Julia Gay is an actor, dancer, poet, playwright, and teaching artist. She completed her B.A. at Macalester College, studying American Studies, Urban Studies, and Theatre. Julia is the recipient of The Playwrights' Center's 2017-18 Many Voices Mentorship and was one of five artists awarded the 2016-17 Creative Changemakers Apprenticeship by The DIAL Group. She was a collaborator and ensemble member with physical theatre ensemble, Transatlantic Love Affair, on Promise Land, a devised work that premiered at the Guthrie Theatre in January 2017. In May 2016, as part of Pangea World Theater's Lake Street Arts! Emerging Artist Showcase, Julia premiered her one-woman show, motherlanded, exploring her personal narrative as a Chinese adoptee.
From 2005-2011, Julia danced with Yin Tang Dance Company, performing classical Chinese dance throughout Cleveland, Ohio. Julia has trained in modern, ballet, contact improvisation, West African, East Coast Swing, Salsa, and Argentine Tango. She is dancer with Minneapolis based professional dance company, Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT). She has performed in ADT's most recent original works, Horidraa: Golden Healing (2016) and Shyamali: Sprouting Words (2017).
As a teaching artist, she has led Arts Literacy youth workshops in the St. Paul Public Schools alongside long-time director and educator, Jan Mandell and local teaching artists and poets, Keno Evol and Jen Wang. Through the Irreducible Grace Foundation she collaborated with vulnerable youth who have experienced foster care, homelessness, and incarceration. Collectively they created and produced Fostering Voice, a performance based on their lived experiences that was showcased in 2015 at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. Most recently she collaborated with Hmong American artist, May Yee-Lang, on a poetry mural workshop for young adoptees at the 2016 Families with Children from Asia Midwest Conference.