Program Director Todd Ristau moderates discussion with playwright Naomi Wallace
Che'Rae Adams, Playwright, Artistic Director (2012)
Che'Rae is the Producing Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Writers Center, a writing teacher and a director. She has been the Development Executive with Playhouse Pictures Studios, Co-Artistic Director of the award winning Road Theatre Company, and Managing producer for the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival and worked in development for Showtime Networks & Alliance/Atlantis Film & TV. She has directed for Cincinnati Opera Outreach, Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, The Road Theatre Company, The Lee Strasberg Theatre, The Celebration Theatre, The Los Angeles Theatre Center, The National Black Theatre Festival, The HBO Workspace, The Aspen Comedy Festival, The Stella Adler Theatre, The Comedy Central Work Space, The John Anson Ford Theatre; and is a resident director with the Syzygy Theatre Company. She has a B.A. in theatre from California State University, Northridge, and an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music.
Joe Banno (2009)
Over a 25-year directing career, Joe has staged more than 75 theatrical productions, including contemporary American and British plays at Washington, DC’s Source Theatre Company (where he was artistic director from 1997 through 2006), Theatre J (DC), Mutineer Theatre (LA), Blue Heron Theatre (NYC), Renaissance Theatreworks (Milwaukee), and other companies around the US. His acclaimed, updated stagings of Shakespeare have been seen at the Folger Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company and Shenandoah Shakespeare, among other theatres. Equally at home in the world of opera and musical theatre, Banno has directed over 30 productions with a dozen companies, most recently Opera Delaware, Wolf Trap Opera and the Alba Music Festival (in Northern Italy). Having recently started working in film, Banno directed his first independent feature, Sleeping and Waking, in 2008, and has a Shakespeare-based feature film currently in development for production in 2010. He is a recipient of the Helen Hayes Award, the Mary Goldwater Award and the Bud Yorkin Award. Complementing his directing work with a second career as a music journalist, Banno has served as a classical music reviewer for The Washington Post since 1993, as opera critic for Washington City Paper (1989 to 2008), and as a contributing freelance writer for other publications. He has directed two Hollins MFA playwright's productions at Studio Roanoke: Elvis Blossom by Sunny da Silva (2009) and Dear Abe by Adam Hahn (2010).
Patrick Benton, Producing Artistic Director (2007)
Patrick Benton served as the Artistic Director of Mill Mountain Theatre. Benton previously served as Artistic Director for New Stage Theatre in Jackson, MS. He has directed plays by William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, Richard Greenberg, Harvey Fierstein and many others. He has taught acting, directing, and introductory theatre classes at Millsaps College and Indiana University, the latter of which also awarded him his M.F.A. degree. Benton has served as a guest director at the University of Southern Mississippi and as a panelist for the Mississippi Arts Commission. He also is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Wesley Broulik, Actor, Artistic Director (2012)
Wes is a New York based actor, writer, producer, and director. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of the theatre company Dark Luna Productions. Wesley has worked as an actor off-Broadway, off-off Broadway and at such regional theatres as George Street Playhouse and The Shakespeare Theatre DC (including the Helen Hayes nominated Dog In The Manger). His television and film work includes Law & Order: SVU, Six Degrees, The Onion News Network, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Experiment 7 and Three Backyards (Sundance Award Winner: Best Director). Wesley has worked on camera and in voice over on numerous national network commercials. As an improviser he worked under the tutelage of Del Close, Charna Halpern, Armando Diaz and has even been directed by Elaine May. His plays have been produced Off-off Broadway and on the West Coast. He is a KC/ACTF finalist for his play Inanimate Chatter and is a recipient of the Nicholas Meyer Award in Dramatic Writing from the University of Iowa, where he studied writing. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University where he studied acting with Bill Esper. As a teacher he has taught master classes and been a guest artist at SETC, KC/ACTF Regions V & IV, Willamette University, University of Portland, numerous theatre and theatre and thespian festivals around the country as well served on the faculty at Rutgers University for several years. Currently, Wesley is in pre-production as a writer and producer on a web series about couple’s therapy described by him as, “the comedy of being uncomfortable.” He has written and is shopping his own TV projects Norml, Dunswitch Academy and Body Count. He is adapting Dunswitch Academy into a YA book series and is looking at other ways to bring life to projects by working across multiple platforms such as comic books and the web. His recently produced plays include Home Bound, Behind Closed Doors, Pas•Sage and Us Vs. Them. With the help of the Dark Luna he directed, wrote and adapted a series of live radio plays the first of which Dark Luna produced, A Miracle On Fuc$&ng 34th Street. Wesley also curates The 24 for Dark Luna, a 24-hour play festival held annually. Wesley grew up in Iowa where he collected comic books instead of baseball cards and spent his time playing the tuba. In past lives: he’s played in rock bands, owned a gay dance club & drag bar and even managed the affiliate marketing programs for Palm and Hilton Hotels. Wesley currently works at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu enthusiast, blogger and recently ran the 2011 ING New York City Marathon. Those last four miles hurt a lot. *Member of SAG, AFTRA, AEA & The Dramatists Guild.
Erin Courtney (2009)
Erin Courntey is a playwright whose plays have been produced or developed by Clubbed Thumb, The Public Theater, Birmingham Repertory, The Vineyard, The Flea, and The Actors Theater of Louisville, the Soho Rep writers/directors lab, New York Stage Film. Currently, Ms. Courtney is collaborating with Elizabeth Swados on a musical, Kaspar Hauser, which will be produced by the Flea Theater in February 2009. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell colony, a recipient of a NYSCA grant and a MAP Fund grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Her play Owls is published by Smith and Kraus in Humana Festival 2001: The Complete Plays and Demon Baby is published in two anthologies New Downtown Now and Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays from Clubbed Thumb. As an undergraduate, Ms. Courtney studied with Paula Vogel at Brown University and as a graduate student she studied with Mac Wellman at Brooklyn College. She currently teaches playwriting at Brooklyn College and is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb. She is also a member of 13P, as well as the co-founder of the Brooklyn Writer’s Space and Room 58.
