Traci Tolmaire is a performing artist with many talents. One who has been studying and training for a career in the arts since childhood. She has worked with some of the most respected people in the entertainment industry and has proven to be as well versed behind the scenes as she is on stage.
Traci began training in ballet and tap at an early age at Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre in Chicago. She later added the disciplines of jazz and modern dance while expanding her studies at Lou Conte Dance Studio home of Hubbard Street Dance Company, Joel Hall Dance Center, Gus Giordano, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver. Traci also attended master classes with the legendary Katherine Dunham in Denver and tap icon Savion Glover in Chicago and New York.
After graduating with honors from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, she then went on to attend Spelman College in Atlanta where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Theatre. During her junior year of college, she participated in an academic exchange program at New York University where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. While there, she performed as an actor and dancer in Spell #7 written by Ntozake Shange and directed by Tony Award winning actress Trazana Beverly. After college, Traci stayed in Atlanta for 2 years to further develop her skills. She began dancing for various R&B artists while working on her own one woman show under the direction of Hilda Willis. Traci also discovered her passion for arts education when she accepted an administrative position with a local arts organization after interning for them during her senior year. It wasn’t long before she was in the classroom and promoted to become one of the lead teaching artists for the Performing Arts Program for Youth, a program started by Jane Fonda dedicated to using the arts to teach life skills to middle school and high school students in the Atlanta Public Schools.
In 2003, Traci made the move to New York where she continued to audition for and perform in various theatrical projects. She freelanced with Carson Adler Agency and temped for various divisions of Universal Music Group. During a long term temp assignment at Universal Motown Records, Traci was offered a full time position as the Executive Assistant to the EVP of A&R Samuel “Tone” Barnes of Trackmasters. The Trackmasters have produced hits for Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Will Smith, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and countless other musical stars. After working for Tone for 2 years, she was then promoted to Associate A&R Manager and reported directly to the President of Universal Motown Sylvia Rhone. In addition to her primary duties, Traci was often requested to assist Sylvia directly. While there, Traci worked on album projects for various artists including Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, Q-Tip, Lloyd, Swizz Beatz, Vanessa Carlton, Marques Houston, and Nick Cannon to name a few.
With that music industry experience under her belt, Traci was then offered a job at the contemporary clothing line Edun in the sales department. Once again, Traci found herself connected to the music industry working for a clothing line started by U2’s Bono and his wife Ali Hewson. The company was started to increase trade with Africa by producing the Edun collection there and thus encouraging economic development in the region. This mission is what attracted Traci to the job.
Although Traci found herself working in extremely demanding industries, she still continued to audition and perform. After a year and a half at Edun, Traci decided to move to a smaller but still nationally recognized regional theatre market- the San Francisco Bay Area. While there, she continued to build her artistic career on both coasts. Three years later, she made the decision to return to New York. In addition to performing, Traci continues to work with arts education programs committed to using the performing arts for youth development. She is also interested in work as an entertainment consultant where she can contribute to not only the creative process but to the business of art making as well.
Traci has proven that she is a hard worker and a team player. It is clear that Traci is a savvy artist who operates with professional and artistic integrity and who stands behind her decisions. She loves new experiences and cherishes every opportunity she gets to polish her skills and share what she has learned.
Traci’s theatrical credits include new work Mirrors In Every Corner (Intersection for the Arts/Campo Santo), Susan Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays series(Hartford Stage Company), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Fulton Opera House), The Darker Face of the Earth (Take Wing and Soar Productions), Trouble in Mind (Actor’s Express), and Breath, Boom (Synchronicity Theatre Group). Traci has appeared twice in the New York International Fringe Festival as a leading actress in original productions Fantasy, Girl (in which she was also choreographer) and Eggs and the Rebound Guy. Traci also worked as choreographer for Hartford Stage Company’s production of Gee’s Bend, winner of the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for best ensemble. She worked as an understudy on Lisa Kron’s new play In the Wake at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and performed as Iphigeneia in Brava Theater Company’s and African American Shakespeare Company’s co-production of IPH . . . translated and adapted by Colin Teevan from Euripides’ Iphigeneia at Aulis. She also performed in Hartford Stage Company’s Brand New Play Festival in the Sprott Cycle, a trilogy of plays written by up and coming playwright and director Hana Sharif.
You can currently see Traci as a featured dancer and actor in renowned hip hop theatre artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s new production entitled red, black, and GREEN: a blues.