Other Roles: Producer
Areas of Focus: Animation, Feature Films, Shorts
I am a two-time SAG Award winning actress (Best Ensemble) for my portrayal of Crystal Burset in “Orange is the New Black.” I have also appeared on a number of other critically acclaimed and commercially successful television shows including “The Good Wife,” “Madame Secretary,” “24,” “ER,” “NYPD BLUE” and got my start as a child on “The Cosby Show.”
My time on Orange is the New Black helped me understand how powerful media could be in education; I pivoted my Hairiette haircare line and turned it into the thing I wanted most to do: create a children’s educational franchise! Big Hair Hairiette was born just before the covid-19 pandemic and the inequities in education strengthened my resolve to help educate children through story. A friend who was applying to Harvard’s Divinity School knew of my passion for educating children and sent me word about a new program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education called Learning Design, Innovation and Technology. I applied, got in and took an Amtrak 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to Cambridge MA (the CDC recommended we not fly) to understand how children learn best. I graduated from Harvard in May, 2022.
I have published two books (I Found God in My Hair and Butterfly Rising) and have written an additional 30 under the Big Hair Hairiette banner (the first 3 will see their debut in January, 2024). I am the writer, director, producer and co-star of the upcoming film New Hope. I love pizza (native New Yorker), dogs, white cheddar popcorn, bike rides, dancing… and hip hop music!
Big Hair Hairiette (2022)
LOGLINE: An impatient seven year old with galactic hair (Hairiette!) goes on learning adventures with her friends Charlie the Comb and Barbara the Barrette!
SYNOPSIS: Big Hair Hairiette is an educational system designed to increase literacy proficiency; the more kids read, the bigger Hairiette’s hair gets! Big Hair Hairiette works with schools nationwide and includes books, TV, film, games and tech products all based around the story of Big Hair Hairiette, her family and her real (and imaginary) friends!
Organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found that “a well-told story is remembered more accurately, and for far longer than learning derived from facts and figures.” (Harvard Busines.org). Our initial focus is on literacy: students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. K-2 assessments have show consistent and large learning setbacks, particularly for children typically marginalized in the U.S. education system.
Big Hair Hairiette is created by two-time SAG Award winning actress Tanya Wright (Best Ensemble) for her portrayal of Crystal Burset in Orange is the New Black. In 2022, Tanya graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education (’22) with a degree in Learning Design, Innovation and Technology. While at Harvard, Tanya won the Harvard Innovative Venture in Education Award (HIVE) for most promising early stage venture for Big Hair Hairiette; additionally, Tanya is also an Education Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab.
The money raised will go toward 1. producing the Big Hair Hairiette Read and Learn System (TM) which an includes augmented reality curriculum to increase literacy proficiency in children 6-8 via vocabulary and reading comprehension. 2. marketing the Big Hair Hairiette program Thank you so much for your support!