WRITER / ACTRESS / COSTUME DESIGNER
Esosa E. is an award winning producer, writer, actress, health expert, and fashion designer who was named a “Young African Visionary” by Obaseema Magazine and included in Applause Africa's list of “30 Most Intriguing Africans in NY." Currently she plays the role of Ngozi on the hit international TV and web series An African City, which airs worldwide on DSTV, Canal Plus, and online, and has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CNN, Vogue, EBONY, ELLE Magazine (France, South Africa, & Sweden), Glamour Magazine (France), International Business Times, Madame Noire, Forbes Africa and more. She is currently attached to star in a number of different film and television projects with acclaimed filmmakers worldwide including Rise of the Orisha, a superhero movie inspired by African mythology. Esosa is a graduate of Cornell University where she earned a B.S. in Textiles & Apparel Design and studied Directing, Producing, and Marketing Management at Columbia University. For more information visit: www.esosae.com.
Broadway actress, accomplished director, and thespian guru, Marishka S. Phillips is an actor’s director with an extraordinary wealth of talent. As an acting coach, in 2011, Marishka founded the Marishka Phillips Theatrical Preparatory. Having coached and trained some of the Hollywood’s biggest names, including Deborah Cox, Kerry Washington, Terri Vaughn, Rafael Saadiiq, Tasha Smith, and Elizabeth Rohm, Marishka’s ingenious acting method combines the traditional art of story telling through a spiritual connection. As a director, Marishka studied at the Los Angeles Community College, and has directed two highly revered off-Broadway productions: Box produced by Stuart Films LLC, and Precious written and directed by Damian Bailey. In film, she made her directorial debut with Love Always, Eartha, a short film that takes an in-depth look at the life of Eartha Kitt in 1955. Most recently, she directed The Diary of An Afro Goddess : A One Woman Show (nominated for an AUDELCO Award), Each Scar Has A Story: A One Woman Show, and Storage: A One Man Show. She directed Their Eyes Were Watching God which was very well received in NY at Wow Cafe Theater. Currently, Marishka is in pre-production for a new musical For All My Girls (an Equity Showcase) and her feature film MELINDA.
Tarus Mateen’s creative genius and mastery of acoustic bass, electric bass, rhythm guitar, and piano make him one of the most sought-after musician/producers in hip-hop, house, blues, rock, reggae, soul, and straight ahead jazz. He is quite possibly the only musician to receive critical acclaim in all these musical genres at once. Since 1996, there has not been a Top 10 jazz album that didn’t feature Tarus Mateen. All superstars in their own right, artists such as: Monica, Common, Terence Blanchard, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Korn, The Roots, Sly and Robbie, Jason Moran, Ice Cube, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Christina Aguilera and more sought the light of Tarus Mateen so that they could shine their brightest. Known in the jazz world as a genius on bass, his first instrument was actually the piano. He was consistently requested for performances and studio sessions with R&B and hip hop artists including Q-Tip, Lauryn Hill, Ghostface, Ice Cube, and The Roots. Tarus has also made his mark on film with trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard on the scores for Sugar Hill, and for the Spike Lee film Malcolm X, as well as the Grammy nominated Malcolm X Jazz Suite. Playing as part of a new generation of jazz crusaders, Tarus is the world’s best bassist. Find out more about him on tarusmateen.com.
The Woman Who Would Be King is a one-woman show written and performed by Esosa E. that chronicles the journey of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh of Egypt. From a naive young girl who dreams of power to Queen and shrewd co-ruler of Egypt, to her final reinvention as King, Hatshepsut was defiant of her time and tradition, and made many enemies and allies along the way. Before Cleopatra, before Joan of Arc, there was Hatshepsut, the woman who would be king.
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, and is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an Egyptian dynasty. Known for establishing prosperous trade routes, and launching elaborate building projects, toward the end of the reign of her successor Thutmose III, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from pharaonic records. Her images were literally chiseled off many stone walls, leaving very obvious gaps in the artwork. Hatshepsut was the first to use black kohl liner created from frankincense that we associate with Ancient Egyptians. According to Egyptologists she is known as one of the first great women in history.