The Making of Mad Forest
BiosAshley Tata (Director) is a director of multi-media works of theatre, contemporary opera, performance, live music, and immersive experiences. Her work frequently sits at the intersection of music, installation, and performance, and has been presented in venues and festivals around the country and the world including LA Opera, Austin Opera, The Miller Theater, Mass MoCA, National Sawdust, The Kitchen, EMPAC, BPAC, Dixon Place, Roulette Intermedium, HERE Arts Center, The Crossing the Line Festival, the Holland Festival, The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Fisher Center at Bard (including 2016’s Don Juan). Her production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs with video by Bill Morrison was called an “extraordinarily powerful production” by The Los Angeles Times, and her production of Kate Soper’s Ipsa Dixit was named a notable production of the decade by Alex Ross of The New Yorker. As an associate director, she has worked with Jay Scheib, Robert Woodruff, Richard Jones, and Daniel Fish (including Oklahoma! at St. Ann’s Warehouse). She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught at Mannes School of Music, Harvard University, MIT, Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post, and NYU. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Lab, the recipient of the Lotos Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award in Arts and Sciences, and a winner of the 2017 Robert L. B. Tobin Director/Designer grant. As a result of the pandemic, most of her upcoming projects have been canceled with the exception of Euripides’ Orestes at University of Rochester in the spring of 2021. More information including how to get in contact to collaborate can be found at ashleytata.com.
Afsoon Pajoufar (Scenic Designer) is a NYC-based freelance designer of stage and environment for play, opera, and live performance. Arriving at set design from a background in fine arts and film, she earned her MFA in Set Design at Boston University. Her designs have been seen at Harvard TDM, MIT, New Repertory Theatre, Kitchen Theatre, Gloucester Stage, Actor’s Shakespeare Company, Corkscrew and Prelude Festivals. Her design for Cabaret was chosen for the 2019 American Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. Afsoon moved to the United States from Tehran, Iran. afsoonpajoufar.com
Ásta Bennie Hostetter (Costume Designer) is a costume designer whose recent work includes: Gnit (Theatre for a New Audience), Mrs. Murrays Menagerie (Mad Ones), Usual Girls (Roundabout Underground), Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizon), Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Underground), The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova). Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizons), Porto (WP Theater), The Wolves (Lincoln Center), John (Signature), Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: Goodnight Nobody (McCarter), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cal Shakes), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (KCrep), El Coquí Espectacular (Two River). Member of minor theater, Target Margin Theater, The Mad Ones. She has an MFA in Theater Design from CalArts.
Abigail Hoke-Brady (Lighting Designer) is a New York-based lighting designer. Recent design projects include The Last American Hammer and FLORIDA (UrbanArias), Glory Denied and Three Decembers (Tri Cities Opera), Bound (Fresh Squeezed Opera), Silent Voices (Brooklyn Youth Chorus), The Little Death: Vol. 1 (Prototype), MukhAgni (Ars Nova, Under the Radar). Current and upcoming projects include Much Ado About Nothing (HPAC/The Public Theater, LD), Aging Magician (San Diego Opera, Associate LD), The Barber of Seville (San Diego Opera, Associate LD). Lighting Design Mentor for Williams College senior projects (Spring 2020). 2017 recipient of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Grant, Opera America. MFA, NYU 2016. Member USA 829. hokebradydesigns.com
Paul Pinto (Composer and Sound Designer) is glad to be making sounds. He’s a composer, writer, and multi-disciplinary performer who founded the music collectives thingNY and Varispeed, with whom he creates immersive, durational, and dramatic chamber and electronic music. His latest albums include Patriots with Jeffrey Young, Empty Words with Varispeed and Robert Ashley’s Improvement. As a vocalist, Paul works on a diverse array of new projects, including performing Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King; originating the role of “Balaga” in the Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; and in his own work including the opera Thomas Paine in Violence with Joan La Barbara, and the Resonant Bodies Festival commission of 15 Photos. This year: commissions for Quince, The Rhythm Method, and Shepherdess; guest artistic curator for the MATA Festival; and (to account for our current satellite existence) music videos with LoveLoveLove and Aleks Karjaka; and the premiere of thingNY’s SubtracTTTTTTTTT. pfpinto.com
Dan Safer (Movement Director) is Artistic Director of Witness Relocation and has directed/choreographed all of their shows, ranging from fully scripted plays to original dance/theatre pieces to many things in between. Dan choreographed and co-directed the acclaimed Ubu Sings Ubu with Tony Torn (Abrons, Slipper Room, American Rep, BB King’s, Highline Ballroom). His work as a choreographer has been at BAM, DTW, Danspace, Ash Lawn Opera, and many other places. In 2011, he choreographed Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for Philadelphia Orchestra with Obie-winners Ridge Theater. Artforum magazine called him “pure expressionistic danger” and Time Out NY called him “a purveyor of lo-fi mayhem.” Currently, he is faculty at MIT. He got kicked out of high school for a year, used to be a go-go dancer, and once choreographed the Queen of Thailand’s birthday party.
