THE MASONS

 TRACY WELLER (FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)

Tracy Weller is an actress, writer and founder/director of the experiential theatre company, Mason Holdings (http://mason.holdings). She has performed throughout New York City and abroad at festivals in Germany, South Korea and Italy.  She received her MFA from Columbia University, with additional training from Ann Bogart/SITI Company.  She has extensive classical ballet training and experience in flamenco, modern, mime, and biomechanics.  Some NYC credits include: Down Range (Mint), A Christmas Carol: A New Musical (co-writer/collaborator, Vortex/Sanford Meisner), Heist (Sargent Theatre), Spectre Box’s Amuse Bouche (co-writer/collaborator, INTAR), Touched (co-writer/collaborator, Uncle Ming’s), Twelfth Night (NYC and international tour), House of Bernarda Alba (Riverside Theatre, “Best Ensemble of the Year,” New York Observer), Family Picnic (Best Actress, New York Winterfest).  She is the writer/performer of Jarring, as well as its short film adaptation (Finalist, Blow-Up International Arthouse Film Festival), Holiday House: Christmas Bends (featured in the New York Times, Design Live and Chance Magazine), and Most Sincerely, Edward Albee (Project Y’s 2017 Women in Theatre Festival). She is the founder and curator of Mason Holdings’ monthly playwrights’ series, Unseen & Unheard, producing over twenty-five playwrights in almost three years. Recent projects include: Love & Death Traveling Circus, written by Devin Burnam, conceived/developed by Tracy Weller & Mason Holdings (Project Y’s 2018 WIT Festival), and Consumption, written by Devin Burnam, conceived and developed by Tracy Weller & Mason Holdings.  She is currently at work on a podcast, The Mason Holdings Radio Hour, featuring the lost diaries of Elena Hoyos.  Future projects include her full-length version of Most Sincerely, Edward Albee and Hart Island, the story of New York City’s potter’s field, as well as Doll Life (a coffee table book for folks who don’t like coffee table books). Check out: tracyweller.land  email: tracy@masonholdings

 


KRISTJAN THOR (DIRECTOR)

Kristjan Thor (Director) is a critically-acclaimed director of both theater and film. His first feature film, Diving Normal(www.divingnormal.com), premiered at the Dallas Film Festival subsequently won the audience award for Best Feature as well as the festival’s award for Best Actress at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.   His second feature, ASTRAEA won the New Visions Award at Cinequest in San Jose, Audience Award at MIFF, Best Picture and Best Director at Sydney’s Fantastic Planet Festival. He is currently in pre-production for a feature that will be shot in Iceland, where Kristjan is from.  Some highlights of Kristjan’s theater work in NYC include: the US premier of Lukas Barfuss’ The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents, with Grace Gummer and the world premieres of Artifacts of ConsequenceBalatonLathem Prince, and The Laws of Motion, all by Ashlin Halfnight.  He also directed Bathsheba Doran’s adaptation of Maeterlinck’s The Blind, which transferred to the Classic Stage Company.  Kristjan’s work has been seen worked at PS 122, The Wild Project, CSC, the Sanford Meisner (with Vortex productions) and the Frying Pan, as well as many other venues across NYC.  Last spring, Thor directed The Penalty, by Clay McCloud Chapman at Dixon Place and recently revived it at the Public Theater.  He also directed Jarring (Mason Holdings), written and performed by Tracy Weller. Since 2009, Thor has been the Co-Creator and Founder of the immersive horror experience, BLACKOUT Haunted House, which currently has productions running in NYC, LA, Chicago, and Miami.  More recently Kristjan, along with Blackout co-creator Josh Randall, has been collaborating with Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions to help create their live events, based on The Purge film series.  These shows include Purge: Fear the Nightand Purge: Breakout.  A documentary about BLACKOUT called, The Blackout Experiments premiered at Sundance 2016.  He directed Mason Holdings’ Holiday House: Christmas Bends in 2016 and looks forward to directing MH’s The Love & Death Traveling Circus and Consumption in 2018.  Thor graduated as a Senior Fellow from Dartmouth College and holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia’s School of the Arts and is presently teaching at NYU’s Stonestreet Studio. http://www.kristhor.com/


REED RIDGLEY (PRODUCING DIRECTOR)

Reed has worked as General Manager at Vineyard Theatre, Classic Stage Company, and East Village Playhouse, as Development Manager at Cherry Lane Theatre, and as Director of Finance for The CityKids Foundation. General management highlights include The Scottsboro Boys (world premiere), 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 Kayroll Island (world premiere), God’s Ear by Jenny Schwartz (world premiere), A Boy and his Soul by Coleman Domingo (world premiere), [Title of Show] (world premiere), and Avenue Q (Off Broadway). Reed is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a proud member of the teaching staff at Modo Yoga NYC. www.reedridgley.com


