Founded in 2005 by Richard Mazda the Queens Players is a not-for-profit theatrical company at the forefront of the developing LIC art scene. Primarily focusing on classical material, the company presents these works to a modern audience with vibrancy, creativity and edge in a way that is thought provoking, accessible to a modern audience, and visually unique.
Mazda was one of the co-founders of Poole punk/mod band Tours, singing and playing lead guitar. They signed to Virgin Records in 1979 after selling large quantities of their self produced and distributed “Language School/Foreign Girls” double A side 7″ single. BBC Radio 1 DJs John Peel and Mike Read championed the band which led to a bidding war between Virgin, Polydor, Sire and EMI records. Eventually the band signed to Virgin but the association was short-lived after an argument between the band and the label led the other founder/leader Ronnie Mayor to quit.
Mazda formed a new band, The Cosmetics, and went on to become the in house producer of IRS Records, working with seminal punk/new wave acts such as The Fall, The Birthday Party, Wall of Voodoo, The Fleshtones, Tom Robinson (including playing guitar in his band), Alternative TV, Yello, Suburban Lawns, Brian James, The Scientists and The Folk Devils. He released a solo album, Hands of Fate, in 1983. Later, Mazda turned his attention back to his first musical love and began working with R&B musicians such as Average White Band, The JBs, Neneh Cherry, Bootsy Collins and Ultra Nate.
Mazda also pursued a parallel career as a songwriter. After signing to Warner Chappell Music in 1989 he went on to write, “How Long’, a Billboard R&B No 1 hit for American Singer Ultra Nate which won him a prestigious A.S.C.A.P award. As a writer he contributed to albums by Jamie J Morgan, The JBs, Average White Band, Clyde “Funky Drummer” Stubblefield, Nick Kamen and many others.
Mazda had made a small dent in the rarefied NYC acting world. In Jan 2005 he formed his own acting troupe, [The Queens Players] and a year after emigrating he scored an Off Broadway role as ‘English’ in Scott Brooks’ Bag Fulla Money which played at 42nd St’s Clurman Theatre. Mazda has appeared in numerous Hollywood films including Saving Private Ryan, Batman Begins, Love Actually and Quills.
After several years in New York Mazda is now the owner of a custom built theatre, The Secret Theatre.
Alberto Bonilla received a BA in Theatre at Arizona State University. He also studied at The British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford, England. He continued his studies at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts receiving an MFA in Acting under Maggie Flanagan and William Esper.
Alberto’s first Foray into New York City theater was a part of the creative team at 78th Street Theatre Lab that developed a play called “Boy Steals Train” that won a Fringe First and Best Ensemble award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. After Scotland, Alberto was inspired to write and direct “Walking To America” which was also developed and produced at the 78th Street Theatre Lab. This play was based on a true story of a boy who walked from Honduras to America. It was so well received, that it was published in NY Theatre’s “Plays and Playwrights 2005” an anthology of off-Broadway plays. Other written works include: Nonnie (produced at Metropolitan Playhouse), Big Black Mexican Woman, #69, El Conejo, and PS 357. He is currently developing two new plays Dome and Hunting For Ewoks. Alberto also wrote and developed a new play based on Medea called “Maria” with Resonance ensemble of whom he is a member of.
Alberto has directed several other shows including Look Back in Anger, Three Points Over the Vig, Leaving Lilly and many more. Alberto Recently Directed at the Secret Theater, Servant of Two masters.
Jose Esquea, Artistic Director of Teatro La Tea, saw Alberto’s direction of Raft of The Medusa at the Long Island City Little Theater. After seeing the production he was approached by Jose to become a resident Playwright/Director. Alberto is also a fight director, teacher and the Director of Film and Television at Maggie Flanigan Studios. Alberto is a member of AEA, AFTRA and SAG. He is also a member of HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) and NALIP (National Association Latin Independent Producers).
CHARLES BAKER (Shakespearean Dramaturge) began studying acting five years ago to further a lifelong interest in Shakespeare; he has appeared in 18 Shakespeare plays and served as Shakespearean Dramaturge for three more; details at www.charlespbaker.com.
favorite quote, today it is from King Lear:
> Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
> Had I your tongues and eyes, I’ld use them so
> That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever!
Originally from Warren and Youngstown Ohio, Jonathan moved to New York City in 2006 to further develop his career as an actor and producer. His first production with The Queens Players was Titus Andronicus in 2009 and he swiftly rose through the ranks where he now serves as Artistic Director, working very closely with Executive Producer Richard Mazda and our board of directors to maintain and further develop the artistic mission of the company. NYC acting credits include: Hamlet (Hamlet, What Dreams May Co.), Twelfth Night (Feste, The Secret Theatre See Review), Othello (Roderigo, What Dreams May Co.), Saint Joan (The Dauphin See Review), Knight of the Burning Pestle (Humphrey See Review ), Julius Caesar (Octavian), Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Titus Andronicus (Lucius) (The Secret Theatre); Twelfth Night (Sebastian, Flea Theater); Lord of the Flies (Sam, Teatro LaTea Theatre); Fun and Games (Village Playwrights); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck, The Spa Little Theater See Review), Merchant of Venice (Shylock), Hamlet (Horatio), Twelfth Night (Sebastian), (Queens Shakespeare). Ohio credits include: The Sisters Rosensweig, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, The Mousetrap, Godspell, and The Laramie Project. Jonathan was also a 3 year member of the Magic Carpet Theater touring company.