Che’Rae Adams (Producing Artistic Director) founded the LA Writers Center in 2005, to develop work by local writers. She has been a Development Executive for Playhouse Pictures studios, Co-Artistic Director of the Road Theatre Company, and The Managing Director for the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. Focusing primarily on developing and directing new work, Che’Rae has worked in development for Showtime Networks, Alliance/Atlantis Film & TV, First Lady Productions, and Melba-Jake Productions. After receiving her BA from California State University, Northridge she assisting 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 and coordinated the 1991 Taper Lab Series a nd Mentor Playwright’s series where she directed the first reading of Alice Tuan’s Dim Sums. During her early training period in the theatre, she assisted many prominent directors including Tom Hulce and Jane Jones on the premiere of another Pulitzer Prize winner, The Cider House Rules, at The Seattle Repertory Theatre; David Saint on Travels With my Aunt, also at SRT; Steven Hollis on the premiere of Tennessee William’s Notebook of Trigorin, starring Lynn Redgrave at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; and John DiFusco on both the 10th and 20th anniversary productions of Tracers. Che’Rae specializes in developing and directing solo work and has directed the premiere productions of several new solo plays including Chesapeake, by Lee Blessing for Venice Theatre Works; Pandora’s Trunk at LATC starring Kim Fields and at the National Black Theatre Festival starring Tonya Pinkins; From Bonkers to Botox, at the Stella Adler Theatre & Aspen Comedy Festival; Nothing to See Here at the Comedy Central Space staring “Reno 911” star Carlos Alazraqui; and Ser staring Karen Anzoategui at the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in NY. Other directing credits include Freak of Nature by Ken Hanes at The Road Theatre Company; Back Bar by Steve Simon and Jose Gregorio, both at the Lee Strasberg Theatre; Fixing Frank by Ken Hanes at the Celebration Theatre; Tender for The Syzygy Theatre Company; and Walkin’ Thru The Fire at the Hayworth Theatre. She has also directed for Cincinnati Opera Outreach, Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, and the Los Angeles Theatre Festival. She has taught acting and writing workshops at various institutions such as The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, California State University, Fullerton, UCLA Extension , Miami Dade University and Catholic University. She has an MFA in directing from The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music and a BA in Theatre from CSUN. She is also on the Steering Committee for the Director’s Lab, West which takes place annually at the Pasadena Playhouse. email@example.com
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.
Karen Anzoategui (actor/writer/stand up comedienne) solo show SER 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 Independent Shakespeare Company’s The Changeling at the Lillian Theatre. Karen 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 at LOL inside the Alexandria Hotel. Karen is also an activist and advocate within the HIV field, finding homes and hope for individuals and families living with the HIV epidemic.
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 has also been focusing on writing for the stage, having completed his first play, 10/9, and is working on another comedy, Boy Oh Boy Oh Girl. Micheal is the winner of the 2011 Holiday Screenplay Contest sponsored by Cherub Productions. Micheal's new book or travel log, 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 splits his time between working as senior content editor and head writer for Cesar’s Way, Inc., the company owned by Cesar Millan, first host of “Dog Whisperer,” and as a celebrity ghost writer, playwright, and Pack Leader to his fabulously perfect dog Sheeba.
Alexis Chamow (director/dramaturge) has worked with Austin Script Works, Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Living Voices, Unexpected Productions, Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, L.A.Connection, St. Louis Center for Contemporary Art, Edison Theatre, Northwestern’s National High School Institute and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, and the Theatre Royal Bath, Youth Theatre and recently the Furious Theatre Company. She has adapted and directed multiple scripts for young performers, facilitated ensemble-generated new work, created subject-specific drama intensives for theatres and schools, and acted with both equity and non-equity companies. Casting work has included assisting with premieres at the La Jolla Playhouse, as well as for the new CBS drama “The Unit”, written by David Mamet. She is currently the Director of Education at the Pasadena Playhouse.
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 LAWC and is scheduled to be workshopped at The Road Theatre in 2012.
Anastasia Coon (Actor, Writer, and Movement Designer) who also teaches physical theatre and yoga. 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. With the support of the Los Angeles Writer’s Center, she is developing her solo show, “Gracie and Rose” – two women living on a ranch in Wyoming through the 1950’s, trying to live in truth while carrying a secret, surviving the wind, the land and running wild horses. 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. Anaxtaxia@yahoo.com
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.
