Introducing the 2012 Playwrights

Alexandra Bassett is a Greek-American theater artist and musician. She has directed and developed new work in NYC, Brooklyn, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center where she also trained at its National Theater Institute with The Wooster Group and SITI Company. She is a founding member of FullStop Collective and was originating artistic curator of its FOREPLAYS theatrical event. She is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Columbia University.

Dominic Finocchiaro is a first-year M.F.A. candidate in Playwriting at the New School for Drama. His writing has been seen all over the country, most recently at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he spent the 2011-2012 season as a Dramaturgy/Literary Management Intern. At Actors, his plays iPorn, or what you crave and That Noise were produced as part of their Apprentice/Intern Company season. New York credits include Like Trying to Count All the Drops of the Falling Rain (White Box Theatre Festival 2009). Dominic’s work has been a finalist for production at the Hive Theatre and at the Source Festival, and has also been selected for participation in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. A graduate of Reed College, Dominic has also trained as a writer at the Kennedy Center and at the Playwrights Foundation.

Sarah Grodsky is a New York based Actor/Writer/Improviser. Her play Mallory/Valerie was selected for the NYC International Fringe Festival. Acting credits include Mallory/Valerie at The Living Theatre (NYCFringe), Eat Your Heart Out and The Dungeons and The Dragons at The 36th Humana Festival of New American Plays, and Pay Up with Pig Iron Theatre Company. Sarah can be seen doing Improv around the city with her indie teams “Butterface” and “Vacation!” She has a BFA in Theatre from Montclair State University and is currently on full scholarship at The Peoples Improv Theatre in NYC.

Samuel Kahler is a playwright and poet from New York.  His plays have received readings and workshops in the United States and in England, and have been published in Germany. His writings have also appeared in assorted small-distribution ‘zines and publications, in both online and print format.  Recent plays include: American Geographic (2009 Reading, U.K.); Pegasus (2010 Workshop, U.S.A.)and Silence Rattle, O Deadly! (Published 2011, Germany).  He is a recent graduate (B.A.) of the Skidmore College English Department.

LuLu LoLo is a New York based international performance artist, playwright/actor, and multi-disciplinary artist.  LuLu has written and performed six one-person plays Off-Broadway highlighting her Italian immigrant family heritage, her passion for historical research and social justice especially as pertaining to the dramatic struggle of women in New York City’s past on such subjects as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; the lesbian lover of murder victim Kitty Genovese; the murder of Helen Jewett; women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men; and Aaron Burr’s relationship with his daughter Theodosia Burr Alston. LuLu recently performed a new monologue based on the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. Her current work in progress Obits, a play based on lives revealed in obituaries, was developed while LuLu was a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Writer in Residence. Selected NY venues: New York International Fringe Festival, Metropolitan Playhouse, Wagner College, Hofstra University, StonyBrook University, Columbia University, and Columbus, Ohio National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival. Her work has been reviewed by The New York TimesVillage Voice,, Bill Kaiser: On the Purple Circuit, and in “A Lived History under Scrutiny: Italian American Performance Art”,  by Joseph Sciorra in Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, The Modern Language Association of America, NY, 2010As a performance artist, symbolism, ritualism, memory, and myth, all contribute to the aesthetic spirit of LuLu’s art as seen in her performance as “Mother Cabrini, Saint of the Immigrants” in Campagna, Italy,and when she appeared attired in top hat, white tie and tails as “The Gentleman of 14th Street” recreating the ritual of “tipping one’s hat as a sign of greeting” for Art in Odd Places: Ritual. LuLu recently performed as “The Gentleman/Mayor” at New York’s Flux Factory’s Banquet for America. LuLu combined her passion for research with performance art when she performed as “14th Street NewsBoy” attired in knickers and a cap for Art In Odd Places: Sign, New York City, hawking four weekly issues of the “14th Street Tribune” which she researched and wrote recalling the famous, notorious, and tumultuous events from the history of 14th Street. LuLu has also performed as “Dust Collecting Specialist”, collecting art museum dust in the major museums of Genoa, Italy; Paris, France; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and New York in collaboration with the John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA)

Alexis Roblan is a Brooklyn-based playwright and independent theatre producer. She grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon, and is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s MFA in Dramatic Writing program. Some day, she would like to live in a trailer in the Mojave desert. Either a trailer, or a 1960s modern home with floor-to-ceiling windows. In 2007, Alexis was one of three American delegates to the World Interplay Festival for young playwrights in Townsville, Australia. Her play, GENESIS, has been developed at The Inkwell in Washington, D.C., and was a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship in 2011. She has worked in the Literary and Development offices at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, and the Artistic / Literary Department at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York. With Rachel Kerry, Alexis co-founded Brain Melt Consortium, a theatre/media arts group based in New York City, in 2010, and she is a member of the New Perspectives Theatre Company’s Women’s Work Project. Her play, DAUGHTERS OF LOT, performed as part of the 2012 FRIGID New York Festival, and is performing as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland this August.

