ARTISTS, EDUCATORS & ALUMNI

Listed alphabetically by last name*

*This list is incomplete and being updated. If you are a PWTF artist/alumni and you do not see your name on this list, or if you'd like your bio updated, contact kristin@phillywomenstheatrefest.org

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ZACHARY APONY

Stage Manager

Zach is a graduate student at Villanova University and will graduate in 2021, but they originally hail from the Boston area. They primarily gravitate toward supportive roles in the theatre, finding a particular joy in dramaturgy and stage management. Their main areas of focus include adapting older plays for a radical present, dismantling the canon, challenging hierarchies, and employing revolutionary theatre practices. 2020 was their first summer with PWTF, but hopefully not their last!

PWTF: I Woke Up This Morning With My Mind, Walk the Line, Lowndes, Mrs. Satan & The Nasty Woman, Celebration Bread

SYDNEY BANKS

Actor

Sydney is a current student at the University of the Arts in Center City Philadelphia. Since her freshman year at UArts, she has featured in the Polyphone Festivals showcased productions such as Sometimes in Prague (Ensemble) and The Real Whisper (Trudy). Her favorite past roles include Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle) as well her her film debut in Toobie (Hope). Special thanks to her family and Rashad for always supporting and to the cast, crew and PWTF for this opportunity!

PWTF: Hear Me War

ALEX BECHTEL

Actor

Alex is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist. He is a graduate of The Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training and The University of the Arts, where he now teaches Freshman Acting. Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Music Direction for his work on The Walnut Street Theatre’s production of My Way and Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical for his performance in Theatre Horizon’s Into the Woods. Bechtel has been awarded an Independence Fellowship in the Arts and was twice a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award. He was the composer/lyricist of Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto for People’s Light and Theatre Company, composer/original cast member of The Light Princess at The Arden Theatre Company, and creator/composer of The West, Philadelphia Nocturne, and Cheer Up, Dostoevsky.

PWTF: Out of the Wake

LESLEY BERKOWITZ

Director

Lesley is a local performer and fledgling director. She has directed pieces with Revamp Collective and Reject Theatre Project. Past works as an actor include: Helen 5 in The Helen project (Revamp Collective), Chick in Crimes of the Heart (Curio Theatre Company), Nathaniel in Love’s Labours Lost (Revolution Shakespeare), Hattie in The Last Plot in Revenge</ (Brat Productions), Lavinia in Titus Andronicus (Philly Shakes). She has also performed with Tangle Movement Arts as an aerialist for TIny Circus, Go West and Firefly Night. When not in a theatre Lesley can be found at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts where she is a coach, special events coordinator and dilettante trapeze artist. Love to John for all the Chuckles.

PWTF: Water in the Hands

AMY BOEHLY

Actor

Amy is a rising senior acting major at Rider University. Her previous credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy), Miss Saigon (Yvette), and Ubu Roi. She has also served as the head writer for Live From Lawrenceville, It’s Saturday Night!, a student-run sketch show with original material. She thanks her loving mother and grandparents for their continued support. Her next performance will be Follow Me Through the Gates, presented through the Philly Fringe Festival next month!

PWTF: The Elvis Administration, Esther Choi & the Fish That Drowned

MELISSA BRUN

Musician (cello)

Melissa is a professional cellist and freelance teaching artist.  She is currently the head of the preschool theater department at the West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts and directs productions at schools across Chester County.  Melissa also directs and choreographs the Glee Club at Wayne Elementary in Radnor School District.   

 

Melissa is the cello professor on faculty at Millersville University and hosts her own private teaching studio.  She is a founding member of the chamber-folk sextet, The Sound Accord, whom she has presented with at various Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conferences across the country.  As a String Clinician for D’Addario Orchestral, Melissa presents free educational workshops to students and teachers in the Philadelphia area about the string-making process, why strings make a difference, and how to make thoughtful string choices.   

 

Melissa has been seen on stage in productions of The World Goes ‘Round, Guys and Dolls (General Cartwright), Pippin (Catherine), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), and Into the Woods (Witch).  As a cellist, Melissa played in the house band at the American Music Theater in Lancaster, and has recently played in the pit for shows at the Walnut Street Theater (South Pacific, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Matilda) and The Fulton Opera House (Ghost, Treasure Island).  She has played with touring Broadway companies (Cinderella, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Matilda) and has soloed with Broadway stars, Kristin Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff.  

PWTF: The Big Idea Committee 

ELAINA DI MONACO

Director

Elaina is a proud PlayPenn dramaturg and has most recently worked with Orbiter 3, PearlDamour, Headlong Dance Theater, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, 11th Hour Theatre, Philly Plays @ The Drake, Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, Inis Nua Theatre, School Play PA, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Lantern Theater, Boulder Fringe, & The University of the Arts. She holds a BFA in Directing, Playwriting & Production from the University of the Arts. Elaina is also the co-founder of ON THE ROCKS, a Philadelphia writers group and Reject Theatre Project, an emerging artist collective. Elaina is also a recent addition to the staff of The Bearded Ladies.

