Nancy Temple has written short and full-length plays. Her plays have been produced in numerous festivals in the US, Europe and Canada. Most recently, her short play “Ties that Bind” was chosen by Broken Arts Entertainment for their podcast. Her play for high-schoolers, “Victoria for President! 1872” was published by Next Stage Press (2020). Her full-length “The Caregivers,” received a staged reading by the North Shore Readers in December of 2020, and was published ARTemis Wisdom Anthology (2021). “Riverbend Blue,” a short story, was accepted for publication by riverSedge, the annual publication of the University of Texas Rio Grande. Nancy received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in June 2021.
MORE ABOUT ME
Because I began writing plays close to retirement age, I'd say the most gratifying (and astonishing) moment was watching my very first play in production at the Image Theatre, in Lowell, MA. The dialogue in this short play was based on emails and conversations between me and my husband during his affair (and before our divorce). I watched two actors deliver familiar lines exactly as I had imagined them spoken as I wrote the play. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. The audience gasped when the man received a text from his lover. At the end, the woman behind me said, "That was intense." At that point, I knew I had to keep writing plays. The experience was transformative.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I have recently been writing short plays derived from stories I am working on. I have just written a new short play that is both a stand-alone and the third chapter in a series of short plays. All three plays are about four people whom I have come to know intimately through writing about them. I'm now interested in seeing whether their journey could be written as a story/novella. It's interesting to move between the two mediums, plays and prose.
Relational dynamics, Family relationships, Transgender issues, Adoption, Racism, Immigration
Marin Gazzaniga’s play The Unbelieving had its world premiere at 59E59th October 2022. Produced by The Civilians, it was a NYT’s Critic’s Pick and is based on interviews of non-believing clergy conducted for Daniel C. Dennett’s and Linda LaScola’s study “Caught in the Pulpit,” as well as her own interviews. Her first play, So Close, was co-produced by Rising Phoenix Rep (Time Out NY Critic’s Pick). It was inspired by interviews she conducted while writing for Victim Services and told the story of a violent relationship. She co-produced and acted in the independent film version (which streamed on iTunes and Amazon). Her plays have been developed by The Civilians, LAByrinth Theater Co. and Primary Stages ESPA in NY, Echo Theatre in Dallas, and Santa Fe Playhouse. In Ways Both Frivolous and Deep was produced by Ashland New Plays Festival’s Play4Keeps podcast (Apple Podcasts and Spotify). Her plays have received support from National Endowment for the Arts, the Pilgrim Project, and Venturous Theater fund of the Tides Foundation and have been finalists for Ashland New Plays Festival and the Heidemann Award, and semi-finalists for the O’Neill Playwrights Festival, and the Relentless Theater Award “Picket Plays.” She received her BA from Columbia, her MA in creative writing from City College and studied playwrighting at Primary Stages’ Einhorn School of Performing Arts.
Gazzaniga started her career in journalism (NBC News, Vogue, MSN.com and Fortune.com) has written and edited several nonfiction books, and produced award-winning digital features for HBO, Turner, Lionsgate and AMC. She co-created and starred in the IFC web series Like So Many Things… and was director of the Filmmakers’ Workshop for New York Stage and Film for five years. She has written comedy pilots for Hulu and Freeform, and is currently an Emmy-winning writer for The Young and the Restless (CBS).
MORE ABOUT ME
I wrote my first play over twenty years ago and ended up co-producing it with Rising Phoenix Rep and then making and selling the feature film. This past fall I had the world premiere of my second produced play at 59E59, with the Civilians. In the interim, I studied playwriting and have written several plays that have been developed by various companies (see bio), receiving workshops and readings and award recognition. Not having gone to an MFA playwriting program, I've at times felt at a disadvantage being outside the pipeline for produced playwrights. But that hasn't deterred me from persevering to write and find outlets for my plays - all while making a living as a full-time writer in other fields (mostly journalism and TV). In spite of success in other media, it is theater where I feel I can tackle the most complicated questions that haunt me like: What does it mean to mourn a child that never was? Is there love in a violent relationship? What does it feel like to go from clergy member to atheist? I return to theater because it is a place that doesn't demand pat answers - but allows you to explore these questions with an audience. It is where you can begin a dialogue, instead of end one.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
The questions I’m circling around now are: Can you avoid the fear of losing someone? If you could, how? At what cost?