Adria Dawn (actor/writer)is wrote her solo show Rock N Roll Sex Machine at LAWC, which Che’Rae Adams directed in 2007. She and her husband, David Tarleton, are co-creators of the Internet improvisational comedy series “Dorkumentary,” which she currently produces and stars in. Only four months after moving to the west coast, Adria booked one of her favorite television roles to date, the dysfunctional outcast April Tuna on the WB’s high school hit “Popular.” She was on the show both seasons it was on the air, and received a nomination from Jane Magazine for “Gutsiest Woman on Television.”Since then, she has appeared on television shows including recurring roles on FX’S “Nip/Tuck” as Parker, the Scientologist expert, and “NCIS.” Some other credits include “My Name Is Earl,” “Help Me Help You,” “Campus Ladies,” “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” “Medium,” etc. as well as numerous independent films and plays. www.dorkumentarytv.com
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.
Marc Ewing (actor/writer)is a classically trained and award winning actor who was inspired to take on the stage by watching his father who was an Opera singer. Marc trained at Herbert Berghof Studios in NY with Earle Hyman, spent two seasons with The National Shakespeare Company, has played Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Stanley Kowalski in A Street Car Named Desire, Petrucchio and many others. Marc won an LA Weekly award for Stage Directions, (set in Uganda), and several showcases. He is a NAACP award winner for his role in The Cherry Orchard at The Will Geer Theatrical Bontanticum. TV co-star roles include “Cold Case” and a recurring role on “All My Children”. His screenplay" Bonni Sugar Brown" was in the quarterfinals for Fernlief’s Back in the Box and his script "Descent of Man" was in the quarterfinals for the Filmakers International contest as well as the Screenwriting Expo. Marc was a member of the prestigious The Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller Writing Program established by Bill and Camille Cosby.
Michelle Flowers (actor/writer) is a visual anthropologist with ethnographic research experience in several cities across the US. Michelle holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology and communications from the University of Washington, and a master’s degree in anthropology from Temple University. As an actress, she has appeared in various films such as ‘The Hit’ with Blair Underwood and the soon to be released indie film ‘The First Timers.’ Many may also recognize her from numerous national TV commercials for products and organizations like ExxonMobil, General Electric, Coca Cola, VISA, Proactiv, and the United Nations. Michelle is a member of the oldest repertory theater company in Los Angeles, The Company of Angels. She is currently working on two documentaries, one about the holocaust and another about youth poetry slams in Los Angeles.
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.
Mikiros Garoes (actor/writer) Hailling 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)Her music-play Love Jerry toured England in association with Dartington College of the Arts in Devon before receiving its world premiere at Actors Express Theatre in Atlanta, where it was the target of a letter-writing campaign by the American Family Association. A national finalist of the Alliance Theatre’s Graduate Student Playwriting Competition, it was also performed as part of the mainstage season at the University of Texas at Austin, where it earned seven B. Iden Payne Award nominations including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Original Score, and five Austin Critic’s Table Award nominations including the David Mark Cohen Award for best new play. Megan’s ten-minute play Rumple Schmumple premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the National American College Theatre Festival, where she was the winner of Atlanta’s Dad’s Garage Theatre Company 10-Minute Play Residency Award. Rumple Schmumple is included in Dramatic Publishing Co.’s 2005 anthology, Thirty-Five in Ten. Some of Megan’s other plays include: Sig Gotta Do (Pasadena Playhouse Hothouse Series 2005), Hobo Season (PlayLabs national finalist, 2005), Pandas, and Fireproof Baby. She earned her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin. Megan has been a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow and was a grateful recipient of the James A. Michener Playwriting Scholarship and the Ellsworth P. and Virginia Conkle Endowed Scholarship for Drama.
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”.