PWTF: Hear Me War

LAUREN FANSLAU

Actor

Lauren currently works as the Assistant Director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts and is the Chair of the Events Committee on UArts Staff Council. She formerly served as PWTF's Director of Education and as Theatrical Trainer's Head of Choreography and Dance Pedagogy. A graduate of Villanova University’s Graduate Theatre Program, Lauren wrote and performed her solo piece, ReCalculating, during the 2014 Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium, as her final thesis for her graduate degree, and also performed the piece for PWTF's 2016 Festival Week. During PWTF's inaugural festival, Lauren performed in Wingspan by Arden Kass alongside longtime collaborator, Shannon Dooling-Cain, directed by Brenna Geffers. In 2013, Lauren worked at the Abbey Theatre (Ireland’s National Theatre) in Dublin through a grant provided by the Villanova-Abbey Theatre Exchange and shared her experiences during her TEDx Talk, "Theatre Beyond Theater" in November 2013. She also had the opportunity to serve as Production Coordinator for the Abbey's US tour of Me, Mollser as a part of their 'Priming the Canon Series' for Young Audiences in 2016. Lauren received her B.A. in Theatre / Education from DeSales University in Center Valley and her M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University. 

PWTF: Wingspan

MONICA FLORY

Playwright

Monica is a collaboration-loving playwright, director and teacher. Her work has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe, New York Fringe, Youth Theatre Northwest, Brooklyn Lyceum, Poly Prep CDS, and Acting Manitou. Her plays are published by Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, and Brooklyn Publishers and she is frequently commissioned to write new takes on classic stories. Monica is the Education Director at Philly PACK, where she writes and teaches. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughters. monicaflory.com

PWTF: Brown-Eyed Rapunzel

SARAH GALANTE

Playwright/Lyricist/Actor

Sarah is a Brooklyn-based playwright, songwriter, essayist and (occasional) performer. She is currently a staff-writer for NastyWomenWrite.com, and has recently completed a year-long apprenticeship with The Playwrights Center where she workshopped her play, I Know the Way Home. She has her BFA from the University of the Arts where she majored in Theater Arts with a concentration in Playwriting, and minored in Creative Writing. While living in Philadelphia, Sarah collaborated with Simpatico Theater Co, PlayPenn, The Foundry: An Emerging Playwrights Lab, The Berserker Residents, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Hear Me War would not be possible without Cecilia Galante or César Alvarez.

PWTF: Hear Me War

EMMA GIBSON

Playwright

Emma is a British theatre-maker and Mother, now living in Philadelphia. She has a BA in Performing Arts from Middlesex University, and a Masters Degree in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Southampton. In the UK she worked as an actress in London, Edinburgh, on tour and regionally around the UK in both new writing and classical theatre, for BBC radio drama, and film. She also worked as a freelance journalist for The Guardian Newspaper. In Philadelphia she has worked with many local companies, most recently producing and performing in the Barrymore recommended production of Perfect Blue. As the founding producing artistic director of Tiny Dynamite she has produced over 20 productions ranging from Scottish one acts, to full length plays that integrate complex technology in performance. She has directed multiple classical theatre productions at The Shipley School, and is the proud Mother of Oscar and Willow.

PWTF: Water in My Hands

HANNAH HAMMEL

Actor

Hannah is a Philadelphia based actress. She is the Marketing and PR Director and co-founder of Spicy Witch Productions, a feminist theater company based in New York City. Select past credits include Tricia in Dog Sees God (Truth Be Told Productions, PA), Fair Witch in Dark of the Moon (Ritz Theatre Company, NJ), Lady Dainty Fidget in The Country Wife (Spicy Witch Productions, NYC), Bianca in both Othello and Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief (Spicy Witch Productions, NYC), and multiple productions with Family Stages, a children’s theater company based in suburban Philadelphia. She will next be appearing as Rosalind in As You Like It with Ignoble Shakespeare Company from September 1-3 at the Barclay Farmstead in New Jersey. Hannahacts.com

PWTF: Loved Ones

ANITA HOLLAND

Actor

Anita is a performance artist, theatre maker, avid mover, and children’s book author. Anita’s work interrogates language, excavates ancestry, and strolls with the jungian shadow. They are building a creative family in Philadelphia. Anita has appeared on stage at Quintessence (company member), InterAct, Flashpoint, Orbiter 3, PolyGlamourous, Philadelphia Artists Collective, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Free School, StageWest, People’s Productions, Pioneer Theatre Company. They’ve created original roles in collaboration with Headlong, Swim Pony, The Painted Bride, and Applied Mechanics (Associate Artist). Hailing from the exotic states of Utah, Iowa, and New York.  Anita has had the honor of studying at the University of Utah, Gateway Dance Theatre, Samba Fogo, and Jeni Breen Tango Academy. theanitaholland.com

PWTF: The Elvis Administration

KEENYA JACKSON

Playwright

Keenya is an emerging Philadelphia playwright. She was a member of the Philadelphia Dramatist Center (PDC) from 2015 to 2019.  In 2019, she co-founded Jouska PlayWorks at Simpatico Theatre. Her play Botanicals or Giving it to God, was the recipient of PlayPenn’s professional public reading in 2019. The ten-minute version of Botanicals also received a production with Mojaaa Theatre in 2018.  Frankie and Johnny – The Play was a finalist in the Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest in 2018.  Additional plays have been produced and workshop/developed by Revamp Collective and Philadelphia Dramatist Center. Keenya is a graduate of Arcadia University. She continues to grow as a playwright and in theatre by studying at such places as Play Penn in Philadelphia and the National Playwright Symposium in Cape May, NJ.

