Che'Rae Adams (Producing Artistic Director ) is also the Director of Programming for the Moss Theater in Santa Monica and has been a Development Executive for Playhouse Pictures Studios, Co-Artistic Director of the Road Theatre Company, and Managing Producer for the LA Women’s Theatre Festival. She began her career as the Assistant to the Staff Producer at The Mark Taper Forum where she worked on the writing workshop of the Pulitzer Prize winning Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika. Also for the Taper, she coordinated the Taper Lab Series and Mentor Playwright's Series working with writers such as Luis Alfaro, Anthony Clarvoe, Marlane Meyer, David Lee Lindsey, Oliver Mayer, Ellen McLaughlin, Alice Tuan, and Mac Wellman. She has a Masters Degree in directing from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where here thesis production of “Amadeus” was nominated for Best Production of the year by the Cincinnati Enquirer. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Northridge. Che'Rae has directed/dramaturged the West Coast premiere productions of several new plays including pieces by Lee Blessing, Ken Hanes, Patricia Cardosa, John DiFusco, Jon Bastian, and Abi Morgan. She has also directed/dramaturged for Cincinnati Opera Outreach, Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, and Troupe Vertigo at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. She has worked with prominent performers such as Tonya Pinkins, Lynn Redgrave, Patti Cohenour, Kim Fields, Ser Anzoategui, and Carlos Alazraqui. She has worked with award winning directors and choreographers such as Vincent Paterson, Tom Hulce, Bonnie Story, Kitty McNamee, and Tina Kronis. Che'Rae has taught acting and writing workshops at various institutions around the country such as The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Catholic University, Miami Dade University, California State University, Fullerton, UCLA Extension, and Azusa Pacific University. She has also served on panels for Hollins University, The New Playwright’s Festival at the College of the Desert, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Che’Rae has had 22 articles published online at NOHOARTSDISTRICT.COM, and published a workbook for writers called Writing is Hard… She has also had articles published with TCG (http://www.tcgcircle.org/2015/12/hope-and-consensus-organizing/), The Perry Libary Journal, and The Texas Theatre Review. She is the recipient of a SDC Foundation Observership award, has been on the Steering Committee of the Directors Lab, West for ten years and is an award nominated and critically acclaimed theater director.
Karen "Ser" Anzoategui (actor/writer) solo show Ser LA vs BA was developed after the 2006 immigration protests in downtown Los Angeles in response to legislation HR4437. Since then, Karen has performed Ser throughout Los Angeles, most recently at the REDCAT theatre for the Fall Studio Session directed by Che’Rae Adams. As an actor, Karen was last seen in "Vida" on STARZ. She has also performed with ISC in Henry V playing the Boy and Montjoy at Barnsdall Park to sold-out audiences of over 10,000 in the summer of 2009. Her past credits include understudy in Ovation nominated Ruby Tragically Rotund at LATC, Sissy and 365 Days/Plays at CoA, Manzanita at Frida Khalo and Chavez Ravine and Peaches and Fuzz at East La Rep. Karen received her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts at Loyola Marymount University. She has performed at numerous comedy clubs throughout Los Angeles such as The Ice House, Comedy Store and is on the STARZ TV show Vida.
Michael Barmish (writer) was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University’s School of Communications and Theatre. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career, Michael was hired for several projects, including the feature family film, "Kid Cop", and has had options on several scripts. Michael developed his two stage plays , 10/9, and Boy Oh Boy Oh Girl, with Che'Rae Adams and the LAWC and both were read with the New Alignments Reading Series. Micheal is the winner of the 2011 Holiday Screenplay Contest sponsored by Cherub Productions and his book The Ensuite Life is available on Amazon.
Jon Bastian (writer) Plays include The Heretics of Alexandra, New Century Writer Award finalist; Noah Johnson had a Whore…produced at South Coast Repertory and Renegade Theatre Experiment, winner of the SCR California New Plays Prize, DramaLogue Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting, and a PEN West Literary Award Drama Nominee; Petty Treasons at the Audrey-Skirball Kenis Theatre and The Road Theatre (nominated for three Valley Theatre League Awards.) His play Bill & Joan, about the writer William S. Burroughs and the accidental murder of his wife, officially authorized by the Burroughs estate, was a Lois and Richard Rosenthal Playwriting Prize Finalist, and had its world premiere at Sacred Fools Theatre, Los Angeles. His short play A Perfectly Natural Explanation was produced at the Rose Theatre, Theatre/Theater, and other venues. An invited participant in the Lincoln Center West Directors Lab, the Actors Alley Playwright’s Lab, and the Filmmakers Foundation Writers Project, Jon was also awarded a fellowship to the Chesterfield Film Company’s Writers Film Project, sponsored by Steven Spielberg. As Co-Director and Founder of The Golden West Playwrights, and Founder and Emeritus Member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and founding member of the Los Angeles Writers Center, he has been a proactive creator of organizations that support, advocate and help to develop plays and playwrights. He was also a company member and regular performer with The Company Rep Theatre, and Playwright’s Arena’s 2012 “12 for 12” flash theatre project. He wrote for the television series “Seventh Heaven”, and co-wrote both the omnibus feature “Random Shooting in LA”, and the award-winning short film “Who Gets to Water the Grass?” Currently, Jon recently worked as senior content editor and head writer for Cesar’s Way, Inc., the company owned by Cesar Millan, first host of “Dog Whisperer,” He is also the Pack Leader to his fabulously perfect dog Sheeba.