Kenneth Dingledine, Samuel French Publications and Operations Manager (2010) Kenneth reports directly to the President and CEO of Samuel French, serves in an advisory position and holds the corporate title of Assistant Treasurer. He is the Publications and Operations Manager at Samuel French, Inc, where he is responsible for publishing 120 to 145 new titles a year and also heads up Samuel French's print on demand subsidiary, OnStage Press. Among his other operational functions, he is the Festival Coordinator for Samuel French's annual Short Play Festival in New York City. This Festival serves as the doorway to emerging playwrights giving them exposure for their work and culminating with the winners receiving a publishing and licensing agreement from Samuel French. Kenneth is Vice President of Samuel French's subsidiary publishing company, Baker's Plays. He also sees and evaluates many new plays. Founded in 1830, Samuel French is one of the oldest and most respected play publishers and licensors in the world, with offices in North America and London.
David H. Faux, Director of Business Affairs at the Dramatists Guild of America (2012)
David H. Faux practices Intellectual Property, Entertainment, Art, and Business/Commercial Law. His past and present clients include individuals and organizations involved in the fashion, sports & fitness, fine arts, photography, and graphic design industries. In addition to his private practice, he serves as Director of Business Affairs at the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dave spent several years as a music journalist and, then, a publicist in the Northwest. He holds both a Master of Science and Master of Arts degree. He also spent a year in South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar. He is the co-chair of the Fashion Law Committee for the New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Committee.
Dan Gallo, Actor (2010)
Dan’s performances span the media of theater, film & television, and commercials. He began his pursuit of acting in New York City. There, he began studying the craft of acting at HB Studios. Dan then completed the Two Year Intensive at William Esper Studios learning the Meisner Technique. After developing a strong foundation in the art of theater, Dan relocated to Los Angeles. Dan has most recently become an iO West alum. He completed their improv training course focusing on the long-form improv style. He has played on such teams as, A Tribe called Quisp, Viking Breakfast, Truffala Seed, The Lottery and Uncle Sneaky.
Joe Gilford, Playwright, Screenwriter, Director (2010)
Joe has worked in film, TV and theatre, as a producer, writer and director for over 30 years. He has also served as story consultant and script doctor on numerous independent feature films. Since 1999, he has taught screenwriting at NYU’S Undergraduate Film Program. His feature screenplay, God’s Thumbprint is currently in development with Creative Differences Productions. His newest stage play, Finks, was presented as a mainstage production by New York Stage and Film at the Powerhouse Theater, Vassar College starring Jennifer Westfeld and Josh Radnor. Finks is a fictionalized chronicle of his parents’ real-life struggle as blacklisted actors in the 1950s. He is the screenwriter of the feature film adaptation of the French science fiction novel by Ivan Leveque Operation Pertica and its sequel Pertica II: The Awakening. He is the creator and writer of Game, a new digital animation comedy series. For PBS’s Great Performances & Time Warner Home Video he wrote the original script for The Great American Songbook, a history of American popular song hosted by Michael Feinstein. Also for PBS, he wrote the documentary Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans and the Movies hosted by John Turturro and featuring Paul Sorvino, and Marisa Tomei, and many others. He is the writer of the A&E Biography, Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Golden Boy. He also served as a writer on the award-winning Lifetime series, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. He is the author of the plays Knockdown, Not Tunisia, In Aisle 4, The End of Our Rope, The Love Museum, and No Fault. His plays have been produced or presented at Naked Angels Theater Co., Roundabout Theater Company, Circle Rep Lab, New York Stage & Film, The Westbank Downstairs Theater, Southampton Writers Workshop and Todd Mountain Theater Project. He is a longtime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and its Playwrights Unit. He had also worked as a stage director for many years before turning to writing. He has had a long career producing television documentaries, winning a New York Emmy Award in 1997 for his work on WNET-NY’s (PBS) City Arts series. He has also been a writer and producer at Showtime, Bravo, Court TV, F/x, and New York's MSG MetroGuide channel. Joe earned his B.F.A. at NYU's Institute of Film & TV where he wrote and directed Max, a short film starring his father, Jack Gilford, playing film festivals and television all over the world. He is a contributor to Brooklyn: A State of Mind (Workman Press), an anthology of essays and anecdotes about the borough of Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived since 1992. He has been a teacher and lecturer of screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate MFA Film Program, New York’s Gotham Writers Workshop, Pratt Institute, Hollins University (VA), Montclair State University (NJ), and American Comedy Institute. He has served on the judging panels of events such as the Fusion Film Festival (NY) and the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival. Since 1999 he has taught screenwriting at NYU’s Undergraduate Film & TV Dept., Tisch School of the Arts. He is also currently a Visiting Professional teaching screenwriting at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Joe was born and raised in Manhattan. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Megan Gogerty, Playwright (2012)
In 2010, Megan’s play Bad Panda was officially banned in China. Other career highlights include Feet First in the Water with a Baby in My Teeth, which will debut in a variety of theatres across the country in 2011. Her album of comic songs, Big Damn Heroes, is a tribute album to the defunct TV show Firefly and is available on CDBaby.com, iTunes, and wherever online music is sold. She also has an album about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Her musical Love Jerry, a fact-based drama about the long-term effects of child sexual abuse, continues to be produced around the country despite the odds of a sex abuse musical getting produced anywhere. It was last seen in Philadelphia in June 2010. Her solo show, Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant, was listed in the Top Ten Best Shows of 2009 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
David Gothard, Producing Artistic Director (2007, 2010, 2012)
David began with Broadway director Mike Ockrent at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. He was invited to Poland to work with Tadeusz Kantor during early rehearsals for The Dead Class. After the play’s legendary success, it transferred to open an empty Riverside Studios. Riverside would become London’s pioneering, international theatre where the likes of Dario Fo, Samuel Beckett, and the American avant-garde worked side by side with British talent. David became Artistic Director of Riverside Studios following the departure of Peter Gill to the National Theatre of Great Britain, and was Artistic Director at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre from 1987 to 1990. American writers premiered during that time include David Hwang, Jean Claude van Itallie, Emily Mann, Sam Shepard and Todd Ristau. David has created writing workshops in Derry, Northern Ireland and repeatedly been invited to adjudicate and teach at the Iowa Playwright’s Workshop, where began his pioneer work with Naomi Wallace, W. David Hancock, and other important writers. After resurrecting the National Theatre of Kosovo immediately after the war, his opening Hamlet toured devastated cities and opened the arts program of the World Aids Conference in South Africa. His portable, suitcase Hamlet with Joseph Fiennes toured Muslim China and Tibet, where they held the first ever workshops in Llasa University. Most recently he has been working as Artistic Associate for the world famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin, directing projects with the likes of Harold Pinter and Vaclav Havel.
