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Refracted Theatre Company Announces Refraction Lab 2022 Cohort

Refracted Theatre Company Announces Refraction Lab 2022 Cohort

2022 RefrAction Lab is an eight-month playwriting lab for emerging Chicago playwrights.

Refracted Theatre Company has announced the cohort chosen for its 2022 RefrAction Lab, an eight-month playwriting lab for emerging Chicago playwrights. This year's cohort includes Adonis Holmes, Alica Daine Benning, Ryan Oliveira, Amy Crider and maiya a. corral with dramaturg Kenya Ann Hall. The lab, which explores developing plays by way of a specific point of entry as the writer, culminates in a two-night public showcase in December 2022.

Refracted Theatre Company Co-Artistic Directors Graham Miller and Tova Wolff comment, "RefrAction Lab is a pilot program that serves to bring emerging Chicago playwrights together in cohort and curiosity. We're asking, how can a playwright turn a question into the action of a play? Over eight months, our cohort will work together to build brand new works of theatre upon a foundation of divisive questions, questions that dare to make the political personal and the personal universal. This lab encapsulates Refracted's mission of celebrating curiosity as a means of promoting empathy."


Adonis Holmes (he/him/his) is a writer, performer and comedian out of Chicago. Adonis graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's in Psychology and Anthropology. Having produced, directed and written several shows in the Champaign-Urbana community, he started taking improv classes and regularly performing at the IO Theatre. Adonis has been featured in several sketch shows throughout the city, including Chicago Sketch Fest and the Best of Annoyance sketch show. He is currently a member of Devil's Daughter Improv, an ensemble member on the Annoyance House team, Mummy, and serves as the Co-Artistic Director of IO Theatre.

Alica Daine Benning (she/her/hers) is a playwright and performer hailing from a tiny town in the rural Southwest. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Southern California, and recently earned her MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage from Northwestern University. Alica is passionate about telling stories that center mental health, trauma, dysmorphia, misogyny and the female experience. Her plays explore the intersections of wellness and identity through complex and relationship-driven narratives which are poignant and darkly funny. Alica is currently based out of Chicago, where in her free time she is a hobbyist figure skater, rock climber, film photographer and watcher of love-themed reality TV shows. She vows never to attend a Cubs game.

Ryan Oliveira (he/him/they/them) is a playwright, dramaturg, songwriter and solo performer. His work has been produced with Pride Films and Plays, as well as Nothing Without a Company. He has developed new plays with The New Coordinates, Broken Nose Theatre, El Semillero, Prop Thtr, Chicago Dramatists and Teatro Vivo. A Disquiet Luso-American Fellowship finalist, his play, Take Care, was also a finalist for the O'Neill Theatre Conference (2020, 2021) and New Harmony Conference (2020). As a dramaturg, Ryan has collaborated with The New Coordinates, 16th Street Theatre and Teatro Bravo to help develop new work. He's also a karaoke aficionado.

Amy Crider (she/her) has a BA in Theater and an MA in Education from Goddard College. She has been semifinalist for the O'Neill and the Princess Grace Award, and third place for the James Stevenson Prize. Her play Fourteen won the Tennessee Williams One Act Play Contest in 2021. Her novel "Disorder" was recently published by the University of New Orleans Press, where it won their Lab Prize. She produces a podcast featuring audio versions of her work, called "Continuous Dream," based at www.continuousdream.com. Her website is www.amycrider.com.

maiya a. corral (she/her) is a queer Mexican storyteller and educator from the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently lives on occupied Council of Three Fire land where she builds artistic home with her community. As an actor, director and playwright, her work has been produced with the neighborhood theatre Chicago, University of Idaho, Florida International University and nationally recognized at The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C. As an educator, she practices anti-racism training and storytelling with students, exploring intersections of art and social consciousness through playmaking and creative writing. Her storytelling explores humanness through the deep waters of loss, ancestry and magic.

Kenya Ann Hall (RefrAction Lab Dramaturg) is an actress, writer, director and dramaturg based in Chicago, raised in Oakland, CA. Her writing has been featured at Mudlark Theater Company, Victory Gardens as part of the Each & Her Performance showcase, the inaugural Ain't I a Woman Festival, the 2015 Northwestern Senior Writing Showcase, and received honorable mention for the Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Award. Her dramaturgy credits include Kill Move Paradise (asst./Timeline Theatre), Saint Joan (Poetic Forum Collective), The Good Fight and The Lady Demands Satisfaction (Babes with Blades). She is an artistic associate at Prop Thtr, a graduate of Northwestern University and is represented by BMG Talent.

Refracted's mission is to disrupt socially accepted narratives by telling the "other side of the story." By upending audience expectations through innovation and adaptation, Refracted inspires meaningful discourse centered on empathy and humanity.

Refracted is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was founded in 2019 in New York City by Graham Miller and Tova Wolff. As a two-year old company, Refracted is proud to have been one of the only theaters in the country that produced two full seasons of live theatre during the pandemic, harnessing its powers of creativity and innovation. Now in its third season in its new home of Chicago, Refracted invites you to get involved as it redefines what theatre can be in order to build a world fueled by curiosity and compassion. Visit www.refractedco.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Refracted Theatre Co.'s 2022 RefrAction Lab cohort includes (top, l to r) Adonis Holmes and Alica Daine Benning, (bottom, l to r) Ryan Oliveira, Amy Crider and maiya a. corral.

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