The Story Ensemble meets biweekly to create and grow. With a focus on form, text analysis, and imagination, the Ensemble workshops potential new plays, devises fresh ways to relay familiar narratives, and--above all--listens and learns from each other. By cultivating a shared vocabulary, the Ensemble streamlines the creative process--fostering the growth of each member, each script, each story.
Ayanna Bria Bakari graduated with a BFA in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Since graduating, her theatre credits include Cat in The Originalist at Indiana Repertory Theatre, Izzie Mae/ Clerk Son in Robert O’Hara’s play Insurrection: Holding History with Stage Left Theatre and Sister Felicity in Suddenly Last Summer with Raven Theatre. Ayanna Bria is very excited to be working with The Story Theatre. Ayanna is currently represented by Stewart Talent. “I’d like to thank my family and loved ones for their continuous support and motivation, Asante Sana. Wakanda forever!”
Matt is a founding member and Executive Director of The Story Theatre. Matt has directed productions of Angels in America pt. 1 (Arizona Daily Star MAC award best director) and Macbeth, Mr. Marmalade, and many more. Matt holds an M.F.A in performance from the University of Georgia. He served as a faculty member at Pima College and as a Faculty Fellow and teaching artist at the University of Arizona. Matt is an Artistic Associate for The Rogue Theatre and served as the Education Director. Recently relocating to Chicago, Matt has been fortunate to perform with The Shakespeare Project of Chicago in As You Like It and Women Beware Women. Matt has performed in over 30 productions with the Rogue Theatre, favorites include Hamlet (Arizona Daily Star MAC award best actor), Waiting for Godot, The Grapes of Wrath, Uncle Vanya, and many others. As well as being a part of original adaptations of literary classics such as As I Lay Dying, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and Tales of the Jazz Age. Matt has also performed regionally with Southwest Shakespeare, The Arizona Repertory Theatre, The Rose of Athens, Hudson Shakespeare Company, and Collaborative Stages. Matt is a proud member of Actors Equity.
Gaby Moldovan is a Chicago based actor, writer, and producer. Upon graduating from Florida State University with a BFA in Acting, she moved up to Chicago to pursue theatre and comedy. She is thrilled to be an ensemble member of the Story Theatre, with which she has performed in Leave Me Alone! and Artemis Books and the Well Meaning Man.She is also a producer, writer, and actor with film production company, Make It Up Media, with which she has produced, written, and performed in shorts such as Competitive Bird Watching (winner of "Audience Favorite: Group D" and "Best Use of Character" in Chicago's 2017 48 Hour Film Project), Pumpkin Smashers (producer/PG), Dead End (producer/Lee), Bake For Your Life (writer/director/Amy), Cut (producer/Ms. Moldovan), and BOXES (co-writer/Quinn). She is represented by Actor's Talent Group, Inc.
Paul Michael Thomson is an actor, playwright, and artistic director who always texts back. As an actor, he has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, First Folio, Teatro Vista, Greenhouse Theatre Center, and Porchlight Music Theatre, among others. His plays have been produced by Other Theatre Company, North Central College, Arc Theatre, Arizona Repertory Theatre, and The Story Theatre, of which he is a proud founding member. Paul Michael holds a BFA in Acting, a BA in Africana Studies, and minors in Spanish & Art History from the honors college at The University of Arizona. He is proudly represented by Gray Talent Group.
Brenna is an actor, and founding member of The Story Theatre. Some of her credits include: Book of Will (Northlight Theatre); What's the Name... (Arc Theatre); Julius Caesar (Three Brothers Theatre); Steel Magnolias (Ignite Theatre); Romeo & Juliet, Other Desert Cities (Arizona Theatre Company); Vanya , or That's Life!, Multitudes (Rasaka Theatre); How I Learned to Drive, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar, Lend Me a Tenor (Arizona Repertory Theatre) among others. Television credits include Chicago Med (NBC). Independent film credits include The Writer; Dream Fish. Brenna received her BFA in Acting from the University of Arizona, and is a founding member of The Story Theatre. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent. She would like to thank her partner, her family, and her artistic soulmate for their support.