Bio & FAQs

Ina’s Television & Film credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Royal Pains, NCIS: Los Angeles, Ringer, and the recently released Heaven is For Real, a feature film directed and adapted for the screen by Randall Wallace (Secretariat, We Were Soldiers), based on the NY Times Bestseller about ‘a little boy’s trip to heaven and back.’ While on location in Canada, Wallace filmed a solo improvised rendition of Ina in the role of an ‘Angel’ singing the Hallelujah Chorus, an operatic selection from Handel’s Messiah. The scene was reworked as special effects only in the final cut, but the experience of singing for the writer of her favorite feature, Braveheart, as well as Cinematographer Dean Semler and the full crew was one of Ina’s most cherished moments on set.

On stage, Ina’s worked with renowned contemporaries Richard Montoya of Culture Clash, Performance Artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Playwright Marcus Gardley, and Victory Gardens Theatre Artistic Director, Chay Yew. Her favorite roles thus far have been non-traditionally cast with heightened or stylized language, e.g., Olivia in an American Southern adaptation of Twelfth Night, and a staged reading of Gardley’s poetic The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry.

On the Russian stage, she played in Russian opposite Yuri Chursin (of the Moscow Art Theatre) in Tom Stoppard’s ArcadiaGrigoriy Siyatvinda (of the Satyricon Theatre) in Buechner’s Woyzeck, and served as company member for the State Music and Drama Theatre of Moscow. Russian television credits include the network series Марша Туретского (Turetskii’s March).

She has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied Meisner technique at Playhouse West with Tracy and Mark Pellegrino. Russian Theatre training includes certification from the American Soviet Theatre Initiative in collaboration with the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center at the Moscow Art Theatre School (М.Х.А.Т. имени А.П. Чехова) where she was invited by the Head of Vocals, Marina Vladislavna Smirnova, to continue study with a concentration in classical/operatic singing.

Born and raised in the heart of the US, Ina is a Colorado native from Denver.

FAQs

What is your ethnicity?

My mixed ancestry includes a Spanish line reaching back to the Royal Court of Madrid; Tarahumara of Northern Mexico; Jicarilla Apache; and French. I’m a living testament to American History as it happened in the Southwest…with dimples.

Why Russia?

I’d heard about and fell in love with the Moscow Art Theatre (M.X.A.T.) at a National Theatre Conservatory Summer Intensive program in Denver. It sounded like a ‘Mecca’ for theatre, given it’s role in American Theatre History, so it was fate when the Literary Director of the M.X.A.T, Anatoly ‘Tolya’ Smeliansky (The Russian Theatre After Stalin, After My Life in Art, Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead?) visited my University a couple years later. I scheduled a meeting with him the next day and left for Moscow the next semester.

Ultimately, I found myself straddling the globe with regular commutes between LA and Moscow. I saw so much great theatre and had the good fortune of being able to work with and meet renowned Russian artists. I found my way to the center of contemporary Russian Theatre as a student, and cut my teeth there as a professional. It was a magical time. Russians have a great appreciation and respect for live theatre and offered profoundly amazing experiences in that regard.

Are you a spy?

I briefly worked for Counterintelligence at the American Embassy in Moscow but no, not a spy – но, да конечно говорю на Русском языке.

Read More »