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2011 Guest artists, Panelists & Workshop Instructors

 

Elena Araoz   Courtney "CoCo" Mault
Jennifer Berry David Neumann
Bostin Christopher Gail Renardson
Kip Fagan Thomas Riccio
Ivan Fuller Timothy Siragusa
Kim Gambino Max "Bunny" Sparber
Brian Haimbach

Justin Townsend

Sibyl Kempson

Lee Wochner

Colby Kuhlman Ron Zank

 

Elena Araoz

Elena Araoz

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, PlayLab Director

Elena Araoz directs both theatre and opera on the international, Off-Broadway and regional levels. Favorites include: The Power in Beijing, Carl Djerassi's plays Off-Broadway (starring Simon Jones, Lisa Harrow), The Price at Northern Stage (starring Kenneth Tigar), Falstaff (starring Sir Thomas Allen with Maestro Robert Spano) for the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM, Thirst by Monika Bustamante (after Thirst’s critical success in NYC, Elena will be staging the subsequent production in Austin), Io: a myth about you (four Austin Critics’ nominations, including Best Production of a Musical), The Fever Chart at Undergorund Railway Theatre in Boston, Titus Andronicus for Austin Shakespeare (B. Iden Payne Award) and Don DeLillo's The Word for Snow (starring Kathleen Chalfont). Her adaptation of Christopher Logue’s War Music toured the country. She created original choreography for Steven Blier’s “Latin Lovers” concert at Glimmerglass Opera and Sir Jonathan Miller’s La traviata at Vancouver Opera. She is proud to also have directed for Negro Ensemble Company, Chicago Humanities Festival, NY Humanities Festival, Making Books Sing, Chekhov Theatre Ensemble, Martina Arroyo Opera Foundation, Geva Theatre, Pearl Theatre and concerts for Opera NJ. As Associate Director to Sir Jonathan Miller, she has worked on Broadway’s King Lear and operas at Lincoln Center, Seattle Opera, BAM and Glimmerglass. She is thrilled to be directing Carolyn Nur Wistrand’s Rising after serving as Dramaturg to the Playwright through the writing process. Elena holds her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. www.elenaaraoz.com
Jennifer Berry

Jennifer Berry
PlayLab Panelist, PlayLab Director

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Award winning Writer/Director/Performer Jennifer Berry uses her singular brand of writing to explore issues of community, race, and integrity in American Life. Berry is best known for her play “Big Pharma” about the rise of the anti-depressant drug industry and the loss of a generation . “Big Pharma” received rave reviews from The Denver Post, The San Francisco Examiner, and The LA Weekly, and on American Radio Network. Big Pharma was also a feature on PBS “Wired Science”. Her most recent play “Ojalá” about a white girls entrance into the secret life of Latina nannies was featured in The Los Angeles Times and received “best Latin American play in L.A” in 2010.  Jennifer is also the author and director of several more plays including Permanently Missing, The Three Types of Sex, and After All which selected for presentation at the 2010 Great Plains Theater Conference.  Jennifer is a former radio host on Southern California’s NPR. There she developed her own format and style of in depth interviews with the most prominent theater professionals of our time.  Jennifer also served as the former assistant Dramaturg/Script supervisor at American Conservatory Theater.
Bostin Christopher

Bostin Christopher

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Actor

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Bostin Christopher has served as guest artist, respondent and/or workshop leader at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and the William Inge Center for the Arts. Currently he is in cahoots with both Timothy Daly and Arlitia Jones on new projects. Up next he will direct The 39 Steps for Perseverance Theatre in September. Recent projects: Directed the world premiere of Arlitia Jones' Make Good the Fires at Cyrano's Theatre Company in Alaska; Acted in the world premiere of He Said She Said by Lee Wochner for Movings Arts in Los Angeles. Previous highlights include performing Off-Broadway, where he originated the roles of Nicholas Skeres in David Grimm's Kit Marlowe at the Public Theatre and the role of Charles Green in Ice Island: The Wait for Shackelton. Bostin recently shot (in Thailand) “Scorpion King 3” for Universal with Victor Webster, Billy Zane and Ron Perlman. Previous film and television roles include: the titular role in Warner Bros film's “Otis” with Daniel Stern, Illeana Douglas and Kevin Pollak; “In My Pocket” with Gregory Smith and Zack Ward; M. Night Shyamalan's “Unbreakable”, “Law & Order”, “Ed”, and several award-winning short films. Bostin has a BA from University of Alaska, Anchorage and MFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at PlayMaker's Repertory Company/UNC-Chapel Hill.
Bostin is online at: http://www.bostinchristopher.com

