HART ISLAND BIOS
Mason Holdings creates intimate, experiential theatre inspired by the unseen and unheard. We build transporting worlds in unexpected spaces, exploring the shadowy terrain of our periphery, and illuminating life beyond quotidian consciousness. Frequently site specific and immersive, our work lifts the traditional barriers between audience and performance in pursuit of deeper, more profound psychological understanding. Creations include: Jarring (play and short film), Holiday House: Christmas Bends; Consumption (by Devin Burnam); Found (featuring the artwork of Mikel Glass, in partnership with The Cell); Most Sincerely, Edward Albee; Love & Death Traveling Circus (by Devin Burnam), and The Mason Holdings Radio Hour (an experiential podcast in the spirit of old-fashioned radio). Mason Holdings is also the producer of Unseen & Unheard, a monthly play reading series for innovative writers working outside the bounds of commercial theatre. In development: The Old Folks Home for Aging Puppets. Mason Holdings was founded by actress/writer Tracy Weller — and includes anyone & everyone who comes along for the journey. www.masonholdings.org
TRACY WELLER (Writer, Narrator)
Tracy Weller (Writer, Narrator) is an actress, writer, and Founder/Artistic Director of theatre company Mason Holdings. She has performed throughout New York City and abroad in Germany, South Korea and Italy. Some NYC credits include: Jarring (writer/performer, play and short film, Finalist, Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival); Holiday House: Christmas Bends (writer/performer, featured in the New York Times, Design Live and Chance Magazine); Consumption (by Devin Burnam, conceived/developed by Mason Holdings); Most Sincerely, Edward Albee (writer/performer, Women in Theatre Festival); Love & Death Traveling Circus (by Devin Burnam, Women in Theatre Festival), and Found (featuring the artwork of Mikel Glass, in partnership with The Cell Theatre). She is the creator and curator of Mason Holdings’ Unseen & Unheard, a monthly play reading series for innovative writers working outside the bounds of commercial theatre (producing over twenty-five playwrights in three years), and writer/producer of The Mason Holdings Radio Hour (an experiential podcast in the spirit of old-fashioned radio), featuring The Lost Diaries of Elena Hoyos. In development: The Old Folks Home for Aging Puppets. Tracy received her MFA from Columbia University, with additional training from Anne Bogart and SITI Company. Trained as a classical ballet dancer, she has additional experience in flamenco, modern, mime, and biomechanics. https://tracyweller.land
Kristjan Thor (Director)
Kristjan Thor (Director) is a critically-acclaimed director of film, theater, and immersive experiences. Over the course of a 15-year career, Thor has directed and produced two feature films, countless theater, short film, and video projects as well as produced various types of live events. Thor is also the co-founder and creator of The Blackout Experience, the world’s most notorious fear experience. He has taught at NYU, Dartmouth, Fordham, and NYCDA. Additionally, Thor often works as an acting coach for various industry professionals. https://kristhor.com/
Christopher and Justin Swader (Scenic Design)
Christopher and Justin Swader (Scenic Design) are New York-based scenic designers. Previous designs include collaborations with: Two River Theater, Everyman Theatre, Miami New Drama, Dorset Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center Education, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Abingdon Theatre Company, John W. Engeman Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, The New School for Drama, Luna Stage, IBEX Puppetry, National Black Theatre, Sotheby's, 3LD, Cherry Lane Theatre, La MaMa, Manhattan School of Music,Park Avenue Armory, Trusty Sidekick, Mason Holdings, Astoria Performing Arts Center, Bristol ValleyTheatre, The Orchard Project, Shadowland Stages, Columbia Stages, Company One, SpeakEasy StageCompany, ArtsEmerson. Collaborations with A$AP Rocky, Sotheby’s, Big Apple Circus, National Geographic. They are recipients of 4 Henry Hewes Design Award Nominations, 2017 AUDELCO Award (The Three Musketeers), 2018 IRNE Award (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), 2019 Carbonell Award (One Night in Miami). Finalists in the 2017 World Stage Design exhibition (Jarring). Their design for Crane: On Earth, in Sky was exhibited at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial. http://www.cjswaderdesign.com/
Natalie Loveland (Costume Designer)
Natalie Loveland (Costume Designer) is pleased to rejoin Mason Holdings to collaborate on this production. In New York, her designs have been seen at The New Amsterdam Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Lincoln Center Education, Park Avenue Armory, Theatre Row, and NYTW’s Fourth Street Theatre, among many others. Outside the city, Natalie has designed at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre and has served as a guest artist at multiple universities across the country. Natalie is a proud member of USA Local 829. In addition to her work as an artist, Natalie explores the human experience on foot as a backpacker with her husband, Jess Prichard. www.nataliemarieloveland.com
Christina Tang (Lighting Designer)
Christina Tang (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer, production manager, and digital art amateur based in New York City. She is a frequent collaborator on new works for theater and dance. Recent credits: Preparedness (The Bushwick Starr); .SUITABLE_FOR.EXE(CUTION) (Shawné Michaelain Holloway, PSNY); My Onliness (One-Eighth), Psychic Self Defense and Madame Lynch (The Drunkard’s Wife), CIRCLE (Martine Gutierrez, PSNY), and Untitled: The Black Act (Kia LaBeija, PSNY). She is a 2021 recipient of Opera America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize. Christinaftang.com
Phil Carluzzo (Sound Designer)
Phil Carluzzo (Sound Designer) is a musician based out of Washington DC. He writes and records music for the stage, for film, for himself, for his friends, and of course for you. Prior work with Tracy and Mason Holdings includes Holiday House (2016). He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and arguably America’s greatest dog, Ernie.