 

PWTF: America's Favorite Feminist

MARISSA KENNEDY

Playwright

Marissa is a theatre artist whose aesthetic is centered around engaging the imagination to inspire, give voice, promote healing and positive change. As a Philadelphia area performer, her most recent credits include Villanova University’s Last Seen, Juniper Production’s Cocktail Plays and People are Strange and other Revelations. She received her BA in English from Oberlin College and her MA in Theatre from Villanova University.

PWTF: Relays

NORAH LEAHY

Playwright

Nora is a Chicago based playwright whose work has been developed and/or produced at Lean Ensemble Theater (Hilton Head, SC); The Shuler Theater (Raton, NM); The New Colony (Chicago, IL); The Greenhouse Theater (Chicago, IL); Victory Gardens (Chicago, IL); and Jackalope Theatre Company (Chicago, IL). Her newest play, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is being adapted from the novel by Dave Eggers for Jackalope Theatre Company, and her play Girl With Gun will be presented in a staged reading at the 2019 Actors Theatre of Charlotte nuVoices Festival. Additional plays by Nora include: If You Forget Me (2018) and The Bridge  (Woodward Newman Drama Award Finalist, 2017).

PWTF: Badlands

TERESA MILLER

Playwright

Teresa is an African American Actor/V.O. Actor and Playwright based in Philadelphia, PA. Professionally she has worked with The Arden Theatre Company, Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre Company (Board Member), The Negro Ensemble (New York) The Tisch School of the Arts (New York), Simpatico Theatre Company, Allen Lane Theater, and Stagecrafters Theatre and is a member of Directors’ Gathering. Her full-length plays include The Last Act (August 2019 Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre Company Staged Reading), The Illinois Five (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio Five) Freud and His Negro (2020 Philadelphia Theatre Week Staged Reading) Battman and Jesus (July 2019 Skinner Studio Staged Reading) Ring Shout! (August 2019 Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival Staged Reading at The Hamilton Family Arts Center@ The Arden Theatre Company) and Ninety-Nine Shots, A Requiem for Fred Hampton New York 2020. Her training includes the Walnut Street Theatre School as well as The Negro Ensemble Theatre Company (NY). Teresa is a 3rd year member of the Foundry@ PlayPenn. Her inspiration to write is a culmination of the human condition, culture and race.

PWTF: Ring Shout!, I Woke Up This Morning with my Mind

CHARISSA MENEFEE

Playwright

Charissa is a playwright, poet, director, performer, and educator. She has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as a writer-in-residence at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts and the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s New American Playwrights Project. Her plays have recently been produced in Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington, and Texas. When I Stopped Counting: Poems is available from Finishing Line Press, and her poetry can also be found in journals such as Adanna, Poets Reading the News, The Wild Word, Terrene, and Dragon Poet Review.  She co-directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University.  She is a regional coordinator for StateraArts’ mentorship program, vice-president of the Humanities Iowa board of directors, and founder and artistic director of The Eco-Theatre Lab in Ames.

PWTF: Sarah's Poem

KEVIN MUCCHETTI

Composer/Musician (piano)

Kevin is a Philadelphia based composer, music director, and pianist. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Music, he currently serves as Director of Music for Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington, Delaware and as an accompanist for the School of Pennsylvania Ballet. He also acts as music director for Philly Improv Theater's musical improv team, "Thank You, Places." Recent theater credits include Julius Caesar (Composer), Mother Courage and Her CHildren (Composer/Music Director), As You Like It (Composer), Ravished (Sound Design), The Imaginary Invalid (Composer), Dorian Gray (Associate Composer/Music Director), Much Ado About Nothing (Composer), Into The Woods (Piano), A Streetcar Named Desire (Composer), and The Fantasticks! (Music Director)

PWTF: Margot & Mr. Fog

CAMPBELL O'HARE

Actor

Philadelphia credits: Romeo and Juliet (Commonwealth Classic Theatre Co.), Adapt, An Octoroon, Rapture, Blister, Burn (The Wilma Theater), The Whale (Theatre Exile), Equivocation (Arden Theatre Co.), The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Co.), Mauritius (Act II Playhouse), Spookfish, Birdie’s Pit Stop (Fringe Festival). Campbell is a proud member of the Wilma Hothouse Company. Upcoming: Blood Wedding (The Wilma Theater). campbellohare.com

PWTF: Loved Ones

DANIEL PARK

Actor

Daniel is a theatre and performance artist whose work explores the intersection between games and live performance, in order to explore the meaning of agency. Recent pieces include Go To Sleep (Obvious Agency), The Diamond Eye Conspiracy commissioned by Temple University (Obvious Agency), and You Are the Hero (self). Most recently Daniel performed in Peaceable Kingdom by Mary Tuomanen (Orbiter 3) and will be appearing in Destiny Estimate by MJ Kaufman. danielpark.squarespace.com

PWTF: The Elvis Administration

MEGAN SCHUMACHER

Playwright

Megan is a Philadelphia based playwright, director, dramaturg and educator. A member of Jouska PlayWorks at Simpatico Theatre and The Foundry at PlayPenn, her one-act play Superlosers was produced by Juniper Productions for the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. She directed Marissa Kennedy’s solo piece Out of the Shadows for the 2019 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and has directed several readings, including Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children at Inis Nua Theatre and Alexandra Espinoza’s Homeridae during the 2019 Philadelphia Theatre Week. She serves as an Education Dramaturg Consultant at Villanova University and was a new play dramaturg at Steel River Playhouse's Festival of New Work. She has her M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University.