Kip Fagan

Kip Fagan

PlayLab Panelist, PlayLab Director, Workshop Instructor

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Kip Fagan is a theatre director in New York City. He most recently directed the world premiere of Jordan Harrison's Futura at Portland Center Stage in Portland, Oregon. NYC credits include: Heidi Schreck’s There Are No More Big Secrets (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Sheila Callaghan’s Roadkill Confidential (Clubbed Thumb), Sam Hunter’s Jack’s Precious Moment (P73 at 59E59), Sheila Callaghan’s Recess (The Flea), Zayd Dohrn’s Reborning (SPF), Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play (Rattlestick), Greg Keller’s The Young Left (Cherry Lane), Cory Hinkle’s Cipher (SPF), Mark Greenfield’s I.E. In Other Words (The Flea), Sam Marks’s Nelson (Partial Comfort), Christopher Durang’s Not a Creature Was Stirring (The Flea), and Rachel Hoeffel’s Quail (Clubbed Thumb). Other regional: Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (Humana Festival), Len Jenkin’s Limbo Tales (Todd Mountain), Tommy Smith and Gabriel Kahane’s musical Goodnight Mecca (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Craig Lucas’s Small Tragedy (The Playwrights Center), Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery (Empty Space Theatre), and several plays with Printer’s Devil in Seattle, which he co-founded. He has developed new work at Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, Young Playwrights Festival, The Lark, Huntington Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage, The Playwrights Center, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He is an adjunct professor of theatre at SUNY Purchase, and has taught or directed at The Juilliard School, NYU Graduate Acting, Atlantic Theatre Company School, and Saint Martin’s College. He was a 2003-2004 NEA/TCG directing fellowship recipient and was the 2007 Bill Foeller directing fellow at Williamstown. Kip was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ivan Fuller

Ivan Fuller

PlayLab Panelist, PlayLab Director

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Ivan Fuller has been a professor of theatre at Augustana College since 1989. He currently serves as chair of the Performing & Visual Arts Department. He is the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, producing summer Shakespeare in Sioux Falls. Since 2003 he has spent time during the summer in Russia, leading students on study abroad trips or simply being inspired for his various writing projects. In addition to his work as a director, actor, theatre educator, and poet, Ivan is a playwright. His play, Eating into the Fabric, was chosen for the Mainstage Reading Series at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in May 2009 where it was awarded a Holland New Voices Award for Outstanding Play. In July 2009 he served as playwright-in-residence for Summer Literary Seminars in Vilnius, Lithuania. His play, Awake in Me, was produced at Augustana College in 2011.
Kim Gambino

Kim Gambino

Workshop Instructor, Actor

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Kim Gambino has been acting and singing professionally in NYC since the age of 12. After attending Performing Arts High School and receiving a BFA in Acting from Purchase College she immediately started working in the downtown theatre scene as well as touring Europe with the musical Hair and China with The Incredible Feeling Show by Liz Swados.  Kim’s work with playwright Ruth Margraff and director Tim Manor include The Hawthorne Trilogy (The Ohio Theatre & HERE Arts Center), Night Vision by jazz composer Fred Ho (HERE),The Cry Pitch Carrolls (HERE), Vinyl Pressings, The Elektra Fugues, and The Centaur Battle of San Jacinto (Dixon Place).   Since 1997, Kim has had the great pleasure of working with Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow and The Talking Band Theatre Company at La Mama in The Black Milk Quartet, Delicious Rivers, and Imminence to name a few. And for the last 7 years she has been lucky to work intensively with Puppeteer Ralph Lee and the Mettawee River Theatre Company performing in plays with masks, puppets and music including The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Brecht, Peace by Aristophanes, and Beyond the High Valley (St.John's Cathedral, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, New England Tour).  Other NYC theater credits include Still by David Neumann, Singing in the Womb of Angels by Carl Hancock Rux, and Hot Mouth by Grisha Coleman (PS 122).  Film credits: Laws of Gravity, When It’s Over. TV credits: Fedex commercial, Officer Larson on Law and Order. 
Brian Haimbach