CHRISTOPHER & JUSTIN SWADER (DESIGNERS)

Christopher & Justin Swader (Scenic Designers) are NY-based scenic designers. Mason Holdings: Jarring, Holiday House. Past and recent collaborations include work with Two River Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Miami New Drama, Lincoln Center Education, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Kitchen Theatre Company, Luna Stage, Abingdon Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, Company One, Shadowland Stages, Ars Nova, 3LD, The New School for Drama, National Black Theatre, La MaMa, Park Avenue Armory, Trusty Sidekick, Bristol Valley Theatre, IBEX Puppetry, and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. 2016 Henry Hewes nomination. 2017 AUDELCO Award. Graduates of Ball State University. www.cjswaderdesign.com. www.cjswaderdesign.com


KATIE WILSON (DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE)

Katie Wilson is an NYC-based dancer, administrator, and Pilates instructor. She loves how all movement technique overlaps and enjoys investigating those places. She takes to heart the creed of jazz maestro Luigi: “Never Stop Moving.” A Skidmore College graduate, Katie completed the José Limón Dance Foundation’s Professional Studies Program, during which she fell for the Limón technique but never quite recovered. For the next few years, she worked for the Foundation, managing their social media presence and writing grants. Katie has performed works by the historical greats Isadora Duncan, Doris Humphrey, José Limón, and Merce Cunningham, as well as contemporary choreographers Kathryn Alter, Robert Battle, Brian Brooks, Alex Ketley, and Ohad Naharin. Additionally, Katie performed with Bryce Dance Company, American Dance Legacy Initiative, and with Born Dancing Inc., a company focusing on the education and inclusion of students with disabilities. In addition to her twenty-year dance habit, Katie is hopelessly addicted to books and cheese.


ALEX REEVES (Digital Designer)

Alex Reeves hails from the wilds of northern Vermont and loves biking and design. His freelance work for musicians, artists, authors and small companies is on display at Moonpool.co and Vani.sh.


JOHANN SCHRAM REED (MHRH Sound Designer/Producer)

Johann is an LA-based singer, performer and creative artist. Hailing from Iceland, Johann has performed on stages across the US, Europe and Asia, primarily in classical works, operas and musical theater. He was most recently featured in Portland Opera’s touring production of La Boheme, performing regionally all over the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his work as Sound Designer and Producer of Mason Holdings’ The Lost Diaries of Elena Hoyos, he also served as primary graphic designer. On the rare occasion he is not on the road performing, he can be found on the sandy beaches of Southern California, or with his family on the volcanic coast of Reykjavik.



COLLABORATORS, PAST & PRESENT

LIZ NIELSEN

Liz Nielsen is a Brooklyn-based theater maker. Recent productions include It’s All True (Object Collection), Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Ma-Yi Theater Company), Due to Events (Human Head Performance Group), The Offending Gesture (The Tank), John Jesurun’s Shadowlands (La Mama/Culture Hub), Cheap&Easy October (Object Collection), The Golden Drum Year (Radical Evolution), Jarring (Mason Holdings), Holiday House: Christmas Bends (Mason Holdings), Washeteria (Soho Rep).

 


ANGELA RAZZANO

Angela is thrilled to be producing with Mason Holdings. After receiving her B.A. at Rutgers University she trained in New York at William Esper Studio (Meisner), with Deb Jackel, Suzanne Esper and Bill Esper. Angela co-founded InViolet Theater Company (www.InVioletTheater.com) nine years ago with Michael Hengry Harris and has since been co-Artistic Direcotr, providing an artistic home for 26 artists developing and producing original work. With InViolet, she has produced 7 world premieres and 14 workshopped readings (favorably reviewed by Variety, NY Times, The New Yorker, Village Voice) as well as the reception of the 54th Annual Drama Desk Awards at the LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. Angela also produces with Culture Project, a twenty-year-old theater company dedicated to socially conscious theater, most recently mounting the NY Times Critics Pick MotherStruck! written by LGBT activist and poet Staceyann Chin, directed by Cynthia Nixon.


JACOB SCHOTT

Jacob Schott (Producer) is a New York Talent Manager at TalentINK. LA-Chicago-NY. Jacob has recently produced Danny and the Deep Blue Sea Off Broadway at The Davenport Theater, and Co-Produced Neighbors, A Fair Trade Agreement with InViolet Theater Company. Jacob’s recent productions he has managed/produced are: Goldstein, Unraveled, Thank God for Jokes and MotherStruck!


