Creative Team

THEODORE "TEDDY" ALEXANDER

TROY ANTHONY

SPENCER ARMSTRONG

CARLA CHAMBERS

KAI SONG CHAN

NOVEMBER CHRISTINE

ESTRELLX

NOAH BO FANG

JEROME JOSEPH GENTES

EVAN KASSOF

ANTHONY MADONNA

JOHNATHAN MCCULLOUGH

T.D. MITCHELL

ROXANNA MYHRUM

EKAMBA ODEY

YAHZARAH ODURO

EMMA O'HALLORAN

MICHAEL SPENCER PHILLIPS

BETSY PODSIADLO

MOLLY SCHENCK

LEA LUKA TIZIANA SIKAU

KATHERINE SYER

GABRIEL TORRES

SAMANTHA ROSE WILLIAMS

About


Theodore “Teddy” Alexander (he/them) is a multi-disciplinary performance artist and project manager exploring dance, choreography, and poetic soundscapes. Most recently, he worked with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and Ballet After Dark, making his television premiere on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. In 2020, he founded Voracious Artistry Projects, a freelance entity that creates International arts classes for underserved communities and produces collaborative projects for stage and film. Through his projects, Theodore hopes to inspire those who may feel like they don’t belong to remind them that they unequivocally do. Keep up with Teddy at www.VoraciousArtist.com.

Troy Anthony is a Kentucky-born composer/lyricist, director, and theater-maker based in NYC practicing Black queer joy. He has received commissions from The 5th Avenue Theater, The Civilians, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and The Shed. He’s enjoyed residencies with BLKSPACE on Ryder Farm, The O’Neill Theater Center and Village Theater.  Additionally, he’s presented work at Joe’s Pub, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, JACK, Prospect Theater Company, the National Alliance of Musical Theater Conference, and 54 Below. Troy recently received the Vivace Award from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation and is currently an artist-in-residence at The Chelsea Factory. Troy’s work lives at the intersection of art, social justice and community practice. In this spirit, he recently founded The Fire Ensemble as a home to develop his work and to share the joy of singing in community. The Fire Ensemble is currently being incubated by The Shed.

Spencer Armstrong is a Brooklyn-based director, producer, and creator of original works focusing on docu-investigative narratives. Spencer’s areas of exploration include queer liberation, the internet in millennial culture, literature, midwestern values, and sex positivity. His work investigates what is at once extraordinarily confrontational in modern society while being quickly forgotten and purposefully overlooked. Spencer has had the pleasure of working with New York’s leading theater ensembles and companies, including Elevator Repair Service, Theater Mitu, 600 Highwaymen, and The Public Theater. His productions have been presented at HERE Arts Center, The Bushwick Starr, and Dixon Place. In 2019, Spencer participated in The Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab; currently, he works for the Alliance of Resident Theaters / New York.

Carla Chambers is a multidisciplinary artist, scholar, and creative entrepreneur. She holds a Masters degree in Comparative Literature and Arts from Brock University from which she built a solid career consulting artists and arts organizations in fund development, marketing strategy, and community outreach. As a life-long singer, Carla is eager to return to the stage and back to performing with her own stories to tell. Her deep passion for collaboration compels her to produce lyric theater projects as a social practice that brings connection and healing to artists, and the communities they serve.

Enneagram 4 and a Logician (INTP-A) according to 16 Personalities, Kai Song enjoys thinking deeply, unconventionally and creatively about opera, while being a meticulous and diligent servant leader. An aspiring tenor, he enjoys reading scores and watching productions. He is dedicated to building up the ecosystem of singers that opera needs through having organized projects such as an opera scenes concert, singing competition, voice pedagogy conference, and a virtual choir of over a thousand strong. Kai Song graduated with a Master’s in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship from The New School, and currently works as the Artistic Administrator at Opera Omaha.