Rebekah Chang (actor/writer) is proud to be an exceptionally talented writer, actor, improvisor, volunteer, business owner, student of human behavior, and animal lover. Her three-legged cat Joey agrees, so it must be true. Rebekah bursts with gratitude to everyone who supports her and who surrounds her with love and kindness. Cheers!
Lauren Clark (actor/writer) is also a member of the Road Theatre Company, where she produced and understudied the acclaimed production of Marked Tree and performed in The Pagans and The Pearl Necklace. Lauren is originally from Worthington (Columbus), Ohio, and owes all her love for the theatre to her high school drama teacher, Mrs. Bronwyn Hopton, and to her dad, who arranged “father-daughter dates to the theatre” at least once a month. Lauren is a graduate of Ball State University, and is proud to have been one of the lead actors in “Made for You”, the first original sitcom produced in conjunction with the film and theatre departments at BSU. She received an Irene Ryan nomination for her performance in the stage version of the show. Upon graduation, Lauren has performed off-Broadway, all over the Chicago area, and in various regional theatres throughout the mid-west, and California. Her solo show, Playing Doctor, was developed with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams and LAWC and was workshopped at The Road Theatre in 2012.
Anastasia Coon (Actor, Writer, and Movement Designer) While straddling the worlds of traditional interpretive theatre and performance art, Anastasia’s first love is collaborating with artists who engage physically with the creative process to generate original performance material. Anastasia was a Resident Artist at PCPA Theatrefest in Santa Maria, CA from 2001 to 2003. Roles at PCPA include Isabella in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Theresa in Boy Gets Girl, Smereldina in A Servant of Two Masters, and various roles in Interplay Festival of New Plays. Previous to this, Anastasia toured Northern California with the San Francisco Mime Troupe as Lucy in the critically acclaimed 1600 Transylvania Avenue and joined SFMT again to perform at the Maulhelden International Theatre Festival in Berlin, Germany. Other San Francisco credits include Cordelia in Edward Albee’s Finding the Sun with Paducah Mining Company and Ashley in the original show Skin: the Black and White of It at Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project, directed by Rhodessa Jones and Adele Prandini. Anastasia has performed in street theatre, mask, and clown with the Living Theatre Napoli in Italy, John Rudlin at Centre Selavy in France, and Sigfrido Aguilar in Guanajuato, Mexico. Anastasia is a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and earned her MFA in Acting at the University of Texas at Austin. She developed her solo show, Gracie and Rose with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams and LAWC. She premiered it at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival where it won "Best in Fringe".
Evan D’Angeles (writer/actor) was last seen in the San Francisco (west coast premiere) and Boston productions of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where he understudied and played the roles of Chip Tolentino, Mitch “Mendoza” Mahoney, and William Barfee. He was last seen on Broadway in the 2004-05 revival of Pacific Overtures for the Roundabout Theater Company, where he revised the role of Warrior/Officer/British Admiral. He was honored to reprise Stephen Sondheim’s favorite song, “Someone in a Tree” for the new cast recording on PS Classics. Other Broadway credits include Miss Saigon, Children & Art: A Tribute to 75 years of Stephen Sondheim. Off-Broadway: Wall to Wall Sondheim. He also played the role of Angel Schunard in the first national tour of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Rent. Other tours include: Cats (Hamburg), Fame, the Musical (José Vegas), Tommy (Pinball Lad), West Side Story, My Fair Lady. Regional: Imelda1 (world premiere), Songs for a New World (Man 2, directorial-debut), Phantom, Fiddler on the Roof, The King & I, among others. Evan D’Angeles has a BFA from Chapman University, where he received a Master of Talent Scholarship and Best Choreographer. He developed his new musical with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams and LAWC.
Adria Dawn (actor/director/writer/producer) is a multi hyphenate who grew up in the Midwest, and broke into Hollywood working as a Levi's model. As an actor she is most known for playing the dysfunctional outcast April Tuna on Ryan Murphy's high school cult hit Popular, receiving a nomination from Jane Magazine for "Gutsiest Woman on Television." Adria's roster of acting credits steadily expands, always adding memorable roles to her resume (Chicago Med, Hunter, Vince, Dorkumentary, to name a few). As a director, writer and producer, Adria is most known for her educational film series Kids Matter: Inside the Minds of Tweens and Teens. She operates Tarleton/Dawn Productions with her husband and partner, David Tarleton. TDP is a boutique production company whose award winning projects include series, plays, music videos and films. Adria developed her solo theatre show Rock N Roll Sex Machine with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams and LAWC which Che'Rae also directed the world premiere of in 2007. Please visit Adriadawn.com for more.
Michael Dempsey (actor) originally from Cleveland Ohio, is also a member of the Road Theatre Company, where is has been in several productions, including the award-winning Bunbury. Some of Michael’s notable TV appearances have been on “Boston Legal” , “ER”, “Madmen”, and "Desperate Housewives".
John DiFusco (writer/director/actor) created the landmark Vietnam drama Tracers, which he first directed at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, followed by a highly acclaimed run at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre in New York. Directorial credits include the long-running Road Theatre production of White People, which received “Critic’s Choice” in both the Los Angeles Times and DramaLogue, was awarded five Valley Theatre League Awards, and nominated for two Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Awards; Ali, and Will Strip for Food, which between them were the L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week, and garnered raves from Variety, Hollywood Reporter, and the Los Angeles Times. Other directing credits include Police Officers’ Wives at the Ventura Court Theatre; the award-winning a cappella musical Avenue X at the Odyssey Theatre; Cut Poison & Burn at Chicago’s Mary Archie Theatre; Joan and the Zulus (with Grace Zabriskie); Aftershock, Love or Something out on Hwy. 97 at the Cast Theater; Hair at the Heliotrope Theatre; Fragging at the New Playwrights Foundation; and Jack Ruby Is My Idol for the Mark Taper Forum’s New Works Festival. He recently worked as a director/part-time faculty member at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. During his career, DiFusco has also been the recipient of the New York Drama Desk Award, The Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award, two L.A. Weekly awards, two NAACP Awards, a Drama-Logue Award, a Robby Award, the USAF Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in Viet Nam and two Valley Theatre League Artistic Director Awards. His show Walkin’ Thru the Fire was recently produced at the Hayworth Theatre.