Yana Biryukova (Projection and Video Designer)
Yana Biryukova (Projection and Video Designer) is a video artist and film editor from Moscow, Russia. Her theatrical designs include The Karamazovs (The Other Shore); Mlima’s Tale (Westport Country Playhouse); The White Devil (Red Bull Theater); Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson (The Working Theater); SELKIE (Dutch Kills); Grounded (Westport Country Playhouse); Promise Land (Yale University); Imogen Says Nothing; Scenes from Court Life (Yale Repertory Theatre); Square Root of Three Sisters (Dmitry Krymov Lab); Don Quixotte (Yale Opera); Women Beware Women (Yale School of Drama); Don Juan (Yale School of Drama); Transport (Irish Repertory Theatre). Her assistant credits include Candide (Carnegie Hall); Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Broadway); Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Broadway); Crowns (McCarter Theatre Center), Eddie & Dave (Atlantic Theater Company). In addition to theatre design Yana has worked on art installations and performances featured at the Yale Art Gallery, Catskill Art Society, Harvestworks and others. The recipient of the 2020 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Projection, Yana lectures and teaches workshops on projection design at Harvard University. MFA: Yale School of Drama. YanaBiryukova.com
Reed Ridgley (Producer)
Reed Ridgley (Producer). General management highlights include The Scottsboro Boys (world premiere), [title of show] (world premiere), Avenue Q (Vineyard Theatre), The Book of Mormon (first workshops), Carrie (Off Broadway premiere), Wig Out!! by Tarell Alvin McCraney (world premiere), The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel (world premiere), The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (world premiere), and God’s Ear by Jenny Schwartz (world premiere). A graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Ridgley is the General Manager at Keen Company and is a proud member of the teaching staff at YogaSpark NYC and ModoYoga NYC.
Rashad Bailey (Associate Producer)
Rashad Bailey (Associate Producer) is an American artist & producer. Rashad produced the documentary film, La ENA (2019). He is the Associate Producer of the documentary film, BEBA (2021), being released theatrically in 2022. Most recently, Rashad was Associate to the producers for the November, 2021 Broadway remount of Slave Play. Rashad is also the co-founder of RaDa, an art collective based in New York City. RaDa exhibited at the NADA Art Fair, December, 2016 in Miami. https://www.rashadbailey.work/
Julie Asriyan (G.D)
Julie Asriyan (G.D) is a stage and screen actor, director, filmmaker and producer. NY Theater credits include Beirut Rocks (The Flea Theater, New York Innovative Theater Awards Outstanding Actress Nominee), NINE (Gene Frankel Theatre), The Bump (World premiere, The Flea Theater), Dumpster Dive (Glasslands Gallery), Souls on Parade (Actor/Writer, Theater Row) and the experimental site specific production of Savage in Limbo/Last Call: Scenes From A Bar (The Exley). Recent TV acting credits include Blue Bloods (CBS), The Blacklist (NBC) and Russian Doll (Netflix). Julie is the writer/director of HOME (Top 5 Finalist, Terry George + Creative Armenia Human Rights Film Challenge) an allegorical micro short film inspired by Julie’s experience as a child refugee. Most recent film work includes the drama short Amadi Comes Home (Actor/Co-Director. Little Animals Pictures) slated for 2022 premiere. https://julieasriyan.com/
Nora Cole (M.R.)