November Christine (she/her/hers) holds a degree in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, as well as a BM in Musical Theatre from the East Carolina University School of Music. November’s historical hip-hop drama, LEGACY THE MUSICAL was showcased in London in 2017 and won “Best of Fest” at the 2018 New York Musical Festival. Her latest works include IDA, an interactive play about Ida B. Wells, and A WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE SPLENDIFEROUS EXTRAVAGANZA, a vaudeville revue about the 19th Amendment. November is a BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop Lyricist, Co-chair of the NYCLU Artist Ambassador Program, and a Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award recipient.

Estrellx embodies a they/them energetics and straddles the roles of choreographer, performer, curator, writer and somatic entrepreneur. They have many diasporic roots and call themselves the Cosmic Energetic Orchestrator of The Universe of Rhizomatic Tenderness (TUoRT), an emerging social enterprise that is being designed by and for the financial, spiritual, erotic, and artistic empowerment of Queer, Trans Creatives of the Global Majority and Allies.  Their choreography unfolds within imaginary and physical club spaces that become sites of generative dissonance where they ask, “What paradoxes are you inhabiting? Are we celebrating or mourning or both? What do you really want and how exactly do you want it?” They implement systems of improvisation, Qi Energetics, and subtle Butoh energy into their ritualistic performative language. Their performances are templates for giving oneself permission to dissent, celebrate, grieve, and rest.

Noah Fang is an ethnomusicologist who has been working on traditional Chinese music and contemporary transnational music-making. He is now a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before his academic research career, Noah used to be a tenor and a singing coach. As an artist-scholar, he is fully committed to the music education as well as the contemporary music industry. As a music critic, his music criticism articles have been published on People’s Music, Opera Magazine, and International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong), etc., and won many music criticisms prizes.

Jerome Joseph Gentes (he/him) is a two-spirit Standing Rock Lakota and Fort Belknap A’aniiih. A multi-disciplinary writer, designer, and producer, he co-founded and co-produced Musical Cafe, a Berkeley-based showcase for new musical theatre projects. Jerome also co-produced Sheherezade’s Last Tales (2015 TBA Award for Outstanding Anthology) and PCSF PlayOffs (2016 TBA Finalist for Outstanding Anthology). This summer, TigerBear Productions, his company, produced PRINCE CHARMING, YOU’RE LATE in NYC and DEAL WITH THE DRAGON, a hit of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, in San Francisco. He is producing UNBOUND, an immersive chamber opera experience, in Palm Springs this fall.

Dr. Evan Kassof is an opera maker, composer, conductor, and sound artist living in Philadelphia. As Music Director of ENAensemble, he has helped premiere over a dozen new works – including seven new operas. He also conducts extensively in Philadelphia as a new music specialist. His music mixes scientific inspiration with operatic drama, like his science-fiction opera Ganymede 5 (libretto by Aleksandar Hut Kono), his nuclear spectroscopy derived orchestral work Cosmos 5, and his interactive entropic-empathy sound-art piece Deadflipping (co-made with Ana Mosquera). A common exigency of making wonderful things with friends connects all his work. During the day, he organizes labor unions. More at evankassof.com. @evankassof

Anthony Madonna is an interdisciplinary collaborative artist, educator, and creative producer. He has worked within institutions such as The McCarter Theatre Center, The Juilliard School, and the Barbican Center. His projects have been performed at the Tate Modern: Tate Exchange (London), Barbican Centre (London), and The Arts Center at Duck Creek (New York). Anthony currently works at Guild Hall of East Hampton, where he manages all GH education initiatives including the GH William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence Program, the GH & Bel Canto Boot Camp Resident Artist Series, and the Community Artist-in-Resident program.
anthonymadonna.com

GRAMMY-nominated baritone and director, Johnathan McCullough recently premiered his production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs with Opera Philadelphia. He has sung leading roles at Opera Philadelphia, Komische Oper Berlin, English National Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis among others. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a faculty member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School and Virtu Academy. He has previously appeared and is scheduled as an upcoming guest speaker with; The Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, Mannes Opera, and YoungArts. He also serves as the Vail Opera and Operatic Studies Director for the National Children’s Chorus. As a director, McCullough’s work has been noted as “A pacesetter for cinematic opera.” -The New Times.