Andrew Dits (actor/writer) is a recipient of the Fine Arts Fellowship for Poetry at Wabash College, where he studied English and Philosophy. He completed an M.F.A. in Acting at the University of Southern California and is also a resident company member of Pacific Resident Theatre in Los Angeles where he first workshopped his solo show "The Ballad of the Barback" developed and directed by Che'Rae Adams.
Andrew Dupre (writer) born in the suburbs of Seoul, raised by Caucasian wolves in the wilds of Southeast Alaska, and transplanted like a pancreas into the Los Angeles jungle . His fascination with writing began as most do, by upsetting his parents while spending too much time and money on his wide-eyed devotion to his X-Men comic books. Andrew catalogued vocabulary words like “penchant” and “credo.” Andrew currently assists a screenwriter/actress as his day job, and, at night, annoys his partner by watching hours of streaming TV shows to gauge his competition. Andrew is currently developing a half hour dramedy/comedama inspired by his and his friends’ experiences as gay Asian males in America.
Marc Ewing (actor/writer/director) Marc is a classically trained and award-winning writer and actor, who was inspired to take on the stage by watching his father perform as an Opera singer. Trained at Herbert Berghof Studios in NY under Earl Hyman, Marc spent two seasons with The National Shakespeare Company. He has played Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Petrucchio, Stanley Kowalski, and many others. He has a February 2021 reading scheduled of his play "Villains", with the LA Writers Center. Some of his writings have garnered attention with nominations and awards including, "Bonnie Sugar Brown" A Self-Love Story, as a Fernlief's Back in The Box 2009 Quarter Finalist, "The Descent of Man", as a Quarterfinalist in the Oscars Nicholl Fellowship, in Filmmakers International, and as a Winner at the Hollywood Black Film Festival's Storyteller Competition. Marc has directed productions of Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello, with an emphasis on racial and cultural divisions. He is currently directing the film short, "Black Knights", which he wrote the script based on a poem written by Pamela Shaddock. He won the LA Weekly Award, and Ovations Award, for Stage Directions, NAACP award for The Cherry Orchard, at Will Geer Theatricum, as well as other nominations. Outside of theatre, he has been seen in numerous films, with recurring TV roles on Bold and the Beautiful, Cold Case, and others. Marc is an alumnus of the prestigious Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller writing program at USC, established by Bill and Camille Cosby, and a member of The Organization of Black Screenwriters. As a skilled Master Craftsman and Furniture Maker, while building Sprinkles Cupcake Stores, throughout the country, Marc has also used those skills as Art Director, Production Designer, and Lighting Director on several films and theatre productions.
Marc Francoeur (writer, performer) hails from Kankakee, a blue-collar factory town amidst the cornfields of central Illinois. As a child he was always drawn to the vitality and beauty of the dramatic arts: music, dancing and acting. It was his escapism and salvation from the narrow confines and minds of the rural Midwest. As he got older it became his ticket out of town to the more cosmopolitan and expansive consciousness of Chicago and Los Angeles. Marc received his BFA in Theater and Music from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. He worked professionally in Chicago as an actor, writer and composer. He toured nationally with Child’s Play Touring Theater, was a founding ensemble member of the renown Free Associates Improv Company, and worked in Chicago musical theater doing A Chorus Line, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, 42nd Street, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, to name a few. After moving to Los Angeles, Marc turned his focus to music. He founded and created two popular club bands that were regulars on the Hollywood music circuit: Marc Francoeur & the Motha Fizzies and The Butterflyman Band. Marc developed his sol play "Skanky Me From Kankakee" with LAWC and it received it's world premiere in the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Mikiros Garoes (actor/writer) Hailing from Windhoek, Namibia-She has been entertaining since she was 12 years old. Miki origianlly moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music as a singer/songwriter but acting was an unplanned accident that turned out to be a true calling. She started off performing improv comedy at The Westside Ecclectic Theatre in Santa Monica then moved on to performing stand-up comedy around comedy clubs in Hollywood. With a gift for dialects and characters, Mikiros is currently working on a one-woman show with LAWC.
Megan Gogerty (writer) Megan Gogerty is a playwright and comedian. Her solo show Lady Macbeth and Her Pal, Megan played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and won the Audience Pick of the Fringe at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Her play Bad Panda (Theatre Without Borders, Beijing; Iron Crow Theatre Co.; WordBRIDGE Boomerang Playwright honoree) is published by Original Works Publishing and was translated into Spanish for a five-month run at Del Teatro Milan in Mexico City. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution listed her solo show Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant in their yearly Top Ten Best Plays. Megan’s musical drama Love Jerry was produced in the New York Musical Theatre Festival where it won three Talkin’ Broadway Citations and four NYMF Excellence Awards including Excellence in Writing (Book). Her ten-minute play Rumple Schmumple (Dramatic Pub.) was a Kennedy Center/National ACTF honoree. Other plays include: Housebroken (Riverside Theatre, Hollins University); Save Me, Dolly Parton (Riverside Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre; named among Best Plays in Atlanta by Creative Loafing). Her musical tribute album to the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is widely available online. Megan was a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, a WordBRIDGE alum, and she earned her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently teaches playwriting at the University of Iowa and is a regularly returning visiting faculty for the Playwright's Lab at Hollins University.