W. David Hancock, Playwright (2011, 2012)
David has received Obie Awards for his plays The Convention of Cartography and The Race of the Ark Tattoo. He earned his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Playwright's Workshop. Hancock’s work has been produced and/or developed by The Foundry Theatre (New York), Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre (Austin), Rude Mechanicals (Austin), New City Theatre (Seattle), Empty Space Theatre (Seattle), McCarter Theatre (Princeton), The Studio Theatre (Washington, DC), A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), People’s Light & Theatre Company (Philadelphia), C.S.P.S. (Cedar Rapids), Sundance Theatre Institute, Midwest PlayLabs, Salvage Vanguard (Austin) and most recently his newest play, Booth, premiered at Studio Roanoke. Hancock is the recipient of a 2001 Bush Artist Fellowship, the 2000 CalArts/Alpert Award in Theatre, a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and a McKnight Playwriting Fellowship. Podcast »
Julianne Homokay, Playwright (2012)
Julianne is a graduate of the former MFA playwriting program at UNLV, has a long and varied background in the theater. As a dramatist, she has had over 80 staged readings and productions at colleges, universities and theaters such as SkyPilot Theatre Company (Los Angeles), Playwrights 6 (Los Angeles), Venus Theatre (MD), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington Playwrights' Project (IN), Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York), The Blank (Los Angeles), Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA), Mill Mountain Theatre (Roanoke, VA), American Theatre of Actors (New York), Cockroach Theatre (Las Vegas) and PlayWright's Theatre (Phoenix, AZ). She has been in residence at Gray's Harbor College, Franklin & Marshall College, the William Inge Center for the Arts, and, as a poet, Devils Tower National Park, WY. She has also served as literary manager and/or dramaturg at KC/ACTF, Mill Mountain Theatre, the Fulton, ATHE, UNLV University Theatre, and Poor Playwrights' Theatre (Las Vegas). Publications include Judy Gray (Original Works), "Favors" and "'soir, Maman" in Quick & Painless, Vol. II (Original Works), "Hard To Be Happy" in New One-Act Plays for Acting Students (Meriwether), and "The Wedding Story" alongside Edward Albee and Susan Glaspell in Literature: Craft and Voice (McGraw-Hill.) Julianne lives in Los Angeles where she is working on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and a commission from the Bellarmine Forum at Loyola Marymount University.
Sandra Hosking, Playwright and Editor (2011)
Sandra is Co-Playwright-in-Residence at Spokane Civic Theatre, and her plays have been produced across the U.S. and internationally. She also is editor of InSight for Playwrights, for which she has interviewed Beth Henley, Horton and Daisy Foote, Steven Dietz, and others. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. Hosking is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Podcast »
Mead Hunter, Dramaturg (2011)
Mead Hunter began his theater career as playwright-in-residence for the legendary Storefront Actors' Theatre of Portland, Oregon. Since then he has written four original plays, translated four more, and served as production dramaturg on numerous productions. Later, in San Francisco, he and installation artist Ondyn Herschelle founded Humble Cottage Productions, which blurred the distinction between performance art and formal theater. Mead earned an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University and a PhD in Critical Studies from UCLA. He has taught performance history and text analysis at UCLA, UC San Diego, and the California Institute of the Arts. He also guest lectures on contemporary theater at institutions around the United States, and frequently consults for various art service organizations. Past consulting projects have included South Coast Rep's Pacific Playwrights Festival, the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival, University of Iowa's Festival of New Plays, the Mark Taper Forum's New Work Festival, PlayPenn and the Colorado New Play Summit. As a journalist he has contributed to many publications, including Performing Arts Journal and American Theatre. His worked has been anthologized in The Playwright's Muse (Heinemann Press) and Interculturalism (PAJ Publications). For six years he served as Editor-in-Chief of Parabasis, the celebrated semiannual journal for playwrights. For 10 years he served as Director of Literary Programs for A.S.K. Theater Projects in Los Angeles where, among other duties, he commissioned many original scripts, including Naomi Iizuka's 36 Views, Marlane Meyer's The Mystery of Attraction, Julie Jensen's Two-Headed, and The Lively Lad by Quincy Long. He also curated a festival of ensemble-generated theater known as Common Ground, which from 1996-2002 introduced scores of groundbreaking troupes to Los Angeles, including Diavolo Dance Company, Redmoon Theater, Fabulous Monsters and Mabou Mines. Also while in Los Angeles, he curated the popular Hot Properties production series at the John Anson Ford Theater from 1999-2001, and served on the Board of Directors of the Ghost Road Theater Company. From 2002-2009, Mead was Portland Center Stage's Director Literary & Education Programs. While at PCS, he was the production dramaturg on plays including Outrage, Celebrity Row, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Another Fine Mess, King Lear, O Lovely Glowworm and Frost/Nixon, in addition to curating the company's annual festival of new work, Just Add Water. He also taught frequently in PCS's GreenHouse School of Theater, an educational institution that he founded. Today Mead divides his time between theater consultancies, occasional teaching assignments for Literary Arts, and his major business concern, SuperScript Editorial Services, LLC, a writer's resource. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of Portland Shakespeare Project, Literary Arts, and the Fertile Ground Festival, for which he is the an artistic liaison, and is on the Artistic Council for CoHo Productions in addition to volunteering as an author coordinator for Wordstock Festival of Books.