Science, faith, atheism, domestic violence, social issues, dark comedy, infertility, documentary theater
Melissa Bell is a published and produced playwright whose work explores women’s agency as they navigate their power and repression. Awards: LADY CAPULET, Nominated Best Adaptation & Modernization in 2020 & 2021 by New York Shakespeare and Henley Rose Playwright Competition Finalist 2017, premiered by Barefoot Shakespeare Company in Central Park in 2019, and has been performed live or virtually at Turn to Flesh (NY), Advice to the Players (NH) Bernie Wohl Center (NYC), Farm Arts Collective (PA), Norwalk Library (CT) CreateTheater (virtual space), Bedford Playhouse, and the Little Shakespeare Festival and featured in Smith & Krause’s Best Men’s Monologues of 2020. Honored Finalist, Collaboration Award, 2019 by Women in Arts & Media Coalition for COURAGE based on Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children produced by NACL Theatre, immersive site-specific journey, featuring Debra Winger, performed on Governor’s Island, NYC, and Apple Pond Farm in the Catskills. Librettist for FINDING MADAME CURIE, musical with composer David Kurkowski. Associate Playwright/ensemble member of Farm Arts Collective based in Damascus, PA, whose decalogue of original eco-plays DREAM ON THE FARM was featured in the New York Times Arts Section in 2021. ZOE COMES HOME premiered at the Tusten Theatre in Narrowsburg, NY, in 2022, revived by popular demand in 2023, and produced in NYC by 29th Street Playwrights Collective, where I am a Resident Playwright. OFF BROADWAY: DEVIL & THE DEEP, music by Graham Russell of Air Supply, produced by Theatre East. LOST IN LOVE, the Air Supply Musical, one-night-only event produced by Triad Theatre benefiting the Actors Fund, featured 2x Tony nominated actor Constantine Maroulis and Tony winning actress Andrea McArdle. GAME BOY, produced by TRU, featuring Tony Awardee Cady Huffman, for TRUSPEAK. ICEBOX PLACENTA/PLAYGROUND PLACENTA, featured in Smith & Krause’s Best Women’s Monologues of 2019, Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom. Columbia University BA.
MORE ABOUT ME
I don't know why I keep doing theater! It's just that every time I feel like stopping, I remind myself that no one will care whether I stop or not -- except for me. Then something fun and wonderful comes along and I'm in production or arranging a reading or writing songs or a book for a new play or musical. Or I find a submission that is just right for one of my plays and they produce it. Or I stop in the coffee shop and the local arts alliance event director asks me if I have anything new. I say No, but then say, oh wait, I have something that might just relate to your audience. Honestly, I love being an artist and I've been one my entire life. If I'm not writing a play, I'm writing a press release or updating the graphics for my website or the 29th Street Playwrights Collective website, of which I am a founding member and the General Manager. I went to college late in life and I began work as a content creator with an agency creating PowerPoint marketing and corporate decks for Big Pharma. Before that I was a singer, recording dance music, and before that I had a rock band right out of high school. I'm a performer and theatre maker at heart who loves having a band of people around to create with.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
TAYLOR'S INFERNO: A Juke-box musical featuring the music of a popular 80's rock band, based on Dante's Inferno. The next installment of DREAM ON THE FARM and the Book to FINDING MADAME CURIE. I am working on a novel version of LADY CAPULET, as well as a version for episodic TV.
period, woman-centered, Immersive/site-specific, reimagining classical themes, heightened speech, dark comedy, depression/anxiety/mental health, Shakespeare adaptation, Shakespearean women, historic women, Madame Curie, Emma Goldman, Climate change, eco-plays, librettist, lyricist, songwriter.
I am a recently retired African-American , Legal-Aid Criminal defense attorney who practiced in the Bronx for 33 years. After retirement, I wanted to pursue acting but after going to many auditions I realized that this dream may never come true, so I decided to write my own plays. My first one, is called the Hall of Justice, based on a true story of one of my clients who was falsely accused of Rape in the First degree, by a woman he did not know. It turns out, I like playwriting more than acting but if something interesting pops up I will take it. Member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, The Dramatists Guild, and the New York Bar Association.
MORE ABOUT ME:
If I could bring one change to the theatre, it would be more diversity, more inclusivity in accepting undiscovered playwrights. Things are changing but it's too slow. The Signature Theatre in New York, does some provocative plays, but always by the same African-American playwrights. Lynn Nottage, (don't get me wrong, she is my idol); Dominique Morriseau, Katori Hall, and Susan Lori Parks. The theatres will not take a chance on new playwrights. Although, Lynn Meadow, Artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Club, recently said they accept plays from unknown playwrights, when you look on their website, they specifically say they don't accept unsolicited scripts, so their actual diversity statement is a bag of air. This also goes for The Roundabout.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am reading about an African-American surgeon, medical professor, and the founder of plasma, Dr. Charles Drew. He died in a severe car accident when he was only 45. It is said that he was refused medical treatment because he was a Negro man, even though he looked white. After, I finish my research, then I will choose one aspect of his life that I think will make a "good" play.