Kenneth Hanes (writer)has received numerous grants and awards for his works, including the Artist Trust GAP Award for the film version of Fixing Frank, for which he also won the 1996/97 Seattle Arts Commission Individual Artist Award and was nominated for a Spirit Award for best screenplay. He received the 1998/99 Seattle Arts Commission Individual Artist Award for The Fourth Bird; and two Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Grants, for People with/out AIDS, and AIDS Mirrors. His play Freak of Nature won a second place Los Angeles Playwrights Award in 1994, and was a semi-finalist in the 1992 California Playwrights Competition at South Coast Repertory. Other awards include the 1986 David Library Playwriting Award, for Birth Rite; and the 1985 Ruby Lloyd Apsey Playwriting Competition (Finalist), for Breaking Rules. Mr. Hanes’s plays have been produced at the Currican Theatre in New York, the Public Theatre in Ft. Lauderdale, the Annex Theatre in Seattle, and the Celebration Theatre and Road Theatre, Los Angeles (directed by Che’Rae Adams). He has been a playwriting instructor at Indiana University and Bloomington Playwright’s Project, and is the author of three published books.
William Katt (writer/director/actor) First appearing with the Tony Award winning South Coast Repertory in 1969, Katt continued in the theatre and has worked many times at such prestigious venues as the Mark Taper Forum, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as staring in productions at The Phoenix Repertory in New York and The George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, among other east coast venues. A personal favorite in his theatre career perhaps was Pippin for video, directed by Bob Fosse. He has more recently shared the stage at ACT in Seattle for The Education of Randy Newman and starred in a world premiere of Bicoastal Woman at the Pasadena Playhouse in L.A. Well known for his work in television and film in such productions as “Carrie’, “Big Wednesday”, and “House”, among many other film and TV projects, but most noticeably his performances in “Greatest American Hero” and “The Perry Mason Specials”. Majoring in Music Theory and Composition in college, he minored in English and started writing in the early ’70s. He is a published musician as well as having three screenplays produced. His play Rachel and Julio was recently co-produced at the Broward Center for Performing Arts in Florida. Katt is an alumni of the West Coast Director’s Lab. The first feature film he directed was “The Clean and Narrow”, which was picked up by HBO and Showtime in 2000. He is grateful that his second film “The Rivers End” participated at the Houston Film Festival ’05 and received one of the top prizes. Partnering again with producer Glen Stevens of “The Rivers End” – he and Katt are currently in development on their next family adventure film, “Pegasus”. Katt developed his new musical Mason with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC.
Michelle Lema (actor/writer) studied at the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts and Oxford University with the British American Drama Academy. Currently, she is a Manager of Digital Content for Disney. With Disney, she has appeared as a host on the "Oh My Disney Show" and has traveled the world covering Disney press events, premieres, and films. Previously at Disney, she was the Editor for the "Oh My Disney" blog and wrote articles and quizzes for the Disney super fan. She has performed in and directed numerous plays internationally including productions in Scotland (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Germany (International Shakespeare Festival) and Australia (Fringe World Festival Perth). She has written several children's plays with her writing partner, Melissa Lyons, and together published Shakespeare For Kids with Heartland Plays, Inc. She also wrote, produced, and performed in her solo show called Bean. The show was named Best of Hollywood Fringe. Bean toured Australia where the Perth Now Sunday Times called Bean a "Top Ten Pick" of the Fringe World festival. She next wrote and performed her second solo show (Refried) Bean at the Los Angeles Solo New Works Festival and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Sonia Iris Lozada (poet/writer/performer) is fascinated with time, history and dreams. The psychology of writing poetry and short stories and its effect on both the writer and reader is her current topic of development. Sonia is also an actor for both stage and screen. Her other passions include design, decoration and spiritual development. She’s been writing poetry and short stories since she learned how to spell.
Mark W Knowles (writer/director) most recent work Angry Young Teen-Age Girl Gang, an original musical based on a previous play by his dear friend and collaborator, David g Smith (Music and Lyrics) ran for three and a half months in North Hollywood, receiving two ADA awards for Best Book, Music and Lyrics, and Best Ensemble. In 2004, Girl Gang premiered at the NYC International Fringe Festival at the prestigious Lucille Lortel Theatre to very good reviews, and is currently being capitalized for an open ended off-Broadway run under General Management of Martian Entertainment for 2007. Mark and David first collaborated on the original Salt Lake City production of Plan 9 from Outer Space: The Musical. In 1995 Mark staged a new version of Plan 9 in Los Angeles that received considerable critical acclaim, including a “Best Musical” nomination by LA WEEKLY, and an award for Best Costumes with his talented co-producer Jaye Maynard. Knowles has a varied background in multiple disciplines, including art, music, dance, singing and acting. While pursuing a theatrical career in New York City he produced several video and film projects including “The Perfect Woman” with Ileana Douglas, which premiered at the New York City Film Festival as the lead short for “The Piano”. Mark has also written screenplays, including an unproduced crime drag Noir with partner Mark B. Perry entitled Killer in Drag, which is based on two of Ed Wood’s pulp novellas. His other Los Angeles directing and collaborative credits include the biographical play Know Your Place by actress Rose Portillo, and Vox with About Productions, which was created for the Telluride Theatre Festival in Colorado.
