Our Team

We are experienced and passionate award-winning theater practitioners and filmmakers actively working in the entertainment industry across Los Angeles, New York City and the greater Washington DC area. Each of our team members have a big imagination and come from diverse professional and academic backgrounds. 

 

Moonlit Wings also has strong relationships with additional leading entertainment professionals available by request to work with us, providing a powerful dynamic team for every event and production.

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WALID CHAYA

Artistic Director & Founder
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Walid Chaya is a Middle Eastern actor, director and writer based between Los Angeles and Washington DC. He is known for his breakout film “Driving Ms. Saudi”, for which he won “Best Comedy Short” from Dubai's prestigious WOW Mid-East Film Fair and additional festivals worldwide. Disrupt Magazine has called him a creative genius.
 

Walid can be seen on television in "Madam Secretary" (CBS), "Blacklist: Redemption" (NBC) and Hulu's "The Looming Tower" which is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book, to name a few. He wrote, directed and starred in “Driving Ms. Saudi” inspired by the #women2drive movement and has several multicultural and gender-diverse projects in development.
 

Born in Lebanon and raised in the USA, Walid speaks both Arabic and English. He earned his B.F.A. in Performance with honors from VCUarts, ranked the #1 public university school of arts by US News & World Report. After college, Walid worked on award-winning productions in NYC and DC for several years before relocating to LA.

Walid was awarded the “Diversity Scholarship” from Upright Citizens Brigade LA for his work in original content, sketch comedy and improvisation. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and serves on the national board of their new MENA Committee, advocating for inclusion of Middle Eastern & North African voices in Hollywood. 
 

Walid has directed New York and Regional shows including the Off-Broadway premieres of Law & Order: NRU (2017), We Are Monsters the Musical (2015) and the DC premiere of Disney's "High School Musical" Live on Stage (2008). Walid is a member of the Stage Directors Choreographer Society and an alumni of the American Theatre Wing's, founder of the Tony® Awards, SpringBoardNYC directors program. 
 

Moonlit Wings Productions, was founded by Walid Chaya in 2008 and recently voted "Best Arts Program'' by Washington Family Magazine. The company produces new works for the stage and screen that champion multicultural, gender-diverse and musical stories as well as educational performing arts programs for all ages. 
 

In 2018, Walid expanded his work from NY/DC to LA, and soon after launched an educational division in California, known as Studio For Performing Arts LA, winner of the 2021 BroadwayWorld Regional Award for "Best Special Event" recognizing the “MENASA Diversity Showcase” directed by Walid Chaya. The studio’s professional training programs are geared to Walid’s speciality, "The Business of Acting In The Digital Age” and have helped hundreds of actors jumpstart their careers. 
 

Walid is also the CEO of Broadway in Beirut, enhancing the entertainment scene and production value in the Middle East.
 

Additionally, Walid produces and directs philanthropic events to support different organizations like the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and more. He was an associate producer for Disney's "The Happiest Millionaire" 50th Anniversary Benefit Concert, live at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre in NYC. The concert starred Multi-Tony Award nominees and celebrated screen actors Dana Ivey, Brad Oscar, Lesley Ann Warren and Joyce Bulifant, who reprised their roles from the movie.
 

As seen in the Associated Press, “Walid Chaya is a rising star and voice for the Arab community creating content that empowers and entertains.”

 

JIMMY MONACK

Resident Playwright
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Jimmy Monack is a writer, filmmaker, photographer and teacher. He has received a variety of screen and song writing awards including the Great American Song Writing Contest, the Nichol Fellowship Top 15%, Austin Film Festival, Charleston Film Festival, International Family Film Festival for Best Comedy Script and more. 

Jimmy's feature screenplay, DAD-TASTIC!, won the International Family Film Festival for Best Comedy Script, and his first documentary, DUNBAR: THE ALCHEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, airs every Black History Month on the PBS station WHUT.

 

He had the pleasure of working with Moonlit Wings Productions' Walid Chaya and Samantha Figueira on his first film, CHARM CITY RUMPUS, which won "Best Comedy" at the Garden State Film Festival. All three have collaborated on multiple award-winning projects. 

 

Jimmy holds a B.A. in Social Studies from San Jose State University, a masters in Teaching from Howard University and a masters in Liberal Studies from Johns Hopkins University.  Yet, despite an inexcusable about of college, he has managed to keep a strangle-hold on some creativity, which is let out in multiple ways; one of which is writing.

When not writing for Moonlit Wings, he works as a high school English teacher where kids inspire him to think up kooky, wacky characters on a daily basis. Jimmy looks forward to new creations with Walid and the team and, most of all, helping young performers bring out their special energy and contributing to performance dreams.

 

SAMANTHA FIGUEIRA

Technical Director
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Samantha Figueira is an east coast based Production Designer, Art Director and Art Coordinator currently working out of NYC. Her recent work includes the EMMY nominated The Drew Barrymore Show, and the GLADD and MTV Award Nominee LEGENDARY.
 
Before working in television, Samantha was the Associate Prop Master for the off-Broadway powerhouse production of Sleep No More  for 5 years.  She then went on to co create, design and produce a multi-media, interactive art exhibition titled You Are Here, which toured several major cities across the United States.
 
Her work with The Drew Barrymore Show has been nominated for 5 EMMY Awards, along with The Big Fib which earned an additional EMMY nomination. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart  has been recognized as a Critic's Pick  from the New York Times and her design contributions for the short films The Revenge of Scooter and Charm City Rumpus have won Best Short Film in the Miami Int'l Science Fiction Film Festival and was an Official Selection in the LA Int'l Family Film Festival, respectively.  For a full list of Award and Special Achievements please click here 
 
Samantha also helps to educate young designers with the celebrated company, Moonlit Wings Productions.  She has been the technical director and a creative consultant for MWP for 10 + years, which has workshopped & produced over 55 world-premiere stage productions for young artists.

Samantha also helps design Moonlit Wings Productions events and educates young designers interested in exploring behind-the-scenes.

 

SAMANTHA JALAJEL

Director of Performing Arts Camps
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Samantha earned her B.A. in Theater from Old Dominion University. She is passionate about teaching performing arts to young people and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Education with a concentration in Theater.

 

Samantha believes that the younger generations know how powerful the art of theater is for reasons other than talent and storytelling, more so about team-work and self-confidence. 

 

In her collective experiences, she has served as Vice President of Alpha Psi Omega National Theater Honor Society, worked with casting for the Discovery Channel's TV series A Haunting and directed/choreographed several productions featuring both adult and youth casts.

 

Additional highlights include a background in short-form improvisation, movement and gymnastics, mask work, special effects makeup and properties of artisanship.

 

Special honors include her nomination for Best Properties Design at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Old Dominion's The Outsiders.

Samantha is happy to teach and inspire kids and teens with Moonlit Wings modern and creative classes and camps!

 

JORDYN STEWART
Teaching Artist

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Bio Coming Soon.

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