The National MFA Playwrights Festival - 2011

5/3/2011 - 5/7/2011


Victoire Charles (On Principle)

New York: Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club); Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy With A (Somewhat) Happy Ending (New Georges); The Shipment (Young Jean Lee's Theatre Company- Antwerp, Belgium); The Acting Company’s National Tour and Off Broadway run of The Tempest and Moby Dick Rehearsed;Abandon (La MaMa Etc.) Meet John Doe (Dodger Stages/NAMF); and Down From The Flatbottom (The Mint/Absolute Theatre Company); Regional: Intimate Apparel (Portland Stage Company); The Trojan Women (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Theatre, DC).BA from Fordham University, The College @ Lincoln Center and MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.

Bairbre Dowling (Camberwell House)

BROADWAY:  Da with Brian Keith, Lincoln Center: .…and a Nightingale Sang with Joan Allen - dir. Terry Kinney  OFF-BROADWAY: Is Life Worth Living? Mint Theatre, Flying Blind Clurman Theater, Early Irish Poetry  Public Theatre w/ Siobhan Mc Kenna and Barnard Hughes.  REGIONAL:  Five seasons at Great Lakes Theatre Festival (roles include Ophelia, Beatrice, Mrs. Page, Laura Glass Menagerie, Peg  Peg o’ My Heart,  The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby)  Mark Taper, Asolo Theater, Laguna Playhouse, Studio Arena Buffalo Dancing at Lughnasa, South Coast Rep Secret Rapture, David Grimm’s Sheridan at La Jolla Playhouse (Mrs. Pope) directed by Mark Brokaw.  Also Amanda Private Lives, Mrs. Patrick Campbell Dear Liar, Honey Gravity of Honey,  Lady Macbeth  A Macbeth, Athena Wanderings of Odysseus, Penny You Can’t Take it with You, Vi Memory of Water, both directed by Jenny Sullivan  TV & FILM:  Crossing Jordan, Murder She Wrote, ER, Star Trek: Voyager and John Huston’s last film, The Dead.

Arthur French (Some Old Black Man)

Last appeared on Broadway in Dividing the Estate. Film credits include Please Give, Kinsey, Malcolm X, Car Wash. On TV - Nurse Jackie and Rescue Me. Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actor for Two Trains Running. He is a founding member of the Negro Ensemble Company.

Bob Jesser (Moby Dick, Ten Minutes to Boston)

After spending seventeen years in Los Angeles, he moved to New York two years ago in order to pursue more stage work.  His love of plays and the stage has grown while studying with Larry Moss for the past 14 years.  TV/Film credits include The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU and Private Practice.  Bob can currently be seen starring in the Disney Channel original movie, Lemonade Mouth.

Marc Damon Johnson (On Principle, Some Old Black Man)

The Brother/Sister Plays (Obie Award/Drama League Nom.), The Poor Itch (Public). The Brothers Size (Abbey Theatre Dublin, Ireland); Mr. Fox: A Rumination (Signature Theatre) (DramaLeague Nom.); A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf) Measure For Measure; Two Gentlemen Of Verona (NYSF); TV: "Army Wives"; "Rescue Me"; "The Sopranos"; "Third Watch"; "Law & Order"; "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"; "100 Centre Street"; "Deadline". Film: Preaching To The Choir; It Runs in the Family; Grace & Glorie; Sweet And Lowdown.

Arielle Lever (Religion and Ice Cream)

is thrilled to be a part of this project and to have the opportunity to showcase new and exciting work. She graduated May 2010 from Syracuse University’s BFA Acting program. NYC: User 927 (H.E.R.E) Regional credits at Syracuse Stage: The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne) and Fiddler on the Roof (Chava). Other: Columbinus at Edinburgh Fringe (Prep), Midsummer Nights Dream at the London Globe Theater (Hermia), and the London premiere of The Bird and the Two Ton Weight (Ensemble). She would like to thank every one who was involved in getting this program and production up on its feet, as well as her family and friends for their constant support.