Brian Haimbach

PlayLab Panelist, PlayLab Director

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Brian earned his Ph.D. in theatre with a specialization in directing and new play development from University of Georgia. Directing credits include Hamlet, Marat/Sade, Top Girls, The Exonerated, Amadeus and The Rocky Horror Show as well as numerous world premieres. Professionally he has spent time with Touchstone Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. He is the head of the New Play Festival at Centre Stage, where he has directed world premier readings for Lee Blessing and Arlene Hutton. He is currently developing the theatre program at Greenville Technical College. His adaptation of Iphigenia at Aulis is currently being performed in Beirut, Lebanon.
Sibyl Kempson

Sibyl Kempson

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Playwright, Le Chat Noir

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Sibyl Kempson lives and makes theater plays in NYC and the Pocono Mountains. Plays include Crime or Emergency; Potatoes of August; So Much To Go Crazy (The Show Might Go On) (Sehr Langsam); Zeit af der KürbisGeistNachten; The Secret Death of Puppets (or) How Do Puppets Die? (or) Puppets Die in Secret; The Wytche of Problymm Plantation; Bad Girls Good Writers; Spargel Time! and many others. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place, P.S. 122, Soho Rep, CATCH! Series, Little Theater, the Brick Theater, Austin's Fusebox Festival, the Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha, and the StadtTheater in Bonn, Germany, and has been published by the 53rd State Press, PLAY: Journal of Plays, the Brooklyn Review, Midway Literary Journal, i-theatron, and Semiotext(e) Native Agents/MIT Press. 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellow, member of New Dramatists, a Fullstage Austin/New Dramatists Commission for the making of a new work in Austin, TX, a four-time recipient of Dixon Place’s Mondo Cane! Commission (2002, '07, '09, '11), and of individual grant support from the Greenwall Foundation 2009 & ‘10. Founding member of the Joyce Cho Initiative, an affinity of playwrights dedicated to the staging of problem plays, and of Machiqq Women's Auxiliary playwriting group. MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, 2007, where she studied under the instigation of Mac Wellman.
Colby Kullman

Colby Kuhlman

PlayLab Panelist

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Colby H. Kullman is a professor of English at the University of Mississippi where he has taught since 1984. He is editor of the two-volume reference work Theatre Companies of the World (1986), is co-founder and co-editor (with Philip C. Kolin) of the journal Studies in American Drama, 1945-Present (1986-1994), and co-editor of Speaking on Stage (1996, with Philip C. Kolin). His interview with Arthur Miller appeared in the fall 1998 Michigan Quarterly Review a special edition of the journal celebrating Miller´s Death of a Salesman at fifty. He has recently published essay on Mart Crowley, Beth Henley, and Tony Kushner´s Angels in America. His articles on Tennessee Williams appear in the Mississippi Quarterly, Souther Quarterly, and Tennessee Williams: A Guide to Research and Performance. For the past twelve years, he has given tours of Tennessee Williams´s Mississippi Delta. In 1995, he was awarded the University of Mississippi´s Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year; in 1997, he was elected as Ole Miss´s Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher; in 2001, he was celebrated with a Phi Kappa Phi Award for Contributions to Excellence in Higher Education; and in 2011 he was awarded the Mississippi Humanities Council's Scholar of the Year. He is on the National Advisory Boards of the Last Frontier Theatre Festival, Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival, and the William Inge Theatre Festival. His essay on Tennessee Williams's Sweet Bird of Youth now appears in the 2009 New Directions text of the play.
Courtney Mault