PWTF: Lowndess

TWOEY TRUONG

Actor

Twoey is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist originally from Salina, KS. She is an MFA graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. Previous credits include Motion Capture with ReVamp Collective, The Comedy of Errors with Delaware Shakespeare Festival, and last year’s Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival reading of Satisfaction. Thank you to Val Dunn, Stephanie Walters, and PWTF for this opportunity.

PWTF: The Elvis Administration

ERIN AGNEW

Actor

is a native of the greater Philadelphia Area, where she is happy to be home and earning her law degree at Temple Law. Her mother and sister inspired her to pursue as much community theater as possible while she was growing up. This helped her to find her voice performing primarily through living history at museums across the state and region. As a first person living historian, she strives to incorporate meticulous research into theatrical audience engagement to help us confront our whitewashed and rosy misconceptions about our own history. These research and improv skills now help her in the courtroom as she represents low income individuals. Grateful to be a part of this project!

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

JAHZEER TERRELL

Actor

Jahzeer is an Actor, Teaching Artist, VO Artist, and Musician and has been involved in many projects in and around the Philadelphia area. Recent credits include: Paris/Balthazar in Romeo and Juliet with Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, Lewis in King John with Revolution Shakespeare, and Roe in Local Girls with Azuka Theatre.

PWTF: The Elvis Administration

BRITTANY WIT MARTIN

Actor

Brittany is absolutely stoked to be a part of this beautiful army! She’s a graduate from the University of the Arts and has worked with the Walnut Street Theater and 11th Hour Theatre Company. For you, mama. Much love and light.

PWTF: Hear Me War

MIRANDA THOMPSON

Actor

 (she/her) is thrilled to act again!  This past winter she had the pleasure of playing Sarah Bernhardt in Leading Ladies with Pulley & Buttonhole Theatre Company. In 2019 Miranda worked for Celebrity Cruise line, a part of the entertainment staff.  She is also a regular crew member at Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center. Past credits include: Choreographer for Emperor Jones at South Camden Theatre Co; Assistant Director for King Hedley the II at South Camden Theatre Co. Theatrical credits: Trish’s Awesome Nutrition Ambition regional tour 2011-2013. “The Wizard of OZ” New Candlelight Dinner Theater. American Family Theater’s Black Journey Nat’l tour 2005,2006,2010. “Sesame Street Live” International tour 2008-09. “My Little Pony Live” National tour 2007-08. "

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

ERIN AGNEW

Actor

is a native of the greater Philadelphia Area, where she is happy to be home and earning her law degree at Temple Law. Her mother and sister inspired her to pursue as much community theater as possible while she was growing up. This helped her to find her voice performing primarily through living history at museums across the state and region. As a first person living historian, she strives to incorporate meticulous research into theatrical audience engagement to help us confront our whitewashed and rosy misconceptions about our own history. These research and improv skills now help her in the courtroom as she represents low income individuals. Grateful to be a part of this project!

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

SHANNON AGNEW

Actor

is a freelance director and theatrical artist proudly working with industry professionals and students to create creatively affirming, socially responsible, and innovative theatrical experiences. She currently serves as an Artistic Associate for The Millbrook Playhouse, and as the Director of Children's Theatre for The Ocean City Theatre Company, a member of Liberate Artists, and now proudly joins the board for the Philadelphia Women's Theater Festival! She can be seen onstage and off stage as a director, performer, writer, and teaching artist. Favorite directing credits: Mama Mia, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, XANADU, The Marvelous Wonderettes,  Annie, Barefoot in the Park, Menken's A Christmas Carol, Ellis Island: Gateway to a Dream, 8 Track: Sounds of the 70's, Junie B. Jones. Favorite roles include: Narrator, Every Brilliant Thing; Ursula, The Little Mermaid; Yente, Fiddler on The Roof; Myrtle Mae Simmons, Harvey featuring Elinor Donahue; Betty Jean, The Marvelous Wonderettes; Judith, Boeing Boeing; Mud Donahue; My Vaudeville Man (regional premiere); Liza/Barbra/Ethel, Forbidden Broadway; Charlotte, I Am My Own Wife. www.shannonagnew.com

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

RACHEL ATKINS

Playwright

Rachel is a Seattle-based playwright and teaching artist. She is the scriptwriter for Living Voices, the educational theatre partner of Theatreworks USA, with whom she has 12 different multi-media shows in ongoing national touring repertory, all focusing on issues of history and social justice, and seen by over 3 million audience members throughout the US and Canada.

 

Rachel graduated from Dartmouth College and holds her Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University. A member of the ArtsWA Teaching Artist roster and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Arts Partner roster, she works as a master teaching artist for several teacher professional development programs, as well as A Contemporary Theatre’s Young Playwrights Program. Previously, she was the Scriptwriter/Dramaturge and Director of Education for Ardeo Theatre Project in France.

PWTF: Ain't (Y)our History

MONROE BARRICK

Actor

Monroe, a Philadelphia based actor is excited to participate in the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival. He has appeared at a variety of venues throughout the region. Some of his prior roles include Doc Gibbs in Our Town, Emmitt Tate in Zooman and the Sign, The King in The Cave Dwellers, Elder Joseph Barlow in Radio Golf, Juror No. 10 in 12 Angry Men, Charley in Death of a Salesman and Lafeu in All’s Well That Ends Well. Much thanks to all those involved in the staged reading of Out of the Wake.