Toby Huss, Actor (2008)
Toby Huss is an accomplished and versatile actor whose credits include eccentric stage performances, independent films, major motion pictures, recurring characters on network and cable television shows (like the voice of "Kahn Soupanousinphone" on King of the Hill and "Big Mike" on Reno 911) as well as a playing a principal character for the HBO series Carnivàle. His credits include Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Venture Brothers, Seinfeld, Harvey Birdman, Beavis and Butthead, Down Periscope, Vegas Vacation, Bedazzled, The Basketball Diaries and many others. As an undergraduate theatre student at the University of Iowa, Huss was one of the original Iowa No Shame truck performers. During that time he created the character "Artie: The Strongest Man in the World" seen on The Adventures of Pete and Pete. He left Iowa for New York, where he would audition for and work with famed avant-garde director Jerzy Grotowski before finally relocating to Los Angeles to facilitate demand for his talent by Hollywood. Toby is also a writer, singer, songwriter and recently a recording artist, performing a Sinatra-esque stage show as Rudy Casoni. Toby continues to work in nearly every artistic medium, including painting, sculpture, poetry, photography, performing, and writing. He is the proprietor of the National Mule studio in Los Angeles. Podcast
Gina Kaufmann, Director (2011)
Gina has worked as a director and acting coach in numerous regional venues, including The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Shakespeare & Company, and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto. In New York, she has directed for SoHo Rep, HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, Wings Theatre, and Dixon Place. Most recently, she directed 1905, a collaboration with The Misa Table Dance Theatre Collective, Tartuffe and Private Lives for Sacramento Theatre Company and The Comedy of Errors for Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. She has worked extensively on new play development, including three years as a guest director with Paula Vogel and the New Play Festival at Brown University, directing a production of Vogel's own play, Hot 'N' Throbbing at Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theatre, and four years as the Founding Artistic Director of The Unusual Cabaret, where she produced and directed new work by Jeff Goode (Narcissus and Echo) and Mark Hollman (Urinetown: The Musical). Gina holds an M.F.A. in Directing from The University of Texas at Austin and is a member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Podcast »
Morgan Jenness, Literary Agent (2007)
Morgan Jenness spent more than a decade
at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater.
She was also associate artistic director at the New York
Theater Workshop and an associate director at the Los
Angeles Theater Center in charge of new projects. She
has worked as a dramaturg, workshop director, and artistic
consultant at theatres and new play programs across the
country, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at
Fordham University. She has served on peer panels for
various funding institutions, including NYSCA and the
NEA, where she served as a site evaluator for almost
a decade. Morgan worked as creative director at Helen
Merrill Ltd., an agency representing writers, directors,
composers, and designers. She is now part of the literary
department at Abrams Artists Agency.
Chris Jones, Critic (2010)
Chris is chief theater critic for the Chicago Tribune. He has reviewed and commented on culture, the arts, politics and entertainment for the Tribune for more than a decade. Along with being the paper's chief voice on local and national theatrical productions, he also writes a weekly column on culture and the arts. Jones served for many years as Midwestern theater critic for Variety and Daily Variety, publishing several hundred theater reviews with a particular emphasis on pre-Broadway tryouts. Although a Midwest resident for 24 years, he has covered theater in numerous cities throughout the United States, including time as Variety's Broadway critic. He serves on the editorial board for the Best Plays annual and has also served on the drama committee of the Pulitzer Prizes. His arts criticism also has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, American Theatre magazine and numerous other newspapers and magazines. For much of the 1980s he contributed film reviews, interviews and reports for WCBE-FM in Columbus, Ohio and also served as the long-time film critic for Columbus Alive newspaper. He also has reviewed film and theater for WFMT radio in Chicago and has contributed chapters to several books. His numerous guest TV appearances range from "E! The True Hollywood Story" to "Nightline" with Ted Koppel. Jones spent 10 years teaching at Northern Illinois University, where he served as assistant chair of the School of Theatre and Dance. He also served as associate dean of DePaul University's Theatre School. A native of Manchester, England, Jones earned a doctorate from the Ohio State University in 1989. He lives with his wife Gillian Darlow and their two young children, Peter and Evan.
Melanie Joseph, Artistic Director (2007)
Melanie Joseph is the founder and producing artistic
director of the Foundry Theatre in New York City. She
has produced or directed nine new works for the Foundry,
which have been awarded seven Obie awards and three
Drama Desk nominations. Melanie has commissioned and
developed new works with such artists as Carl Hancock
Rux, Rinde Eckert, the Rude Mechs, Grisha Coleman,
and W. David Hancock. In 2001 she was awarded the League
of Professional Theatre Women’s first annual
Lucille Lortel grant in recognition of her "cutting
edge producing style."