Michelle Lema (actor/writer) earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree at the University of Southern California School of Theatre. She also studied at Oxford University with the British American Drama Academy. After completing her degree, she joined The Open Fist Theatre Company in Hollywood where she was a member and Fundraising Director for four years. In 2008, Michelle spent a summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland where she performed in three shows with This Bridge Theatre Company. She assistant directed one of the shows, SHAKESPEARE'S R&J, and co-wrote another one of the shows, SHAKESPEARE MADE EASY, a childrens' show which has also been produced in Colorado, Georgia, and Northern California. She and her writing partner have written seven childrens' shows together and recently published SHAKESPEARE MADE EASY (now called SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDS!) with Heartland Plays, Inc. which is available for purchase at www.heartlandplays.com. In 2009, she traveled to Germany for her second run assistant directing SHAKESPEARE'S R&J with This Bridge Theatre Company. The production began its tour at the Mainzer Kammerspiele in Mainz and finished its run at the International Shakespeare Festival at the Globe Theatre in Neuss. Most recently in Los Angeles, Michelle created LEMABEAN PRODUCTIONS and wrote, produced, and performed in her world premiere solo show called BEAN which was developed with LAWC. The show was named Best of Hollywood Fringe 2011 in June and enjoyed an extended run through July and August. In January 2012 BEAN toured Australia performing at FRINGE WORLD Festival Perth in Western Australia where the Perth Now Sunday Times called BEAN a "Top Ten Pick" of the festival.
Mark W Knowles (writer/director) most recent work was 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). Girl Gang 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, and soon to be the future musical collaboration with David g Smith. 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. When Maura first arrived to Los Angeles, she caught the eye of Warren Beatty, who upgraded her to a featured role in the film Bulworth, which earned her a SAG card. Leading roles in independent films include Sex Tax, Abide With Me with Laura Prepon, and The Yardsale with Anne Meara. Guest starring roles on hit television shows: "Medium", "Numbers", "Lie to Me", "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", "Law & Order", "E. R."," Girlfriends", "Titus", "Providence", "Becker", "The Young and the Restless", and a recurring role on "The Bold and the Beautiful". Maura believes that having a balanced life is important. An avid traveler, she has been all over Europe, Greece, Turkey, Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Africa, the Seychelle Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, French Polynesia, Canada, and throughout the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. Her guiding philosophy is, "It's not what happens to you in life. It's how you deal with it." Maura is actively involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, served on the host committee for Dr. Oz's non-profit organization, Health Corps and the Holistic Chamber of Commerce. She developed two musicals with 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.
Kelli McNeil (actor/writer) graduated from the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Theatre, where she obtained her degree in theatre and minored in visual media. While she was studying, she was privileged enough to attend master classes offered by some of the industry’s greatest teachers, including Uta Hagen and Sir Peter Hall. McNeil also attended the Sanford Meisner School of Acting while at USC, where she completed a two year conservatory program. During her junior year, McNeil was awarded a scholarship to attend an acting conservatory at BADA (British American Dramatic Academy). While at USC, McNeil earned lead roles in many plays and short films, including Maria Irene Fornes’s award-winning play, Fefu and Her Friends. Upon graduating, McNeil has worked on numerous stage and independent film productions, including “Dave Barry’s Guide to Guys” and “The Writer”, where she co-starred alongside Emmy winner Terry Becker. A Texas native, McNeil has been recognized as a top-performer by such institutions as ULI, The Donna Reed Foundation and the National Forensics League, of which she has been a member of since the age of 15. McNeil is also an accomplished studio and graphic artist, a talented vocalist, and fluent in American Sign Language. Her play Borderline, was given a reading in the New Alignment Reading Series. firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Patire (actor/writer) is currently also a member of The No Ho ACE (the vaunted North Hollywood Arts Center Ensemble in Los Angeles). Richard Rique Patire’s destiny was cemented with his debut in the Children’s Chorus of “La Boheme” with Met Opera star Paul Plishka. Between those bookends, Patire’s journey has included stints at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, having songs recorded by the Miracles and for Lifetime movies, as well as the development of 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 of son/brother to AIDS – and which features vocal contribution from multiple Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris and was developed with LAWC.
Marni Penning (actor/writer) is a northern Virginia native and co-founder of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, for which she has performed over 35 roles in 10 seasons, including Juliet, Kate, Rosalind, Beatrice, and Hamlet. Her full-length play, Carol’s Christmas, has had readings in Pittsburgh, NYC, Washington, DC, and LA. She now resides in New York City, where she has appeared on “Saturday Night Live”, “The Guiding Light”, “The Sopranos”, and “Mona Lisa Smile”, and was seen onstage most recently in Courtney Baron’s short play “Not Our Last Hurrah”. Marni has performed steadily on New York stages for the past six years, as well as appearing in several short films; regionally, favorite roles include Peg in Six Years (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival), Luciana in The Comedy of Errors and Catherine in Lorenzaccio (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC), Ashley in After Ashley and Mom in Big Death and Little Death (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), Helen in Machinal (American Century Theater), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Georgia Shakespeare), Adriana in The Comedy of Errors (Folger Shakespeare Theatre and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), and Mrs. Manningham in Gaslight (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival).