Angela Lin (Bacteria, Ground)

UPCOMING: World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish (Goodman). BROADWAY: Coram Boy, Top Girls. OFF-BROADWAY: Futura (dir. Liz Diamond, Obie award-winning Naatco, World Premiere), Ching Chong Chinaman (dir. May Adrales, Pan Asian Rep), Sake with a Haiku Geisha (Gotham Stage). REGIONAL: Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! (dir. Evan Cabnet, Long Wharf, East Coast Premiere), American Hwangap (dir. Trip Cullman, Magic Theatre, World Premiere), Twelfth Night (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), et al. TV/FILM: The Good Wife, One Life to Live, The Jury, As the World Turns, Miracle Dogs, Falling Awake, Green Plastic Sandals, Within the Ivory Tower. Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Visit Psalm 103

Allen E Read (Moby Dick, Religion and Ice Cream)

Selected NYC and Regional: Rocky Dennis in MASK (dir. Richard Maltby, Jr., Ovation nomination) at Pasadena Playhouse; notes to mariAnne at NY Stage and Film; The Full Monty (with Elaine Stritch) at Paper Mill Playhouse; Camelot at the MUNY; Richard II at Yale Repertory Theatre; Joe in Joe!: The Musical (workshop) at Signature Theater; The Sea at TACT; Mirror, Mirror (workshop) at Playwright's Horizons/Ars Nova; other projects at Yale Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, AMAS Musical Theatre, Geva Theatre, Alliance Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Long Wharf Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Horizon Theatre Company, Theater Emory.  Founding member of Atlanta's Out of Hand Theater.  MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Chris Stack (Ten Minutes to Boston, Bacteria, Groun...)

was last seen in Stephanie Janssen's The Umbrella Plays at The Tank and James Christy's Love & Communication at The Passage Theater in Trenton, NJ. Other theater includes work at Ensemble Studio Theater, The Atlantic, Second Stage, Workshop Theater, many many readings and workshops with Naked Angels and Tuesdays @ 9, and several appearances in various plays at SoHo Shorts in the SoHo Playhouse. Film & TV: Roger Dodger, School of Rock, Evening, The Mini, Sundance award winning New Media, Small Collection, Third Watch, White Collar, Conviction, The Education of Max Bickford, As the World Turns, and two years on One Life to Live. Member of the Actors Studio and co-founder of Cry Havoc Productions in NYC.

Julianna Zinkel (Ten Minutes to Boston, On Principle, P...)

Off Broadway: Three Men On A Horse (TACTnyc). New York: The Lover (SoHo playhouse) Regional: Blackbird (Best Actress '09 Philadelphia Weekly, Theatre Exile ), Rabbit Hole, As You Like It, Go Dog Go! (Barrymore nomination - Arden Theatre); The Eclectic Society (world premiere Walnut Street ); Big Love, Wintertime (Wilma); Love and Communication (world premiere Passage Theatre); The Miser, The Crucible, Tale of Two Cities, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Theophilus North (People's Light). Film: The Marriage; Head Space. Member of People's Light & Theatre Acting Company.

Creative Team

Eric Bogosian (National Judge)

is the author of three novels, several films and numerous award-winning works for the theater. As an actor he has starred onstage as well as on film and television. Bogosian’s best known work is Talk Radio in which he starred Off-Broadway and in the Oliver Stone film of the same name. In 2006, the play was brought to Broadway, garnering Tony nominations for the play and for Liev Schreiber, who starred. For the original stage version, Bogosian was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and for the film he received the prestigious Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear. Bogosian is the author of several plays, including suburbia, which was produced by Lincoln Center Theater. His most recent play, 1+1 was produced by New York Stage and Film. Bogosian is also well-known for the six Off-Broadway solos he wrote for himself between 1980 and 2000. For these he was awarded three OBIE awards as well as the Drama Desk. Onscreen, Bogosian has been featured in films by Paul Schrader, Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, Robert Altman, Taylor Hackford, Atom Egoyan and Mike Judge. On television, he co-stars as Captain Danny Ross in the long-running series, “Law & Order: CI.”

Terrance T. Brown (Playwright - On Principle)

was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois for 8 years before continuing through high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Film Studies and Sociology from Vanderbilt University. He is currently earning an MFA in Writing For the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. He has interned as a journalist and writer for VIBE Magazine, The Onion, and The AV Club. Until enrolling at Northwestern his concentration has been in writing scripts for film production, but within the last year he has discovered a genuine appreciation for writing works for theater and television.

