, Soul Mountain Writers Retreat, and the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund (for Fiction).