Veronique LaShell MacRae

From the Womb of Yemaya,
or African Eve


Play Description

“From the Womb of Yemaya or African Eve,” journeys through the stories of black women descendants of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade through a series of monologues, dialogue, dance, and music. It is said that the Orisha, Yemaya, is the African Goddess of the Ocean and patron deity of pregnant women often referred to as the “mother” of Humankind. It is believed she traveled with members of the Yoruba tribe when they were captured and dispersed across various parts of the world as slaves. This piece explores the lived trials, triumphs, and tribulations of present-day women of the African Diaspora through the lens of Yemaya.

Production Phase:

Research and Writing/Development


Veronique LaShell MacRae

Veronique LaShell MacRae is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of The VMJ Arts Collective consisting of VMJ Productions, VMJ Publishing & Design and Rise of the Phoenix Fringe Festival.


Veronique’s most recent credits include the role of Diane Blaine in the upcoming series, "Miss Education" filming in NYC, Director of Masha Dowell's "Blackwomanology" for its virtual premiere at the 2021 Edingburgh Fringe Festival, Playwright & Performer for the production of Rainbow Children, Angel Babies and Fruitless Fig Trees directed by Cynthia L. Dorsey for the 2021 Rogue Theater Festival in NYC and Co-Writer for the one-woman piece, I am NOT a Monolith co-written and performed by Dahjn Maria Gomez.     

A graduate of Duke University with a Master's Degree in Christian Studies (Performance & Religion) and 

North Carolina Central University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance, Veronique published her first book "The Artist Escape" in 2020, and her next release, "In a Field Full of Lavender Trees" is scheduled for publication in summer 2022.   


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Dahjn Maria Gomez

Dahjn, pronounced Don, Maria Gomez is happy to be a part of this ensemble and honored to be chosen for this work. Ms. Gomez, a New York Native, is an actor and proud SAG-AFTRA as well as Actor's Equity Association member. She has credits in TV/Film, Voiceover and Theatre along with directorial credits in both traditional and TYA productions.


She is the CEO of Silently Loud Media, LLC and the COO/Executive Producer of the SLM Network.


Additionally, she is the author of the motivational book, "When Your Soulmate is- YOU! A Guide to Falling in Love with Who You are" under the pseudonym, D. M. Woodard.

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Cynthia L. Dorsey

Cynthia L. Dorsey is a multi-hyphenate director, writer, actor, and producer.

However, she prides herself on being a dreamer, a daughter, a sister,

a Godmother, and a friend.


Cynthia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Columbia

College Chicago and her Master’s degree in Pan African Studies from Syracuse

University. She currently teaches Theatre in Washington, DC and was nominated for

an Excellence in Theater Education Tony Award. Cynthia is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of SoulFLY Theatre Society.


SoulFLY is a grassroots community

theatre and entertainment group that seeks to unify communities at home and

abroad through the Arts. Some of her freelance writings can be found on the popular

online lifestyle publication for Black women, Madame Noire, XoNecole It is Cynthia’s

goal as an artist to liberate silenced stories from the page and create more

opportunities for actors and filmmakers of color.

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Khaya Fraites

Khaya Fraites is a New York based Theatre, Film, and Voice Actor. She is originally from Richmond, VA and graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Theatre performance & directing in spring 2019. Her recent film credits include "Multi-Hyphenates" the web series, "Intermission" short film, and  IT Cosmetics ad Campaign. Recent voice acting credits include Taco Bell, Gatorade, CDC, animated show "Rainbow High", and Tribeca Film Fest animated pilot "Mine". Recent theatre credits include "Little Shop of Horrors" at Constellation Theatre Company in Washington, DC. View more of her recent work at

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Leslie Barnett

Leslie Barnett is a SAG-AFTRA and theatrical actress based in the Greater Metro Washington, DC area.  

Her recent film credits include Shadow of Blood, The Decision and  The Last Will & Testament of Byron Colby.  Theatrical credits include August Osage County, Rent and Alice in Wonderland.  

Additionally, Leslie participated in hybrid theatre performances during the pandemic including Raisin in the Sun, Doubt, Tears of the Soul, The Revolutionists and Yella Jack. 

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