MAYA SCHNAIDER

actress | new york, l.a.

Most Recent

May, 2020

The episode I worked on for Chap.Three's web series City Kitties is finally out- It's short, it's sweet, it's "Chin Hair"! Watch it here.

This was one of the first projects I did when I moved to LA, and one of the most unique overall- writers, directors, actors, producers, DPs, PAs, the entire cast and crew is 100% all female. It was honestly a dream come true and one of the most empowering and inspiring productions I got to be part of. If you haven't already I highly suggest watching all of the wonderful bite-size episodes in this magical web series, which all center around female relationships. I hope it makes you smile as much as it did for me :)

April, 2020

K-LOVE Radio Voice Over

I once again had the wonderful pleasure of collaborating with K-Love Radio on their stunning Easter video. Hebrew translation and Voice Over by yours truly.


Happy Easter. Pesach Sameach. And have a safe and healthy holiday!

March, 2020

Angelyne, NBCUniversal

Excited to share news on my first co-star role on a major network as Freida in NBCUniversal's Angelyne!! I had the incredible honor of marking this momentous step in my career by sharing the screen with the incomparable Emmy Rossum, who stars in and produces this unbelievable limited-series about the billboard diva herself- Angelyne.

Can't share much more about the show yet, but in the meantime enjoy some pics from before and after hair and makeup (if you "reflect" on it, you can catch a hint on where the scene takes place!). And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that pink corvette, it's gonna be one hell of a ride...

January 3rd-18th, 2020

Musket and the Rat

The reviews are out!! And oh man, I could not be more grateful to be working with the incredible humans involved in this production who have made this show a success!

Only a few more chances to see this groundbreaking show. You DO NOT want to miss this. Get your tix here.

"Maya Schnaider is riveting as Musket, nailing the character’s explosive personality. Schnaider clearly relishes playing a dream role for an actress, physically and verbally beating the hell out of the men who cross her path. " Tom Waldman, Talucan Times

"That the lead character is female is particularly brilliant.  That she is played with the strength and the energy that would normally feel more obvious coming from a man is a stroke of genius, both on the part of the playwright and the very fine actor who plays her (Maya Schnaider).

 

“Musket and the Rat” is a sharply written and beautifully crafted play. It’s dark but far from dull. Sad but full of love. Crass, but with Shakespearean poignance and classically balanced." Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros, NoHo Arts District

"The eponymous Musket, played by Maya Schnaider, is an unconventional leading lady who takes no shit from anyone. She’s fierce and smart, with a secret soft side that only appears when she’s talking to her beloved brother....this world is rich and engrossing. The detailed dialogue and rich characterizations make clear that playwright Sammy Horowitz is speaking from personal experience." - Taylor Kass, Stage Raw

"Maya Schnaider as Musket shows off her ability to do what she has to survive in the urban jungle and to never take any s#it from anyone no matter what!...This new play written by Sammy Horowitz is a very edgy and hard hitting drama, loaded with the gritty settings and characters that showcase the city’s [Chicago] underbelly..." - Rich Borowy, Accessibly Live

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This play, this role, is unlike anything I have ever done before.

 

Musket and the Rat tells the story of Musket Cherry, a young woman living in the basement of her deadbeat mother's house in Chicago. She sells heroin to support them both whenever she's not smoking pot on the couch with her best friend Gay Stevie. The only good things in her life are her younger brother Weso, and her man Billy. After Weso gets thrown in jail on a trumped up charge and Billy gets jumped by a rival dealer who steals the bail money, Musket embarks on an odyssey of violence and revenge that ends in tragedy for everyone.

 

I am so honored to be taking on the lead role of Musket, and I know I've said it in the past, but this truly is THE most challenging role I've ever worked on, and it is kicking my butt all the way out of my comfort zone.

 

The writing is brilliant, our director is fierce, and the cast is phenomenal. I cannot wait for you to see this (although, for both of our's sake, please don't tell me that you're there until after the show... 😉). Leave the kids at home.

Get your tix here and keep updated on our website and press release.

Super Exciting Update!

You know how sometimes you set yourself professional goals which, even as you're defining them, can seem so intimidating and out of reach that you think maybe you shouldn't even bother?

There are still a lot of those on my list that, regardless of common sense, I keep fighting for and working towards... but it seems to be paying off, as I can now check one of them off! :)

I'm so excited to share that I am now represented across the board by the incredible Pacific Talent & Models agency!

I am absolutely stoked and thankful to be working with such a phenomenal team at Pacific, and can't wait to see what this collaboration brings. Stay tuned :)

August-September 2019

The Ritual

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Theatre will forever be my first love. And nothing brings me more joy than working on a new theatre piece, especially one as thrilling as this next immersive play "The Ritual".

 

Step into the center of a coven’s ritual as you’re propelled through time, memories and altered states of reality. You might find that something dark is there too, summoned by the ritual, following.

Some attendants of the Midsummer Scream Convention have been fortunate (or unfortunate...?) enough to get a taste of the ritual as us witches shared a chant with them, which left them aching for more. Are you brave enough to join the coven? Get you tickets here.

