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Professional Testimonials


A collection of quotes written by collaborators (directors, stage managers, etc) from various theatre companies. Additional references and full letters of recommendations are available upon request.


At our very first meeting I was drawn to her kindness and down to earth personality. Maya's design for our Kurt Weill Cabaret was outstanding-earning her a Joseph Jefferson (non-equity) nomination-our company- Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's first Jeff nomination in the Lightning Design category! Maya asks questions and delivers-creative, articulate, thorough and above all a pleasure to work with. She has since designed 3 other shows for us including the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Her work ethic is  professional and I would highly recommend her anytime. I predict she will  continue to be in demand in our city (Chicago) as an outstanding lighting designer. 

-Fred Anzevino, Artistic Director - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre


"Maya is one of those designers that I always feel blessed to receive when they work on that first show and then once they work with you, you never want to give them up. I have learned that she is one of the hardest working artists and up and coming talented lighting design artists that I know. I could go on and on about how above and beyond she has gone for this company. I am ignited by her energy, her personal goals to continuously grow as an artist and professional, and her ability to balance all of the many projects she is committed to. She believes in supporting her fellow design/production colleagues and artists, honing her skills, and gaining further education in her artistic pursuits. Any company would be lucky to have such a loyal, kind, giving, talented and goal-oriented individual as Maya."

               -Kate Garassino, Executive Director - Bailiwick Chicago


I think she is particularly adept at lighting intricate, challenging environments. Maya’s collaborative nature showed positive effects beyond just her design. I had several actors in both casts remark on how much her interactions meant to them.  They felt she cared about what they did and was there to support them and the show, not just deliver her design. This was a factor in building the wonderful ensemble atmospheres evident in both productions.  Personally, I trust Maya to always do her best, to pay attention and care, to be honest and realistic about what she can and can’t do, to wring her imagination and knowledge and bring engaging ideas. I know she will tell me flat out if she  thinks one of my ideas is bad and why – and she will listen and consider if I or others do the same with her. For me, these are highly valued qualities in a production team member.

Drew Martin, Former Artistic Director of Stage Left Theatre, Director of All's Well and The Firestorm

"Maya was a god-send to me as a lighting designer. From conception to execution, Maya was clear and articulate, creating what felt like a million different looks and effects through both her ingenuity and creativity. She contributed immeasurably to the polish, variety and clear storytelling of our final production. Throughout it all--and this particular production had a more stressful tech process than most--Maya was unflappable. She was always kind, positive and enthusiastic about every aspect, not just the lighting. I would enthusiastically recommend her to my colleagues and would not hesitate to work with her again!"

-Christopher Pazdernik, Managing Director of Theo Ubique,  Director of Story of a Story and Make Me A Song 

"She has a startling combination of talent, work ethic, and positivity. She immediately obtained the ear and the trust of our international director, who was slow to offer either to artists she had never worked with before. 

she proved to be one of the most valuable players – working outside of her given role, far past her committed hours, offering ideas and solutions at every turn – truly and personally invested in the success of the project, and with a spirit of hope and enthusiasm that did not match the circumstances. I was pleased and surprised on a daily basis first and foremost by her talent and skill, but also, and just as importantly, by her humility, energy, and optimism." 

                  -Melissa Lorraine, Artistic Director - Theatre Y


"Maya proved a wonderful collaborator and a joy to have in the room. Her work on CABARET was gorgeous. Her attention to detail and her drive make her a special artist and someone I would gladly work with again. What separates Maya from other designers is her approach to the play, which is often from the point of view of the characters and themes of the play. She embraced the play and always supported and illuminated these other aspects rather than trying to point up her own work. Perhaps most importantly, she balances patience and persistence with an attitude that remained positive during the toughest moments. "

-Nick Bowling,  Associate Artistic Director of TimeLine Theatre Company, Director of Northwestern's Cabaret



"Maya has been a pleasure to work with.  At our very first meeting she brought interesting and organized ideas to the table.  She came prepared with good questions and suggestions.  Through her design, she helped propel the plot forward and also aided in clarifying space and time. The real testimony to Maya is the feedback that I have gotten from the audience.  People have mentioned how clearly they understood the transition of time and how beautiful the show looked.  And although they might not understand the creative force behind making something pretty, relevant, and helpful for an audience, I know what a challenge that is and that the show would not have been the success it was without Maya. "

-Whitney Rappana, Director of No Exit with Honest Theatre



 " [I] was continually impressed by her work ethic, demeanor, communication skills, and the overall artistic expertise she was able to bring to the production. Additionally, there were times when Maya went above and beyond the duty of any mere lighting designer, insuring the artistic integrity of the show remain in tact through several weeks of performance. I felt that Maya did a great job of making sure everyone on the design team was on the same page, which resulted in a cohesive and widely praised final design."

                      -Jason Crutchfield, Stage Manager for All's Well that Ends Well with Stage Left Theatre



"We've worked with Maya on three different shows to date and we have been extremely pleased with her product on all of them.  Her execution and creativity in the designs have been superb. Maya would be a great asset to any production team. She communicates well, is very organized, manages time well and is a team player."  

                      -Sean Cowan, Artistic Director - Honest Theatre


"During production meetings, Ms. Fein was the real team leader. She knew all aspects of the production, and used her knowledge of design to help make a coherent production. Maya Fein is an amazing designer with a bright future ahead of her. I would be honored to work with her again. I hope our paths cross again soon."

                     -Shawn Pace, Stage Manager for Incest: A Love Story

"Not only was Maya's design absolutely gorgeous, but her applied work was straightforward and easy to understand. Tech was easy; Maya communicated clearly and efficiently, her que system was easy to understand, she completely took any nervousness out of the process with her easy manner and ready charm. There was a cohesiveness to the piece that was beautiful to watch. I truly don't think that the message of the show that we wanted to share would have come across without Maya's intuitive lighting. Maya was easily able to work with us, even working from outside our little space, to help us troubleshoot and fix the problems before curtain."

-Duana Menefee, Stage Manager for Love Song with Honest Theatre


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