Hilari is an award-winning writer/director/producer chosen by Steven Spielberg out of 12,000 filmmakers to appear his television show ON THE LOT. Her first feature film SEE WHAT I’M SAYING: THE DEAF ENTERTAINERS DOCUMENTARY received Critics’ Pick in the New York Times, dozens of awards and was screened in 800 cities in 19 countries. Hilari consulted for Amazon Studios on SOUND OF METAL, winning Variety’s Social Impact Marketing Award. Hilari became fluent in American Sign Language after total immersion on tour with the National Theater of the Deaf. She is the founder of The Young Players Ensemble working with teens in communities around the world to create original theater productions based on their lives. She has lead workshops and panels for Universal Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, the Sundance Art House Convergence and Women in Film. She was a participant in the PGA’s Power of Diversity Workshop, a board member of the Alliance of Women Directors and has consulted for Google, Anheiser-Busch, Nike and Sprint. Hilari taught screenwriting for three months in Beijing for Relativity and was hired to write an original feature film for a Deaf actor in India.
Monique “MoMo” Holt
Gail Winar is a theater director/producer/educator/
consultant based in NYC. With Paul Lucas Productions, she has produced, directed, managed, and/or marketed over 50 theatrical productions at the international Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. She also collaborated with Paul Lucas to develop, and produce, his critically acclaimed and award-winning verbatim play Trans Scripts, which explores the lives of transgender women. Gail has directed, produced and/or consulted for New Jersey Repertory Company, George Street Playhouse, Kean University, LIU/CW Post, Montclair-Kimberley Academy, Classics on Tour, American Globe Theatre, Rutgers University, and Shotgun Productions. Gail currently teaches with the Education Department at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Broadway’s largest non-profit theater company, and has taught at Kean University’s Theatre Conservatory in Union, NJ for 15 years. Other teaching credits include Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School, Marymount Manhattan College, NYU/Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, CUNY/Queensborough Community College, Columbia Teacher’s College, Vassar College, the American Globe Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Theatre for a New Audience, National Shakespeare Company, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC. Gail has also served as a Literary Consultant with the Kennedy Center’s Playwriting Intensive program, National New Play Network’s Smith Awards, and the Holden Street Theatres’ Edinburgh Fringe Awards. Gail is passionate about social justice driven theater, and has collaborated on a variety of diverse projects, including, most recently, Silent Voices, devised by the students of the Starfish Academy in the Republic of The Gambia, West Africa, focused on raising awareness of violence against women.
Film Team Director
After finishing his film degree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Chase submitted his senior project, Deaf Code, to the College Television Awards, and won! Recognized for his win in the 2016 Variety category, the Television Academy connected Chase with two accomplished deaf writers and actors, Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman. Upon meeting them, Chase was able to uproot his life and move to Los Angeles to work on their show, This Close. Having worked on several big budget projects since then, Chase felt his cumulative experience qualified him to operate an online television network.
Film Team Cameraperson
Brandon Simmoneau is a deaf photographer wielding his camera, his editorial eye, and his passion for adventure to share his vivid visual perspective. His photography works have been featured in several high-profile online magazines like Advocate. Brandon worked as the Production Coordinator at DPAN (Deaf Professional Artists Network), and is currently contracted with Media Monks and Deaf West for his photographic work.
Nick is a producer and has worked closely with renowned director Jules Dameron on several productions including a six-episode series, “Reverse Polarity,” and two music videos with American Sign Language (ASL) translations of “Let it Go” (Idina Menzel) and “The Lazy Song” (Bruno Mars). Nick works closely with Deaf actors and was once involved in an improv workshop and showcase led by Tyrone Giordano under Deaf West’s leadership. While Nick enjoys producing as a side gig, he works full-time as an instructor of ASL at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California.
Vaibhav "Vai" Kothari
Vaibhav (Vai) is the founder of OMVAI, (www.omvai.com), an e-commerce store that produces and sells exquisite pashmina shawls, stoles, jewelry, fashion apparel, and home decor, which he founded in Jaipur, India in 2021. In addition to holding executive positions in the construction and engineering industries in India, Vai has earned degrees from three American universities including a MBA from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, CO; BSc in Industrial and System Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY; and MS in Technological Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
After completing his MBA, Vai worked as a Senior Talent and Culture Manager with Communication Services for the Deaf, a world leader in providing human service programs and telecommunication relay services for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Born in Kota, Rajasthan and raised in New Delhi, Vai is profoundly Deaf. He is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), as well as English and Hindi.