Maura Knowles (actor/writer) A proud member of the L.A. Writer's Center, Maura has been fine-tuning her literary skills and was one of twelve songwriters accepted into the Mercer Great American Songwriting Program at Northwestern University in Chicago. She is a published writer for various magazines and website blogs (e.g., The Morselist) and has a screenplay/producing deal at a major studio. Maura co-produced and starred in the critically-acclaimed world premiere of Jay Duffer's play ,Big Girl, Little World at the International Fringe Festival in New York City. Other producing credits include 70 Girls 70, Lucky Stiff, and Blood Brothers for the award-winning Musical Theatre Guild in Los Angeles, CA. Maura's singing career has taken her all over the world. She developed two musicals with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC, Insult to Injury and Tarmac, which were both given staged readings with the New Alignments Reading Series.
Mike Lee (actor/writer)hails from a tiny little city called Salamanca, NY (pop. 6,000). He then went on to Stanford University, where he bailed the pre-med curriculum to pursue a career in the arts. Since then, he has happily performed on stages around the country and the world. He’s been seen on Broadway in Pacific Overtures (Kayama); Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Zealotes); Miss Saigon (Thuy); and RENT (Steve). He has toured the country with several shows and has won and been nominated for awards in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago. He has written five screenplays and hopes that one will soon see (or be seen on) the silver screen.
Jordan Claire McCraw (author/poet/performance artist) Born and raised outside of Washington, D.C., Jordan grew up an overachieving nerd with a passion for reading aloud, performance and her self-produced radio program about breakfast foods and Bette Midler, which she recorded religiously on a Fisher Price tape player. At the age of twenty, while completing bachelor’s degrees in Theatre Performance and English (Creative Writing for Poetry) in the Gemstone Honors Program at the University of Maryland, Jordan volunteered as a schoolteacher in Ghana. It was while working in West Africa that she met a hunky British geek, the resulting crisis being a spontaneous move to rural England and a near-decade of teaching English and Drama in the British state education system (near Stonehenge, no less- it was characteristically absurd). Horrendous commuter traffic on winter and summer solstice became par for the course. Her students were her whole world. The birth of Jordan’s son in 2015 and her subsequent struggle with postpartum depression inspired her to fight for her first love, her love of acting; Jordan began working as a passionate voiceover artist for commercial clients in London such as Mattel. Jordan reached the Top 16 in the 2019 Maxim Cover Girl Competition as a women’s postpartum mental health advocate, and she has returned to the United States full-time as a writer, activist, performance artist and audiobook narrator for HarperCollins (Audible) and the Library of Congress. Jordan is on her bicultural artist and global citizen hustle, using her own story of survival as a platform for empowering women’s voices worldwide. In her heart, she will always be a teacher. Jordan feels that she has been put here on Earth to break down barriers with her honesty and uplift those who are trapped by shame and grief; more than anything, she wants to help us all feel better.
Kelli McNeil (actor/writer) is a Los Angeles based writer, actor, voiceover artist and producer. As a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Drama, McNeil has performed in multiple film, TV and stage productions and wrapped production on three features in 2017, including Gus Van Sant’s new movie "Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot'. She was selected to attend BADA (British American Drama Academy) during her junior year. McNeil is an alum of the Groundlings, where she completed their rigorous training program and advanced writing lab and cut her teeth writing multiple short form sketches in an intense two month program. She performed with her own improv troupe (((High Vibes))) for three years in Los Angeles on the improv circuit. She is a published children’s book author: her first book Sleepy Toes was released in the spring of 2017 with Scholastic and was named one of "15 Best Picture Books for Kindergarten". The Baltimore School of Charm which was a semi-finalist in the Screencraft Fellowship program in 2015. The script was also a top 15% finisher in the Nicholl Fellowship competition, announced in July of 2017 and won the UCLA Extension Screenwriter’s Competition in 2017 as well as the Bechdel Film Festival in 2018. In 2017, McNeil was selected to be part of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Television Writers Fellowship Prep Series. Her play Borderline was developed with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC and had it's first reading in the New Alignment Reading Series.
Paul Mischeshin (actor/writer) is from the East Coast. Born in Queens, NY then having lived in N. Merrick Long Island, the Pocono Mountains, Philadelphia, Reading, and back to NYC. Having only a few articles in Queens Parent and an award for his voice in America’s future from 11th Grade, writing has been a lifelong passion that is being expressed since moving to Los Angeles. Paul attended Albright College in Reading, PA having a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Theatre. He also attended the Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute semester working for a week during that semester in Moscow, Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre. An actor since college in Theatre, TV, Film, commercials, motivational dancing (don’t ask). Paul developed his solo show with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC.
Richard (Rique) Patire (actor/writer) Rique's destiny was cemented with his debut in the Children’s Chorus of La Boheme with Met Opera star Paul Plishka. Between those bookends, Rique's journey has included stints at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, having songs recorded by the Miracles and for Lifetime movies. With dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC, he developed two soul-baring one man shows: the steel magnolia empowerment Beauty Simplified and the coming of age and awareness Centered in the Storm, which reckons with his blue collar Jersey family’s journey to acceptance of the loss which features vocal contribution from multiple Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris.
