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New Perspectives Theatre Company Announces 2019 Playwriting & Directing Fellows For The Women's Work Short Play Lab

New Perspectives Theatre Company Announces 2019 Playwriting & Directing Fellows For The Women's Work Short Play Lab

New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) is pleased to announce their 2019 Playwriting and Directing Fellows, for the 11th Annual Women's Work Short Play LAB.

Now celebrating its 11th year, NPTC Women's Work Short Play LAB nurtures six female- identifying playwrights and directors, building upon their practical skills through the development process. Each playwright develops a half hour play, from scratch in a unique process that begins in February and runs through June, in regular meetings, with time for writing in between meetings. In June, each Playwright Fellow is paired with a partner Director Fellow, to take the piece through pre-production, rehearsal, and production, with the New Perspectives Theatre Company artistic staff available for support and guidance throughout the process.

LAB Program Manager Jenny Greeman provided the prompt Approval Pending to this year's playwrights to inspire each of their 30-minute plays, then resident directors collectively dramaturged the scripts to bring them to production quality over a five-month period. The program will culminate in a festival in August, where six half hour pieces will be presented, in two 90 minute programs of three plays each, rotating in rep through the festival. The festival provides the critical development tool of putting scripts on their feet, fully rehearsed in a simple production style. The Director Fellows are challenged to stage all of the pieces on one suggestive set, with the same lighting plot, working with one design team. One goal of the LAB is to ready the Playwright Fellows and Director Fellows for work with professional theatre companies, by practically providing them with the skills to develop a piece in a writer/ director setting and collaborate positively and productively with a theatre's artistic team, from page to stage, beginning at first draft, culminating in a full production.

New Perspective Theatre Company (NPTC) is pleased to announced our 2019 Fellows, who were selected through a rigorous submission and interview process.

The six 2019 Playwriting Fellows include: Sherry Friedman, Alyssa Haddad, Nina Ki, Amalia Oliva Rojas, Breana C. Venable, and Allison Zajac- Batell.

The six 2019 Directing Fellows include: Karin Crighton, Kimberly Loren Eaton, Mary Hodges, Chanon Judson- Johnson, and Julie Ann Lucas.

2019 Playwriting Fellows

Sherry Friedman is a native Brooklynite and former NYC teacher who founded the nationally recognized Wonder Writers Workshop. Bestowed with two Fulbrights and several NEH grants, she traveled to bring the world into her inner city classrooms by creating original curricula. At the same time, her magazine and newspapers articles have appeared in numerous publications, such as The New York Times, Newsday, New York Magazine, and Writer's Digest, for over 40 years. As a playwright, she studied and developed plays at NYU Tisch, Primary Stages, and Dramatists Guild with Tina Howe. Her piece RatMatch.Com was performed at the Cherry Lane. Currently a member playwright of Polaris North, her farce Seymour Sees a Shrink will be produced in their Chance Acts 2019 Festival, while workshopping her latest full-length Zombies and developing short plays.

Alyssa Haddad is a Brooklyn-based, award-winning and award-losing playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been presented at the Capital Repertory Theatre, Theater for the New City, Sundog Theatre, Paper, Kraine, and The Midtown International Theatre Festival, where she was the recipient of the Playwright's Award. She holds a BA in History and Writing from The College of Saint Rose and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Nina Ki graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dramatic Writing. Her plays have been read and produced nationwide, including with The Classical Theater of Harlem, The Living Room Theater, the HBMG Foundation, Funhouse, InspiraTO, and Another Country Productions. Her work has been published in "LGBT Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny", the "In Full Color" anthology, and YouthPLAYS.

Amalia Oliva Rojas is a Mexican playwright, poet and spoken word artist who resides in NYC. She has trained at Vassar College Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Program and CUNY Lehman College and HB Studios. Her work has been presented and workshopped at Lehman College, Vassar, Manhattan Theater Repertory, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Abingdon Theater Company, and PEN America, among others. Recently, Amalia was a writing fellow for Pen America's DREAMING OUTLOUD writing workshop, where she developed her current full-length I Would Die 4 U. In addition to her playwriting, Amalia has contributed to several online magazines such as City Limits, Popula, and La Revista De La Universidad De Mexico.

Breana C. Venable is a 2012 graduate of Fayetteville State University where she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Speech-Theatre. She was also a nominee for the KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship in 2011. Breana won the NC Campus Compact Community Impact Student Award in 2011.While at FSU, she co-founded Commonly Uncommon; a student-produced Performance Company, to facilitate discussions about relationships and interactions between men and women. She wrote, co-directed, and acted in two shows, I Am and Black Love. Her play No Man Left was featured in the DC Black Theatre Festival and Hollins Playwrights' Lab New Works Festival in 2014. Her play Sell Out was featured in the 2019 Fade To Black Play Festival in Houston, TX. Breana is currently making the transition from Charlotte, NC, where she has worked as a theatre teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, to NYC, to pursue her playwriting career. A recent graduate from Hollins University in 2018, with an MFA in Playwriting.

Allison Zajac- Batell is a New York based Playwright whose plays include Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, Under One Hundred Conditions, Ten Men and Tripoli. Allison's play World Without End was a Finalist at the 2016 New York New Works Theater Festival. Her work has been produced and/ or developed by Manhattan Repertory Theater, Ruddy Productions, and Poetic Theater Productions. She is a co-writer on the feature film Scenes from the Underground. An alumni of SPACE at Ryder Farms, The LAByrinth Theater Intensive and The Maggie Flannigan Studio for Acting, Allison received her BA from Bennington College.