Michael Cassara (Casting Director)

casts theatre and film in New York City, and is pleased to return for a fifth year with Theater Masters.  Recent credits include the upcoming Broadway musical Fat Camp, the off-Broadway run of Falling For Eve at the York Theatre, Lillian Hellman's rarely-seen Another Part of the Forest for the Peccadillo Theatre Company and the films Clear Blue Tuesday and Alienated.  Recent regional theatre: The Old Globe, Olney, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse and more.  Michael is the resident casting director for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) where he has cast over 40 new musicals since its inception in 2004.  Michael is a native Clevelander and a member of the Casting Society of America.  Please visit

Lue Morgan Douthit (Artistic Advisor)

is currently the Director of Literary Development and Dramaturgy at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has been with the Festival for 17 seasons and has worked on all kinds of plays, from classical to world premieres. This season she will be working on WillFul, a site-specific, devised performance piece being created with the company by Michael Rohd and Shannon Scrofano; Language Archives by Julia Cho, plus Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Love’s Labor’s Lost. Last season, she worked on Well, Ruined, Throne of Blood (Ping Chon’s adaptation of the Kurosawa film) as well as directed the Black Swan Lab for New Play Development. In 2009, she was involved with Macbeth, the world premiere of Equivocation as well as a new adaptation of Don Quixote. Other favorites include the world premieres of Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter (Julie Marie Myatt), Tracy’s Tiger (a musical based on a Saroyan novel), By the Waters of Babylon (Robert Schenkkan) and The Magic Fire (Lillian Groag), as well as The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (Jeff Whitty), Distracted (Lisa Loomer), and Up (Bridget Carpenter). Classical work includes The Trojan Women, a seven-actor Measure for Measure and a six-actor Macbeth. She oversees an active freelance dramaturgy program and she is involved in season planning as well as the development of commissioned plays. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in dramatic theory and criticism as well as an M.F.A. in directing/playwrighting. In 1999, she was a co-winner of the LMDA Prize in Dramaturgy: The Elliott Hayes Award for her work on Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs.

Liz Ellison (Ten Minutes to Boston)

is a second-year student in the dramatic writing program at Carnegie Mellon University, and a recipient of the Steven Bochco Fellowship. She has twice been a semifinalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and her play The Minute Hand received a reading at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, NE. Her work appears in the Vintage Books anthology Shorter, Faster, Funnier. Other honors include the Eleanor Frost Prize, the Alexander Laing Screenwriting Award, and the Grimes Prize. She holds a B.A. in theater and English from Dartmouth College.

Julia Hansen (Founder and Artistic Director)

while President of the Drama League of New York, conceived, and administrated The Directors Project, a national training program for young directors. She has served on the boards of: The Acting Company, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, and Lincoln Center Theatre. She is proud to have a directing award in her name that has been given to such luminaries as Mike Nichols, Jack O’Brien, Dan Sullivan, Des McAnuff and Michael Mayer, an alumnus of the directing program she started and Tony winner for Spring Awakening.  She has created performances honoring celebrities such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince, Liz Smith John Kander and Fred Ebb.  She is deeply grateful to everyone who has helped make this project possible. 

Adam Immerwahr (Director: Bacteria, Ground, Some Old B...)

Off-Broadway: The Chimes (SPF—The Public Theater) Missing Celia Rose (SPF—Theater Row). Other world premieres include: The Thing About Air Travel (Hangar Theatre); Spirit Sex (Ensemble Studio Theatre—Going to the River Festival), Love and Communication, Trenton Lights, and Blood: A Comedy (Passage Theatre).  He has directed for McCarter Theatre’s Youth Ink! and First Stage Festivals, Luna Stage, PlayPenn, Westminster Choir College, Interlochen, Brown University, and others.  Associate Producer at McCarter Theatre, Resident Director at Passage Theatre, and Artistic Director of CWW On Stage. Recipient of a 2008 Drama League Directing Fellowship and the 2010 New Jersey Theatre Alliance “Applause Award.” Upcoming: Hannah (Premiere Stages).

Rachel Jendrzejewski (Playwright - Bacteria)

is an interdisciplinary artist, completing her MFA in Playwriting at Brown University. Texts include Meronymy; EncyclopediaHarpsichord Capable of Playing at the Normal Level, and More StronglyThe Golden Age of Regulating; Oneirology: A Lecture; Grace Note; and Bluebird. Her work has been developed and/or presented by Padua Playwrights, ArtShare L.A., American Repertory Theatre’s New Voices Series, Conflux Festival, Listening LabOratory, the Brown/Trinity Consortium, and the Granoff Center for Creative Arts. She also has collaborated on many other projects internationally.  Honors include a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, travel/project grants from the Brown Graduate School and Creative Arts Council, and a residency with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Poland (Act:i've Cities).

