Irina Abraham, artistic director, co-founder.
Irina is an award winning director (Best Director, Planet Connections Festival 2017), film and theater actress and choreographer. She started as a classical and ballroom dancer in Belarus. She travelled Europe with dance companies and eventually an Experimental Youth Theater company. In 2007 Irina came to NYC and studied at HB Studio with Aleksey Burago and Snezhana Chernova, Ilse Pfeifer and Michael Blake. In 2010 her teachers, other actors, love, Spring and New York inspired her to direct her first show Playgrounded. It played at HB Studio and Manhattan Repertory Theatre in NYC and the magic of theater began. From 2010 to 2014 Irina worked as a choreographer and actor with such companies as the Russian Arts Theater & Studio, Nylon Fusion Theater Company, Yangtze Repertory Theater of America, the Bedlam Ensemble, etc. In 2014 Irina co-directed Requiem by Hanoch Levin that was produced by the Tank Theater. She grew to love cinematic language and played leading roles in According to Her (2015, feature film, dir. Estelle Artus) and The Girl On The Ledge (2015, feature film, dir. Paul Rothman), she also appeared on TV Shows such as The Americans and The Blacklist. In 2014 Irina co-founded Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project. In 2016 Irina also joined the innovative Off Off Broadway Theatre Company Blessed Unrest as an actress. In 2017 Irina was awarded Outstanding Directing at The Planet Connections Festival for The (Last) Station by Eugene Muzica.
Kellen Lopes; actor, costume designer, make up artist, founding member.
Natalie Solomon, actor, managing director, founding member.
Natalie is a graduate of HB Studio. She started her acting career at Russian Arts Theatre and Studio working with Aleksey Burago. In 2013 she appeared in Requiem directed by Irina Abraham and Marina Volok and has been working with Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project ever since. Natalie also played in a feature film According To Her directed by Estelle Artus.
Eugene is a professor of Composition and Literature. He earned his Master's and PhD in English at the University of Warwick, UK, specializing in tragedy (specifically Shakespeare's Hamlet, Sophocles's Oedipus) and psychoanalysis. Eugene published an essay on Thomas Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy” in the collection Doing Kyd by Nicoleta Cinpoes. This is his first collaboration with theatre artists.
Danijela Popovic, actor, founding member.
Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Danijela relocated to New York in 1990 for continued graduate studies at The Juilliard Music School. After graduating, she dedicated eight years to the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem, where she was the principal pianist, piano teacher, and head of the Piano Department. Danijela is the co-founder and principal performer of the all-female ensemble “D’Divaz” for which she composed, performed, promoted and marketed original music. With D’Divaz Danijela released a CD in 2000, was a guest performer on Elliot Sharp’s CD State of Mind, was a Storm King Artists in Residence, organized a concert to benefit the rebuilding of the Children’s Hospital in Belgrade, and co-stared in the movie Yugo Divas. Danijela has performed over 500 concerts and recitals; has made appearances on ABC, CBS, Fox 5, Studio B in Belgrade, and Radio Television Belgrade, and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center. Danijela was a proud member of the HB Studio Ensemble. She studied acting with Ed Morehouse and Austin Pendleton and her recent credits include: Benefit directed by Ellie Ellsworth, The Circus of Life directed by Lynn Barr; Lady with a Lapdog With Jokes and Happy Ending directed by Aleksey Burago; The Dome, Prospect Theatre production; Almost A Fantasy ( Fringe NYC 2012), directed by John Grabowski; The Red Wednesday ( Ice Factory 2013), directed by Sanaj Gajar; Mother of God directed by Vincent Gaeta; Medea, American Thyme Theatre production; Waiting for Godot directed by Vincent Gaeta; The Requiem, Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project, Crime and Punishment directed by Aleksey Burago; Flight Number Love, Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project, Theatre For The New City. In 2017 Danijela was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress Award at The Planet Connections Theatre Festival for her role in The (Last) Station written by Eugene Muzica. She is the author of the web show KAKO KNJIGA KAZE currently running every Monday in Belgrade, Serbia on DKSG page. Danijela is a founding member of the theatre group Necessary I.T.E.M.S. She lives in NewYork.