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. email@example.com
Christine Krench Retzer (actor)graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre, as well as Film/Television. Originally from Michigan, Christine began her career as a dancer teaching and working outside of Detroit. While still in high school, she left home to pursue acting at Walnut Hill School, located outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She has studied and performed at various institutions such as Interlochen Arts Center, Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, The American College Dance Festival and the National Voice Intensive at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Christine continues to work as an actress in various plays, television shows, music videos and films done in Los Angeles and is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild. She is also a professional photographer, and has most recently begun working as a writer.
Nathan Singer (writer) is a novelist, playwright, composer, and experimental performing artist. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and controversial novel A Prayer for Dawn. His written work has been published across a wide spectrum of print media, from academic journals to underground indie rags. Several of his plays have been brought to life on stage, including the theatrical adaptation of Chasing the Wolf. He currently teaches writing at the University of Cincinnati. firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Currently in development with the LA Writer’s Center is her full-length play South of Liberty, which will receive a staged reading in Fall 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 a member of the Los Angeles Writers Center and developed her first play “Eggs” with us. “Eggs” received a reading with Syzygy Theatre Group/LA Writers Center as well as with the Will Geer Theatricum Bontanicum in 2010. 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.
Dale Griffiths Stamos (writer)Her full-length drama Dialectics of the Heart (recipient of the Jewel Box Theatre award) opened in January 2006 at Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, and starred Sharon Lawrence and Nicholas Gonzalez. Her one-act and short plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York City and at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she was named co-recipient (with Romulus Linney) of the Heideman Award. Her winning play, The Unintended Video appears in the Samuel French Publication Ten Minute Plays: Volume 4 from Actors Theatre of Louisville, and has been performed worldwide. Her full-length play Blue Jay Singing in the Dead of Night was workshopped by Actors Alley at the El Portal in North Hollywood. She was also Emmy-nominated for her shared story credit on the afterschool special “Words Up!” A poet as well, her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals across the nation, including Calyx and Rattle. She is also co-leader of the Dramatic Structure Workshop at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.
Alisa Tangredi 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. 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. She is the author of the paranormal suspense novels: The Puppet Maker's Bones, The Broken Angel's Wings, and the psychological thriller novella, Under the Looking Glass. 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. For more information, visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/writer.alisa.tangredi or Twitter @AlisaTangredi
Bart Tangredi (actor/writer) has been an actor and standup comic who moved to Los Angeles from New York twelve years ago. He is currently writing/revising his solo show Running for Redemption with LAWC and is also a member of the Sacred Fools Theatre Company. He doesn't like writing things down, which makes the process difficult. 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 also runs marathons in his spare time in a valiant and ongoing effort to outrun death. He lives in Van Nuys with his wife, Alisa, and their annoying dog, Stella.
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 (Los Angeles Theater Center, 2003), was invited to perform at the renowned bi-annual National Black Theater Festival 2003, where Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins starred and returned in ’05 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). Teamer is currently a graduate student at Antioch University, majoring in psychology.
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.
Mark Wild (writer) explores the history and drama of modern urban life. He is the author of Hayward, Sweet Tooth, Street Meeting, & St. Francis Xanadu. He currently teaches history at California State University Los Angeles and is developing Faithful and Here Comes Trouble with LAWC. 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 to be released in early 2007. Ms. Williams resides in Pasadena, CA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowell Williams (actor/writer) Is an award winning actor, director and playwright. His writing credits include Six Nights in the Black Belt, about civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels, a semi-finalist at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and featured in productions around the country. His newest play, Sputnik: A Love Story, will have its world premiere in 2016. He is currently adapting Six Nights for the screen. Lowell holds an MFA form Goddard College and is a member of the Dramatist's Guild of America.
Mark McLain Wilson (actor/writer/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”.