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Mariana Carreno-King, Nancy Kim, Germaine Netzband, and Azure D. Osborne-Lee Set for Rising Circle's Winter 2014 INKtank

Rising Circle Theater Collective announces four playwrights selected for their winter 2014 playwrights residency INKtank.

INKtank is a 12-week play development lab with a two-fold mission - to provide emerging playwrights of color an artistic home and support system, while assisting them with a major developmental rewrite of a single full-length script. This intensive lab is a collaborative process whereby Rising Circle provides structure and resources, while playwrights generate work on a week-to-week basis.

INKtank Alum include Sevan Greene, Christoper Oscar Peña , Matthew Paul Olmos, Mfoniso Udofia, and Rising Circle member,Monet Hurst-Mendoza

Mariana Carreno-King's plays include Patience, Fortitude and Other Antidepressants, (an urban riff on Federico García Lorca's Yerma, commissioned by Intar Theatre), Dance for a Dollar (a dance-theatre collaboration, Miracle Theatre, Portland, OR) Ofelia's Lovers (Mabou Mines Residencies, 2007-2009), Rare Encounters (Intar's Hispanic Playwrights in Residency Lab, 2008), Darkroom and The Wake (NewWorksLab, 1996 and 2007), Fool's Journey (finalist, 2001 O'Neill Playwrights Conference) andLa Mujer del tiempo (Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico). Her short plays, Pitahayas (finalist, 2003 Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award), Mexico '68, Riding Hope, Night of the Cat-Sitter, Clowns and Static have been presented at The Public, Milagro Theatre, Intar and with LAByrinth Theatre Company. As a director she has worked with Rising Circle (Matt Olmos' nobody rides a locomotive no mo'), IATI Theatre, Intar, Cherry Pitt and The Lark in NYC, and Stages Repertory in Houston, TX, among others. Mariana is in the Advisory Committee for The Lark Play Development Center US/Mexico Playwright Exchange, member of LAByrinth Theatre Company, and Alumna, Hispanic Playwrights in Residency Lab (HPRL) at Intar.

Nancy Kim, actor and emerging playwright, has been a part of Rising Circle Theater Collective since 2004. Nancy performed in Rising Circle'sAmerican Family Project and was a co-Associate Producer for Pulling The Lever. Her solo show,How to Find My Inner Asian (Dir. Catherine Jhung) was developed and presented by Rising Circle Theater Collective and showcased in Rising Circle's inaugural Q-Up as the impetus piece for the curriculum. Nancy's passion for the arts sparked the development of Rising Circle's Q-Up Program, which is designed to inspire Asian and South-Asian females in the Queens borough to use theater as a means of self-expression and tool for building self-esteem. Nancy's other original works include The Oriental Village and The Byung Sisters American Vaudeville Tryout. She has also worked with various theatre companies both on and off stage throughout New York City as well as assisted in producing numerous documentary and non-fiction programs for television.

Germaine Netzband was born in the Bronx and spent her childhood in New Hampshire and Cairo, Egypt. She attended Yale University, majoring in Literature. After Yale, Germainereturned to Egypt for one year and became a copywriter at a bilingual advertising agency. Upon moving to New York, she completed a one-year intensive film program at NYU. Honors include a NY Urban League Scholarship. Shecontinued to study screenwriting and playwriting under Mick Casale, head of screenwriting at Tisch, who has since become a valued mentor. For several years Ms. Netzband was also a student of Edwin Sanchez at ESPA Primary Stages. Her work has received Equity showcases at Soho Playhouse and Manhattan Theatre Source and has been included in the Liquored Up! One-Act Festival and the Strawberry One-Act Festival, where she was a semi-finalist. Her plays have had staged readings at the Gene Frankel Theatre and the Chelsea Playhouse in New York City. Plays include: The Love Song of Eleanor Purdy, Stray Dog, Welcome Wagon, Lifetime Fan, Skin City(screenplay). For her day job, Ms. Netzband has always been in the restaurant industry and became interested in wine in a serious way a few years ago. Last year she received her advanced certification from the Wine Spirits Education Trust and most recently was a sommelier at a Michelin star restaurant in New York City.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist: a writer, theatre practitioner, performer, and photographer. Born and raised below the Mason-Dixon Line, Azure travels extensively for his work. In 2005 Azure earned his Bachelor of Arts in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin and studied abroad at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina. In 2006, Azure worked as a touring actor with ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX before returning to the University of Texas at Austin to earn a Master of Arts in Women's & Gender Studies. In 2010 Azure's one act play CROOKED PARTS was presented at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) as well as at the Utopia Theatre at the University of Texas at Austin. Azure was also awarded a playwriting residency with Freedom Train Productions in Brooklyn, NY in 2010. After his residency culminated in a staged reading of his new full-length play MIRRORS, Azure moved to London for a year to study site-specific, experimental and collaborative theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Azure rounded off his time in London with another residency, this time with New Shoes Theatre where he led a series of playwriting workshops for community artists in Greater London. Upon returning to Brooklyn, Azure served as the Artistic & Executive Director of Roots and River Productions for two years while also working as a writer and transcriptionist and presenting his work as a photographer. Azure is now focusing on writing and performing new work for the stage, and he is very happy to share that he will be joining the 2014 INKtank New Play Development Lab to develop a full-length version of CROOKED PARTS.

Founded in 2000, Rod Bowen and Deepa Purohit, both artists of color and educators, created Rising Circle Theater Collective to address the lack of stories and roles on stage that represent the diverse cultural communities in New York City. Now in its 13th year, Rising Circle Theater Collective is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to broadening the scope of storytelling on the American stage by providing a home for artists of color that empowers them to seek out unheard stories of people of color, thereby inspiring the creation of theater that challenges cultural misperceptions in an effort to bridge social divides. The company's members include Farah Bala (actor | educator); Kareem Fahmy (director | playwright); Monet Hurst-Mendoza (playwright | director); Nancy Kim (producer); Pirronne Yousefzadeh (director |educator). For more information, visit

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