DEVIN BURNAM

DEVIN BURNAM is one of the original members of the experimental theatre troupe Sister Sylvester and is the founder of Abandoned Gas Station Productions.  His two-person solo show By the Time Kurt Cobain Was Your Age, He Was Dead has been performed all over and is available for living room style performances and stadium shows, as well (if you’re interested).  His new show How Not to Buy a Boat will appear at next year’s Paris Fringe.  His latest movie, Death by Chocolate, will be available soon on the usual platforms.  He appeared with Mason Holdings and Tracy Weller in Most Sincerely, Edward Albee (by Tracy Weller), at Project Y’s Women in Theatre Festival in 2017, and will return in 2018 with his latest creation, The Love & Death Traveling Circus. He is also a regular contributor and moderator at Mason Holdings’ Unseen & Unheard monthly play reading series.  Upcoming: MH’s 2018 production of Consumption (by Devin Burnam), a gothic tale of undying love.  More info at www.abandonedgasstation.com and www.devinburnam.com.

 

DAISY LONG

Daisy is a lighting designer for theater, concert and dance. Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, she now lives in New York. Her favorite place in NYC is the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History. Proud member, USA Local 829. https://daisylong.com/


BIXBY ELLIOT

Bixby Elliot’s play Blueprint was produced by Tony Award winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover as part of her new works Summer Play Festival (SPF). This production was directed by Drama Desk Nominee Jonathan Silverstein and starred Emmy winner Peter Strauss. Bixby’s next play Abraham Lincoln was a Faggot was a finalist for the O’Neill Theater Conference in 2010, as well as a finalist for New Dramatists, Seven Devils Development Conference, winner of the Pandora New Play Competition, a semi-finalist for New Harmony Workshop and received its Chicago premiere at About Face Theater (Time Out Top 10 plays of 2015 and Critics Pick, Chicago Tribune – 3 stars). His play Girl You Know It’s True (inspired by the rise and fall of the pop/rock duo Milli Vanilli) was a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Conference in 2011, finalist for New Harmony, semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award, finalist for Kitchen Dog Theater New Works and an advanced round entry for PlayPenn 2011. Girl You Know It’s true was produced by Chicago’s Pavement Group and in Seattle at Theater Off Jackson. This past year Bixby’s play Sommerfugl (inspired by the true story of Lili Elbe) received a world premiere production by InViolet Theater Company in NY directed by Stephen Brackett and starring Wayne Wilcox.  The show received rave reviews from The New Yorker, among others. Other plays include Birds Do It (semi-finalist for Princess Grace Award), Treasure Island, FL (2012 O’Neill Conference semi-finalist, Seven Devils semi-finalist, SouthernRep New Play Festival Winner, New Orleans), PN1923.45 LS01 volume 2: The Book Play (New York Premiere: NYC International Fringe Festival), Hotel Oracle (New York premiere: Walkerspace/SoHo Rep) and I Am Not Peter Pan (New York premiere: Cherry Lane Theater; Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Best of Fest Winner). Bixby is a graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Columbia University, a proud company member of InViolet Theater, long time contributor to Cherry Picking and Co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator (a new play generation project run with playwright/actress Erin Mallon). Bixby’s writing also includes television projects – in 2012 he was in development with Jennifer Lopez Entertainment for a new hour long comedy/drama and this year he is working with a producer on a new hour long historical drama.  Bixby has also written two screenplays Highway and Happy, Now (finalist for the Sundance Writers Lab). Upcoming: production of Abraham Lincoln in Cleveland, OH, a new play for Cherry Picking PRKS in NYC, a reading of his new play The Whole Sky All Diamonds and Holiday House with Mason Holdings, Tracy Weller and Kris Thor. He is also a faithful contributor to Mason Holdings’ Unseen & Unheard. Bixbyelliot.com


JOEL MICHAEL HOWARD

Joel Michael Howard is a composer and singer. His music has been used in movies, television, and commercials around the world. Howard has also scored numerous plays. Some of these include: The Blind at Classic Stage Company, The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents at The Wild Project and, recently, JARRING produced by Mason Holdings. Howard also wrote music for an accompanying JARRING film trailer. In his previous incarnation as “Joel Bravo”, he led the Canadian indie rock band, The Albertans. Currently, Joel is performing with a backing band around NYC and has released two solo records in the past two years. These albums can be found lots of places. Just search “Joel Michael Howard”.


JEFF FATO

Jeffrey Fato is an actor/carpenter/stage hand. In 2015, he graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Most recently, he was seen in the supporting role of the Brooklyn College graduate thesis, ‘Round & Round’ and he was the cowriter of and lead in the exploded play the Arkadina Project, a modern exploration of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.  Jeff was on the production team of Jarring (Mason Holdings) and is a faithful contributor to Mason Holdings’ salon series, Unseen & Unheard.  Find out more at: https://www.backstage.com/jeffreyfato/


THE BOARD

MATTHEW GROMADA
MICHAEL RANSON
ANN SPENCE
ELENNA STAUFFER
KRISTJAN THOR

ADVISOR TO THE BOARD

DAVID HERSKOVITS