Marni Penning (actor/writer) Marni is an audiobook narrator, playwright, acting coach, two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, and other-award-winning multi-hyphenate who co-founded Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in 1994 (over 35 roles, including Juliet, Kate, Rosalind, Beatrice, and Hamlet). Recent credits: Admissions at Studio Theatre; The Agitators; Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies at Mosaic Theatre; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Book of Will at Round House; Are You Now..., The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek at MetroStage. Regional: Shakespeare Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Folger, Washington Stage Guild, Orlando Shakespeare, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Georgia Shakespeare. Film: "Mona Lisa Smile". Television: "The Sopranos", "Saturday Night Live", "All My Children", "Guiding Light". She developed her play Carol's Christmas with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at the LAWC where it received it's first reading at The Road Theatre Company.
Joey Rich (actor/writer) is from Oakland, CA. He is of Mexican and Lebanese descent. He is a graduate of The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Southern California. Joey is an advanced level improviser performing regularly in Los Angeles. He has been married to television director Anthony Rich since 2008.
Nathan Singer (writer/musician) is a novelist, playwright, composer, and experimental performing artist. He is also the lead vocalist and guitarist for award-winning “ultra-blues” band The Whiskey Shambles. His published novels are the controversial and critically-acclaimed A Prayer for Dawn, Chasing the Wolf, In the Light of You, The Song in the Squall, Transorbital, and Blackchurch Furnace. He currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he is working on a multitude of new projects. Nathan has taught at varying universities, including: Antioch University, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, Northern Kentucky University, Tiffin University, Cincinnati State College, and Union Institute & University. He adapted two of his novels into plays, Chasing the Wolf and Transorbital which both had readings with LAWC's New Alignment Reading Series.
Jessica Blaire Smith(writer) is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre. She served as Pasadena Playhouse’s Advertising and Promotions Manager for two years before starting her own graphic design company: Hive Creative Studio. Also a member of Moving Arts Theatre Company, her play Batmobile was featured in The Car Plays 2009, while her one-act Dirty Windows received a staged reading as part of their 16th Annual Premiere One-Act Festival Ligature. Jessica’s full-length play Somewhere in Yellowstone has received staged readings with Syzygy Theatre Company & The LA Writer’s Center New Alignment Series, as well as The Road Theatre Company. She also developed her new play, South of Liberty, with LAWC which received a staged reading in 2011.
Ann-Giselle Spiegler (writer/director) She is the co-founder of the critically acclaimed Lit Theater whose mission is to produce new American works for a new American audience. She has taught Theater and Film as an Associate Professor at The Union Institute. She has also worked for The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, LA Writers Center, Los Angeles Stage Alliance, and is an alumna of the Directors Lab West, where she was recently asked to be an Associate Producer. Is an award-winning director for Theater, Film and Music Video based in Los Angeles. After graduating from The University of Southern California with an MFA in Directing, she won an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Fellowship to work with the Walt Disney Company. She was also named a LucasFilm fellow while at USC. For many years she worked in feature film and music video, but always returned to her first love, live theater. Focusing almost exclusively on directing new work, she has become a frequent “first call” for new plays in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, her work has been seen at the Odyssey Theater, The Los Angeles Theater Center, Highways Performance Space, (inside) The Ford, The Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry National Center, Theater of NOTE, The Ivar, Celebration Theater, The Ivy Substation, The Gardenia and The Road, among others. Her shows in Los Angeles have been nominated for LA Weekly Awards, Garland Awards and DramaLogue awards. She has won several DramaLogues as well as the “NEA Award for Excellence” for the World Premiere of Kwang-Ju an Escalatory Spree for the Korean National Theater Conference. She was named “One to Watch” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and her work has been called “innovative, eye-opening and spectacular” by the Los Angeles Times and “forward, insightful and flawless” by Variety as well as “heartbreakingly good” by the LA Weekly. She is the co-founder of the International Theatre Network, a virtual community dedicated to building bridges between theatre artists and institutions interested in international theatre exchange. She is proud of creating a site where artists, activists, educators, playwrights, directors, performers, and supporting organizations can interact, share work, ideas, and resources. Currently, the site includes participants from over 40 countries. Her first film, “Regular Maintenance”, has circled the globe on the festival circuit. She has frequently collaborated with playwright Velina Hasu Houston on new projects, most recently, Calligraphy. She is currently working with Mary F. Casey on her new play Unspeakable Acts and with Tom McKenzie on his multi-lingual adaptation of The Tempest. Most recently, her work has been seen at the newly formed LA Downtown Arts Collective and this spring will be seen at REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater. She developed her first play eggs with with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC. eggs received a reading with LAWC's New Alignment Reading Series as well as with the Will Geer Theatricum Bontanicum.
Dale Griffiths Stamos (writer) is an award‑winning playwright and screenwriter, a producer, director, nonfiction author, Emmy‑nominated writer, poet and writing teacher/consultant. Dale has completed, to date, six short films. She has written and produced, or co‑produced, all six, and has directed three. Her latest, "Entwined", starring Michael Dorn, has just begun its festival run and has been accepted so far at two festivals. Her fifth short, "Dirty Little Secret", is making the festival circuit and has been selected, so far, by three festivals. Her fourth short, "The Dinner Guest", is finishing up its festival circuit and has so far screened at nine festivals. Dale's third short film, "Unintended", screened at three film festivals. Her first two films, "Lost Music" and "Match Made", both starring Barbara Bain (of the original Mission Impossible TV series), screened at four festivals each. "Match Made" garnered an Audience Award from the Sedona International Film Festival.Her feature screenplay adaptation of her play, One White Crow, was an official selection of The New Hope Film Festival and the Beverly Hills Film Festival in the script division. It was also a semi‑finalist in the Creative World Awards Screenplay Competition, a finalist in the Write Room Screenplay Competition, and a quarter‑finalist in the LA Screenplay Awards. Her feature screenplay adaptation of her play Blue Jay Singing in the Dead of Night was a semi‑finalist in the New York City Screenplay Awards as well as in the Story Pros Screenplay Competition.