Courtney "Coco" Mault

Playwright-Le Chat Noir

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Courtney "Coco" Mault is a freelance writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is currently half of the pop punk band duo, The Ultramods, whose album reached audiences world-wide. She also co-authored the ebook Bunny and Coco Get Smashed, published this past April.
David Neumann

David Neumann

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Playwright-Le Chat Noir

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David Neumann has been a featured dancer in the works of Susan Marshall, Jane Comfort, Sally Silvers, Irene Hultman, Cathy Weiss, Big Dance Theater and late club legend Willi Ninja. He was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers and an eight-year original member and collaborator with the Doug Elkins Dance Company with whom he toured nationally and internationally. He continues to perform and choreograph for theater, opera and film working with such directors as: Hal Hartley, Laurie Anderson, Robert Woodruff, Lee Breuer, Peter Sellars, JoAnn Akalaitis, Chris Bayes, Mark Wing-Davey, Daniel Sullivan, Les Waters and Molly Smith. Recent projects include: creature movement on ‘I Am Legend’ with Will Smith, performing with Mikhail Baryshnikov in “Beckett Shorts” at New York Theater Workshop, and choreographing ‘The Bacchae’ at The Public Theater. As artistic director of Advanced Beginner Group, Neumann’s work has been presented in New York at PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Central Park Summerstage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), The Kitchen and Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson). His original work has also been presented at The Walker Art Center, MASS MoCA and Jacob’s Pillow. In addition to working on his next commission (DTW in 2012), he continues to perform his choreography with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Neumann is currently on faculty in the theater department at Sarah Lawrence College and is a guest lecturer at the Yale School of Drama. 
Gail Renardson

Gail Renardson

PlayLab Panelist

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Gail worked for 12 years with Dr. Jo Ann C. McDowell on the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, and has been pleased to be part of the Play Lab process at the Great Plains Theatre Conference since its inception.  She continues to serve as an adjudicator for the plays submitted to that conference; thus she has been reviewing new plays for approximately 15 years.  She is a Professor of English at Prince William Sound Community College where she has taught for 30 years. During her doctoral theatre studies at Florida State University and the University of California - Davis, Gail was fortunate to work with critics Martin Esslin and Ruby Cohn. The focus of her studies was on the utopian/feminist perspective in the plays of Arnold Wesker. 
Tom Riccio

Thomas Riccio

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Playwright-Le Chat Noir

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Thomas Riccio is a writer, performer and director and a Professor of Performance and Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Previous positions: Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Artistic Director of Chicago's Organic Theater Company; Resident Director and Dramaturg for the Cleveland Play House; Assistant Literary Director at the American Repertory Theatre; Visiting Professor, University of Dar es Salaam and the Korean National University for the Arts; and Artistic Director of Tuma Theatre, an Alaska Native performance group. He has directed over one hundred plays at American regional theatres and in ten different countries. He works extensively in the area of indigenous performance conducting workshops, research and devising performances in Africa, Russia, Siberia, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Alaska. He was declared a "Cultural Hero" of the Sakha Republic (central Siberia). His plays have been produced in the US and Europe. His scholarly writings are published. Peter Lang published Performing Africa: Remixing Tradition, Theater and Culture, and he received an International Distinction Prize in Playwrighting from the Alexander Onassis Foundation. He worked as Lead Narrative Engineer for Hanson Robotics, co-authoring several robot personalities. In 2009 he conducted research in Christian Orthodox ritual and devised a performance, Andegna in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Recently he conducted workshops in Estonia and presented an installation, The Invention of Memory, at Central Trak Gallery, Dallas. Undermain Theatre will do a reading of Ilira, June 2011. Dead White Zombies, a Dallas-Based performance collective, recently produced blahblah, which he directed. www.thomasriccio.com and www.deadwhitezombies.com
Tim Siragusa

