Select Page

Animal Engine and the National Willa Cather Center present

Henrietta Solway

Created and performed by Carrie Brown, Katie Hartman, and Karim Muasher
Directed by Melinda Jean Ferraraccio and Lindsey Hope Pearlman

This play was developed with support from the National Willa Cather Center.

The creative team of Henrietta Solway acknowledges that the Kraine Theater, where this play was performed, sits on the traditional land of the Lenape Nation People in Manhatta (translated to “Island of Many Hills”). For generations, these Native Americans lived, worked, and created art here. We pay respect to them as we’re about to have a communal experience around a play that was performed on their ancestral land. We celebrate the many Native Peoples who are thriving on and around Manhattan today, and commit to holding our producing partners accountable for creating authentic relationships with Indigenous communities.

About Animal Engine
Animal Engine is the collaboration between Karim Muasher and Carrie Brown. We are two movement-based theatre artists who met while training at the London International School of Performing Arts, and found that we had a shared love of reading. Our mission is to make old stories new, by creating and performing uniquely physical plays that reimagine works of literature for the stage. Working from a place of serious playfulness, we create our plays using research, improvisation, movement, and music. Fascinated with the simple act of storytelling, our plays are performed by just the two of us, with simple design elements, and are often accompanied by a live musician. We believe in healing, that the artistic experience can help people learn and grow, so the characters in our plays persevere and become better versions of themselves in spite of difficult and often tragic circumstances. Our plays are also written for multigenerational audiences, because healing is as necessary for a child as it is for a grandparent. Our plays have been called “hard to beat” by the Washington Post and “remarkably clever” by CityBeat Cincinnati. We perform and teach in our hometown of New York City, across the United States, and internationally at theatres, festivals, and schools.

Carrie Brown (writer/performer)
Carrie Brown is a deviser, clown and teacher interested in how playfulness can be used to tell meaningful stories. With Animal Engine, she has devised and performed in every production. She has studied with master clown teacher Giovanni Fusetti, collaborated with clown Mark Gindick (Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros, Cirque Du Soleil) and performed as a clown at Cirque Off, tinydangerousfun, New York Downtown Clown Revue, and the New York Clown Theater Festival. Carrie has also performed as a therapeutic clown with Lev Leytzan, working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. She has a BA in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a MFA in Lecoq Based Actor Created Theater from Naropa University at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). 

Katie Hartman (dramaturg/composer/performer)
Katie Hartman is a performer, composer, dramaturg and theatre maker. Recent New York credits include
Edgar Allan at Soho Playhouse and The Unrepentant Necrophile at HERE Arts Center. Katie is co-artistic director of the Coldharts, an international touring theatre company that creates ensemble-devised, new music theatre inspired by the American Gothic. Founded in 2012 with the playwright, Nick Ryan, the Coldharts have created and toured four minimalist musicals together with over two-hundred and fifty performances across North America: The Legend of White Woman Creek, Edgar Allan, Eddie Poe and The Unrepentant Necrophile. Katie has also composed music for NYC theatre companies Bread Arts Collective (Candide) and Animal Engine (Darlings, Rabbit.) Favorite New York credits include Bards at Dixon Place, Bread Arts Collective’s Rise and Fall and 3 Sticks’ new folk opera, Vestige, at the Brooklyn performance space, Cloud City. While living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Katie worked with Four Humors, Bedlam Theatre, at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Katie is a proud founding producer of the Twin Cities Horror Festival, the largest performing arts festival in North America dedicated to the genre of horror.

Karim Muasher (writer/performer)
Karim Muasher is an Arab American deviser, director, movement director, and teacher working at the intersection of performance and education. With Animal Engine, he has devised and performed in every production. Among his other collaborations are daredevil clown Bello Nock’s Drama Desk award-winning show “Bellomania” at the New Victory Theatre and physical comedian Martin Gindick’s multimedia solo show “Wingman” at the United Solo Festival. He has taught theatre and devising at institutions such as the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Guthrie Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Abrons Arts Center, International Thespian Festival, and Wingspan Arts. Karim is a graduate of Ithaca College, the London International School of Performing Arts at Naropa University, and a member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators.

Melinda Jean Ferarracio (director)
Melinda Jean Ferraraccio is a theatre artist, expressive arts facilitator, and yoga practitioner. She uses intermodal arts therapy intervention approaches to performance, facilitation, and community outreach and has worked in a range of educational, therapeutic, and artistic settings. She holds a BFA in Physical Theater from Niagara University and an MA in Expressive Arts from the European Graduate School in Switzerland where she studied with the founding members of the Pan Theatre. She has attended intensives at the School of Physical Theater in London and the New York Goofs Ultimate Clown School. She was a founding member and artistic director of the award-winning Brass Tacks Theatre Company in New York City. Her performance credits include: Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot(A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Here Arts Center (In the Belly of the Beast with Two Backs), and La Mama (Clowns Ex Machina). With Animal Engine, she has directed: Petunia and Chicken, Darlings, and Henrietta Solway.

Lindsey Hope Pearlman (director)
Lindsey Hope Pearlman is a director, playwright and actor.  Her short film
One Woman Movie won the Audience Choice for Best Short in the 2021 NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival at The New Ohio.  Select Directing/Associate Directing: The O’Neill Theatre Center, Primary Stages, Goodspeed Opera House, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Barn Arts Collective. Original plays include Cassandra Complex, Lucy (EST/Sloan Commission) and Viv is for Vengeance (Honorable Mention, American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award). Co-book writer, MacGyver the Musical.  Assistant Director: Bandstand on Broadway.  Drama League NY Directing Fellow 2019-2020. London International School of Performing Arts Graduate (LISPA). BA: Hamilton College.

Special Thanks

The National Willa Cather Center
The Willa Cather Archive

Anita Durst
Ashley Olsen
Chris O’Neil

Dr. Chuck Johanningsmeier
Erez Ziv
Mark Gindick
Jake Ryan

Nick Ryan
TJ Bent

Tracy Tucker

About Chashama:
For twenty-six years, Chashama has transformed unused space for 30,000 artists, hosted 4,000 public art events, provided 1,500 free art classes in underserved communities, and reached audiences of nearly a million.​

  • Transform hundreds of dormant spaces for artists, small businesses and non-profits.  ​
  • Provide free art classes in diverse communities.​
  • Focus efforts on minorities and women who represent the City’s racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity.

To learn more, visit