The Ritual is No Proscenium's featured headliner! Check it out.

July, 2019

George.

After an entire sold-out run, winning the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 Encore Producers' Award, and selling out our added extended performance, we are performing George one last time, Friday July 26 at 8pm.

 

What a journey this has been and an honor to have been part of this play working with a truly incredible and talented team who have poured their heart and soul into this play. May the force be with you all <3

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Had so much fun filming this short horror film (and freaking out my friends/family on social media along the way, thinking I was actually pregnant). Great script with a huge twist, amazing co-stars and talented crew, all make for another perfect production experience, and one I'm super proud to be part of.

May-June, 2019

George.

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One of the reasons I love and miss New York so much is because New York is synonymous with theatre. It's in the city's DNA and is felt everywhere you go and with everything you do. But moving away has proven that though New York will always be theatre to me, theatre doesn't always have to be New York. The Hollywood Fringe Festival is a great example of that. And working on a play about one of the greatest stories told by film truly feels like my journey is coming full-circle :)

I am so thankful and excited to be part of this amazing festival, and could not be prouder to work on such a well written play with its phenomenal cast and crew.

Told through the creation of his first three films, ‘George’ is the story of how a young man from Modesto, California became George Lucas. With each act following a different film, George will learn all of the skills that eventual led to the creation of ‘Star Wars.’

'George' will run for 6 performances in June at the Stephanie Feury StudioTheatre. Get your tickets here while they last! And may the force be with you ❤️

2010 - present
2010 - present

March, 2019

Women's Monologue Showcase

I am so proud to share the stage with these phenomenal artists in celebration of Women's History Month.

Come out to laugh, cry, and cheer! Plus, you get to support women in the arts, which makes you an awesome human being :)

The performance is on Saturday, March 23rd at 7pm, at The Willie Agee Playhouse in Inglewood. RSVP here!

February, 2019

Short Films and my first professional Voice-over gig in LA (and in Hebrew!) 

This month I got to work on some really awesome short films with super talented artists. Also worked on my first professional Hebrew voice-over gig in LA, for the wonderful Educational Media Foundation.

Starting to build a network of collaborators here in LA, and really looking forward to see what comes next :)

December - January, 2019

Friend's Wedding in India + Family Visit in Israel

Traveling throughout some of the most beautiful places in India (mostly Rajasthan and Mumbai) and getting to be there for the wedding of two of my most amazing friends, has been such an incredible and truly special experience, which I am still processing. But pictures tend to be better than words anyway, so here you go... <3

October - November, 2018

Hell, Nevada

This was my first student production experience in LA, and it ended up being pretty damn great! The class took on filming the entire pilot episode from the hilarious and brilliantly written show Hell, Nevada, written by the talented Andrzej Rattinger.

I played the female lead- Elise, a temperamental waitress with a lot of personal baggage... I had so much fun developing her character and working with some incredible actors, while getting to help future collaborators learn about the industry and become better professionals in this most competitive field.

August - September, 2018

CITY KITTIES

CITY KITTIES is chap.three production company's flagship project, a vignette-style digital series which explores the many intricacies of female friendship.

Beyond the meaningful and beautifully written material, and the incredibly talented cast and crew, what makes this project so unique is that it is 100% female! From the writers to the producers, directors, DPs, sound- everything! Working on CITY KITTIES has truly been a dream come true, and one of the most inspiring and empowering experiences I've had as an actor.

We all need and deserve more productions of this kind that promote female collaboration, and I promise to do whatever I can to make them happen :)

City Kitties

July, 2018

Hello LA!

I am thrilled to share that, after a lot of uncertainty, I have made the jump and officially moved to Los Angeles, now working as a bi-coastal actress!

 

*Just a heads up- this is a slightly longer update than usual. Hope you enjoy! :)*

 

These past few months have been pretty hectic with moving and figuring out arrangements on both the East and West coasts, however I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world thanks to the support of my incredible family and friends, without whom none of this would've been possible. Thank you fam, I love you!

 

I guess the best way to describe my first week here in LA would be "hitting the ground running," as just a few hours after landing I had my first orientation for the Actors Connection Showcase which I was fortunate enough to participate in.

 

The Showcase was a week-long exercise during which, together with another 19 insanely talented actors, we had the incredible opportunity to meet and work with 8 talent agents and 10 casting directors, all from the most prominent companies in the industry.

 

Beyond the invaluable insights and advice we received from the industry professionals, the Showcase was a great learning and motivating experience. It reminded me that these inspiring and influential people across the audition table are kind and are human too, and furthermore, that they are genuinely rooting for you and for your success- as that makes their job a success as well.

 

It has been a true pleasure and a privilege to meet each of the individuals who took part in this showcase, both the industry professionals and the participants, and I hope to be able to update you guys with some exciting new collaborations in the near future! :)

 

Till then, sending all my love to my family, friends (old and new), actors, and of course- New York. <3

April - May, 2018

O, Earth

Probably one of the first-and definitely one of the most transformative- roles I've worked on right after graduating NYU was the Stage Manager in Our Town. 70 years after Wilder's writing, Our Town continues to inspire and challenge its' audience to question and find meaning in today's volatile world.

