My name is Aden Munassar. I was born and raised in the Bronx and am excited about being part of a lovingly representative community play in NYC. My dad immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1970’s and my mom followed fifteen years later when she was pregnant with me. My family is pretty big and everyone—including my six siblings, nieces, nephews—everyone is coming to the show!
The arts weren’t a huge part of my childhood explicitly but like most, I liked to doodle and perform if I had an audience. When I got to high school I joined the drama club for my girlfriend. But stayed because I was really encouraged by my mom’s reaction to me performing on stage. I come from a relatively conservative background, I wear hijab, I can barely carry a tune—I never thought my mom would be pushing me to get on stage, to sing and dance, to portray all these different and weird characters. One year, we performed A Midsummer Nights Dream and even as I played an ass surrounded by magic, my mom was my biggest fan! Her unwavering support threw me off guard but in a really wonderful, loving way.
I took a couple of theater classes in college. But after I graduated, I just knew I wanted to work in the Bronx and happily, was offered a job at the DreamYard Project, an arts education organization. I worked on fundraising and operations for DY but really made it my job to integrate myself as much as I could into the arts programming, whether that was conducting one-on-one interviews with the kids, sitting in on the programs, or participating (shout out Bronx Acting Ensemble for letting me be the lousy landlord in a show at Pregones!).
I’m at NYU now studying Urban and Social Policy but still keep in touch with the folks at DY. My son, Abraham, attends the programs for “minis” and I heard about the auditions for The Tempest from my friend and former colleague Robyne Walker-Murphy, Director for the out-of-school programming. I emailed her like, “Is this really community-based? Can I audition?” And she replied “YESSS!!!!!!” So I auditioned and now here I am.