Interdisciplinary artist and award-winning dramatist, TD Mitchell’s plays include Beyond the 17th Parallel, The Unnamed, and Queens For A Year. VRTU-L, her entrée into multimedia (AR, 3D projection, mobile app), rounds out her Veteran Plays. An activist, she’s a speechwriter for international NGOs/nonprofits. Also essayist, producer, video artist, and former performer.  For the Writers Guild Institute, she mentors marginalized communities. March 2020, Mitchell was developing The Double— a play interrogating white queer feminism through the lens of the Syrian refugee crisis. Her near-fatal injuries from Covid radically shifted her artistic process and PoV. She now lives in a Disabled body.

Roxanna Myhrum is dedicated to creating impactful theatrical experiences that expand our ideas about what’s possible. A Boston-based producer and director of opera, theater, and puppetry, she specializes in non-realistic performance styles and immersive site-specific productions. For over a decade she served as Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater where she launched a nationally-recognized incubator for new works. A pioneering member of Boston’s vibrant fringe opera scene, she has directed over 20 full-length operas, including classical repertoire and new work. A passionate advocate for creative research, she is the Founder and Principal Investigator for PIVOT, the Puppeteers’ Institute for Visual and Object Theater. www.roxanna-myhrum.com

Writer, Producer, Director Ekamba Odey, is a Queer Film Maker, Gender and Sexual Human Rights Activist, and a Dramatist from Nigeria. An independent producer who is passionate about storytelling in general, An alumni of the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) Training program, TerraCulture South South Training Programme for Théâtre, and A Bisi Alimi Foundation Rainbow Academy Scholar for 2022. Writer, producer and director of 3 short films independently and last December, I wrote, produced and directed my first Broadway like theatre musical production called S??r?? Sókè The Christmas Musical which was an adaptation of the Christian nativity story into modern day Nigeria. Ekamba’s area of interest are in religion, sexuality, Gender identities, feminism and story telling as a tool for Activism and Human rights with a vision to invade Broadway with African inspired and ideologically diverse Musicals and productions.

D.C.-born Ghanian singer-songwriter YahZarah Oduro possesses the ability to heal and move mountains with her voice and vision as a composer and a truly incomparable performer. Her voice is beautiful, clear, strong, and divine in such a way that even as it enraptures, it feels difficult to wrap one’s mind around.Truly a singularly gifted person, the singer- songwriter arranged groundbreaking musical compositions with Erykah Badu, Raheem Devaughn, The Foreign Exchange, and performed live with Anderson Paak, The Legendary Roots Crew, rock icon Lenny Kravitz, Madonna and so many others.

Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and vocalist. Freely intertwining acoustic and electronic music, O’Halloran has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, laptop orchestra, symphony orchestra, and theatre. Her work has been described as “intensely beautiful” (Washington Post) and has been featured at Classical NEXT in Rotterdam, the Prototype Festival in New York, New Music Dublin Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and MATA Festival. O’Halloran holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Princeton University and is the Artistic Director of the NCH Creative Lab, a mentorship programme for young composers from traditionally underrepresented groups in music composition.

Michael Spencer Phillips is an artist working at the intersection of dance, film, and community engagement. After 22 years as a professional dancer in NYC with Merce Cunningham, Robert Battle, Pascal Rioult, and Bill T. Jones; Phillips co-founded Site-Specific Dances with architect Dino Kiratzidis as an experiment in merging real sites and contemporary performance. Phillips’ genre-bashing take on environmental dance theater integrates site-specific dance, documentary footage, and music – bridging the gap between the emotive and the objective. Site-Specific Dances has received support from Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy, ArtBridge, ArtsEverywhere-Canada, and The Arts Councils of Northern Ireland and Sweden. Phillips holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan.