PWTF: Out of the Wake

MEGAN BELLWOAR

Actor

Megan is a grateful, long-time member of the Philadelphia theatre community. Credits include Arden Theatre Company, Lantern Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Inis Nua, People’s Light & Theatre, PA Shakespeare Festival, and 1812 Productions. Her work in Lantern’s Beauty Queen OF Leenane was cited as one of 2013’s best performances by the Philadelphia Weekly. She’s received media and Barrymore nominations for Translations (Arden), Collected Stories (WST), The Weir (Arden) and Dublin by Lamplight (Inis Nua), and shares a Best Ensemble award for Dublin by Lamplight in NYC’s First Irish Theatre Festival, 2011. Megan is a company member of Tongue & Groove (creating spontaneous theatre every second Friday at the Playground), and teaches and directs for Abington Friends School.

PWTF: Out of the Wake

ANG BEY

Playwright

Ang Bey is a black, queer storyteller from Southwest Philadelphia. They are an award-winning actor and playwright, whose work as an artist is inseparable from their activism. Ang's play, Com[promising] Freedom won the National Constitution Center's Founding Freedom's contest and was produced by NCC in 2015. The Medusa Play, by Ang, was recently Barrymore Recommended and produced by Shoe Box Theatre Collective. The academic production of The Medusa Play at Ursinus College marked the first time in the history Ursinus that a black student had a play produced on the main stage. Other works including The Guardian (Winner of Episcopal Academy Play Slam), Pedestals (Philadelphia Young Playwrights Monologue Festival), and Twenty Six have garnered regional acclaim. Currently, Ang is in the inaugural cohort of Jouska PlayWorks with Simpatico Theatre Company. They are the Season Apprentice at Theatre Horizon. They earned a Theater B.A. Africana Studies minor from Ursinus in May 2019. "I am committed to the transformative power of storytelling. Provocation with purpose makes for dynamic, socially conscious, and challenging work. I create to inspire decolonization and radical healing within myself & within the world." angbey.com

PWTF: Walk the Line

NIKKI BRAKE-SILLÁ

Playwright

Nikki  (playwright + filmmaker) is Southern to her core with a Northern patina, and proudly calls Southwest Philadelphia home. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the City College of New York. Nikki is a recipient of the 2019 Mitten Lab Residency and the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant. She is the Founder of DrAW (Dramatists At War) and an inaugural member of Jouska Play Works. She has received funding from The Leeway Foundation, PlayPenn, PIFVA, The Princess Grace Foundation, The National Board of Review, The Bert Saperstein Foundation, The Institute for Humane Studies, The Danielle & Larry Nyman Family, and Public Media Foundation.

PWTF: In Defense of Ourselves

ALICE EVE COHEN

Playwright

Alice Eve Cohen is a playwright, and solo theatre artist. Winner of the 2019 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award for In the Cervix of Others. Award-winning author of two memoirs, The Year My Mother Came Back (Algonquin) and What I Thought I Knew (Penguin)—winner of the Elle Magazine Literary Grand Prix for Nonfiction, Oprah magazine’s 25 Best Books of Summer, and Salon's Best Books of the Year. Cohen has written television for Nickelodeon, CBS and CTW and has toured her solo plays internationally. She received a BA from Princeton and MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She teaches playwriting and creative writing at The New School.

PWTF: Mrs. Satan and the Nasty Woman

MEGAN DIEHL

Playwright

Megan has served in artistic, administrative, and production roles within the Philadelphia theatre community for ten years. She has worked with organizations such as Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Theater Horizon, Walnut Street Theater, Lantern Theatre Company, and many more, including as an adjunct faculty position at Temple University. An alumnus of DeSales University, she has obtained an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Along with collaborator Peter Danelski, she has co-adapted the Capek brothers’ Adam the Creator and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen for the stage. She currently serves as Development Associate for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, freelance staff writer for DCMetro Theater Arts, and Artistic Associate for Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival.

PWTF: Out of the Wake

DORIANE FEINSTEIN

Playwright

Doriane is a playwright/actor/dramaturg thrilled to be a part of PWTF! Plays include: The Intimate Life, Of Cities and Mountains, and Emeth. Doriane received a Bachelor's of Art in Theatre with a Music minor from Arcadia University. https://dorianefeinstein.wixsite.com/dorianef/contact

PWTF: Zachary Hates Everything

CAROLINE FOGLIA

Graphic Design Artist

Caroline is a graphic designer based out of South Jersey.  She recently graduated from Arcadia University in 2019, with her BFA in graphic design and a minor in arts entrepreneurship and curatorial studies.  As a designer she loves being able to help others share their ideas through creating visual aids. Caroline loves exploring different design styles, but overall would describe her designs as being clean and fun with interesting color palettes. She also loves incorporating her fine art skills into her designs through hand done illustrations. 

 

carolinedonnadesigns.com | @carolinedonnadesigns

PWTF: 2020 Festival Art

TAMANYA GARZA

Director

Tamanya is a freelance director and producer who has had the pleasure of working with: The Wilma Theater, UPenn’s Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Plays & Players, No Passport and many others. Tamanya was formerly the President of the Board of Directors for Azuka Theatre and helped the company usher in the Pay What You Decide model to provide access to theater for all. Recently, Tamanya directed Power Street Theatre’s Las Mujeres by local playwright Erlina Ortiz. The production continues to spark vital conversations about the current tectonic shift in storytelling that is focused on empowering Latinx communities, and other communities who have been systematically marginalized, to share their own stories.