Celise Kalke, Artistic Associate/Dramaturg (2008)
(Artistic Associate/Dramaturg) joined the staff of the Alliance in 2005 where she manages New Play Development, the Kendeda Graduate Playwright Competition, and is a production dramaturg. In 2006, she curated the Atlanta 365 days/plays project (the shared world premiere of the Suzan-Lori Parks epic) and worked as the co-hub network leader with Lisa Paulsen from Emory and Danielle Mindess, network coordinator. From 2003-2005 she was the Director of the Literary Department at The Public Theater (NYC) under George C. Wolfe working on both new plays and Shakespeare in Central Park (Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It). In that time she worked closely with playwrights John Guare, Diana Son, Tracey Scott Wilson and Stephen Adley Guirgis as well as producing four New Work Now reading festivals. Celise was also the Resident Dramaturg at Court Theater (Chicago) and the Dramaturg for the Juilliard School Drama Division. She maintains artistic relationships with the Actor’s Express (Atlanta), Next Theater (Chicago) and Independent Art HERE (NYC). Celise graduated as a violist from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and studied dramaturgy at the Prague Academy of Arts and Brooklyn College. She is very proud to have received the 2007 LMDA dramaturgy driven project grant towards writing AN APPEAL FOR MORALITY IN HYPER-REALISM. In 2003, she was the runner up the The Manifesto Competition with her co-writer Brian Bergstrom for THE NEO-ROMANTIC MANIFESTO. Podcast »
Todd London, Artistic Director of New Dramatists (2011)
Todd is in his twelfth season as artistic director of New Dramatists, where he has worked closely with more than a hundred of America's leading playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. A former Managing Editor of American Theatre magazine and the author of The Artistic Home, published by the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), he has written, edited, and/or contributed to eleven books. His magazine essays and articles on the theatre have been translated for publication in Russia, North and South Africa, Scandinavia, Serbia, and Roumania. Todd won the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays in American Theatre and a Milestone Award in for his first novel, The World's Room, published by Steerforth Press. In 2001 he accepted a special Tony Honor on behalf of New Dramatists, and in 2005 he represented New Dramatists at the Obie Awards, where the organization was honored with the Ross Wetzsteon Award for excellence. Todd serves on the faculty of Yale School of Drama and as project director of Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) Playwrights Project. Before coming to New Dramatists, he was guest literary director of the American Repertory Theatre and visiting lecturer of dramatic arts at Harvard. A former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts theatre panel and National Endowment for the Arts panelist, he serves on the boards of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), The John Golden Fund, and The Talking Band. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from Boston University and a Ph.D in Literary Studies from the American University. He has two sons, Guthrie and Grisha, and lives in Brooklyn with playwright Karen Hartman. Podcast »
Sarah Lunnie, Literary Manager (2012)
Sarah Lunnie is the literary manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she is involved in the reading and selection processes for the Humana Festival of New American Plays, the National Ten-Minute Play Contest and the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival. In four seasons at Actors, she has served as a dramaturg on new plays by Lucas Hnath, Mona Mansour, Charles L. Mee, and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, among others, and on many productions in the theater’s Mainstage and Apprentice/Intern Company seasons. She is the co-editor of Humana Festival 2011: The Complete Plays and several volumes of New Voices Young Playwrights Festival Anthologies. Sarah collaborated with The Mad Ones on the creation of Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War (New Ohio Theatre; The Brick; Ars Nova). She has served as a visiting dramaturg at the Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights’ Workshop, a guest respondent at the Iowa New Play Festival, and as a grant review panelist for the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She is an affiliated artist with The Mad Ones and a founding member of the Telephonic Literary Union.
Greg Machlin, Director (2010)
Greg's projects as a director include The Pillowman and the world premiere of Eli Wilkinson's Thanks for the Memories. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. As a playwright, he's been published by Smith & Kraus, broadcast on NPR, and commissioned to adapt What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Greg was a Heideman finalist in 2008 for his ten-minute play Family Portrait. He will be directing Feedback Loop by M.F.A. playwright Adam Hahn which appeared in the 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival and will appear at Studio Roanoke as part of the 2010-11 season.
Paul Meshejian, Artistic Director (2008)
Paul Meshejian is the Founding Artistic Director of PlayPenn. Since 1989 he has served as a company member at People’s Light and Theatre (PLTC) outside Philadelphia where he has both acted and directed. In addition to his work at PLTC he has performed with all of Philadelphia’s major theatre companies. He has been nominated for the Barrymore award numerous times. His work has been seen on film and television. In the 1980’s he was the founding artistic director of Stage One: Collaboration, a professional theatre in Minneapolis/St. Paul devoted to new and rarely produced works. Paul is on the Acting Faculty at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, also teaching at Arcadia University. He has a long history of new play development work as both actor and director in his 14-year relationship with The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Theatre Research and is a member of LMDA, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Podcast »
Annaliese Moyer, Performance Photographer/Actress (2008)
Annaliese is a life-long photographer and performer: from her first ballet class at age 5 to her first camera at 8; from film school at NYU to her experience in the music business; and from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to photographing around the world. Annaliese is passionate about collaboration. She believes that respect and communication are the cornerstones of high quality results that meet each of her client's aesthetic and practical needs. While still enamored of and using her Hasselblad, she embraced digital photography and post production early and utilizes that technology in most of her work. Sharing her Portland, Oregon home, studio, and life with her husband, illustrator Lee Moyer, Annaliese has found her work growing more illustrative in recent years. She photographs music, theater, dance, and all performers in the studio, the theater, and on location for promotional, live, and conceptual images.
Kristin Newbom, Playwright (2012)
An ex-Seattleite, Kristin Newbom's plays include: Our Lot (with W. David Hancock, Clubbed Thumb), Telethon (Clubbed Thumb, Portland Playhouse), Revelations (The Exchange), Happy? (Consolidated Works), Sakes Alive (The Compound), Bluestory (A Contemporary Theater, New Play Reading Series, The Compound), and Subrosa (Alice B. Theatre). Newbom received her M.F.A. from Brown University, and has worked in the literary departments at The Playwrights Center, Seattle Rep, and Alice B. Theatre.