I am so excited to visit this beautiful play once more, this time playing the role of Emily, and with a new social and gender driven interpretation titled "O, Earth" written by Casey Llewellyn. In this play, the Our Town residents are met with some modern prominent voices, such as Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Watching these two worlds collide is fascinating, and will leave you wanting to know more, ask more, and do more towards a world that is more compassionate, inclusive, and aware. 

Admission to the staged reading and post-performance talkback is FREE and will take place on Friday, May 11th at 7pm, at the Martin Segal Theater located at The CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue.

February - March 2018

The past few months have been packed with auditions/EPAs (and thankfully some callbacks as well!)​, which means long days of running around all 5 boroughs of NYC, and just general chaos...

 

Luckily I was still able to work on a couple of short films portraying lead roles, and collaborating with wonderful directors and cast members. Hopefully will be able to share the final cuts once done with post production! Stay tuned :)

December - January

Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R)

Update! You can now watch a recording of our show online here! Enjoy! :)

Out of all the characters I've considered one day portraying, a vengeful robot leading a revolt to destroy the human race wasn't exactly one of them...

But to step out of my comfort zone to explore some of the more controversial and combative human traits has been both incredibly cultivating and a wonderful challenge.

I am thrilled to make my Players Theater debut and perform with Battle Damage Theater under the direction of Kimberly Flores.

Come experience what's considered the first sci-fi play ever written, while contemplating the future of our entire existence. Or, you know, just...chill.

Either way, get your tickets here!Performances run December 28th through January 6th

November 2017

Generosity NYC Fundraiser

Update! Thanks to all you amazing donors, we were able to raise $35,026 towards Selfhelp Community Services!

Thank you so much for supporting this most important cause, and looking forward to running for you again next year!

I am honored to fundraise and run my first 5k for the incredible Selfhelp Community Services, Inc.
Your support will help the 4,300 Holocaust survivors in Selfhelp's care, of which 50% are in financial distress.

I have been volunteering with Selfhelp for over two years now, and am constantly inspired by the amount of dedication, love, and care this organization provides towards their clients in seeing that they are able to age with the dignity and respect they deserve. 
You can donate by clicking here.

As a granddaughter to Holocaust survivors this cause is very personal and dear to me. Thank you so much for your support!

Shhh It's a Speakeasy

Step back in time with the RSP Ensemble for some roaring 20s style fun! Enter the world of Charlie's speak-easy & casino, where booze flows freely, card players are fast, the girls are floozy, and the Jazz is Red Hot..

Set in an immersive environment, audience members can dance, mingle and play with the sordid characters of the 1920s underworld.

Be sure to place a bet at the poker table where you'll meet Baby Bonnie (or Baby B, as my friends call me ;) ), the number one poker dealer at Charlie's joint! Looking forward to seeing all you guys and dolls!

October 2017

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

The Rising Sun Performance Company will be programming a 12 Week Multi-Purpose Theatrical Artist Retreat & Residency in Nolan Park on Governor’s Island August 7th through October 31st 2017. Over the course of the residency RSP’s Ensemble Company will host a different playwright and/or director to develop new play scripts and works in progress as well as site specific devised works.

This coming week (October 15-28th), I get to be one of the lucky ensemble members to collaborate on an exciting new piece inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's stories titled Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. It'll be wonderfully spooky immersive experience walking through some of the rooms of Edgar's mind...

All performances throughout the residency are FREE (!) and take place Saturdays & Sundays at Noon, 1:30PM & 3:30PM.

For more info and updates about the other awesome performances going on in the island, check out RSP's website and Facebook page.

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September 2017

The Distraction

Update! The Distraction won Audience Favorite for Raucous Caucus 2017!

Thank you everyone who came out to support!

I am so excited to perform once again in the incredible annual political play festival Raucous Caucus, which stages ten-minute plays from around the U.S. with commentary ranging across the political spectrum.

 

This year I get to explore the conflicts and frustrations of a Republican Senator in Michigan, in Richard S. Sargent's short play The Distraction, directed by Kordell Draper.

The festival will take place at the The People’s Improv Theater Loft, running September 21st-24th. Get your tickets here!

Katie

After running a successful staged reading with great and valuable feedback, I am excited to share that Katie has been accepted into the Dream Up Festival at ​Theater for the New City!

Katie, Miguel Toruño's debut play, is a story that questions when loyalty to a loved one should supersede social norms, taboos, or even the law.

I will be portraying the title role, Katie, and am honored to once again take on this challenging role with the guidance of our wonderful director, Penny Templeton.​

Check out our Facebook page and website for more!

© 2019 Maya Schnaider | All Rights Reserved |

    Hills Like White Elephants. Tackling this beautiful Hemingway classic with co-star John McGlothlin