Sam Kusnetz (Sound Designer)

newly returned to New York after eight years in sunny Portland, Oregon, is very pleased to make his first appearance with Theater Masters. Past sound designs include One Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestFrost/Nixon (Portland Center Stage, Portland); The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Third Rail Repertory, Portland); Small Craft Warnings, Arms And The Man (Jean Cocteau Rep, New York). Projection designs include The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Third Rail Rep, Portland) and Charlotte Salomon, Life or Theatre? (Jewish Theatre Collaborative, Portland). Sam is a member of United Scenic Artists.

Andrew Leynse (Artistic Advisor)

is now beginning his eighth season as Artistic Director at Primary Stages in New York City. He has produced, managed, and directed in the New York theater community for over nineteen years. Andrew began his career at Primary Stages after graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s Directing Program. At Castle Hill Productions, he produced over twenty productions including Fortune’s Fool, Madame Melville, and The Unexpected Man. Upon returning to Primary Stages as Artistic Director, he oversaw the move to our new home at 59E59 Theaters, and has produced over 25 plays at Primary Stages.  Recently Dividing The Estate by Horton Foote.  Andrew is also the Artistic Director of Perry Mansfield’s New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Sarah Livant (Assistant Stage Manager/Props)

was born and raised in Auburn, Alabama. She recently graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she received a degree in Visual Arts and Science and Psychology, which she immediately ignored to begin working in theatre. She has worked with The GRIT Theatre Company and the Abingdon Theatre Company. At the Abingdon, she had the pleasure of assistant stage managing How I Fell in Love by Joel Fields and Summer in Sanctuary by Al Letson. She is delighted to be working for the Theater Masters National MFA Playwright’s Program.

David Myers (Playwright - Moby Dick)

David’s plays include: Muzungu, Babyhead, 1800 Acres, Body Parts and The Arvesto Parasite.  His work has been developed with Labyrinth Theater Company, The Old Vic, The Royal Court, The Lark, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, About Face Theatre, Doorway Arts, Chalk Rep, The Management Co. and Mixed Phoenix Rep. David’s screenplay Heart of a Shepherd was developed at IFP’s Independent Film Week and with Tashtego Films, both in New York. BA, Brown University, MFA, UCSD (2012).  He is originally from Houston, Texas.

Matthew Quinlan (Playwright - Religion and Ice Cream)

was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before relocating to the city of Pittsburgh. There he grew up with his two older brothers and younger sister before attending Davidson College in North Carolina. In his junior year he discovered his affinity for playwriting while studying under the Scottish playwright Rona Munro. After graduating in 2010 with a B.A. in English, he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is currently studying to attain his MFA in Playwriting.

Amelia Roper (Playwright - Camberwell House)

Australian playwright now at the Yale School of Drama. Plays include Hong Kong Dinosaur; Melbourne Theatre Company commission (2009), developed in NYC with mentor Will Eno (2010), Yale Cabaret (2011), Bay Area Playwrights Festival (July 2011); She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange: Yale (2011), Moscow Playwright & Director Center, Russia (June 2011); Big Sky Town: St Martins National Playwriting Award (2007), published by Full Dress Publishing (2008), two sold-out productions and a regional tour (2008/9). Camberwell House: produced seven times in various forms – Australia, London and the USA. Flywire: Monash National Student Playwriting Award (2003), sell out season (2005). Roper is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and kindly supported by the Ian Potter Foundation. See for more.

Pesha Rudnick (Associate Artistic Director, Theater M...)

Five seasons, and 15 plays, with Theater Masters.  Most recently directed the staged reading of Leveling Up, by Deborah Zoe Laufer for Florida Stage's 1st Festival.  Additional selected directing credits include the regional premiere of 26 Miles, by Quiara Alegria Hudes (Curious Theater, Denver); House on Mango Street (Kennedy Center, DC); The Glass Menagerie (BETC, Boulder); TartuffeThe Hairy ApeDreaming of Checkov (Hangar Theater, Ithaca). Pesha has developed and work-shopped numerous new plays, including plays by Ronald McCants, Michael Mitnick, Josh Tobiesson, and Daniella Shoshan. Recently, Pesha assistant directed the world premiere of American Night by Richard Montoya at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow and member of Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab.  Pesha wishes to thank Rob & Axel--for everything.