Brett Neveu, Playwright (2011)
Brett’s upcoming productions include Red Bud with The Royal Court Theatre, Odradek with The House Theatre and Do The Hustle with Writers’ Theatre. Recent past work includes productions with Writers’ Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, A Red Orchid Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company and American Theatre Company. He is the recipient of the Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres, an After Dark Award for Outstanding Musical (Old Town with Strawdog Theatre Company) and has developed plays with companies including The New Group, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens and is a resident-alum with Chicago Dramatists. He is also an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre, a member of The Playwrights’ Union and a member of the Center Theatre Group’s Playwrights’ Workshop. Brett has been commissioned by The Royal Court Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Writers’ Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Writers’ Theatre and has several of his plays published through Broadway Play Publishing and Dramatic Publishing. Brett has taught writing at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Second City Training Center and currently lives in Los Angeles. Podcast »
Tira Palmquist, Playwright and Director (2012)
Tira is a writer, director, and teacher. Her full-length scripts include Ten Mile Lake, Fortune and Pain (at the Edge of the World), The Frequency of Stars and Other Matter, Coyote Rising, Lost Nation, and Age of Bees. In the past year almost all of her full-length plays have had a readings, including her newest play Ten Mile Lake, which was a part of exAngelus Playwrights: "A Month of Sundays" reading series. Age of Bees, which was featured in a SEEDS Development series reading at 9Thirty Theatre in NYC in June 2011, will receive its World Premiere Production at MadLab in Columbus, OH in Nov. 2012. Fortune and Pain (at the Edge of the World) was recently featured in the Mad Scene Reading Series in Los Angeles in January 2011, as well as being included in the Company of Angels’ January 2011 Playwrights’ Intensive (and was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Seven Devils conference). In February 2011, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble presented of staged reading of The Frequency of Stars and Other Matter. In addition, Frequency was seen in a PlayLab at the 2010 Great Plains Theatre Conference, and was a semi-finalist for both the 2010 PlayPenn play development conference and the Seven Devils conference). Coyote Rising has had staged readings at UCI’s World Premiere Weekend, the Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles, and the Gallimaufry New Works Festival in Laguna Beach; it was also produced as part of Coyote REP's 2007 Sound Plays and is available as a podcast at www.coyoterep.org. Her short plays have been produced across the country, and include: Predator (Hunger Artists’ Beyond Convention V, Nov. 2011), Breathing Water Instead of Air (Stage Door Productions, DeLand Theatre Festival, Total Theatre), Flood Stage (n.u.f.a.n. ensemble's Table and Chairs 2008), Last Rites (n.u.f.a.n. ensemble's Table and Chairs 2009, Short+Sweet Sydney 2011), Independence Day and Someone to Watch Over Me (Hunger Artists’ Dead Letter Office), Table for Three and 4th and Main (Company of Angel's L.A. Views), Off to Summer (Six Women Playwrights and 10 x 10 in the Triangle), Community/Property (Theatricum Botanicum’s Back Yard Fruit). Tira teaches research and writing at the University of California, Irvine and teaches playwriting at the Orange County High School of the Arts, where she also produces their yearly 10-minute play festival. She is a founding member of exAngelus Playwrights, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Performers Exchange Project (PEP) (2010)
PEP is a collective of Central Virginia theatre artists with a two-fold mission: To develop and perform original works in and for our own communities and to host like-minded performers from around the U.S. and the world for residencies of performance, workshops, and exchange. PEP has, to date, created three original performances (Zelda & Lucia’s Loony Bin Tragedy, Dido Versus The Squid Monster, and most recently Our American Ann Sisters), produced two large-scale collaborative carnivals (Wunderkammer and Shentai) at the Ix Building in Charlottesville, and toured a working demonstration called "Building Performance: A Look at Actor-Created Physical Actions." PEP’s first exchange, in 2005, was with Serbia’s Dah Theatre/Jadranka Andjelic Project. To maximize the human contact and conversation, PEP provided food, shelter and performing space to their guests. In exchange for performances and workshops, PEP offered their experience of living/working in this community, as well as their own performances and training demonstrations. PEP believes that the interaction instigated by their collective can serve as an example and catalyst for an ever-widening network of like-minded artists opening their doors and sharing communities. Though PEP company members have all worked together in different configurations for over 10 years, Performers Exchange Project formed in 2005. PEP is based in Charlottesville, VA with members also living in Staunton and North Carolina. Collectively PEP has 5 supportive partners, 6 children, 8 cats, and many, many family members and friends. PEP is Martha Mendenhall, Sian Richards, Kara McLane Burke, Doreen Bechtol, and Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell.
Larry Pontius, Playwright (2009)
Larry is a playwright based in New York City, born and raised in the Mid-West and educated around the country, most recently receiving his MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, which included being awarded the Michener Fellowship. His produced work includes: an Off-Broadway production of Umbrella by Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan; Fallout by Working Man’s Clothes Productions and The Lunar Adventures of Dar and Matey by Stolen Chair Theater, both in New York, On Sunday Morning, by Collaboraction in Chicago; American Autobahnics at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. The Connection is Made and Running Out of Time were both ACTF Regional Ten-Minute Play Finalists. In January, The Lunar Adventures of Dar and Matey was produced in InGenius in New York City, followed by the premiere of On The Night of Anthony’s 30th Birthday Party, Again, a single door farce, produced by Whirled Peas at the Manhattan Theatre Source in March. Readings include: Boom Vang by Working Man’s Clothes Productions, A Thousand Yard Stare at the Soho ThinkTank and Their Master’s Voice by LiveWire Theatre in Chicago. A monologue from The Cost of Mathematics was published in Audition Arsenal and Bitchin’ Devil Horns was published in Manhattan Theatre Source’s Spontaneous Combustion Anthology. His work as a screenwriter includes Qaatil, a 13-part murder mystery which aired in Pakistan in 2008. In addition to the series, Pontius wrote several episodes for the anthology series New York Stories, which was filmed in New York and aired in Pakistan. He was also commissioned to write a 15 part family drama and a TV movie, both set to begin filming soon and air in Pakistan next year. Pontius also studied at the Dell’Arte, International School of Physical Theater and received a BA with Honors from the University of Iowa, where he received the Nicholas Meyer Scholarship for Playwriting. He is a member of The Dramatist Guild, The Playwright’s Center, and Manhattan Theatre Source’s Writers Forum.