Nora Cole (M.R.) — veteran performing artist, teacher, director and writer. Career and recent highlights: Preparedness, Bushwick Starr at H.E.R.E., with George C. Wolfe, On the Town, Jelly’s Last Jam (opposite Gregory and Maurice Hines, B’Way and Nat’l Tour) and Caroline or Change (National Theatre/London). Rinde Eckert’s, And God Created Great Whales, David Schweizer, dir (Foundry Theatre with The Culture Project (Audelco nominee). REGIONAL: Intimate Apparel, Angela’s Mixtape, Fences, To Kill a Mockingbird, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Doubt, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, You Can’t Take It with You (w Robert Vaughn), Avenue X, The Colored Museum. When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate (Kennedy Center), Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (B’Way) and Medea (Title role) with Vinnette Carroll. TV: Ray Donovan recurring. Playwright: Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant, Olivia’s Opus, Voices of the Spirits in My Soul (Audelco Award) and 2317, documentary short (you.tube). Recipient: TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, Hedgebrook alum, Spencer Cherashore Individual Artist grant and Black Theatre Torch Bearer. Theatre School at DePaul graduate formerly the Goodman School of Drama. noracole.net.
Jimmy Crowell II (A.E.)
Trained at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Jimmy is an actor, choreographer, and dancer by way of Texas. Since his arrival 7 years ago he has had the pleasure of being signed to Clear Talent Group for Commercial Dance where he recently worked as a principal dancer for an HBO TV show, choreographer/ensemble of Bad Husband Bad Homo Created and Directed by Ryan Conarro at Dixon Place, immersive theatre ensemble for The Blackout Experience Created and Directed by Josh Randall and Kristjan Thor, and dancer/ensemble for adaptations such as Visions of Love Revealed in Sleep by Neil Bartlett and The Bridge by Shel Silverstein. Jimmy is also is a creative director and choreographer for his own multimedia dance visuals where he introspects his identity as a queer black male, and his favorite moments are often occupying space through explorative freestyle movement. He is grateful and elated to work with Mason Holdings in this premiere production of Hart Island.
James Foster Jr. (H.T.)
James Foster Jr. (H.T.): Television: FBI: Most Wanted (CBS), New Amsterdam (NBC), Power Book III: Raising Kanan (Starz), The Last O.G. (TBS), She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Bull (CBS). Theater: Driving Miss Daisy (Hoke), Master Harold & The Boys (Sam), Antony and Cleopatra (Charmian), Wait Until Dark (Roat), The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (Dr. Copeland), Split Second (Rusty Johnson), The Key Game (Gonzalez), Grey Gardens (Brooks). www.jamesfosterjr.net
Daniel Kublick (N.E.)
Daniel Kublick (N.E.) has appeared in NEW WORKS! by many wonderful artists including Dan Rothenberg, Kristin Marting, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Ashlin Halfnight, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Jenny Connell Davis, Jerry Lieblich, Tracy Bersley, Amina Henry, Sister Sylvester, Sea Dog Theater, and now— oh so happily— the inimitable Tracy Weller and Mason Holdings. Some highlights: Toshiki Okada’s The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise (The Play Company); Robert Lyons and Kristin Marting’s IDIOT (HERE); Celine Song’s Tom &; Eliza (JACK); Sister Sylvester’s Dead Behind These Eyes (Sing Sing Karaoke); Kris Kling’s Health Insurance (United Solo Festival—Best Avant-Garde Show); and most recently Devin Burnam’s The Catastrophe Club (Sea Dog Theater). Daniel grew up in CNY, is a graduate of The Studio/New York and Princeton University, and works as a freelance video editor. He is immeasurably grateful to everyone who has supported him and his work over these past fourteen years. Thank you, thank you, thank you— he’s so very in love with all of you. www.danielkublick.com
David Samuel (R.I)
David Samuel (R.I) is an actor, musician, writer, and producer. He received his MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep. He has performed as an actor around the U.S. and Canada in musicals, new plays, and Shakespeare. His documentary, “Niguse and The Red Terror, recently screened at the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival. Credits: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (1st National Tour), Twelfth Night (Fiasco) As You Like It (Classic Stage Company), Brother Toad (KC Rep), Tiny Houses (Chautauqua Theatre Company), Blues For Mr. Charlie (Trinity Rep). Go to www.kingofaxum.com for more.
