Black History Month Spotlight: Gail Rivers – A Multi-Hyphenate Artist and Member of Our Lady of Pompeii 

Gail Rivers, a member of the Our Lady of Pompeii Older Adult Center, is a multifaceted artist whose journey through playwriting, acting, voice, and community activism has left an indelible mark on the arts community.

She studied drama and voice at the Fournier-Grego Performing Arts Center and the art of songwriting under Grammy-nominated songwriter Lou Stallman after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Evria Ince Waldron and Les Ford inspired Gail to embark on her path as a playwright.  She published “Southern Gals”, a 2017 play and poignant reflection of her life’s narrative. In it, she highlights two poems “Those Who Came Before Us” and “He Had a Dream,” which pay homage to the meaning of Black History Month and the legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr. And former President Barack Obama respectively. Also included in her book are lyrics from her song “Nappy Hair,” which was entered into the 2013 American Songwriters Contest, and soared into the top 100 category out of 1,600 entrants, as noted in “Southern Gals.”

“Those Who Came Before Us”
“He Had A Dream”
“Nappy Hair”
“Southern Gals”





Alongside her book, Gail has penned two other plays: “The Yesterday Morning Church”, a reinterpretation of the Annie Oakley saga, and “Scenario: Living and Loving”, a work in progress. In 2013, collaborating with Nia Productions, she demonstrated her theatrical abilities in a diverse array of productions including “The Music Man Sr.”, “Into the Woods”, and “Four Strangers in an Elevator”.

“My legacy is to encourage. We are all put here for a reason. Our God-given talents are to be shared with the world and not kept to ourselves,” said Gail in a passage from “Southern Gals”.

Through her creative endeavors, Gail continues to inspire and uplift, leaving a lasting imprint on the landscape of Black history and the arts.

When she’s not writing or performing, Gail lends her time and creative spirit to support social causes, raising funds for organizations like the Jazz Foundation of America and ACORN International, while inspiring others to pursue their dreams. She also serves as a member of the Our Lady of Pompeii Advisory Council.


“Confessions of a Woman”

Playwright Contributions: 
“Into the Woods”
“The Music Man Sr.”

Community Organizations 
ACORN International
Jazz Foundation of America
Our Lady of Pompeii Advisory Council