PWTF: Brown-Eyed Rapunzel

EMMA GOLDMAN-SHERMAN

Playwright

Emma creates timeless yet relevant, feminist work that engages on multiple levels to heal what our culture denies. Her work is part of The Every 28 Hours Plays, a response to Ferguson seen nationwide. She semi-final’d 3 times for Risk Is This at Cutting Ball with why birds fly, Abraham’s Daughters, and Whorticulture also shortlisted at The Unicorn (Kansas City) and Owl & Cat (Melbourne). Jane Chambers Award for Perfect Women. Other work in NYC at WP Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, New Georges, Dixon Place, All Outs Arts, Culture Project, New Ohio, West Bank, New Circle and others; regionally at Capital Fringe, EST-LA, Golden Thread and others; internationally in London, Zagreb and currently shortlisted for the Queensland Short & Sweet. MFA: University of Iowa. Member: LPTW, The Dramatists Guild. Her newest play FUKT is on the NPX. Emma is the resident Dramaturg at 9thStreetPlaywrightsCollective.org.

PWTF: Zen and the Art of Mourning a Mother

JILL HARRISON

Director

Jill is a theatre director, producer, and founder + executive director of Directors Gathering (DG), a start-up non-profit that develops and elevates Philadelphia theatre directors through master classes, director-centric performance platforms, and (DG) Fellows, a season-long residency for early-career directors. An advocate for new work, Jill has collaborated with playwrights & directors on over 25 world & regional premieres at such companies as Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, MET/ENO, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. Select directing credits include: Alessandra Most’s Private Policy, a circus in two acts (Columbia Stages), the Philadelphia premieres of Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise and Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Simpatico Theatre), David Strattan White’s The Foundling Wheel (FringeArts), Jason Gray Platt’s Frontier (UArts), Charles L. Mee’s Big Love & Stefanie Zadravec’s Honey Brown Eyes, an excerpt (Temple Theaters), Craig Lucas’ Reckless (Theatre Outlet), and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play (Villanova Theatre). Jill serves as a mentor for The Foundry@PlayPenn, an emerging writers’ collective, and has directed and guest taught new work at University of the Arts, Swarthmore College, Arcadia Uniis a theatre director, producer, and founder + executive director of Directors Gathering (DG), a start-up non-profit that develops and elevates Philadelphia theatre directors through master classes, director-centric performance platforms, and (DG) Fellows, a season-long residency for early-career directors. An advocate for new work, Jill has collaborated with playwrights & directors on over 25 world & regional premieres at such companies as Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival, MET/ENO, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. Jill serves as a mentor for The Foundry@PlayPenn, an emerging writers’ collective, and has directed and guest taught new work at University of the Arts, Swarthmore College, Arcadia University, and Villanova University. Jill holds a MFA in Directing from Temple University and a BA in Theatre from Lehigh University. She is a member of Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab and an associate member of SDC.versity, and Villanova University. Jill holds a MFA in Directing from Temple University and a BA in Theatre from Lehigh University. She is a member of Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab and an associate member of SDC.

PWTF: Refrigerator Mother

CAILEIGH IDEL

Actor

Caileigh feels extremely fortunate to be a part of this year’s festival. She just recently graduated from DeSales University in May and spent the first half of the summer at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival in their production of Evita. All the thanks to the family, friends, Jessica, and Meg.

 

PWTF: Out of the Wake

JAIME JARRETT

Musical Director

Jaime is a composer/playwright and maker of queer and feminist theatre. Most recently, his musical Normativity was developed in the Polyphone Festival at The University of the Arts. Jaime is the recipient of New York Musical Festival’s Outstanding Emerging Artist Award as well as the Ira Brind School of Theatre Arts’ Excellence in Playwriting Award. Other writing credits include: Wonder Boi, Aubade, and Hearts, Brains, and Other Organs. Music Direction credits include: The Elementary Spacetime Show (Associate MD), Retrograde (Co-MD), and Sometimes in Prague (Associate MD). Much love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Dylan, and Petra for actively becoming better allies and feminists (and making me a better ally and feminist) every day.

PWTF: Hear Me War

ASHLEY KERNS

Playwright

Ashley was an integral member of the education department at the Walnut Street Theatre from 2008-2018. During her tenure she oversaw the growth of the Residency program (a workshop program that creates tailor made theatre residencies for schools and organizations), including the expanding partnership with the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. As a director she’s been involved in the Kids Series  at the Walnut directing several productions including Skippyjon Jones, Zombie in Love and Seussical, Jr. She has also directed at local organizations, schools and universities.  As a director she seeks to answer questions through visual storytelling. She  believes that powerful storytelling is possible on any budget and is only limited by our own imaginations. Ashley has been an active theatre teaching artist since 2008 teaching students and adults across the Delaware Valley.As an educator she believes theatre has the power to open doors, improve confidence and expand an individual's world view.​

PWTF: The King Who Wanted to Clean the Moon

ANN MARLEY

Playwright

Ann is a current student at Widener University, studying clinical psychology. She has an MA in Theatre from Villanova University, a BA in Theatre Performance, and a BA in Communications from Susquehanna University. Her plays include Leadeadead: A Case Study in Diagnostics and Empathy, What Monsters We Mend, Purging, and Reclamation. Her plays have been performed by Queens Theatre, Villanova Theatre, BoxFest Detroit, Off-Key Anthem Theatre Collective, the Scranton Fringe Festival, and the Artist's Exchange. She is also a dramaturg,  photographer, and mental health advocate.