Tim Abraham is a French American artist who is currently living and creating in Jersey City. Born in New York, Tim moved to France at the age of two and came back to the US by the time he was 18. Having moved from city to city in France and Switzerland and then in the US, Tim was able to absorb both European and American culture. Tim has done a solo show in Montclaire, NJ and has been regularly exhibiting at LTM, Jersey City and participating in various group shows in Jersey City and Manhattan. In 2017 Tim was awarded for Outstanding Set Design at The Planet Connections Theatre Festival.
Find more information at www/timtasticart.com
Shannon is soon to be a graduate from CUNY Hunter College in 2018, with a B.A. in Theatre.
Since starting at Hunter in 2014, she has taken an extensive curriculum and excelled in relevant classes such as Theater Production, Visual Elements, Costume Design, Play Analysis, Acting 1 & 2, and World Theater. Shannon was also selected to study theater abroad in London for a month in 2016.
Aside from courses, she has had the chance to work hands on and learn in an Assistant Stage Manager position for Hunter College's 2016 production of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard. She also had major involvement in Hunter College Theater Company’s 2017 winter production of Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries where she was designated as Assistant Stage Manager, Props Designer, and Special Effects Makeup Artist.
Shannon has recently had the amazing opportunity to work with Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project through their rehearsal process of The (Last) Station, by Eugene Muzica, which will lead up to their performances at the Planet Connections Theatre Festival in June 2017.
Georgina Bates, collaborator, choreographer.Georgina Bates is a NY based actor, dancer, and choreographer/director. She recently choreographed "Cloud Kumo," a film surrounding the aftermath of Hiroshima, which won a Student Academy Award, a CINE Golden Eagle Award, City Vision 2016, and Official Selection: Hiroshima Film Festival, NewFilmmakers NY. Other recent choreography credits: Somehow We End Up Here (CollabFest 2016 -Triskelion Arts), ACLU Freedom Concert (Holy Trinity), Crime and Punishment (West End Theatre), R/Evolution (Robert Moss Theater), Swimming at the Ritz (NJ Rep). Upcoming: an evening-length work at HERE Arts Sublet Series. Georgina’s work has also been presented at NYU, IDA Art Gallery, Pianos, Slake, and various world peace festivals at Madison Square Garden, City Center, Town Hall, Lincoln Center. M.F.A: Dance, NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, B.A. Theatre Performance, MMC. Member of the SDCF Observership Class 2016 -2017, League of Professional Theatre Women. In 2017 Georgina was nominated for Outstanding Choreography Award at The Planet Connections Theatre Festival.
Genia Starcev, actor, founding member.
Genia Starcev was born and raised in
Russia and has been performing on stage since childhood. Since she
emigrated to the US in 2001 she has been working on films, tv shows and stage
productions as an actor, director, producer and writer. She has been a part of
Bedlam Ensemble and now is excited to be a part of Necessary I.T.E.M.S.
project. In 2017 Genia was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress Award at The Planet Connections Theatre Festival.
Michael Donaldson, actor, associate artist.
Recent Stage : Requiem with Necessary I.T.E.M.S.; Crime and Punishment, My Uncle Chekhov and House of Curiosities with Russian Arts Studio and Theatre; Burnt House August Strindberg Repertory Theatre; The House of Bernarda Alba, Bedlam Ensemble, The Secret Theatre. The Cherry Orchard, The Blind, The Weird Tree, Columbia Stages; The Three Sisters, Civil Sex, Hudson Guild Theater. Find out more about Michael at www.michael-donaldson.com
Charles Sprinkle, actor, associate artist.
Charles has performed in hundreds of plays throughout the southern U.S. and in NYC. He has been in many films and television shows and has been recently working on an untitled web series pilot. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA.
Charles is very happy to be working together again with his old (and talented) compatriots from Necessary I.T.E.M.S. Project. Charles would like to thank Huma and Naseem for their love and support!