Sarah Saltwick (Playwright - Ground)

is a playwriting Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin and a graduate from Hampshire College.  This summer, her play Rabbits will be part of 2011 WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory. Her work has been presented, developed or produced by the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Scriptworks, Bristol Riverside Theater, Shrewd Productions, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and Moving Arts in Los Angeles CA. Her play Cecilia was nominated for Best New Play 2008 by Austin Critic's Table. She's written plays inspired by video games, love affairs with inanimate objects, guacamole, Dolly Parton and more. Find out more at

Eric Southern (Lighting Design)

Upcoming Projects: The Secret Agent with Sam Helfrich & the Center for Contemporary Opera (NYC, Avignon, Hungary),  and Caucasian Chalk Circle with Anya Saffir and Pipeline Theater Company.  Recent Credits: Anthony Rapp’s Without You (co-design with Justin Townsend), Cosi fan Tutte (Sam Helfrich), Sporting Life (Stephen Brackett) Notice Me (Sofia Alvarez), The Storm (Michael Sexton), Whore (SPF, Stephen Bracket), DirectorFest (Drama League), Black Snow (Mikhael Garver), Do Not Do This Ever Again, 365 Days/365 Plays (Maria Goyanes), Stomp and ShoutA Good Place to be From (Geordie Broadwater, Babel), Burn This (Gus                                                  Kaikonnen), A Map of the World ( Bob Moss, NYU). For over 5 years, Eric was the resident lighting and set designer for the Atlantic Acting School. He was also a leading associate of the architectural design team for the Atlantic’s Stage 2, and a design consultant on their current main-stage renovation. MFA: NYU.

James Anthony Tyler (Playwright - Some Old Black Men)

After receiving his B.A. in Mass Communications and a minor in business from Central State University, James Anthony Tyler moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in television/film production, before entering the MFA film program at Howard University. After many short films and feature scripts, James wrote and directed The Numb an allegory on contemporary mass media that targets the African American audience and the destruction it causes. Currently he is in the MFA Dramatic Writing Program at New York University where he is concentrating on Playwriting. Recent plays are Some Old Black Man and Ain’t Ain’t a Word.

Rob Urbinati (Director: Moby Dick, Painted Desert, R...)

Rob is a director and playwright, and Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre in the Park, where he curates the Immigrant Voices Project. He has directed for The Pubic Theatre, Classic Stage Company, The Culture Project (Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash), Abingdon Theatre (AL Letson’s Summer in Sanctuary), New Jersey Repertory Theatre, New York Music Theatre Festival and New York University, among others. His plays as a writer include Hazelwood Jr. High (New Group, directed by Scott Elliott, published by Samuel French); West Moon Street (Prospect Theatre, directed by Davis McCallum, published by Samuel French); Howard Zinn’s Rebel Voices.(Culture Project, directed by Will Pomerantz, Theatre Masters, directed by Hal Brooks); Shangri La and Karaoke Night at the Suicide Shack, (Queens Theatre In the Park). Rob is an alumnus of the Drama League and the Lincoln Center Director Lab, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

R. Thomas Ward (Set Designer)

has designed for Theatre Aspen, Aspen Stage, The Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Aspen Community Theatre, 4 Rivers Musical Theatre, the Aspen Playwright’s Conference, and the Aspen Writer’s Foundation.  He has also designed for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company, Open Stage Theatre in Fort Collins, The Evergreen Players, Evergreen, CO, and Shore Country Day School, Beverly, MA.  He was Managing Director of the American Theatre Company in Aspen and The Aspen Playwrights Conference.  An Aspen, CO, resident, he has a BFA in theatre from Denison University. Thanks to Donna.

Deborah Yarchun (Playwright - Painted Desert)

is a New Jersey born, Air Force raised and Austin-rooted playwright. Her plays include  FreezeFrame, Next Year in Jerusalem and Kaddish and have been produced through the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Young Playwrights Festival XXIV (Playwrights Horizons) and developed through WordBRIDGE, Sanctuary Playwrights Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Rising Sun Performance Company, and the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. Her play Portmanteaux will be presented this summer at the Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha. Deborah is a two time winner of the Young Playwrights Festival National Playwriting Competition and a recipient of the VSA Arts Playwrights Discovery Award.  She is a 2013 MFA Candidate at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop where she is an Iowa Arts Fellow.