Bio – Since earning her BFA from NYU Tisch, Maya has worked as a performer, director, producer, and teaching artist in New York & Chicago. Most recently, she produced the original play Pete RexOff-Broadway with The Dreamscape Theatre. Maya also assisted with costume and prop design for PUFFS or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic currently running at New World Stages and soon to premiere in Melbourne, Australia!. Additional NYC credits: The Butterfly’s Day (Producing Director, My Pies Theatricals), Kingdom of the Clouds(Producing Director/Performer, My Pies Theatricals), In Fields Where They Lay, The Improbable Fall Rise & Fall of John Law, The Young Folk (The Dreamscape Theatre), Wild Women of Planet Wongo (Not Too Fancy Productions), Blood & Water (Producing Director, My Pies Theatricals). Regional/Youth credits: Side Show (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Sound of Music, Narnia(Windy City Music Theater), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, High School Musical (White Plains Performing Arts Center), Bring It On! (Art House Productions). Maya is a member of the new Paramount Hudson Valley Theater Company, and lives in Queens with a windowsill mint plant she’s kept alive for a whole year! Find her online at mayahanaevans.com.
How did you get started in theatre? – I started performing at my hometown community theater when I was about 5. I was in the ensemble (with a featured role as Dish #3!) in Beauty & the Beast. I fell in love with the world of musical theatre, and haven’t looked back. By the time I got to high school, I had started directing and mentoring younger actors. I was also performing in productions at my school and serving as president of the improv team. I came to New York to attend NYU Tisch, and today I live in Astoria where I collaborate with friends and colleagues all over the city on new projects at every opportunity.
How do you think performing can help young people? – I’ve seen so many young artists discover hidden confidence and embrace their unique talents through acting training & performance! It’s a great way to get in touch with your unique voice – literally, and also figuratively – and build confidence. It’s also a way to deepen emotional intelligence and practice empathy. I love helping my students break out of their comfort zone, hone their craft, and explore their creative potential. Working on a musical is also a wonderful opportunity to bond with an ensemble of peers. When we create a safe space where each actor feels supported, we shine as individuals and also as a company!
Why are you excited to work at WPPAC? – Because it’s the best! WPPAC achieves an optimal blend of community and artistry. The young actors I’ve had the pleasure of working with form meaningful friendships while participating in high-level theatre training. I’m psyched to be back this summer, and can’t wait to meet this year’s campers.
What are your Top 5 Favorite musicals? – Ooof, this is tough… It changes all the time! Right now, in no particular order, I’d say:
– Next to Normal
– Spring Awakening
– Zanna Don’t
– Passing Strange
– Be More Chill
– Fun Home
– Bat Boy
– Come From Away
Fun fact about you? – I recently started baking my own bread, and recently mastered a six-strand braided loaf. Anyone else addicted to the Great British Bake Off? Also, I love to read. Right now I’m re-reading the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld for like, the millionth time… I highly recommend it!