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Playwrights

Richard Montoya



Richard Montoya is an American playwright, actor, filmmaker, and co-founder of the collective performance trio, Culture Clash, which was formed in 1984 in San Francisco’s Mission District. Born in 1959, Montoya is the son of well- known artist, poet, and activist José Montoya, a co-founder of the Chicano artistic collective known as the Royal Chicano Air Force. While José Montoya went to art school in the East Bay (CCAC) in the early 60’s he quickly gravitated to Berkeley and the Beat Movement still percolating in SF’s North Beach.

While growing up, Montoya witnessed his family’s involvement in the civil rights movement and Cesar Chavez’ United Farm Workers movement as artist activists. He continues that legacy through his career as a playwright, actor and indie filmmaker. Through searing satire or heightened realism Montoya’s writings dig deep into the margins of America. The shadow lands: barrios, deserts, jails where characters confront racism, discrimination, and the difficulties and dangers of displacement and the ghosts of a post-colonial reality on the Mexico-U.S. border. 

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, is an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director, whose body of work spans over half a century. He is the author of forty-four plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York described him as “the greatest American playwright of his generation.”

Paula Vogel



Indecent (Court Theatre), How I Learned to Drive, The Long Christmas Ride Home (The Vineyard); Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq (Wilma Theatre); A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf, New York Theatre Workshop); The Mineola Twins (Roundabout); Hot ‘n’ Throbbing (A.R.T., Signature Theatre); The Baltimore Waltz, Desdemoa, And Baby Makes Seven (Circle Rep); The Oldest Profession (Signature Theatre). 

Awards include the Pulitzer Prize, two Obies, the NY Drama Critics Circle, Theatre Hall of Fame, Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement, and The Thornton Wilder Award. She is most honored by three awards given in her name: the Paula Vogel Award at the American Theatre College Festival, the Paula Vogel mentorship program for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award given by the Vineyard Theatre. 

After teaching for 30 years at Brown University and Yale School of Drama, she now conducts workshops at theatres, schools, and community organizations. Upcoming projects: Jitterbugging and the War Effort (Long Wharf), Baby Girl, a musical theatre work with Matt Gould, and the book, How to Bake A Play.

Han Ong



Han Ong is a novelist and playwright. His novels are Fixer Chao (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001), which was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and cited as a new immigrant classic by the New York Times; and The Disinherited(Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004), nominated for a Lambda Book Award. Among Ongʼ s more than three dozen plays are The L.A. Plays (1990), The Chang Fragments (1996), Middle Finger (1997), and The Suitcase Trilogy (1992–97). They have been widely produced in the US in such venues as the Joseph Papp Public Theater (New York), Berkeley Repertory Theater (Berkeley, California), the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles, California) and the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts), as well as abroad, at Londonʼ s Almeida Theater. 

Ong is one of the youngest recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, awarded to him in 1997, when he was 29. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents, he immigrated to the US with his family as a teenager. He lives in New York city. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University and Long Island University and has taught playwriting for several years at New Yorkʼ s 92nd Street Y.

Luis Alfaro

premiered both Bruja and Oedipus el Rey, at Magic Theatre, Bruja, enjoyed an extended run, and Oedipus el Rey, won the Bay Area Theatre 2010 Glickman Prize. Oedipus el Rey has gone on to productions in Los Angeles (L.A. Weekly Best Adaptation Award), Washington D.C., Tucson, Minneapolis and is currently enjoying a critically acclaimed production at the Miracle Theatre in Portland, Oregon and will open in July at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. 

His plays include AlleluiaThe RoadHeroElectricidadBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Body of FaithStraight as a LineBlack Butterfly and many solo works including down town and No Holds Barrio

Jessica Hagedorn

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Other publications include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and Burning Heart: A Portrait Of The Philippines (with photojournalist Marissa Roth). Hagedorn edited both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. 

Her plays include Most Wanted, Stairway To Heaven, Fe In The Desert, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. In collaboration with composer Fabian Obispo, Hagedorn is adapting Lysley Tenorio’s short story, Felix Starro, into a musical play. Her work in film includes screenplays for director Shu Lea Cheang’s Fresh Kill and for the Oxygen Network’s animated series, The Pink Palace. Honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, and a Philippine National Book Award for Manila Noir. She is an alumna of the Sundance Theatre Lab for Dogeaters and Most Wanted, and the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab for Dogeaters. For more information, visit www.jessicahagedorn.net.