Family, Mystery, People of Color, Inequality, Injustice
Patricia Connelly is an award-winning playwright and director, who has worked in the theater for several decades. In addition to playwriting and directing, Patricia has been a producer, stage manager, and teacher. Her most recent play, Heartland was produced by Pipeline Playwrights in 2022 at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Her play, Around the Snake Turn, was selected and presented as part of the Baltimore Playwrights’ Festival in 2023. Her play, Princess Margaret, was produced as part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival in Washington DC in 2015. Other produced plays include: The Penny or the Stone, (Robert Bone Memorial Playwriting Award); What Happens in This Town; All the Sins of My Past Life; Harriet; and, Night Sky. She has had short plays presented and produced in Capital Fringe Festivals, at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage festivals, at Metro Stage in Alexandria, VA, by PlayZoomers (online), at Keegan Theatre, and, internationally, as part of Short + Sweet (Australia). Patricia has a MA degree in Theater from the University of New Mexico and an MFA in Creative Writing (Playwriting) from Goddard College. She has participated in the Kennedy Center’s Playwriting Intensive; she is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America; she is a co-founder and Board Member of Pipeline Playwrights; and she is a proud member of Honor Roll Playwrights. When she is not writing plays or working in the theater, Patricia works as an attorney in DC and Maryland.
MORE ABOUT ME:
I feel most like myself when I am in rehearsal. It doesn’t matter if I am there as a playwright, director, or producer — there’s nowhere else I’d rather be, but in the room. When my first play was produced years ago, the director told me not to come to rehearsals. I was young and grateful and had never worked in the theater before so I did what he told me. I didn’t go. I didn’t know better. I had always wanted to be a writer, but not a playwright. I wrote that first play, in a class, on a lark. When the play opened, we sold out and the production was a success, never mind that the director had changed my ending and cut whole sections. Friends and family liked it and congratulated me. “Holy cow!” I thought. “I guess I wrote that.” I felt pretty stupid, though, when my teacher came and said, “That’s not your play!” I realized then I had to get smart about the process. I also realized everything happens in rehearsal — the good, the bad, and the magic. As I began working more in the theater, I found I loved the rehearsal process. I lose myself in it; time is suspended and everything falls away but the play in front of me. I’ve hobbled into rehearsals sleepless, sick, and exhausted. I’ve descended into theater basements before the sun rises and emerged in total darkness. I’ve sat through days and days of tech, drank endless cups of coffee. It was late on one of those long tech days when another producer sat down next to me in the dark and said, “How are you doing?” “Good,” I said. I meant it. I had a profound realization at that moment. There was no place I’d rather be than sitting there in rehearsal.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
My focus today is working on revisions to my play, Night Sky, which is scheduled to be produced at a theater in Northern VA, in the fall of 2024.
Lesbian, Family, Political, Women, Nature, Equality, Satire, Movement, Music, Collaboration, Comedy, Buddhist, Irish-Catholic, Animals, Dogs, Outdoors
MARIA COMINIS is a first-generation Greek American. She is an actor, author, playwright, producer, and professor. As a playwright, she is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Grant, 2022, a Semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2022 and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF), 2020 for her full-length play, WOMEN OF ZALONGO. In 2023, she was a Resident Artist in the HB Studio Rehearsal Space Residency, NYC. HB was her artistic home for a decade as an acting teacher and mentee of Uta Hagen. Television Credits: Hacks, New Girl, Desperate Housewives, All My Children, One Life to Live. Theatre: Bernarda Alba, The Diviners, The Sea Gull, Ivanov, and many musicals including a CAMI National Tour. A full Professor at CSUF since 2005, she teaches acting and the new student coordinator for the BFA Acting Program. She authored 'Rehearsing in the Zone, A Practical Guide to Rehearsing Without a Director,' Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2020, and co-authored, 'Production Collaboration for the Theatre: Guiding Principles,' Routledge 2022. She is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, National Alliance of Acting Teachers and the Dramatists Guild, where recently she placed as a semi-finalist in the Dramatists Guild Virtual Residency. Represented by MINC Talent Agency and Literary Manager, Progyny Talent Management.
