Anna Khaja first gained recognition on the big screen in King of California, as the unyielding but vulnerable cop who faces off with – and eventually is seduced by – Michael Douglas. Then, in four more features, Anna played an eclectic mix of roles alongside Jim Carrey and Bradley Cooper (Yes Man), Chris McDonald (Reunion), JK Simmons and Alexis Bledel (Post Grad) and Milo Ventimiglia (Order of Chaos). Television appearances include The Closer, Flash Forward, House M.D., Private Practice, Numb3rs, This Might Hurt, Sleeper Cell, Dirt and Weeds. Anna is the 2011 winner of the Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in Shaheed: The Dream and Death of BenazirYear) that she also wrote and performed. Anna also played the “The Academic” in the U.S. Premiere of David Hare’s STUFF HAPPENS at the Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Nomination). So controversial was her portrayal, the L.A. Times published a Special Opinion piece solely about her character and performance. In 2007, she originated the role of the Iraqi mother “Nerjas,” delivering a 45 minute monologue in the US Premiere of Canadian playwright Judith Thompson’s Palace Of The End. For her performance she received an LA Weekly Award for Solo Performance as well as a nomination for a Lead Actress Ovation Award. She has received outstanding notices from and features in the Los Angeles Times, NY Times, Backstage West, Backstage NYC, NYTheater.com, NPR/WNYC Radio, Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, Audrey Magazine and Variety.
Heather de Michele (Director) served as Artistic Director of the Off-Broadway children's theater, American Girl Theater, NYC from 2003-2008, where she directed nearly 400 performers in over 10,000 performances of the long running musicals Circle of Friends, The American Girls Revue and Bitty Bear's Matinee. Heather also co-founded On the Verge Theater Company, NYC, which is best known for it's long-running cult classic, Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama! which toured nationally and internationally and was the subject of the 2006 feature documentary "Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama Goes to Sweden!". Heather's work has been seen at the Cherry lane Theater, Here Arts Center, Interart Annex, Women's Project and Productions, 78th Street Theater Lab, Gotham City Improv, Stella Adler Conservatory, Expanded Arts and at WOW Cafe as part of Fringe NYC. Most recently Heather directed the comedy web-series' The Real Girl's Guide to Everything Else for Off-Chance Productions and Twins: It's Like Looking in a Dirty Mirror for her productions company, Tanky Productions. Heather is a proud alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Women's Project & Productions' Directing Forum as well as a recipient of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Artist Grant.
Luis Reyes (Producer, LA/NY) is currently the Executive Producer for the play development workshop series for Los Angeles-based Blank Theater Company. He is also a co-artistic producer and director with Off-Chance Productions, which specializes in advancing the work of artists across all media. After graduating from the UCLA School of Theater with an emphasis in directing and playwrighting, Luis helmed Lost Dog Productions as artistic director, while also serving as a play development consultant for Audrey-Skirball Theater Projects. In 1998, he began a ten-year stint with the LA Weekly, which including writing feature stories and reviews about the LA small theater scene, as well as co-producing the annual LA Weekly Theater Awards.
Maureen Weiss (Set Design NY/LA) is a freelance director and designer based in Los Angeles. In 1997, Maureen started her own non-profit arts and theatre organization, Trade City Productions. Since that time, she has worked steadily to increase community awareness in theatre, arts, and education. She has produced numerous art and theatrical events throughout the city, and has been awarded grants from the California Arts Council, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs, and the City of Santa Monica. Maureen received her Masters in theatrical design from Long Beach State. She has recently designed shows for Theatre of Note, The Long Beach Playhouse, Inside the Ford, The Getty Villa, and Ghost Road Company. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Loyola Marymount University.
Carrie LaFerle (Lighting design/Stage management, LA) is an avid reader, likes long walks on the beach and is very very tall (when she’s on a ladder). She has worked as a stage manager, lighting designer, and director in various theatres all over Los Angeles. Carrie joined the staff of the Groundlings a short time ago, and works as their office manager. She recently designed lights for Looking for Trouble and Confusions at the Lost Studio, Playing Jordan Goldman at Theatre Theater, and Anatomy of a Slap for Off-Chance Productions. She also assistant directed the Ovation-winning show Family Planning, & is a recurring stage manager for Disney Concert Hall’s Youth Symphonies. She is also a professional event planner and co-coordinates the West Hollywood Book Fair. She would like to thank her husband Stephen for just being rad.
Kate Ashton (lighting design, NY) Recent work includes Medea, DR.C, Death of a Salesman, and The Apostle Project, Moonchild (Theater Mitu, Resident Artist), A Play on War and Blind Mouth Singing (NAATCO), Hamletmachine and Safe at Third at the Castillo Theatre, Rods and Cables (3-Legged Dog), Summer and Smoke (Theatre Row), Bristol Riverside Theatre’s Up and the Summer Musicale Series, The Winter’s Tale (Columbia University), The Danish Meditations/Slots, and Girl Talk. Opera:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Juilliard). Dance: Skybetter and Associates, Syren Modern Dance, James Sutton and Anthony Ferro, Jim Martin Music/Dance, and Emily Harper’s Natural Dissection. BA, College of William & Mary. MFA, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
John Zalewski (Sound Design, NY) John Zalewski was inducted to theater through the works of Reza Abdoh in the early 1990s, later doing visual work for Ken Roht and becoming a resident designer at Bart DeLorenzo’s Evidence Room. He’s since done work for the Humana Festival (Naomi Izuka’s “At he Vanishing Point”), the LAPhil, Long Beach Opera, Geffen, South Coast Rep, East West Players, Boston Court, Los Angeles Theater Center, Antaeus, Actors’Gang, Playwrights Arena, Lewis Family Playhouse, CircleX, Odyssey, chashama, PS122, LaMama, amongst others. In 2009 here scored “La Ronde” in NYFringe at HereSpace. He is recipient of design and ensemble awards from LA Weekly, BackStage, Dramalogue, Ovation and the NEA/TCG fellowship for designers. Most recently he scored “King Lear” at Antaeus and “Dementia” at LATC. Upcoming in LA are “Neighbors” at Matrix, “Mysterious Skin” at EastWestPlayers, “La Victima” at LATC and “Futura” at Boston Court.