Niluka Hotaling (Production Manager)
Niluka Hotaling (Production Manager) is a south asian theatermaker based in NYC with twenty years of professional experience in set, lighting design and technical production. She has designed for Newfangled Theatre, co-founding member, Urban Youth Theater at Henry Street Abrons Art center; Four Chairs Company; Barefoot Theatre and Studios, Artis Smith Dance Troupe, The Construction company, World Wide Lab, Stella Adler School, Trilogy Opera, The New School, White Horse Theater, The Sackett Group; and productions that appeared in The NY Fringe Festival. Technical Work: PM Working Theater, In Scena Theater Festival; PSM for Spiegelworld’s Desir & Absinthe, Theater technician for Brooklyn Center for the Performing arts, Lankey & Limey, Brooklyn Music School; Scenic painting & Carpenter for Lincoln Center Institute, abuch scene shop, Gray Wig Theater, Mortals Theater, Daryl Roth, Norwegian Cruise, New Federal Theater. Niluka has a MFA in Design and Technical Production from CUNY Brooklyn College Department of Theater 2003 where she has been teaching since 2005. She stepped into the PM role in 2013 and has supported over 50 productions. Niluka is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 in the set design category.
Liz Nielsen (Production Stage Manager)
Liz Nielsen (Production Stage Manager) With Mason Holdings: JARRING, HOLIDAY HOUSE, and CONSUMPTION. She has toured with Elevator Repair Service, Object Collection, and Half Straddle.
Rodney West (Assistant Stage Manager)
Rodney West (Assistant Stage Manager) After graduating with an MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, Rodney has served as a Fund Development Officer at major cultural institutions within New York City including Manhattan Theater Club, The Play Company, and The Acting Company. As a Fund Development professional, he focused his talents to develop and expand a supportive community through a shared vision. Rodney is ecstatic to revisit his Technical Theater roots before continuing his education to pursue Entertainment law. Credits include The long Christmas Dinner (SM), Cocktail Theater (ASM), Bucknell University’s Dance Company Concert (ASM).
Rafael Abdulmajid (Assistant Lighting Designer)
Rafael Abdulmajid (Assistant Lighting Designer) is a theatre artist and facilitator of storytelling based in New York City. With a colorful background in nightlife and non-traditional theater spanning almost 10 years, Rafa just completed their BA in theater from the City College of New York, graduating magna cum laude. Their lived experiences as a Filipino, genderqueer child of diaspora inform their passion for justice-oriented, collaborative workspaces. They are a proud member of Roundabout Theater Company’s Theatrical Workforce Development Program. Gratitude to Ate, Kuya, and Mama, the transnational upbringing and the sweetness of being.
Tatiana Stolpovskaya (Assistant Video and Projection Designer)
Tatiana Stolpovskaya (Assistant Video and Projection Designer) is a New York based cinematographer and experimental filmmaker. She explores different types of media, combining analog filmmaking with digital media production. Born and raised in Moscow, Tatiana studied Cultural Studies at Russian State University for the Humanities and Cinematography at the Moscow Independent School of Film and TV. Tatiana received an Award for Outstanding Achievement in Integrated Media Arts and MFA degree from Hunter College (CUNY). Films she shot as DP have been screened worldwide including 53 Pesaro Film Festival in Italy; KINOTAVR and ArtDocFest in Russia; Ishinomaki International Film Festival, Japan; and Women Media Arts and Film Festival, Australia (winner Best Media Arts in 2017 for NYC FLOW). Tatiana is a strong believer in a synthesis between documentary and narrative filmmaking. This hybrid approach helps her develop a unique cinematic look for any project. Her personal work explores themes related to immigration and LGBTQ+ rights. Stolpovskaya.com
Everyman Agency (Press Representative)
Everyman Agency (Press Representative) is a communications firm promoting complex ideas, mostly in the arts. Founded by John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency builds awareness and provokes action for cultural organizations and individual artists by putting impactful storytelling, strategic thinking, and meaningful relationships at the heart of their work. They believe in the power of the media to shine a spotlight on new and underrepresented voices. Everyman Agency specializes in dance, theater, music, visual art and the compelling work in between. www.everymanagency.com
Gabriel Generally (COVID Safety Manager)
Gabriel Generally (COVID Safety Manager) is a recent graduate of The Dobbins Conservatory at Southeast Missouri State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Gabriel Generally, actor, comic, singer, your favorite silly boy, takes pride in utilizing every facet of his creativity to aid in the creation of art in any way he can. For this reason he is so very excited to lend his hand with Covid Safety, so we can keep making art safely even in adverse circumstances.