Josh Worth (Executive Director)
Josh Worth is a playwright, producer, graphic artist and interactive media designer. He co-founded Trade City in 1997 as a way to unite his wide range of interconnected interests, and to provide a community and opportunities for emerging artists.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan’s Creative Writing program where he was awarded the Jules & Avery Hopwood award for his short stories. His work as a playwright includes Carousel of Dreams, High Glamour in Ypsilanti, The Collaborators and The Subscription. In 2004, Josh was an artist-in-residence at the Yaddo artists’ colony where he completed his play Hacienda Paradiso.
Josh has contributed to Trade City’s projects as a producer, curator, set designer, installation artist, graphic artist, video artist and sound-designer. Through his design company, Josh Worth Art & Design, he has worked on interactive media projects for clients such as Sony Pictures, Marvel Comics, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Maureen Weiss (Artistic Director)
Since graduating from The University of Southern California in 1996, Maureen Weiss has been consistently involved in all aspects of theatre production and education. As the artistic director of Trade City, Maureen made it her goal to approach theatre as both a visual art form and a performance art form. With this goal in mind, Maureen has produced, directed, and designed puppet shows, plays, art exhibits, and poetry readings. She has been the organization’s main grant writer and has worked on many committees to promote art in Los Angeles. Through all of these endeavors, Maureen has maintained a career as an arts educator, working with many organizations; 18th Street Art Complex, Teachers and Writers (In New York), and LA’s Best, to name a few. Maureen also began several educational programs through Trade City. Working with Westchester High School in 2005, Trade City created a social justice theatre program for students. Trade City has also been working with special needs students in Santa Monica for the past several years. Maureen also lectures new artists and teachers on how to create curriculum-based arts education.
Midway through her career as artistic director and educator, Maureen attended art school at Santa Monica College, where she was able to see that her ultimate goal was to make theatre a more accessible art form. Working as both director and designer, Maureen has been able to experience theatre from all sides. Her love of environmental staging led her to graduate school where she studied scenic design. Receiving her Masters from CSULB in ’07, Maureen is currently an adjunct instructor at Loyola Marymount University and Antelope Valley College.
Kris Swick (Production Manager)
kswick is a multidisciplinary artist and designer currently practicing in Los Angeles. His work spans all forms of architecture, construction management, independent curation, interventionist participatory art practice, graphic design/illustration, event planning, and various forms of design/build practice (e.g. woodworking, digital fabrication, mixed media sculpture, and handicrafts). As an active participant in the arts and architecture community in LA and beyond, he documents his experiences and work on his personal blog.
While working hard producing shows for the Popwagon, he pursues other projects such as:
- Critical writing about arts and architecture
- Stationary and digital graphics design for several businesses
- Principle design direction for a large single family home in Pasadena CA.
His capstone project for the PopWagon is Project Reliquiae, a crowdsourced sculptural archive that reintroduces obsolete relics to our spatial environment. In the fall of 2013, he will return to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to complete a Bachelors of Science in Architecture with a minor is visual arts.
Rex Ravenelle is a Los Angeles based artist/curator/designer. Working in the diverse media of painting, sculpture, land art, video, film, printmaking, interactive, and installation, Rex’s work utilizes the land as readymade object, focuses on man-made or natural demarcations, curious points of interest and how we view the landscape. Since graduating with both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, Rex has been working on a large-scale installation based on the Four Corners National Monument in the American Southwest.
Rex was formerly on the board of The Museum of Jurassic Technology and The Center for Land Use Interpretation, and was employed by The Newport Harbor Art Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Reza Safai is an actor, director, arts educator and producer. He received his B.A. and M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Film, Theatre & Television where he was awarded the National Actor’s Theatre Fellowship Award for acting by Tony Randall. Reza has taught film & theatre at UCLA & Antelope Valley College and produces media projects through his company RatMedia Productions.
Reza has acted in many plays in Los Angeles & New York at respected theatres such as The Geffen Playhouse, The Actor’s Gang, P.S. 122 and Joe’s Pub working with such diverse talents as John C. Reilly, Ann Magnusson, Peter Sellars, David Schweizer, Heather Woodbury & Susan Tyrell. He continues to be a key actor in independent films including Push, Dean Quixote, The Man Who Couldn’t and festival award winner F-Stops. Reza will be starring in the film Circumstance which will premiere at Sundance in 2011.
He has directed, shot & edited over 50 short films with students at the college level as well as with children below the poverty line, the latter made possible by the Herb Alpert Foundation’s $1.5 million gift to Santa Monica based P.S. ARTS. Reza’s first feature length film, Sabotage, has been making the festival rounds as the first ever Action Comedy/Music Documentary.
Hollace Starr is a Los Angeles based actor, writer, and director as well as a professor of theatre at Antelope Valley College. Recent projects include a performance of her short play entitled Who Ordered the Broiled Face?. She was last seen performing the role of Fabiana Cunningham in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, which was a faculty/student co-production of both Antelope Valley College and the award-winning Veteran’s Center for the Performing Arts. In 2009 Hollace directed the revival production of Bill Barker’s Best Wishes at Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood. Other recent theatre and film productions include Small Tragedy at the Odyssey Theatre (for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination), Trade City’s Vieux Carré, feature film Sabotage by fellow Trade City Board Member and husband Reza Safai, and performances at The Fountain Theatre, The Actors Gang, and others. Hollace is a voice teacher and a lifetime member of the legendary Actors Studio, where, in addition to being an active actor-member, she is the resident voice teacher. Hollace received her MFA in acting from UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television.
Obie Scott Wade
As the founder and CEO of ObieCo Entertainment, Inc., Obie Scott Wade creates intellectual properties for television, feature film and location-based entertainment.
Obie began his career in television at PBS station, WQED Pittsburgh, the home of Mister Rogers where he served as director of creative development for a slate of Children’s programming initiatives. As a writer of the Baby Looney Tunes series and the director of Julius & Friends, Wade’s animated work has won numerous awards in various categories. Most recently, Wade created SheZow! and Deer Mike for the Walt Disney Company and is currently creating a new feature film franchise with Stan Lee, the creator of Spiderman, The X-Men and many other Marvel characters.
A diverse background in fine art, science and entertainment has also afforded Obie the opportunity to become a leader in the creation of innovative and immersive experience-based attractions for museums, science centers, theme parks and experiential marketing destinations around the globe.
In addition to his career, Obie is also passionate about his philanthropic endeavors. As a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Obie also serves as a judge on the blue ribbon panel for the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship. In 2008, Obie helped found (and serves on the board of directors) for the Long Beach, CA chapter of Stand Up For Kids, a national non-profit which delivers direct outreach and aid to homeless youth.