Betsy Podsiadlo is an interdisciplinary artist, producer, and teacher based in New York City. A recent fellow at the Longy Divergent Studio with Loadbang and current graduate student at The New School’s Mannes School of Music, Betsy creates conceptual, community driven art inspired by her Appalachian heritage and love of the natural world and sacred music. During the early days of the pandemic, Betsy collaborated with West Virginian pianist-composer Jim Townsend, to pilot a series of nature-immersive performances and make a record of Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder as well as improvisations on selected texts from the Dhammapada.

Samantha Rose Williams is an arts activist who is committed to sharing marginalized experiences with diverse audiences and creating space for critical discussion about art, culture, and social change. After earning her B.A. at Stanford University and her M.M. and S.M. at the University of Michigan in Voice Performance, Samantha, a Mezzo-Soprano with “jaw-dropping vocal power,” expanded her artistic practice to include opera, musical theater, directing, and producing. Her most recent project, American Patriots, a staged song cycle that explores the American Dream across our increasingly polarized society, makes its U.S. tour in 2023.

The body of work by Molly W. Schenck (MFA, MEd.) is rooted in a quest to understand humans. She is fascinated with human movement – whether that is a social justice movement, individuals persisting through systems, or how a body moves through space and time. She is also interested in what interrupts the full expression of movement (stress, trauma, burnout, injuries, chronic pain, etc.). This has guided the evolution of her studies and career path. She worked in higher education as an adjunct professor and administrator for ten years. She taught mind body and group fitness classes for twelve years. She specializes in the intersection of creativity and trauma and is the creator of Trauma-Informed Creative Practices. She is the founder of Grey Box Collective (an interdisciplinary, experimental, post-dramatic, trauma-informed arts organization that devises original performances around topics of social and emotional wellbeing i.e. makes weird art about tough stuff). She is the author of ‘Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices for Dance Educators’. She is a certified Trauma Support Specialist, Personal Trainer, a 500-hour experienced yoga teacher (focused on asana, pranayama, and meditation), Certified Teacher of BodyMind Dancing™, a registered somatic dance educator and a Dynamic Embodiment™ Practitioner. For more information visit: mollywschenck.com

Lea Luka Sikau is an artist-researcher from Germany, born in 1996. She lives in the United Kingdom, pursuing her PhD on production process of new music theatre at Cambridge University. As an academic, she has been a Fellow at Harvard University’s Mellon School for Performance Research and was awarded with the Bavarian Cultural Award for her research at MIT. Lea Luka worked for National Sawdust after finishing her MA in music management and produced works all over Europe, becoming an Oxford Cultural Leader in 2021. She has worked for artistic visionaries such as Marina Abramovic, Romeo Castellucci and Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi). Currently, she creates art installations for nonhumans, commissioned by the Ars Electronica Festival.

Alongside a career working with advanced performing arts students as a scholar/educator at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and UCLA, Katherine Syer is a practicing dramaturg. She has conceptually and logistically supported the development of several new spoken and lyric theatre pieces. At UIUC’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts she helped launch projects by Tectonic Theatre (33 Variations) and Sasha Velour (Smoke and Mirrors). Her research focus on historical and contemporary opera production practices was the basis for her being awarded a Humboldt Fellowship in 2007 and 2009, held at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Gabriel Torres is a multidisciplinary artist from Colombia and New York. Gabriel’s work deals in the conversations between community engagement, creative placemaking, theater making and film. Gabriel has worked in Hong Kong, NYC, and Colombia as an educator, documentarian, theater director, and community engagement consultant. Gabriel is currently working on Haus of Dust, a campaign to bring awareness about substance use in latinx queer communities from his personal experience. Gabriel’s work has been featured in SXSW, Latino Theater Co, NYC department of health, The Tank NYC, En Garde Arts, The LGBT Center and more. gabrielgtorres.com  Haus of Dust is a successful collaboration between Gabriel and a collective of 10+ artists and institutions working to bring forth the project. To learn more, visit iamdust.org. @gabrielgtorrest