Meet The Team
Melissa is a director, writer and producer, and the Founding Artistic Director of The Anthropologists. Favorite directing projects outside of The Anthropologists include A Barn Play by Lizzie Donahue (UP Theater Company), Daddy’s Black & Jewish by performance artist Lian Amaris (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), Walkabout or Reverse Continental Drift Syndrome (The Flea). International: Directing Apprentice, Compania Atalaya (dir. Ricardo Iniesta), Medea, La Extranjera (2004). Melissa holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has studied with the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, SITI Company, and at the La Mama Umbria International Director’s Symposium She has led devising workshops for Hofstra University, the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Ice Factory/New Ohio, Day One, Educational Alliance/New York Restoration Project and the Berkshire Fringe. Melissa is also a mom to two dramatic little children.
Mariah Freda is a theater-making performer with an MFA from The New School for Drama. She has worked with the company since 2012 developing Artemisia's Intent (winner, Best Solo Drama, Frigid 2018), The Anthropologists Save The World! (Ice Factory 2017), No Man’s Land, MAHALLA, and This Sinking Island. Mariah is grateful for this platform to inspire action through art. Other favorite NYC projects include Paiseu (Target Margin Lab) and Members Only (Downtown Urban Arts Festival.) Two of Mariah’s original scripts have appeared at FringeNYC and Hollywood Fringe. Above all things, she is a mom to Isaac and Shiloh who drive her to create work that counts.
Resident Artist - Visual Designer
Irina Kuraeva was born in Russia and attended Tatar State Pedagogical University where she received her Masters Degree in World Literature and English language. In 2009 she came to the U.S. as an international student. She has been working with us since 2017. Irina was a core deviser of and visual designer for Artemisia's Intent. and has designed the set for The Anthropologists Save The World! (Ice Factory 2017), as well as set and costumes for both iterations of This Sinking Island. She most recently served as the scenic designer for Meile Production's Mozart, Saliere and The Bear. Irina is a visual artist and views art as an inseparable part of her nature.
Creative Partner - Programming & Partnerships
Alexandra Kumala is an actor and writer based in New York City. She is a member of the devising and acting ensemble of No Pants In Tucson. As an actor, she has performed at Theatre For A New Audience, Signature Theatre, and the historic Cherry Lane Theatre, among others. As a writer, she is currently incubating work about the plurality of immigrant narratives, told through the lenses of Indonesian expats working white-collar, frivolous jobs while carrying painful secrets from their violent pasts. She has worked with The Anthropologists, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Ivy Theatre Company, International Women Artists' Salon, The Arctic Group and Houseworld. As a multilingual and multiethnic artist, her work explores the human farce and tragedy through stories of diaspora, displacement and globalization. https://alexandrakm.com/
Marissa Joyce Stamps
Creative Partner - Communications
Marissa Joyce Stamps is a Black, Haitian-American actor, director, and playwright whose mission is to celebrate and amplify Black and Brown voices without filtering. Currently, she's working on a dance adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, exploring Black motherhood and Othering and a multi-media documentary project, A Diaspora in Self-Isolation, which documents Black womxn's experiences in self-quarantine. (@diaspora_in_covid)
Creative Partner -
Originally from Los Angeles, China is a dancer, actor, musician and social media strategist. She splits her time between Nantucket, MA and NYC.
No Pants In Tucson
Tess Rodriguez is a Chicana theatre artist born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She studied at the University of the Arts London- Central Saint Martins and Graduated with a BA in Theatre from The University of the Incanate Word. She loves and respects all aspects of theatre, having worked in many different areas- acting, stage management, costumes, scenery and lighting.
In 2017 she was diggnosed with breast cancer shortly after having her second child. She is a survivor, mother , an artist and is very excited to be creating again.
No Pants In Tucson
Myjoycia Cezar is currently a Junior at Northwestern State University of Louisiana(NSU) studying to be a Dramaturg and Stage Manager. Myjoycia enjoys giving back to the community and her Theatre & Dance department by acting as the Secretary for her university's Student Theatre Organization(STO) and the founding Treasurer/Secretary of NSU’s new USITT Chapter. From researching to coordinating cast and crews, Myjoycia works to serve the story and make a difference by creating art that holds the mirror up to the world we live in. Myjoycia is very excited to be collaborating with The Anthropologists as their Dramaturgical Assistant and is very grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn as a theatre-maker and artist!
No Pants In Tucson
Lynde Rosario is the Literary Manager at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Recent credits with The Anthropologists include: Artemisia’s Intent (Frigid Fest 2018) No Man's Land (2016, TheaterLab) and Save The World (Ice Factory 2017 at the New Ohio). She received a B.A. in Drama from Hofstra University and an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre / Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.