Angela Santillo is thrilled to be part of The Communal Space Project for a second year. Her latest play, Spark (dir. Elizabeth Miller), was presented by The Nightborn at Access Theater in February. Her play Sera (dir. Rebecca Engle, Saint Mary’s College) was a national finalist for the 2010 David Mark Cohen Award and was also given a Distinguished Achievement Award in Playwriting by the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival. Her work has been workshopped and performed by the Dixon Place, Pan Asian Rep, foolsFURY Theater, Playwrights Center of San Francisco, Sarah Lawrence College, and Saint Mary’s College.  She recently performed in the world premiere of Sheila Callaghan’s Port Out, Starboard Home with foolsFURY Theater in San Francisco and its upcoming NYC run at LaMama in November. She is an ensemble member of foolsFURY Theater and graduated with her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she won the Lipkin Playwriting Award.

Patrick Shaw writes plays, acts, dances, and makes music.  His scripts have been produced at The Flea, the Drilling Company, Galapagos Art Space, Cherry Pit, Hudson River Guild, Flushnik Art Space, Bradley University (Peoria), and Gorilla Tango (Chicago), and his play, HAMLETTES, was a finalist for the Lark Workshop and was published by Playscripts, Inc.  Two of his plays, A Miracle Study and Autobiography of a Sparrow, have been semifinalists for the National Playwrights Conference.  A graduate of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute, Patrick is a founding member of FullStop Collective, was the 2011 Playwright-in-Residence for Bakerloo Theatre Project (Troy, NY), and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.  He is currently pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at the University of Texas in Austin.

NORMANDY RAVEN SHERWOOD  is a playwright, costumer and performer.  Her plays have been presented at the Ontological Hysteric Theater, BAX, 13th Street Rep., Skidmore College, and other places in New York.  She is a co-artistic director of the National Theater of the United States of America, and has collaborated on all of the company’s shows since 2002 as a writer, performer and costumer.  These include The Golden Veil (The Kitchen, 2012), Chautauqua! (all over the United States, 2008-2012),  and Abacus Black (PS122, 2006– OBIE award) among others.   As a costumer she has designed productions by Mac Wellman, Jim Findlay, Young Jean Lee, Faye Driscoll (2009 Bessie Award) and more.  Other things she does:  sings with The Drunkard’s Wife, co-curates Little Theatre @ Dixon Place, co-directs a studio/venue called Uncanny Valley, teaches writing classes. MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College.

Tommy Smith’s plays include PIGEON (Ensemble Studio Theatre; dir. Billy Carden), THE WIFE (Access Gallery;  dir. May Adrales), WHITE HOT (Here Arts Center; dir. May Adrales), SEXTET (Washington Ensemble Theatre; dir. Roger Benington), PTSD (Ensemble Studio Theatre;  dir. Billy Carden), THE BREAK-UP (Flea Theater; dir. Sherri Kronfeld), AIR CONDITIONING (Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference; dir. Steve Cosson), among others.  His work has also appeared at PS 122, The Ontological Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, The Yale Cabaret, The Huntington Theatre; internationally, he has been produced in Prague, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Montreal, Berlin and Athens.  His award-winning theatrical collaborations with Reggie Watts have played at The Public Theatre, Lamama, The Warhol Museum, MCA Chicago, ICA Boston, On The Boards and PICA: TBA, among others.  He is the recipient of the PONY fellow at The Lark, a two-time winner of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize, a recipient of the E.S.T. Sloan Grant, a winner of the Page73 Productions Playwriting Fellowship, a recipient of the Creative Capital award and a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group at Primary Stages.  Publications include PIGEON for Dramatists Play Service, WHITE HOT in the New York Theatre Review and STREAK in “Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays,” printed by Vintage. Recently, his feature film “FIGMENT” was optioned by Ridley Scott’s production company ScottFree.  He is a graduate of the playwriting program at The Juilliard School.  He lives in New York City.


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