Eamonn Farrell (Video Designer) is a Virginia-based theatre-maker and video designer. With his Brooklyn-based company, Anonymous Ensemble, he has created dozens of original media-infused shows, installations, and live webcasts in New York City and around the world. Notable productions include The Best (Ice Factory Festival, Brisbane International Festival), Wanderlust (Edinburgh Fringe, UK tour, Norway tour), The Return (Theatro Chora, Theatro Roes), The Turing Opera (Greek National Opera, National Sawdust), LIEBE LOVE AMOUR! (HERE, Prelude, Duke, Wesleyan, The New Ohio), I Land (NC Stage, Princeton, Incubator Arts), Ship of Fools (HERE), and The Future (UNC, Chashama). Eamonn designs video extensively for Lee Breuer of Mabou Mines including Pataphysics Pennyeach, La Divina Caricatura, Opera Antigone, and Medea. Eamonn also collaborates frequently with artist Sarah Michelson in the creation of performances and installation projects. Other design credits include B3 Dance (Bessie Nomination), LA Dance, The LA Phil, Parsons Dance, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Portland Center Stage. Eamonn has taught projections design at Princeton, City College, and UVA.
Vanessa Hart (Production Stage Manager) has a BA in Theatre from Franklin and Marshall College. She has been the AEA ASM for the Peterborough Players Summer Season for 3 years, and the AEA PSM for the Peterborough Players Winter Season for 3 years. Previously, she stage managed Rebel and Misfits Productions’ Sex with Strangers and Hamlet: See What I See in St. Louis. In PA, she stage managed F&M’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Three Sisters; One Man, Two Guvnors; and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; as well as The People’s Shakespeare Project of Lancaster’s The Tempest; and Wee Keep Company’s Three Sisters and A Wolf. Thank you to the Fisher Center for letting us create in such chaotic and extraordinary times.
Andy Carluccio (Video Programmer) creates live entertainment technologies, including ZoomOSC, a modified version of the popular real-time conference app used in this performance to control who we see and how we see them on screen. He can be reached at andycarluccio.com/contact.
Sean Byrum Leo (Video Engineer) is a media designer and creative producer for live performance. A born and raised New Yorker, he is currently a master’s candidate in Video and Media Design at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. He holds a BA from Bard College’s Theater & Performance Program.
Anisha Hosangady (Assistant Stage Manager) is a college student in writing,music, and curation from Pune, India with a drive to separate the natural from the conditioned, and in the process, channel awareness in ways that can be sensually experienced and replicated.
Maggie McFarland (Assistant Stage Manager/Sound Operator) is a rising senior and Studio Arts major at Bard College. She works at the Fisher Center as a Scene Shop/ Carpentry Intern, and recently received the 2020 Carter Towbin Prize for Technical Theater. Mad Forest has been her introduction into the world of Stage Management and Audio Engineering.
Laila Perlman (Assistant Director) is currently a sophomore and Theater & Performance major at Bard College. She most recently directed a student production of The Last Five Years, and performed in Bard’s Senior Project Festival. Laila is so grateful to be a part of this show and on this incredible team.
Angela Woodack (Assistant Director) Bard College Class of 2021 (Theater & Performance and Political Studies). Accolades: Natalie Lunn Technical Theater Award (2019 and 2020), Courage to Be Fellowship (Hannah Arendt Center 2018–2019). Selected credits: Acquanetta (Wardrobe Crew, SummerScape 2019), Movie Macabre (Director, Old Gym 2019). Thank you Mad Forest cast, crew, and creatives for this inspiring opportunity!