2019 Directing Fellows

Karin Crighton been acting and directing since she was 10 years old. After graduating from Towson University's theater department with a concentration in directing, she produced and directed plays in Baltimore festivals for several years, before relocating to New York in 2012 to study with the Tom Todoroff Studio. There she began producing films and plays in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Recent credits include the "Once Upon a Dream" and "From the Shadows" festival at the John DeSotelle Studio, and Proof at Theatre54.

Kimberly Loren Eaton is a theatrical director, generative artist, and creator of new works. A member of SDC, select directing credits include: Daughters of the Sexual Revolution w/Sarah Steele and Tim Busfield; Woodward Award finalist; American Dream, w/ David Morse, Tamara Tunie, and Sarita Choudhury (Manhattan Theatre Club); The Forgetting Curve (Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavillion); Ain't Far From Home (Playwrights Horizons); and has been developing Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian National Library (13th Street Rep) and Sammy's Bowery Follies. Additionally, Kimberly is the founder and principal of Theatrum Mundi Productions, a producing and creative development consulting company. In addition to currently developing projects for television, she has been involved with the producing teams of Fun Home (Broadway- 5 Tony Awards including Best Play, and National Tour), The Velocity of Autumn Broadway), and Freud's Last Session (Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play). Former Artistic & Managing Director of the Off-Broadway Marjorie S. Deane Theatre. Executive Board, League of Professional Theatre Women. Education: Hofstra University, London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts, Commercial Theatre Institute, 2018 DirectorsLab Fellow (Chicago). Michael Moore Agency.

Mary Hodges is a mom, actor, director, dramaturg, and teacher. She has been at the craft for 25+ years, mostly onstage, from Berkeley, California to The Berkshires of Massachusetts. She joined the Short Play Lab in2017, directing Sex with Robots by Holly Hepp Galavan in the UNHINGED Festival, and The Last Daughter by Rachel Schroeder in the RESISTANCE IS FUTILE Festival. Also for NPTC, Mary directed A Form Apart: Poetry and Short Plays by May Miller for On Her Shoulders at The New School. She has directed for Negro Ensemble, New Federal Theatre's Annual Playwright Workshop Showcase; National Black Theatre, Harlem9: 48 Hour Plays; Liberation Theatre Company; Queens Theatre: The Park Plays; Estrogenious Festival; The Fire This Time Festival; Astoria Performing Arts Center, Voices Inside/Out and many Harlem Libraries, to name a few.

Chanon Judson- Johnson is a Choreographer, Director, and Performer with the critically acclaimed Urban Bush Women (new Artistic Director). Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. The company does this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond. Currently, UBW is presenting Hair and Other Stories, Choreographed and Directed by Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis (proscenium Staging Director, Raelle Myrick). This work utilizes hair as a lens to delve into conversation on race, equity, and liberation. 2018 Director's Lab Fellow (Chicago) and an APAP Leadership Fellow, Cohort II. Performance credits include Taylor Mac's 24Hour Spectacular, Cotton Club Parade, and the Tony Award winning musical Fela!

Julie Ann Lucas is a US Army brat born in Izmir Turkey. She studied drama at D.C.'s Duke Ellington HS for the Arts, performing her senior year in Scott Joplin's "Treemonisha" with the Houston Opera Company at the Kennedy Center. While professionally acting, producing, directing plays and short films, she majored in film at L.A. City College. She won the Best Student Film Priced Pieces Award from The National Black Programming Consortium for her student film, Chicken Bone. Julie Ann was hired by Capitol Records as a personal photographer to Rap artist & Legend, M.C. Hammer. She then worked with Walter Hillas an actress in HBO's Tales from the Crypt, and was encouraged her to pursue a directing career. Filmmakers Marceil Wright and Eugene Williams produced her second award winning short film, AKA Girl, with comedian/ actor Sinbad as executive producer. Julie Ann later moved to NYC to co-produce the award winning feature film 30 Years to Life, starring Tracy Morgan. Her NYC theatre credits are varied and diverse, including work for the Estrogenius Festival.

2019 Directing Apprentice

Dani Ortiz has loved theatre since her first day at Performing Arts Camp. Since then, she's explored writing skits, scenes, and short plays. In high school, her ten minute play, Learning to Trust, was a finalist in the Fidelity Future Stage Playwriting Contest, and was published by Samuel French in a collection of student plays. A graduate of SUNY Purchase with a BA in Theater Performance and Arts Management, she currently works at a community based organization, supporting after-school arts and leadership programs throughout NYC.

2019 Lab Program Manager

Jenny Greeman, who will also be directing in the festival, is an artist and educator who joined NPTC in 2007, after participating in the company's Shakespeare Bootcamp for Directors and Educators, and was previously the former Administrator of Youth & Community Development at NPTC, as well as a resident director for the Women's Work, World Voices and Apprenticeship programs. Jenny helmed the World Premiere production of Screenplay by Scott Brooks, which was awarded "Outstanding Production of a Play" at the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival, and subsequently moved to an Off Broadway run at 59E59 for the2008 MITF. Ms. Greeman and her writing partner, Elliot Lanes, were awarded "Best Staged Reading" for their original children's musical, The Raggedy Ann and Andy Musical. Jenny is the Resident Director for Dark Lady Players, where her credits include Shakespeare's Three Marys, Hamlet's Apocalypse, and Shakespeare's Gospel Parodies: A Medieval Mystery Tour. Currently the Director of Programming at Pathways to Leadership/ The Leadership Program, she holds a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, in Urban Studies from Connecticut College, and was a Fellow at Barnard College's Institute for Urban Education. She is currently pursuing an MPA at CUNY Baruch.

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