Sharif Khan (sound design LA/NY) was born and raised near Woodstock, N.Y. Constantly surrounded by so many artists and cultural influences, including Pakistani culture, it was not long before Sharif’s interest in sound sparked when he was offered an opportunity to apprentice in a recording studio. He was trained in the art of studio recording for music at the age of 16 and subsequently recorded two school bands and the school philharmonic orchestra. At 17, he was offered a position as a sound P.A. on the production, “Julian Po.” Finally, in 2004, he came to Ventura County to pursue a BA in Film at Brooks Institute of Photography. Sharif has been a production sound mixer for a few short films, commercials, a music video, and a romantic comedy feature, “Strictly Sexual.” His passion is in sound design specializing in the horror, drama, and experimental genres.
Victoria Watson (Stage Management, LA) began life as an actor...and then she grew up. Now she works mainly behind the scenes producing, managing, and sometimes even just sweeping the floor. With a background in theater and film, she is pleased to have worked in various capacities with the likes of Nicolas Cage, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ashley Judd, Wes Craven, Rogue Machine Theater Company, the entire cast of All My Children, and the ragtag group of awesomeness that is Off-Chance Productions. She is currently building her own production company with her partner, Adam, and is Operations Manager at Pasadena Playhouse (no, it's not dead!).
Felicia Cutrone (Stage Management, NY) Felicia is excited to be back in New York! She spent the last two years in Seattle where she worked as a stage manager with Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theatre, Showtunes! Theatre Company, and The Can Can. On the east coast, she worked with Opera Boston, The American Girl Theater, and New Repertory Theatre. She graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Stage and Production Management. Felicia is proud to be a part of the SHAHEED team and the NYC Fringe Festival!
Sam Saldivar (Projection design, LA/NY) studied film and video from an artistic perspective at Binghamton University. Sam began his professional career in New York in live-action film while writing, developing, directing, and often acting in his own his own scripts and collaborating with other young filmmakers. Sam moved to Los Angeles to continue his pursuit of writing and directing, finding his first professional writing jobs on the animated "Casper" and Saban's "The Why Why Family." At the same time he began writing "The Giant Killer," a science fiction film he would eventually direct. In recent years, Sam has enjoyed his association with the 99-seat theatre community of Los Angeles, where he continues to contribute his talents to productions such as “Joe’s Garage”. Sam is currently focusing on creating new material and properties for his company Road Crew Productions LLC and developing them for the web, and is engaged in writing a science fiction feature screenplay.
Steven Calcote (Projection Design, NY)specializes in the use of new technologies for innovative
storytelling. Based in Los Angeles, he divides time between projects for ﬁlmmakers’ collaborative
Butcher Bird Studios (www.butcherbirdstudios.com) and Off-Chance Productions. His past work
includes an award-winning interactive online mini-series for Adidas in Asia, a popular
series of animated shorts for Myspace TV, and a series of viral spots for Sega.
Phillip Young (Composer, LA/NY) Studied sound recording at Full Sail University. While there he learned real world concepts and practices to further expand the science of sound. After graduating with an Associates in Recording Arts and Bachelors of Science in Entertainment Business, he moved to L.A. where he began a career in audio post production for major motion pictures. He has approximately 30 credits - Secret Life of Bees, Mad Money and The Brothers Bloom, to name a few. Today he continues his career as a DJ, electronic music producer and expanding his experience in sound reproduction.
Colyn Emery (Composer, LA/NY) was born and raised in Southern California, and has been active in the arts (including music and theater) since childhood. He grew up in Ojai, CA amongst a community of actors and musicians (in which his parents were actively involved) and later moved to Orange County, where he participated in a number of local bands (as guitarist, drummer, and vocalist). He studied ﬁlmmaking, writing, and music in college, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he now resides. Colyn enjoys spending time with his family, playing drums and guitar, writing comedy sketches, and almost everything else.
Vincent richards (Asst. Set Design LA/NY) graduated with a BA in theater from Cal State Long Beach focusing on Scene Design. Apart from Los Angeles, he has also studied and worked in the U.K., Cambodia, and St. Petersburg, Russia. In the Fall, Vincent will pursue a MFA in Scene Design from Cal Arts. His portfolio and full resume are available at www.vincentrichards.com.
Michael Faba (Asst.. Stage Management, NY) Michael Faba is a recent graduate of Vassar College where he majored in Drama. While at Vassar, he focused his
studies on lighting design, designing Metamorphoses, One Flea Spare, Harlem Berlin, and First Lady Suite for the Experimental Theater of Vassar College, as well as over 15 student shows and campus events. He has also stage managed several shows, including Cloud Nine for the annual Horace Mann alumni show and Our Town. He spent this summer working as a Master Electrician for the American Dance Festival, and in the fall will be heading to the Seattle Repertory Theater to work as the lighting design intern for the Rep’s Professional Arts Training Program.
*LA and NY Fringe performances were produced in association with Off-Chance Productions:
Off-Chance Productions is a creative media collective committed to guiding,
developing and producing the work of artists. Our aim is to encourage, inspire
and challenge individuals to form thought-provocative, innovative, and dynamic
talents. The collective is dedicated to breaking new ground in the processes of
writing, designing, performing and storytelling, offering audiences intellectually and
emotionally stimulating pieces that will have them coming back for more.