PWTF: Margot & Mr. Fog

CHRISTINA MAY (aka STARFIRE)

Director

Christina is a Lover, Artist, & Educator. Christina has been a part of the Philadelphia Arts Community for more than 15 years. As an Actor, Director, Emcee & Facilitator Christina has artistically collaborated with companies such as : Philadelphia  Young Playwrights, Walnut Street and Arden Theatre  Education Departments,  Shakespeare In Clark Park, 1812, Theatre In The X, Luke Allen Productions, Higher Than 7 Productions, Play Penn, Theatre Horizon, Found Theatre Company, Ferdinand, Inter Act Play Reading Series, Revamp Theatre Collective,  First World Theatre Ensemble , Painted Bride Arts Center, Putty Dance Project, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Breakfast Improv Networking Jawn, The Foundry, Powerstreet Theatre Company, Penn Museum, The Kimmel Center, A Producer for DG Jam, &  Voice Over Coach for Eastern State Penitentiary “Hidden Lives Illuminated. Currently is the "Curator of Energy & Creative Expression" for "Artist In Conversion" with the Free Library of Philadelphia & Mural Arts.  She is a apart of the 2019 Keepers Leadership Philadelphia Program. An advocate for Performing Artist in society STARFIRE continues to use her Light &  Energy to Love, Create & Inspire Artist Of all Mediums

PWTF: Sarah's Poem, Relays, Ring Shout!

ALESSANDRA MOST

Playwright

Alessandra is a playwright, producer, arts marketer, mother, wife, and so much more. Her plays include Refrigerator Mother, Private Policy: A Circus in Two Acts, Sevens: A Play in Eight Scenes, The Incomplete Ones, One Thousand Days, Fit To Print, Notes In the Sand, and The Canoe Play. Alessandra was on the casting team for Chicago:The Musical (Broadway, UK, and Tour Productions), La Cage Aux Folles (Longacre Theatre) and numerous productions at Playwrights Horizons, The Huntington Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Women’s Project. Alessandra has also been a leader in marketing for performing arts organizations, having blossomed the LC Kids program at Lincoln Center, and is now the Assistant Director of Marketing at McCarter Theater Center. She holds a bachelors degree in Dramatic Literature from Barnard College and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts. She’s proudest of being a mother to Zoe and Charles and wife to Evan. For so many reasons, this would all have been impossible without Evan.

PWTF: Refrigerator Mother

LARA NOTARIANNI

Actor

Lawa is a new alum of DeSales University where she received her BA in Theatre. Recent credits include Shakespeare for Kids: As You Like It (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Charley’s Aunt and Young Frankenstein (DeSales University). Thank you to Meg and Jessica for the opportunity to explore Out of the Wake and the ideas it brings into conversation and to PWTF for fostering women in theatre!

PWTF: Out of the Wake

ROBIN RODRIGUEZ

Playwright

Robin is a Philadelphia-based playwright. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild and was a 2012-13 Emerging Artist in Residence under the PDC @ Plays & Players program. Her play, Touchston, was a semi-finalist for the nuVoices Play Festival of Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte. She has enjoyed productions/readings with Long Beach Playhouse, NY Artists Unlimited and Potluck Productions, plus locally with Philly Primary Stages, the Spark Showcase, the Philly Fringe, Philadelphia Theatre Workshop’s PlayShop Festival, Walking Fish Theatre, Luna Theater, and Curio Theatre Company.

PWTF: Loved Ones

CHRISTINE PETRINI

Actor/Vocalist/Playwright

Christine is a performer/writer/teaching artist/arts administrator in the Greater Philadelphia region.  She earned an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and premiered her one-woman musical, I Can Dress Myself, which was remounted four times including a performance at the Democratic National Convention. This experience launched a love for and commitment to songwriting and storytelling.  Christine’s passion for music and arts education collided when she became a mother.  She began creating songs to sing with her daughter and The Big Idea Committee was born. 

 

Credits include performing Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan (Vocalist), Sleeping Beauty (Queen) at Storybook Musical Theatre, The Light in the Piazza (Clara), Everyman (Good Deeds), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet van de Graaff) and Salome at Villanova Theatre, Respect at Society Hill Playhouse, Burt and Me at Act II Playhouse and The Buddy Holly Story at The Media Theatre.  She performed Bernstein’s Mass at The Kennedy Center and toured the U.S. with Babes in Toyland.  Christine originated the role of Glinda in a new musical, Forever in Oz, by Matthew Norcross. She is a vocalist for weddings, funerals and special occasions.   

 

Christine is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival and is committed to creating opportunities for women in theatre.  She is a proud theatre teaching artist for Lyceum Studio (Founder/Program Director) and West Chester Studio. She has a great love for collaboration, theatre-making, arts education and art for social change. 

PWTF: The Big Idea Committee

HANNAH SPEAR

Stage Manager/Performer/Director

Hannah (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based stage manager, actor, singer, and director. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and was a Season Apprentice at Lantern Theater Company for the 2019/20 season. She is now the Artistic Associate at the Lantern and has also worked with ArcheDream for Humankind and White Box Theatre.

