Denise Woods Hosts ‘Our Voices On The Yard’ Podcast


A new podcast is celebrating Black artists who hail from some of the world’s most prestigious fine arts conservatories.


Our Voices On The Yard is a new audio series hosted by Juilliard Drama Division alumna and former faculty member, Denise Woods, that highlights Black artists’ passions, contributions, and sacrifices.

Our Voices On The Yard

Source: Our Voices On The Yard / Our Voices On The Yard

By looking through the lens of prodigious artists, Woods explores the intersection of Black art, culture, faith, and political activism in their communities and beyond.

A press release notes that Our Voices On The Yard prides itself on great production values and no-holds-barred, authentic conversation with a goal to inform, inspire and educate. Speaking of educating, you’d be remiss not to educate yourself on Woods whose been the “voice behind the voice” of a stellar array of actors for the last twenty years. She recently coached the Netflix feature films, Tyler Perry’s magnum opus A Jazzman’s Blues, and The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba. She also worked as the creative consultant for Halle Berry’s directorial debut of the film Bruised where she contributed to the authenticity of Berry’s performance in the starring role. Her resume spans 20 years and her silky smooth voice, expertise, and dialect coaching have respectively helped the likes of Don Cheadle, Common, David Oyelewo, Will Smith, and Mahershala Ali.


On her podcast, Denise opens each show with an inspiring anecdote, a little-known fact, or a historic trip down memory lane, followed by a unique introduction of the week’s guests who are invited to “The Yard”, a centrally located gathering place for students on HBCU campuses to convene.

A trailer for the podcast shows Woods chatting with world-class musicians, singers, dancers, and actors who’ll take listeners on a journey from the Black church to the bright lights of Broadway.

LisaGay Hamilton Appears On The Our Voices On The Yard Podcast

On the second episode of Our Voices On The Yard, Woods is joined by LisaGay Hamilton. Like Woods, Hamilton is a Julliard grad, and the actor/director is opening up about connecting with characters while recapping wise words she received from Beah Richards.

Hamilton, who won a Peabody Award in 2005 for creating and directing the 2003 documentary film Beah: A Black Woman Speaks, says Richards gave her sound advice about using emotions to fully flesh out characters.

“My work always comes from an emotional place,” says Hamilton. “It always comes from the–‘what’s the core of the human being’?”

According to Hamilton, Richards reminded her to do more than just play a role.

“Her thing was to BE, what is it to BE the character, not ACT it,” adds Hamilton. “I think in any of the work that I did, to this day that’s where I come from. What that allows me to do is work, not work getting jobs—but to work in the process of being.”


“The goal has always been to come from a being place.”


Watch LisaGay Hamilton on Our Voices On The Yard below.

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