Alisa Tangredi (writer) is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently resides in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and their dog. She has written all her life, though most things went into hiding in a drawer. She studied theatre and music at San Francisco State University and worked as a stage actress for 30 years, with sporadic employment in commercials and television. Novels include The Puppet Maker's Bones, The Broken Angel's Wings, and Under The Looking Glass. She has been an active participant in several Los Angeles based theatre companies and continues to support live theatre and dance throughout the L.A. area. Her writing for the stage includes contributions to: Not Cracker, Open Fist-Circle X co-production; The Bay of Smokes, co-writer for The L.A. History Project/Edge of the World Theatre Festival; Fast and Loose, Sacred Fools Theatre Co.; The Box, Sacred Fools Theatre Co. Prey: Two One Acts, and Art is Useless When You Are Being Mauled By A Bear were developed with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at and had their first readings as part of LAWC's New Alignment Reading Series. Art is Useless...was workshoped at Sacred Fools Theatre Co, helmed by director aChe'Rae Adams and was subsequently produced by The Loft Theatre Ensemble and published by Steele Spring Stage Rights.
Bart Tangredi (actor/writer) has been an actor and standup comic who moved to Los Angeles from New York twelve years ago. As an actor his film and television credits include Analyze This, Analyze That, House, General Hospital, ER, Las Vegas, Law & Order and The Gilmore Girls. As a standup comic, he won the Funniest Comic in LA contest in 2008 and was featured twice on the KTLA Morning News. He developed his solo show Running for Redemption with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC where it received a workshop production in LAWC's Solo Festival. He is also a member of the Sacred Fools Theatre Company and The Road Theatre Company.
David Tarleton (writer/director) was born in Williamsburg, Virginia. As a producer, director, and editor, he has created programs for Sony Pictures, The Muppets, Sci-Fi Channel, Walt Disney Pictures, Fox, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Tokyopop, Mattel, Universal, Warner Brothers, Baby Einstein, Showtime and more. He currently executive produces and directs the Internet improvisational comedy series “Dorkumentary”, which he and his wife, Adria Dawn, created. He was the sole editor of all 34 episodes of the Muppets’ series “Statler and Waldorf From the Balcony,” for Disney. The show won the 2007 Webby for Best Comedy Series, a Telly for Best Use of Comedy, and was named as one of Time Magazine’s “25 Websites We Can’t Live Without.” After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in film directing from the University of Southern California, David broke through by producing and directing the award-winning short film “Dinner.” After premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival, it played on the Sci-Fi Channel, and was distributed on DVD. With his wife, Adria Dawn, he produced and directed the play The Miss Firecracker Contest, and executive produced Rock N Roll Sex Machine, her one-woman show. David was producer/co-writer/editor of “What Babies Want,” the ground breaking, award-winning documentary about birth, narrated by Noah Wyle. He produced and edited “The Making of Warriors of Heaven and Earth,” and “The Making of Double Vision,” for Sony Pictures. He was also a producer, DP and editor on the documentary “Dark Secrets,” and senior editor for “The Pat Kilbane Show,” for Comedy Central. David currently teaches Documentary Producing at UCLA Extension and Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to USC, David also studied film at New York University, and has a Bachelor’s degree in theatre directing from the University of Virginia. email@example.com or www.dorkumentarytv.com
Blaine Teamer (writer) is A Penn State graduate and a former member of The Los Angeles Theater Center’s WORDSMITH program. His theatrical works are Momma’s Boys (Highways Performance Space, 1994); Black Coffee (1995); Delicate Flowers (Ivar Theater, 1996); Secret Life of Sister Little (Occidental College, 1996); and the highly acclaimed one-woman show performed by Kim Fields, Pandora’s Trunk directed by Che'Rae Adams (Los Angeles Theater Center, 2003). Pandora’s Trunk was invited to perform at the renowned bi-annual National Black Theater Festival in 2003, starring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins starred and returned in 2005 with Kim Fields. His published work includes: Maya: Diasporic Juks (1997); Shady: A Novel (2000); and Riding the Tiger in Cleis Press’s Best Black Gay Erotica collection (2004).
Tim Toyama (writer) has been produced at The Complex, LATC (Robey Theatre Company) and The Road Theatre Company. Among them his best-known work is Visas and Virtue, inspired by the heroic saga of Holocaust rescuer Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara – known as “The Japanese Schindler.” Adapted to the big screen by actor/director Chris Tashima, the 26-minute cinematic tribute to the heroic diplomat received the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in 1998. His more recent play, Independence Day, was brought to the screen by Cedar Grove Productions, this time as a half-hour television special for PBS. Inspired by his own father “Zip” Toyama’s World War II experience in a U.S. Internm Holocaust Survivors’ organization. Based on a camp for Japanese Americans, Day of Independence received a Regional Emmy Nomination in 2006, from the NATAS Northern California Chapter, in the category of Historical/Cultural – Program/Special. He co-wrote the screenplay, and served as executive producer on the program, which in addition to its PBS broadcast, has been shown at over sixty international film and video festivals, and has garnered twenty-five awards. He has been honored with awards from various community organizations, including the “Japanese American of the Biennium,” awarded by the National JACL in 2006, a Community Award from the Japanese American Service Committee, of Chicago, Special Recognition from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, of Los Angeles, a Visionary Award from East West Players, and a Humanitarian Award.
