Julie Kurzava, Executive Director and Founder
Julie is a singer, actor and writer who has performed professionally throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including at Olney Theatre, Cumberland Theatre, American Century Theater,Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Maryland Renaissance Festival and the Annapolis Opera, and is a member of the Actors' Equity Association. A classically trained singer, she received her degrees in Voice Performance from Northwestern University (B Mus) and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (M Mus). She has appeared in feature films, independent films, commercials and voice-overs, most recently for Maryland Public Television's Thinkport website. An active church musician, Julie is the cantor at St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore and can be heard on their live broadcast every Sunday on WBAL (1090AM).
With New Moon Theater, she has created and performs three solo folktale adaptations,Minwa, Japanese Folk Tales, Tales from the Good Earth and India Tales. She has also written several original plays, including The Adventures of the Opera Explorers, The Old Man and the Bay, and with Kristin Barnes, Leading Ladies: Women of Maryland. She is currently working on a commissioned piece for Port Discovery Children's Museum inBaltimore, MD.
As an educator, Julie currently teaches voice at Loyola University Maryland and taught voice at the Garrison Forest School for ten years. She also lectures on musical history throughout the region and at the Peabody Institute Road Scholar Program (formerly Elderhostel), where she has also developed national curriculum. She is a graduate of the Teaching Artist Institute (TAI), both in Arts Residencies (TAI I) and Arts Integration (TAI II). A martial artist for over 25 years, she holds a second degree black belt in Aikido and taught at the Baltimore Aikido Club.
Thomas Zielinski, Founder
Tom has uplifted audiences with his dramatic baritone voice and extensive acting skills in a wide range of leading baritone roles in opera, oratorio, recital and musical theater both in the US and abroad. A versatile performer and singer, he creates a wonderful rapport with audiences in his solo vocal recitals, which combine his love of both opera and musical theater.
He's performed Mozart's Figaro throughout the United States, but is also known for more dramatic roles by Verdi, Puccini and Rossini, including the title role in William Tell. He's charmed audiences with his musical theater performances in The Fantasticks (El Gallo), South Pacific (Emile), and Merry Widow (Danillo). His Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof was called "marvelous" by the Baltimore Sun.
Tom received his musical training at DePaul University (BM) and the University of Illinois (MM), studying with William Miller, William Warfield and John Wustman. He toured with National Opera, performing and leading workshops in opera in secondary schools throughout the South. He has also performed in schools with Odyssey Opera. Tom is also a certified teaching artist through the Teaching Artist Institute and leads residencies in opera.
Kristin Dabney Barnes, Founder
Kristin is a professional actor, writer, and director who earned her undergraduate degree in Theatre from Towson University. She has served as the Managing Director for Children's Theater Association in Baltimore, MD and City Theater Company in Wilmington, DE. As an actress, she's performed in many productions in schools throughout the Mid-Atlantic. A creative thinker, her own educational theater programs have toured area schools, including solo shows Tall Tales of the Wild West, Tall Tales Return, and Leading Ladies: The Women of Maryland, with co-creator Julie Kurzava.
In schools, Kristin has conducted numerous theater workshops for students in grades 1-12. She has also enjoyed working for the Baltimore Shakespeare Partnership, receiving training from the Shakespeare Folger Library, Theatre Project, Pussycat Theatre Company, and the International Theatre Institute. Kristin has also been seen locally in her original one-woman show Queen Mab Among Us and in Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show.
Currently, Kristin is an educator with the Baltimore City Public Schools and completed her graduate degree in Education at Johns Hopkins University.
Nora Achrati, Actor
Nora is an actor, teaching artist and writer whose credits include shows with Forum Theatre, Constellation Theatre, 1st Stage, WSC Avant Bard, and the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater. In addition to performing with New Moon Theater, she teaches creative drama to kids (pre K - 5th grade) with Round House Theatre, Project Create, and Creative Kids. Nora is a graduate of the Honors Conservatory at the Theatre Lab in Washington, DC. www.norafachrati.com
Heather Bagnall, Actor
Heather is a professional performing artist with over 20 years experience in theatre, music and dance with performances throughout the Mid-Atlantic area. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Theater performance from Towson University. As an arts administrator, Heather has created programming and arts education field with the Holton-Arms Center of the Arts, First Night Annapolis, and World Class Arts, a national children's programming organization. Heather is also a founding member of the acapella group Jazzapella East and performs with multiple singing ensembles. She is still active as a resident artist and director in Marylandschools.
Diane Kinsley, Pianist
Diane earned a Master of Music degree in Ensemble Arts from the Peabody Institute of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Robert MacDonald and Boris Slutsky. Prior to that she was a student of Lee Luvisi at the University of Louisville, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree while studying both organ and piano and performing solo recitals on both instruments. A member of the faculty at Anne ArundelCommunity College, Ms. Kinsley is also a regular collaborator and performer with Opera Vivente, Annapolis Chorale, Annapolis Opera, and The Young Victorian Theater Company. She maintains a private piano studio and is an organist at the US Naval Academy Chapel. She freelances in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, and performs as soloist and ensemble artist throughout the United States.