MORE ABOUT ME:
The most gratifying moment in the theatre was when I wasn't sure if I should stay in the game after graduate school. I was burned out, tired and didn't see where I fit in. Rita Moreno came up to me after a performance of West Side Story (Choreographed by the great Donald MacKayle) and I was in the role of Maria. Her eyes twinkled as she touched my cheek and said that I should never give up. She shared that I had the spark and played a beautiful Maria. The Smiling Madonna was an original musical I did when I was 16 and I played a young nun who was unrequitedly in love with a Monk. I had a great song which stopped the show and afterwards the response was so overwhelming, it took me out of character for a moment. I realized this is where I belong. I feel most like myself when I am in the zone (hyper-focused) whether it be acting, writing or teaching. I overcome disappointment by simply moving on and acknowledging that there is something around the corner that belongs to me. If I could bring one change to theater it would be more inclusivity and more blind submissions so the work stands alone and speaks for itself. I think Artistic Directors should know that I am first and foremost a collaborator and my goals are centered on what works for the story, and the whole, not about serving anyone's ego. The one thing that nobody knows about me that I would like them to know is that I am a bit psychic. My hunches surprise even me. It's one reason I don't get disappointed easily. My favorite thing to do when not writing is cook with my family, eat great food, talk and sing through musical theatre scores with my son and husband who are great pianists, and garden. I keep doing theatre because it moves me and others and it connects humanity to an indescribable depth. I imagine telling stories no matter the times. Brecht said, "In the dark times will there be singing? Yes, there will be singing about the dark times."
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I just finished the first draft of my second full length play called OWL PEOPLE which was inspired by the visitation of a Snowy owl in my neighborhood from December 5th, 2022-January 16th 2023. A snowy white owl arrives in a sleepy Southern California suburb during the Christmas season. Some think it’s the Messiah, some are ecstatic to witness the mystical bird out of their element and some want it to leave. Why did this beautiful creature choose them, a community divided about everything?
Greek American, Myth, Ancestral stories, Women, Equity.
LISA DILLMAN is a Chicago-identified playwright whose plays include Ground, Rock Shore, American Wee-Pie, Half of Plenty, The Walls, No Such Thing, Six Postcards, Flung, and Shady Meadows, and Just Cause. Her work has been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), American Theatre Company, Seattle Public Theatre, Rogue Machine, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Station Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Five & Dime, Canamac Productions, and many other companies across the country. She has received commissions from Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre (Playwrights Unit member, 2010-2011), Northlight Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has also developed work at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, NNPN's Showcase of New Plays, Chicago Dramatists (Resident Alumna), ACT Theatre/Hedgebrook’s Women Playwrights Festival, William Inge Theatre Festival, and others. Dillman is a longtime company member and current literary director at Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where her plays American Wee-Pie, The Walls, Shady Meadows, and Chiaroscuro all had their world premieres. Her filmed monologue "Story of a House" was commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage as part of the "My America" project, directed by Hal Hartley, and viewable via YouTube. Dillman's plays are published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals and Dramatic Publishing, as well as anthologized in collections from Heinemann, Playscripts Inc., Smith and Kraus, and New Issues Press. American Wee-Pie is due out from Dramatic Publishing Company in 2024.
MORE ABOUT ME
I try not to wallow around in disappointment when it comes to the success or lack of success of my work, but I admit that it can be very tough. I had a few years where I nearly stopped writing entirely. I wallowed then, but I've made a pact with myself that I would never do that again. I write short fiction in addition to plays, and in moments of disappointment and potential wallowing I tend to segue over to this other genre and write something new within it. I try just to keep working on next thing—whatever it may be. I see that women's plays—particularly those by. older women—are produced less often than men's plays, and I do what I can to change that. As both a playwright and the literary director of a small woman-centered theatre company, I'm working to promote, develop, and produce the work of women writers. One big change I'd love to see is more serious and widespread consideration and production opportunities for all the terrific older plays by women that did not get their full due in their initial runs or had one super successful production but then disappeared. I believe that world premiere-itis is still lingering problem in this country, and I can cite a whole lot of Honor Roll plays and playwrights that bear that out. I keep writing plays because it's the kind of writing I love—and do—best, because I'm addicted to the theatre and its various collaborative processes, and because it helps me to root out, understand, and explicate what I believe about our shared world. I also try to write plays that I would really love to see.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I'm working a large-scale theatrical examination of the American loneliness epidemic tentatively titled The Loneliness Project.