Craig Pospisil, Playwright (2009)
Craig is the award-winning author of Months on End, Somewhere In Between, Life is Short and the upcoming collection Choosing Sides, which are published by Dramatists Play Service. Months on End had its world premiere at the Purple Rose Theater Company and has had scores of productions around the country, as well as in Australia and Hong Kong. Somewhere In Between premiered at the Detroit Repertory Theater and more than sixty productions since, including ones in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Paris. His drama The Dunes was workshopped at the Venice Theatre, and won Theatre Conspiracy's New Play Contest. Craig and composer Jeremy Schonfeld presented the musical Drift at the 2006 New York Musical Festival, and he is currently working on a commission for a new musical with composer Michael Ogborn. Craig is the head writer for theAtrainplays, the acclaimed twenty-four hour theatre project, for which he has written sixteen short plays and musicals since 2002. Craig's work has been seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre, New World Stages, Atlantic Theater, Bay Street Theater, New York Musical Festival, PSNBC, Vital Theater, West Coast Ensemble and the Caldwell Theater, and has been performed in Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Samoa, Singapore and Hong Kong. His plays have been translated into Danish, French and Cantonese. He is the editor of Outstanding Men’s Monologues and Outstanding Women’s Monologues Vol. 1, published by Dramatists Play Service, and later this year volume two of both books will be available. A native New Yorker, Craig received his master's from New York University’s Dramatic Writing Department. Craig is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and Artistic Advisor to the Winter Harbor Theatre Company in Los Angeles and Portland, Maine. He lives in New York with a fine imported French cat named Elle.
Jonathan Price, Composer (2010)
Jonathan is a composer for stage and screen. His most recent musical Lao Jiu: The Musical, featuring a libretto in Mandarin and Chinese dialects, opened at The New Drama Centre in Singapore to packed houses and overwhelmingly rave reviews. His latest film scores are for the feature Cyber Wars, released by New Line, and Necrosis, released by American World Pictures. His opera The Lion and the Wood Nymph was a winner of New Opera Works' OIAM competition. Jonathan's music for television has been heard on Showtime, The Discovery Channel, TLC, Oxygen, MTV, PAX, PBS, and Fox. With playwright/lyricist Jeff Goode (The Eight: Reindeer Monologues), he composed the song "The Hubba Hubba Hula" for The Disney Channel's American Dragon: Jake Long as well as the musical Marley's Christmas, which was a finalist in the Search for New Voices in American Musical Theatre. Their children's musical Rumpelstiltskin is published by Baker's Plays. His music for film includes the features Necrosis, Cyber Wars, Rustin, and Dark Woods. His work as a soundtrack producer and synthesist can be heard in An Unfinished Life, The Grudge, Runaway Jury, Shade, The Core, The Country Bears, The Shipping News, and Bandits. He is currently composing the one-act opera The Christmas Ogre with librettist Jeff Goode. It was produced with Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors Christmas 2010 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
Randy Rollison, Actor/Director/Artistic Director (2008)
Randy began his career as an actor in 1970 and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program. In the 1980’s, like many actors in New York’s East Village, he began generating his own work and this eventually led to his becoming co-artistic director of Limbo Theatre. Subsequently he was co-founder and served as producing artistic director of HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, as well as co-founder and co-director of HERE Arts Center. Providing opportunities for many artist generated projects, he presented the world premieres of many one-person shows including, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, John Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth, Camryn Manheim’s Wake Up, I’m Fat, James Lecesne’s Word of Mouth, and Deb Margolin’s Carthieves! Joyrides!, which he also directed. He is a co-recipient of an Obie for founding HERE, and recently returned to his career as an actor, appearing at Portland Center Stage and Geva Theatre. He resides in Portland, Oregon. Podcast »
Tanya Saracho, Playwright, Artistic Director (2010)
Tanya was born in Sinaloa, México and moved to Texas in the late 80's. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and Teatro Vista. As Founding Artistic Director of Teatro Luna: Chicago's All-Latina Theater Ensemble, Tanya's writing has been featured in most of Teatro Luna's ensemble-built works including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, SOLO Latinas, SOLO Tu, S-E-X-Oh! and Lunatic(a)s. Productions include: Our Lady of The Underpass with Teatro Vista (2009), Surface Day with Chicago Children's Humanity Festival (2008) and Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy) with Teatro Luna (2008). Tanya's play Kita y Fernanda, a finalist for the 2003 Nuestras Voces playwrighting competition, received productions at Teatro Luna (2003) and 16th Street Theatre (2008). Other Awards include: The Ofner Prize given by the Goodman Theatre, Finalist for the Christopher B. Wolk Award at Abingdon Theatre in NYC, nominee for the Wasserstein Prize and winner of the Khan Award. Saracho's solo play Quita Mitos received a world premier with Teatro Luna in November of 2006 and has toured colleges and festivals, including the International Hispanic Theatre Festival and the Goodman's Latino Theatre Festival. Tanya is working on a fellowship in a collaboration between The Goodman Theatre and the Institute for Women and Gender Studies at Columbia College on an interview-based piece titled 27 where she will interview one woman from each of the 27 countries that make up the Latin Diaspora. She is also under commission from Steppenwolf Theatre to craft a musical adaptation Sandra Cisnero's "The House on Mango Street" slated to open in the fall of 2009. Tanya's voice can be heard around the country in radio and television commercials.
Lisa Schlesinger, Playwright (2011)
Lisa's plays include Wal-martyrs, Celestial Bodies, Twenty One Positions (with Naomi Wallace and Abed Abu Srour), Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, Bow Echo, and The Bones of Danny Winston. Her work has been produced nationally and internationally. She has received commissions from the Guthrie Theatre, the BBC, various universities, and is currently under commission by the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Portland Stage Company for her opera Harmonicus Mundi. She recently completed a short play, Our () Town for the International Writing Program's Global Play Project. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the BBC International Playwriting Award and the TCG/NEA Playwright's Residency Award. She twice won the CEC Artlinks International Award. Her most recent essay, "Postcards from Gaza and Other Unspeakable Geographies" is included in Outof Silence: Censorship and Self-censorship in Theatre and Performance (edited by Caridad Svich). Lisa currently is head of playwriting at Columbia College in Chicago.
