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Nikiya Mathis (Hair & Wig Designer) is the recipient of the Henry Heard Design Award and The Antonio Award, and a Drama Desk nominee. She is a classically trained actress who holds an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
As an actor, she has originated roles in world-premiere plays Off-Broadway, including Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays at the Public Theater, Olivier Award-winner Dominique Morrisseau's Skeleton Crew at Atlantic Theater, Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar at Playwrights Horizons, Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage's NY revival of Fabulation; Or The Re-Education of Undine at the Signature Theatre, and others. Her TV credits include The Last O.G., Chicago Med, New Amsterdam, The Blacklist, Snowfall, and more.
After years of hearing the complaints of her peers and experiencing her own hair horror stories in theater and on television sets, Nikiya created ActTRESSES Design & Consulting Agency, which specializes in wig design and styling for actors of color in film, TV, and theater. Actors she's styled for include TV stars Anika Noni Rose, Susan Kelechi Watson, DeWanda Wise, John Turturro, André Holland, Angela Lewis, and Adrienne C. Moore; as well as Broadway stars Pascale Armand, Susan Heyward, Carra Patterson, Q. Smith, and more. Nikiya's hair/wig designs and styles have also appeared on television shows such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Someone Great, and Charmed, among others. Her theatrical style & design work has been seen in For Colored Girls…at the Public Theater; Big Love and By the Way Meet Vera Stark at Signature Theatre; Hurricane Diane at New York Theatre Workshop; Our Dear Dead Drug Lord at Women’s Project; Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of The Future at Ars Nova; Stew with Page73 Productions @ Walker Space; Ensemble Studio Theatre; Classical Theatre of Harlem; National Black Theatre; Hartford Stage; Huntington Theatre; An Iliad at Long Wharf Theatre; Twilight at Syracuse Stage; Hair at Berkshire Theatre; Sunset Baby at Theatre Works; Bulrusher, Three Days In The Country, and Project/Project at NYU Tisch; Picnic at American Academy of Dramatic Arts; and Funny House of a Negro at Barnard College.
Nikiya provides hair workshops called "HAIRversations" for actors of color, which are geared toward providing solutions to the "hair" question in casting. She also teaches hair design workshops for universities and organizations, including NYU Tisch Graduate Costume Design.
acttresseshair.com | @our_black_tresses