PWTF: Artistic Intern 2019, Stage Manager 2020

GINGER AGNEW M.Ed.

Actor

is a director, teaching artist, writer, actress, photographer, Barrymore Nominator, Philadelphia Independence Awards Adjudicator, Guide Educator for Historic Germantown, and reviewer whose involvement in many aspects of theater goes back to the 1970’s. Ginger's recent performances include: Bernice/Charlotte Cushman/Minnie Madden Fiske in Leading Ladies with Pulley  Buttonhole, Suddenly in NYC as a part of the 2019 Opioid Project with Elephant Room Productions. In 1998 Ginger founded OFF Book Productions as director, theater educator, and producer of original plays. Ginger’s theater education work extends to private coaching, head-shot photography, and numerous youth programs in the Philadelphia area. Ginger is Committee Chair for Play Reading/Play Selection.  Ginger appears in Philadelphia The Great Experiment on ABC, has done a variety of short films, and is one of the many local extras in Creed 2.

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

ANASTASSIA VERTJANOVA

Director

Anastassia is honored to be a part of the dissection of mental health and consent. She particularly enjoys directing new works, including Blues For A Red Nation and Footballs (University of the Arts). Upcoming: The Illustrated Woman (University of the Arts as part of the Philly Fringe Festival). Thank you to Eleanor for getting her onboard the project and to Doriane for their bravery and flexibility throughout the process.

PWTF: Zachary Hates Everything

STEPHANIE KYUNG SUN WALTERS

Playwright

Stephanie is a playwright with Foundry at PlayPenn and a founding member of Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA). Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned was presented at the 2019 PlayPenn Conference and the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival. Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea, received a workshop reading with PlayPenn Education and HBMG Foundation, a residency with PAPA, and was a finalist for Unicorn Theatre’s 2019-2020 In-Progress New Play Reading Series. Keep Me Posted received a staged reading at Philly Asian American Film Festival. Additional work: Dragon’s Eye Theatre, Revamp, and Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival. She currently serves as Lead Artist on PAPA Playwrights Project, is a Barrymore Nominated member of Actor’s Equity Association, and is a graduate of Bucknell University, London Dramatic Academy, and CAP21. stephanienwalters.com

PWTF: The Elvis Administration, Esther Choi & the Fish That Drowned

JULIE ZAFFARANO

Playwright

Julie is a Philadelphia playwright who believes everyone’s life is a myriad of stories. The PlayMakers, Winner of 2016 What If? Productions Annual Playwrights Festival, was produced in Charleston, June 2017. Recent readings/productions: Maryland Ensemble Theatre (METLab) 2017 Festival, Work in Progress Theatre, Baltimore; “Readings at the Drake” PlayPenn series; Juniper Productions; Philadelphia Dramatists Center; Cloverdale Playhouse, ReVamp Collective; Pittsburg New Work Festival (Best Production). Other recognitions: Semi-Finalist, O’Neill National 2017 Playwrights Conference; Finalist Villanova University Sue Winge Competition; Finalist Strange Sun Theatre Greenhouse; Semi-Finalist Actors Theatre of Charlotte Nuvoices, and Ohio State University New Play Fest.

PWTF: Celebration Bread

TAMEEKA COOPER ("TAMMY)

Actor

Tameeka is very excited to be a part of this tremendous virtual production.  She's a local Actress/Author who studies at Walnut Street Theater. You can catch her in several upcoming plays and films i.e. Carol in Matters of the Heart, Momma in Remember, Momma in Tell Somebody, Momma in The Original and waitress in Queens to name a few.   Follow her on social media for updates. FB- Tammy Cooper / IG - ImagineImunique

JANELLE T. HARVEY

Actor

is a striving multifaceted artist out of Philadelphia, Pa. Her work as an artist initially started with her extensive expression through poetry writing and performance which eventually led to opportunities to write for and perform in theater, most notably participating in the Bridge PHL Theater Festival. Janelle also aspires in film, having worked as a writer, director, and actress featured through the 5 Shorts film production company. Through her work, Janelle seeks to express universal human experiences and feelings as a way to cope with life’s perils and marvel in life’s joys as well as to spread empathy and love through others who may feel unrecognized or misunderstood. She seeks to uplift.

 

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

CASHIA MARTEÉ FITZGERALD BRYANT

Actor

is a Licensed Master’s level Social Worker and has been working with children and families for 18 years.  However, her roots lie in Film & Media Arts in which she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University.  She loves cats, and her hobby is cooking and sharing information on healthy wholefoods and holistic living.  Cashia began taking acting lessons in 2018 and landed a supporting role in a student film titled “Amal”.  She is looking forward to continuing to learn and grow in her acting career.

PWTF: Ain't (Y)Our History

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PARTNERS

 

Ripples in the Pond Productions, Parent Artists Advocacy League (PAAL), Beacon Theatre Productions, Arden Theatre Company, Jouska PlayWorks, Tribe 12

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The Philadelphia Women's Festival is inclusive of all woman/femme-identifying and gender fluid, as well as trans/queer artists who may not identify with term "women"

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Philadelphia Women's Theatre Company is honored to be a Philadelphia Cultural Fund 2020 Art & Culture Grantee. This grant allows us to further our creative work for the good of our community and for all Philadelphians. We extend our deepest thanks.