Ash Sanborn is the innovator behind Fierce Good Causes (fiercegoodcauses.org), a portal to her life’s work of telling women’s stories and creating new ways for theater people to impact the world around them. An award-winning Iowa journalist in her other life, Ash and her team, including up-and-coming NYC director Cammerron David Baits, began presenting her work in New York City in 2013. Ash’s work centers on the stories of strong, historical women whose challenges are brought to the chaos, desperation, and hope of the 21st century.
Her play, Maximalista, has had university readings and was presented at Manhattan Rep Theatre in the fall of 2017. Theater and LGBTQ issues writer Jed Ryan said, “Underneath its moments of genuine humor and its more indulgent segments, Maximalista is a provocative exploration of female sexual addiction as well as the larger environment of modern sexual mores in 2017— a world where virtual interactions open the road to body-to-body contact but recklessly speed past the mind and the soul…So often in pop culture, woman’s sexuality in all its varieties has been presented through men’s eyes— and, sadly, those presentations have often been reduced to fantastical, exploitative, or unrealistic depictions. Maximalista, written by a female playwright, makes for a more organic but no less direct depiction… and it’s even more refreshing that the piece has a male director who paints the situations and characters in a zesty yet also smart and sympathetic light. The play packs a wallop into its brief running time. If there’s any flaw, it’s that the piece deserves the greater character development and more stage time for its gifted cast which that longer running time could bring.”
Ash’s other work has won national awards and has been a spark that moved community members to launch a free community dinner, to volunteer for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, at the soup kitchen at Edmund Gaynes’ St. Luke’s Theater, and to spark other initiatives. Ash is a Hive Global Leader (Hive.org) and a Columbia Journalism School fellow. In addition to New York City, her work has been presented in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Iowa.