Vai is also a film/tv actor, interviewer, and producer. He produced the award-winning short documentary, “Not Anymore,” chronicling his work as a leader in professional settings in India; hosted and produced a 14-episode, 20-minute talk show at the University of Denver, interviewing successful entrepreneurs; and is currently hosting The OMVAI Talk Show in India, interviewing prominent business/cultural leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs. Vai has earned 6.9 million viewers for his Instagram Reel about Mahashivratri (Hindu) puzzles!
Artistic Director, Group Rep Theatre
Doug is a playwright, librettist, actor and graphic artist. He has been a member of Group Rep since 1982. His play, IN MY MIND’S EYE had its world premiere at Group Rep in October 1984 and is published by Samuel French. His musical (co-written with Adryan Russ) INSIDE OUT had its world premiere at Group Rep in April 1989 and is now published by Samuel French. DRG issued an Original Cast Recording featuring the Off-Broadway cast that was re-mixed, re-
mastered and re-released on Kritzerland Records. As an actor, Doug has appeared in dozens of productions at The Group Rep and serves as their artistic director.
Stage Manager .
Jordan Tennison is currently a junior at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, majoring in Theater Production. She has always had a love for film and theater, which is the reason she’s pursuing a career as a writer/director for film/tv/stage. Jordan served as Production Manager at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont. While at Gallaudet, she was an ASM for the university’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. During her senior year, she plans to work on more theater productions, both on and off campus. Jordan is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but plans to make Los Angeles or New York City her home, once she graduates.
Madison is a high-spirited pianist and film composer who began writing music at the age of 7 and now has her Master’s Degree in Screen Scoring from New York University. Growing up in Dallas, TX, Madison got her start attending the performing arts high school, Booker T. Washington HSPVA and received her first professional experience in the studio interning for gospel recording artist Fred Hammond. After several years of training and preparation, Madison is excited to pursue her passion for film scoring in Los Angeles, CA as well as becoming a recipient of the Television Academy Foundation Internship Program in the music category. With an added passion for self-love and growth, Madison founded the very first Women Empowerment Organization at her alma mater Belmont University in Nashville, TN known as SWIM (Strong Women In The Making). She hopes to one day create a platform that serves African American women a louder voice and greater opportunity in the film music industry.
NICK FORAN, originally from Australia, Nick has worked in LA as a stage manager and designer since 2014, working with directors such as Broadway legend Robert Allan Ackerman in Blood (2016) as well as touring with the Second City company. He is the technical director at a number of theaters in Los Angeles and has been the resident lighting and sound designer at Theater of Arts Hollywood as well as the Stella Adler Academy of Acting since 2018. He designs for a number of local high schools too; he is absolutely thrilled to present this unique and exciting project to audiences in Los Angeles
NICHOLAS SANTIAGO has worked for numerous universities and theatre companies around Los Angeles including the Pasadena Playhouse (Ham), Skylight Theatre (Church & State, Obama Ology), Rogue Machine (A Permanent Image), USC (Trojan Women, On the Town), The Chance Theatre (Big Fish, American Idiot), The Road Theatre (Nowhere on the Border, A Delicate Ship), LA LGBT Center (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life Revisited, Menstruation), and the Fountain Theatre (Arrival & Departure, The Cost of Living). He has received numerous awards including a LA Drama Critics Circle award for his work on Rogue Machine’s A Permanent image, an Ovation Award win for his work on The Fountain Theatre’s production of The Cost of Living, and an OCTG and Stage Raw Award for his production of American Idiot at The Chance Theatre. www.nsantiagodesign.
Lauren Miller is Hard of Hearing. She is a clothing creator and draper, currently living and working in San Luis Obispo, which is the most beautiful place to live, (according to Oprah). Lauren is passionate about sewing great products that make people’s lives easier and brighter by making crafts, quilts, and garments with an emphasis on plus size. She has a small business, LaMoineBird, that specializes in all things related to sewing. Lauren has over 20+ years of experience sewing and enjoys creating beautiful things. Lauren has an A.A. in Arts and Humanities, Certificate in Fashion Studies and Small Business at Allan Hancock College, and just completed a two-year Internship as a First Hand at PCPA (Pacific Conservatory Performing Arts) working on multiple stage productions. Her favorite productions include: Into the Woods, Bright Star, and Mother Road. Lauren is very excited to be a part of this wonderful stage production and cannot wait to do more!