Timothy Siragusa

Playwright-Le Chat Noir, Performer -The Writer's Voice

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Timothy Siragusa is an Omaha native who makes his living as a waiter. See My Finger, See My Thumb was comissioned by Jonathan Messenger as part of his Dollar Store Show series, presented in conjunction with the (downtown) omaha litfest. Tim would like to thank Mr. Messenger and Timothy Schaffert for inviting him to join their party. He dedicates this work to Claire Therese and Paul Timothy.
Max Sparber

Max "Bunny" Sparber

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Playwright-Le Chat Noir

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Max "Bunny" Sparber is a playwright and journalist from Minneapolis. Along with Coco Mault, he is a member of the pop punk band The Ultramods, who recently released their first album "Underwear Party." Additionally, their ebook "Bunny and Coco Get Smashed," a compilation of six years of writing about the history and culture of the cocktail, is currently available as an ebook from Amazon.com and iBooks.
Justin Townsend

Justin Townsend

Workshop Instructor

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Justin Townsend (Lighting and Set Designer) NYC work includes: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Outer Critics Circle nom.) and Dance Dance Revolution with Alex Timbers; Monstrosity, Lucy Thurber and 13P; Opus, Primary Stages; Speech and Debate, Roundabout; Eve Ensler's The Treatment at the Culture Project; Food Project with Lightbox; Drums of the Waves of the Horikawa with Theatre of a Two Headed Calf; Beauty on the Vine, Palace of the End and Mahida's Extra Key to Heaven with Epic Theatre. Regionally: American Repertory Theatre (Elliot Norton Award for The Onion Cellar)(IRNE for Blue Flower) , Arden Theatre,Alliance Theatre, Bard SummerScape, Baltimore Center Stage, Boston Court, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Folger Shakespeare Library (Helen Hayes nom for Hamlet), Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Kirk Douglas Theatre (Ovation nominee for Apollo), Playmakers Rep. Mr Townsend is the 2006 USIT Rising Star Award winner and is a member of the Obie-winning Theatre of a Two Headed Calf. His MFA is from California Institute for the Arts. Mr Townsend is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University.
Lee Wochner

Lee Wochner

PlayLab Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Playwright-Le Chat Noir

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Lee Wochner is the award-winning author of more than two dozen plays produced in New York, London, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. From 1992 to 2002 he directed, produced, workshopped or developed more than 150 new plays as the founding artistic director of Moving Arts, a theatre devoted to new plays, where he recently reassumed the mantle of artistic director on an interim basis. Since then, he has directed several more plays for Moving Arts, including world premieres by Trey Nichols and EM Lewis. Since 1990, he has led the “Words That Speak” playwriting workshop, assisting dozens of playwrights, many of them first-timers, toward production in theatres all over the globe. For 10 years, he taught graduate playwriting at the University of Southern California; has served as a judge and workshop leader since 2008 for the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and has twice served as a drama judge for the PEN USA Literary Awards. Producing credits include the Regional Alternative Theatre Conference, the SRO Conference, the Ovation Awards, the California Arts Council, the California African American Theatre Roundtable, and the USC One-Act Festival where he served as Executive Producer and Artistic Director. He is recognized by the State of California as a California Thinker. He is also a principal in the creative marketing agency Counterintuity, LLC.
Ron Zank

Ron Zank

PlayLab Panelist, PlayLab Director, Workshop Instructor, Actor

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Ron Zank directed The Victims for last year´s Great Plains Theatre Conference. Other works directed for the Conference include Crash! Boom! Pow!, Christmas Cookies, Dialogue Heard on a Flooded River, St. Jude and the Hopeless Cause, and A Kiss for Death. A visiting instructor at Lamar University, he recently directed A Lesson Before Dying and Beaumont's Babe: A Sportrait of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. His play, Heigh-Ho, Skelter! was part of the University of Missouri Comedies-in-Concert Series in 2008. His dissertation focuses on stage adaptations of the 1939 The Wizard Of Oz film .