Our Team

We are experienced, passionate and versatile theater practitioners and filmmakers actively working in the DC & NYC industry. 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 team for all events and productions.

Click on a photo to read bios:

WALID CHAYA
Artistic Director & Founder
SHAWNA OHUMAY
Development Director
SAMANTHA JALAJEL
Director of Camps
SAMANTHA FIGUEIRA
Technical Director
JIMMY MONACK
Resident Playwright
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WALID CHAYA

Artistic Director & Founder
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Walid Chaya is an award winning director/actor and celebrity acting coach based in Los Angeles. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, the Stage Directors Choreographer Society,  and an alumni of The American Theatre Wing's, founder of the Tony® Awards, SpringBoardNYC directors program.

 

As an actor, he can be seen on TV in "Madam Secretary" (CBS), "Blacklist: Redemption" (NBC), "The Looming Tower" (Hulu), opposite Jamie Bell in the feature “Skin” directed by Oscar-Winner Guy Nattiv, and more.

 

Upcoming films include "Magic Hour" opposite Miriam Shor, "Mad?" opposite Tony-Nominee Suzanne Bertish and several shorts and television series currently in development.

 

Walid wrote, directed and starred in “Driving Ms. Saudi”, which won Best Short Film in Dubai's prestigious WOW (World of Women) Film Festival, Silver Metal for Best Comedy Short at the Asia South East-Short Film Festival, among other official screenings at over a dozen prominent festivals from around the world.

 

Walid is also a content creator and has headlined in diverse industry panels, his favorite titled "The Future of Acting: Creating Your Own Content" produced by Actors Pro Expo. He speaks English & Arabic fluently. Walid was awarded the “Diversity Scholarship Award” from Upright Citizens Brigade LA for his work in original content, improvisation and sketch comedy. 

 

Walid also coaches and connects emerging actors with the finest casting directors, talent agents and personal managers in the industry. He is a keynote speaker and teaches master classes at various studios and international schools and universities. His clients can be seen in commercials, major films, television shows and theater nationwide.

 

Walid has directed New York and Regional productions including the Off-Broadway premiere's 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).  He is also the founder of DC's Moonlit Wings Productions (voted "Best for Families" by Washington Family Magazine) and CEO of Broadway in Beirut, enhancing the entertainment scene and production value in the Middle East. 

 

Walid graduated with a B.F.A. in Performance with Magna Cum Laude honors from VCUarts, ranked the #1 public university school of arts by US News & World Report. After college, Walid lived in New York for several years where he worked as an actor, and also as a director with NYC's largest educational acting studio, Actors Connection.

 

 

In 2018, Walid relocated to Los Angeles to further develop his on-camera career and is actively working in film and television. He continues to travel between LA and DC/NYC to teach and consult performers of all ages and levels.

 

JIMMY MONACK

Resident Playwright
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Jimmy Monack is a teacher, photographer, writer and filmmaker from Annapolis, Maryland.  He had the pleasure of working with MWP’s Walid Chaya and Samantha Figueira on his first film, Charm City Rumpus.  All three have collaborated on multiple 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.

 

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.  Both drama and lyrics find their way into the productions at Moonlit Wings.

 

When not writing for Moonlit Wings, he works as a high school English teacher where kids inspire him think up kooky, wacky characters on a daily basis.  Indian Creek Upper School is where he calls home.

 

Jimmy looks forward to new creations with Walid and the gang and, most of all, helping young performers bring out their special energy and contributing to performance dreams.

 

SAMANTHA JALAJEL

Director of Performing Arts Camps

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!

 

SHAWNA OHUMAY

Director of Development

Shawna is a modern renaissance woman who has been a student and lover of the arts since her introduction to dance at Starmaker studios at the age of 3.

 

Performance and training includes: classical and musical theater vocal styles, Shakespearean and period acting; improvisational theater; jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and tap dance styles; afro-pop music and more.

 

Shawna comes to Moonlit Wings at the intersection of art and business. A project manager by profession, Shawna has served several supporting roles in the realm of business administration since graduating Summa Cum Laude from Hampton University in May of 2011.

 

In August of 2013, Shawna has served as Executive Director of startup non-profit international development organization, CHREE (Corporation for Humanitarian Relief and Economic Empowerment. There she discovered her passion for taking great ideas and growing them.

 

Shawna is currently pursuing her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with a focus on business growth. She is excited to cultivate creative business at Moonlit Wings Productions!

 

SAMANTHA FIGUEIRA

Technical Director
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Samantha Figueira is an east coast based Production Designer, Art Director and Prop Designer currently working out of NYC. Her recent work as the Associate Art Director with the hidden camera television show, Tr!ckedis airing now and can be seen on The Disney Channel and BYUTV.  Another series, The Big Fib, is set to air on Disney + in 2020 and Drew, the recently order Drew Barrymore talk show is set to film in fall 2020.
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 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.
Samantha also helps design Moonlit Wings Productions events and educates young designers interested in exploring behind-the-scenes.

©  MOONLIT WINGS PRO, INC. 

info@moonlitwings.org

(202) 567-SHOW

Artistic Director/Founder Walid Chaya

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