Kate Snodgrass is the author of the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award-winning and much-anthologized play Haiku. The play has been performed around the world and translated into German, Japanese, and Gaelic; the film “Haiku” premiered at the 1995 Boston Film Festival. Her plays Observatory and The Glider (nominated for the Natl. American Critics Association’s “Steinberg New Play Award”) won the 1999 and the 2005 Boston IRNE Awards for “Best New Play,” respectively. Her one-act plays Bark’s Dream and The Last Bark were produced by Boston’s Sleeping Weazel. Her short plays L’Air Des Alpes; Que Sera, Sera; Critics’ Circle; Code Blue; Wasteland; and Brickwork have been published/anthologized by Cedar Press, Dramatic Publishing Company, Bakers Plays, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Theatre Books, respectively. A Playwriting Fellow with the Huntington Theatre Company (“HTC”), her short radio play Overture may be found on their “Dream Boston” website. The HTC and Hartford Stage Company produced her full-length play The Art of Burning in 2023, directed by Melia Bensussen. Kate is the former Artistic Director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and co-founder of the Boston Theater Marathon, now in its 26th year. Kate was designated a “Theatre Hero” in 2001 by StageSource and received Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence in 2012; she is the recipient of a 2015 Tanne Foundation Award for her passion and commitment to the theatre. She studied acting at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and in NYC with disciples of Michael Chekhov and Sanford Meisner, and Voice with Robbie McCauley. Kate is a proud member of the AEA, AFTRA, and The Dramatists Guild.
MORE ABOUT ME:
I love to revise. I feel most myself when I’m in the rehearsal room because Theatre is Family, first and always. I keep doing Theatre looking for another transcendent moment—like in Brooks’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Shepard’s Fool for Love, or Bernstein’s Candide, or Shaffer’s Equus, or Sondheim’s Passion, or Parks’ Topdog/Underdog, or Lepage’s Far Side of the Moon, or Churchill’s A Number, I could go on….that proves we are none of us alone.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON:
A play about forgery--artistic and otherwise.
Mystery, Political, Nature, Equality, Climate, Environmental, Adaptations, Fable/folktales, Young Audiences, Science, Mythology, Farce, Gender, and Death (always).
Kia T. Barbee (she/her) Born and raised in New York City and she has been writing stories since the age of five. She enjoys creating flawed character driven inclusive stories exploring acceptance of self with sometimes non-pc humor. Her play Roommates was nominated to be considered for the 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Award. As a creative producer and freelance script and development consultant, she has worked with award winning screenwriters and filmmakers to strengthen story structure, character development and dialogue. Her current goal is to continue to create riveting plays for a diverse audience and IP based content for film and televesion, in addition to highlighting and mentoring other underrepresented writers via her live read showcase ScriptRead. She is a member of the WGAE and Dramatist Guild.
MORE ABOUT ME
I feel most like myself when I'm creating stories and producing. It's my happy place. / What's one thing nobody knows about you that nobody (creative peers) don't know? I'm an bonafide animal lover and wanted to become a veterinarian. My favorite animals are cats (big and small) and wolves.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
A new full length play about teachers called Snobs Vs The Underdogs to be completed by early fall.
Black, BIPOC, Queer, Buddhist, Satire, Dramedy, Drama, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural/Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Teen Dramas
Tracie Evette Morrison resides in Newark, New Jersey. She earned her BA in English from Rutgers University, Douglass College, and her MA in Counseling from Montclair State University. A former high school Teacher of English and Professional School Counselor, Tracie is currently a high school Vice Principal. Her inaugural stage play, The Prayer Dancer, was performed at the George Street Playhouse in 2004 and later published in 2015. Tracie returned to developing her craft as a playwright through the Writers Theatre of New Jersey Playwriting Workshop in 2019 and is currently a member of the Dramatist Guild, African American Playwrights Group (AAPG) and Honor Roll Playwrights. In November 2021, Tracie released her new book, PRAY-ER Talk, Listen Obey: Starting and Strengthening Conversations with God. Her 10-Minute play Flip Your Lid was selected for a reading in the MAC One Acts Festival in June 2022. Preach, Preacher, Tracie’s newest full-length play was selected for the Reader's Theatre of New Works at the National Black Theatre Festival in August 2022 and for the Pacific Northwest Multicultural Festival in August 2023. Her 10-Minute play Water Bar will be presented in the Jersey Voices 2023 Festival. Tracie is excited to share her writing with others and hopes to inspire, encourage and empower diverse audiences!!!
SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE
MORE ABOUT ME
When I'm not writing, I enjoy the art of daydreaming. Daydreaming allows me to separate from the harsh and sometimes cruel reality of life. I don't have to wear the "I'm every woman cape". I don't have be "Black woman strong"...I can just be in the space of my daydreams. It is safe, calming and, at times, cleansing to just be...
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am currently working on 10-Minute play and a project for work.
BIPOC, Female, Christian, Authentic, Drama/Comedy, Relationships, Relevant, Unique
Honor Roll ! Members Profiles Project