Jeffrey Sweet, Playwright (2009)
Jeffrey has been a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, critic, journalist, teacher, theatre historian, and sometime songwriter and director. He is a resident member of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, which has produced twelve of his plays. Sweet is also the author of Something Wonderful Right Away (an oral history of Chicago's The Second City troupe), The Dramatist's Toolkit and Solving Your Script. He has written for television and adapted some of his plays for radio. His work for the soap opera One Life to Live resulted in a Writers Guild of America Award for writing for a daytime serial in 1992 and an Emmy nomination. Sweet serves as a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild, is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, and is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He contributes a regular column to the magazine, Dramatics and the British website on film and theatre music, Stage and Screen Online.
Adam Szymkowicz, Playwright (2012)
Adam’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at such places as MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LAByrinth Theater Company, Primary Stages, The New Group, Southern Rep, Rising Phoenix, The Lark, Kitchen Dog, Theatre of Note, Naked Stage, Azuka Theater and Studio Dante among others. Plays include Deflowering Waldo, Open Minds, Anne, The Art Machine, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, My Base and Scurvy Heart, Herbie, Incendiary, Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, Bee Eater, Temporary Everything, Susan Gets Some Play, Clown Bar, Fat Cat Killers, The Why Overhead, Elsewhere, Where You Can't Follow, The Artist and Nerve. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Samuel French. He received a Playwright's Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean's Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer's Guild of America, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group, the MCC Playwright's Coalition and was a founding member of the Ars Nova Play Group. He served as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, received a grant from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and was commissioned by South Coast Rep. He is the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects' Square One Series.
Lucy Thurber, Playwright (2008)
Lucy Thurber is the author of seven plays: Where We’re Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World and Monstrosity. The Atlantic Theater Company opened its 2007-08 season with Scarcity. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has produced three of her plays, Where We’re Born, Killers and Other Family and Stay. Bottom of The World was commissioned and workshopped by Women’s Expressive Theater, Inc. at the Eugene O’Neill, the first Tribeca Theater Festival and The Public Theater. Monstrosity was workshopped at Encore Theatre Company (San Francisco). She was the recipient of the 2000-01 Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship and has been a guest artist at Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre twice, where she helped to adapt both Desire Under The Elms and Moby Dick. She has had readings and workshops at Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Primary Stages, MCC Theater, Encore Theatre Company, PlayPenn, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New River Dramatists and Soho Rep. She was one of three playwrights in residence at The Orchard Project, summer 2007. Her 10-minute play Dinner is published in Not So Sweet, a collection of plays from Soho Rep’s 10-minute play festival. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre. Her produced plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. Thurber is a member of New Dramatists, 13P, MCC Playwrights Coalition and Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages. She is currently writing a new play under commission from Playwrights Horizons. She is the recipient of the 1st Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting 2008. Podcast »
Naomi Wallace, Playwright (2007, 2010)
Naomi Wallace’s work is widely produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. Her plays include One Flea Spare, In the Heart of America, Slaughter City, The Inland Sea, and The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek. In 2007, her new trilogy The Fever Chart: Three Short Visions of the Middle East, received its first public performance as part of the Norfolk Southern Festival of New Works at Mill Mountain Theatre. Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Obie. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. Her award-winning film Lawn Dogs is available on DVD. She continues to create new works of great power and generosity, writing new plays for the Public Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Clean Break of London.
Jimmy Ray Ward, Scenic Designer (2009)
Jimmy Ray has an M.F.A. in Scenography from UNC-Greensboro, and his credits include work at many theatres along the East coast such as Spoleto Festival USA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seaside Music Theatre, Flatrock Playhouse, and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. He served as resident designer for Mill Mountain Theatre for many seasons, which included scenery for Suessical, Grease, Proof, My Way, Fully Committed, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. He did costumes for Hamlet, Diaries of Adam and Eve, and Beauty and the Beast. After leaving Mill Mountain Theatre, he formed his own company, Jimmy Ward Scenic, and has continued to provide the highest quality design and technical support for productions around the area, including Roanoke Children’s Theatre. In addition to his production work for professional theatre, he has contributed his talent and training to area colleges including Roanoke College and Hollins University.
Mac Wellman, Playwright (2007, 2012)
Mac Wellman is one of the most important names in American theatre. He has published two novels, two books of poems, and edited anthologies of plays, including New Downtown Now. He has received fellowships from the NEA and NYFA, and from the Rockefeller, McNight, and Guggenheim foundations. In 1990 he receive an Obie for Best American Play. In 1991 he received another Obie for Sincerity Forever. He has received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers Award and the 2003 Obie for Lifetime Achievement. He is the Donald I. Fine Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College. Podcast »
Michael Kerry Williams, Artistic Director (2008)
As Artistic Director for Young Audiences of Virginia, Michael Kerry Williams manages the roster of over 100 artists, auditions new programs and artists, and provides artistic and educational feedback and goals for artists programs. Michael oversees all aspects of programming insuring quality and creativity is maintained. He attended Westminster Choir College at Princeton on scholarship and received a B.M. in Performance and Composition with a minor in Drama. He continued master's degree work toward Musical Theatre at New York University Michael has performed in numerous operatic and musical theatre roles and in opera houses across the country and Europe, including several Broadway and off-Broadway productions. He has performed under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Hugh Wolf, Ricardo Mutti, Robert Shaw, Leonard Bernstein, Judith Clurman, and many others. Michael is the composer of several musical works and compositions ranging from children’s liturgical music, children’s operas, adult choral, chamber music, musical theatre, contemporary songwriting, and art song. In addition, Michael has maintained a performance and composition career while teaching piano and voice through his private studio. In addition, Michael has published two volumes of poetry and produced numerous scripts for young actors. As the music minister for St. Mark's Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, he directs four choirs, plans liturgical celebrations, and serves as composer-in-residence. He is a member and advisor to numerous arts organizations and arts committees including the Virginia Children’s Chorus, Virginia Symphony’s Education and Outreach Program, Todi Opera Festival, South Hampton Roads Museum Forum, The Actors Forum, The Virginia Poetry Society and Tidewater Friends of Folk Music. Podcast »
M.F.A. Playwright Kris Knutsen talks with guests Chris Jones and Jason Aaron Goldberg