Shauna Vartanian (composer and writer) was born in Germany into a family of Displaced Persons during World War II. Her mother, a stage actress, performed at the DP Camp; her father, a businessman, relocated the family to the United States in 1949. A classically trained musician, Shauna studied under composer Peter Racine Fricker and Pianist Brigita Lielausis. She studied art at the Chouinard Art Institute and completed a degree in Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Displacement is her first play and a labor of love for Vartanian. In 2012 director Kappy Kilburn inspired Shauna to write her family’s story; with the help of writing coach Che’Rae Adams she wrote her first draft. It received a reading with the LAWC in 2013 with director Kappy Kilburn and dramaturg Che'Rae Adams at the helm.
Mark Wild (writer) explores the history and drama of modern urban life. He is the author of Faithful, Here Comes Trouble, Hayward, Sweet Tooth, Street Meeting, & St. Francis Xanadu which he developed with dramaturge Che'Rae Adams at LAWC. He currently teaches history at California State University Los Angeles. His play Sweet Tooth was produced in 2010 at the Alleyway Theatre in New York.
Jennifer Williams (writer) is the President of the Organization of Black Screenwriters and the author of The Real-Life Coach Carter – The Ken Carter Story, worked as script editor on the 2005 release of the movie “Coach Carter” starring Samuel L. Jackson, and is currently working on her next screenplay, “Modern Miracle”. Ms. Williams is a working editor with BW United in Los Angeles, CA; Member of the Organization of Black Screenwriters (OBS); and serves as the Executive Vice President of Operations for non-profit Coach Ken Carter Foundation as well as Editor-In-Chief of the Foundation Newsletter. Jennifer is the recipient of the 1999 Screenwriter’s/Playwright Award. Additionally, she is the author of three novels, Somebody Else’s Dream and Why Only At Night, release date pending; and her debut novel, A Soul Captured was released in early 2007.
Lowell Williams (actor/writer) is author of several stage plays and screenplays including “Six Nights in the Black Belt” upon which is screenplay “Non-Violence” is based. “Talking to Starlight” is a two hander about an Astrophysicist who lands a dream job in South America but has to decide if she will leave her boyfriend behind. “Just In Case It’s the Devil” is about a teenage girl’s attempt to export her boyfriend for money, also a film “Carrying On” (available Vimeo). Awards include the Gregory Millard memorial for A Mid-Summers Day Day-dream from TADA Youth Theater in NYC and the Ovation Award for Six Nights… in Youngstown, Ohio. Lowell is the owner of American Theatrical which runs a national tour of A Christmas Carol annually, in conjunction with CMI Entertainment. He is currently developing a musical about the WW1 “Christmas Truce” called Silent Night with composer Matt LeBarge, which will begin touring in 2021. Lowell has an MFA from Goddard College and is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild.
Mark McLain Wilson (actor/director/sound designer) has been acting professionally for fifteen years. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he has appeared in over sixty plays, working in New York, Los Angeles, several places in between, and internationally in Edinburgh, Scotland. Favorite roles include DeFlores in The Changeling, Pale in Burn This, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Gibbs in A Vast Wreck, MacDuff in Macbeth, Scooter in Tracers, the title role in King Cat Calico Finally Flies Free, Mephistopholes in Don Juan in Chicago (L.A. Weekly Award Nominee), and Kennny in the critically acclaimed Red Light, Green Light (L.A. Ovation nominee). His more than twenty-five film credits include “The Four Corners of Nowhere” (Sundance Dramatic Competition), “Whatever Happened to Kathy?” (Berlin Film Festival), and the upcoming “Poughkeepsie Tapes”. TV credits include “Guiding Light” and “U.S.A. Up All Night”.
In Loving Memory
Neal R. Alvarez (writer) contrary to a prevalent range of belief, was, not the fifth Beatle. He was a student of the late, playwright and actor, Gardner MacKay, and wrote many works in his late teens and early twenties. For the next twenty-five years, he worked up from usher to a staff manager of one of the major theatre centers on the West Coast, negating his true calling, yet in this time, he recruited, hired and trained hundreds of underprivileged, inter-city teenagers, who have since become doctors, teachers, soldiers and police officers. He had the privilege to meet and speak with Groucho Marx, Cary Grant and Akira Kurosawa and became acquaintances of Danny Kaye and Gregory Peck. It was there that he met his, forgiving and beautiful wife of nearly thirty years, Peggy. Since then, he has worked as a set designer and prop master for Ray Bradbury’s theater company and is a house manager for the City of Downey. He thanks’ Kevin, Mark and others and he is honored to be a member of this group that consists of Mark Wild, Tim Toyama, who won an Academy Award, Jon, Karen, and so many others, and let me not forget our fearless leader, Ms. CheRae Adams, who sifts out the sand and finds the seeds.
Warren Perry (writer) A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Warren now lives in Washington DC where he is a writer and researcher for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. For the NPG, he has written and adapted two one-man shows, Swift to My Wounded: Walt Whitman and the Civil War and King Lyndon Lear. Swift to My Wounded is scheduled for publication for autumn of 2008. Warren has had several plays produced in New York’s Samuel French and Strawberry One-Act Festivals, and he received the Strawberry One-Act award for best director in 2006 for his play The Sitters; The Sitters was published in The Best of the Strawberry One-Acts Part IV anthology in 2007. Warren holds graduate degrees from the University of Memphis in medieval literature and creative writing, and from Catholic University in playwriting. Warren’s play Lanterns on Lamar, his addendum to the corpus of Elvis literature, was staged by Yellow Taxi Productions of New Hampshire in March, 2006 as part of the Susan McIntyre New Plays Festival.