Heather Irwin (Co-Creator/Actor)
Heather Irwin is a mother to three children, ages eight, five, & three. Returning from Chicago to her home of Pittsburgh, she has recently performed as part of the Ensemble for the 2017 Young Playwrights Festival at City Theatre. Chicago credits include Heddatron and Strangerland (Sideshow Theatre Co), The Lady’s Not For Burning and Private Eyes (NEIU Center Stage) and Night Caps (Lincoln Square Theater). She has performed in two national tours with The Hampstead Stage Company (Barnstead NH), and has acting credits in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Akron, OH. Heather is the the Associate Producer and Community Coordinator for Hiawatha Project, and was part of the production team for JH: Mechanics of a Legend at the August Wilson Center in February 2017. Heather is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received a BA in Theater and English Literature. She has also worked in administrative roles for the Chicago Humanities Festival (Chicago, IL) and Sideshow Theatre Company (Chicago, IL), City Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA), and Porthouse Theatre (Kent, OH).
Anya Martin (Co-Creator/Director)
Anya Martin is a mother to a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. She is also a writer, director and the Founding Artistic Director of Hiawatha Project. Martin has worked in New York with the Vineyard Theatre, West End Theatre, Epiphany Theater Company, and International Wow, and regionally with Arena Stage and the Living Stage in D.C. In Pittsburgh, she has worked with City Theatre Company, Bricolage Production Company, The New Hazlett Theater, ArtUp and the Mattress Factory.
Martin specializes in writing and directing devised works with ensembles of artists. With Hiawatha Project, Martin’s work has been called, “a fever dream of history that combines folklorically large emotions with a winnowing read on a nation’s past” (JH: Mechanic’s of a Legend – City Paper) and “smart, sharp and witty, not to mention spoken in three languages” (Camino – City Paper) with “scenes of imagination and poetic insight” (Camino – Pittsburgh Post Gazette.) Her show “Anthropological Data: with actual human footage!” was featured in Carnegie Mellon University’s International Festival and her show “Teatro Latino de Pittsburgh” was commissioned and produced as a part of Pittsburgh 250 celebrations. Her one woman show, “Muslims, Mennonites, and Mommies,” was presented at the Mattress Factory as a part of ArtUp’s acclaimed Sites of Passage.
Monica Stephenson (Co-Creator/Composer/Lyricist)
Monica Stephenson is a mother of a 4-year-old boy and a composer, vocalist, and theater artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Duquesne University School of Music, she has performed in regional and national tours and in Europe. Monica has worked with The Wilma Theater, 1812 Productions, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, TheatreworksUSA, Tanglewood Family Entertainment, The Pittsburgh Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Unseam’d Shakespeare Co., and Prime Stage Theater. Composer credits include The Carols and It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project (1812 Productions), Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues, a multi-disciplinary work that encourages young women to stand up, speak their mind, refuse to back down, and ultimately, change the world, in collaboration with Hope Academy of Music and the Arts; as well as a musical adaptation of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing by Finegan Kruckemeyer. As a teaching artist, Monica has led a variety of classes and workshops in theater arts and songwriting for Dreams of Hope – TheatriQ, Hope Academy, LaRoche College, MGR Foundation and Children’s Aid Society, NYC. She is a current member of the Harvey Wallbangers Sketch Comedy group and often performs in music venues throughout Pittsburgh. You can visit her online at www.monicastephenson.webs.com