John Kolvenbach

is the author of Sister PlayGoldfishMrs. Whitney, Love Song, on an average day, Gizmo Love, Fabuloso, Bank Job and Marriage Play  (or Half ‘n Half ‘n Half)  which  premiered in 2012 at Merrimack Repertory. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory in the Spring of 2009, directed by Loretta Greco. Goldfish was then produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in the Fall of that year. The Magic also premiered Mrs. Whitney in the Fall of 2009, under Kolvenbach’s direction. 

Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago in the spring of 2006, directed by Austin Pendelton. Love Song went on to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award, best new comedy.  Love Song has been produced in New York, Zurich, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul and Rome. There have been over fifty productions in the US.  on an average day premiered at the Comedy Theatre on the West End in 2002, with Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan. Average Day has been produced in Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Lisbon among many other places.  Fabuloso premiered at the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre in 2008, directed by Mr. Kolvenbach. Fabuloso was staged in San Juan and Zurich, in Spanish and Swiss German, respectively.

Taylor Mac

has been named one of New York's best theatre artists by the The New York TimesThe New Yorker, American Theatre Magazine, The Village Voice (also naming Mr. Mac the best theatre actor in New York, 2013), Time Out NY (also naming him New York's best cabaret performer of 2012 and a future legend of New York City). A playwright, actor, and singer-songwriter, Taylor's work has been performed at New York City's Lincoln Center and The Public Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston's American Repertory Theatre, San Francisco's Magic Theatre, Stockholm's Sodra Theatern and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, cabarets, and festivals around the globe. 

Mr. Mac is the author of numerous plays and performance pieces including Hir, which premiered at the Magic, The Lily's Revenge (Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of (Chicago's Jeff Award nomination for best solo), Red Tide Blooming (Ethyl Eichelberger Award) and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (Edinbrugh's Festival's Herald Angel Award).  Mr. Mac's plays have been published by Playscripts, Vintage Press, New York Theatre Review, and New York Theatre Experience and been the recipient of two Sundance Theatre Lab residences, three Map Grants, The Creative Capital Grant, The James Hammerstein Award for playwriting, three GLAAD Media Award Nomination, two New York State Council of The Arts Grant, a Massachusetts Council of the Arts Grant, an Edward Albee Foundation Residency, The Franklin Furnace Grant, a Peter S. Reed Grant, and The Ensemble Studio's Theatre's New Voices Fellowship in playwriting. 

Mr. Mac is a graduate of both the HERE Arts Center Resident Artists program, New Dramatists and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.

Lloyd Suh

is the author of Jesus in India and Great Wall Story (premiering at the Denver Center Theatre Company in March).  His play American Hwangap was produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco; with Ma-Yi & The Play Company in New York; and with Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, in connection with the Andrew Mellon Foundation and Lark Play Development Center's Launching New Plays into the Repertoire initiative, and was published in Smith & Kraus's Best New Playwrights 2009, American Theatre Magazine, and with Samuel French, Inc.  Other plays include The Children of Vonderly, The Garden Variety, Masha No Home and Happy End of the World, a play for young audiences commissioned by Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis via the NEA New Play Development program.  

He has been the recipient of grants and awards from the New York Foundation of the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, and others.  He is an alum of EST's Youngblood, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a current member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.  He has served since January 2011 as Director of Onsite Programs at the Lark Play Development Center.

Mfoniso Udofia

is a 1st Generation Nigerian-American storyteller, actress and educator. Mfoniso attended Wellesley College for Political Science and obtained her MFA in Acting from San Francisco’s Tony Award winning, American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered a youth initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint.

Mfoniso’s play, Sojourners, which was recently seen at the 2014 NNPN conference as part of the National New Play Showcase will be produced off-Broadway by Playwrights Realm. She premiered runboyrun at the Magic in 2016. Mfoniso’s plays have been developed and/or presented/produced by Playwrights Realm, The Magic Theatre, The National Black Theater, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, NNPN New Play Showcase, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA, Page73 Development Programs, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle’s INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, Liberation Theatre Company and JJCEO Youth Programs in Birmingham, Alabama. Mfoniso was a finalist for the 2015 PoNY Prize and she’s been a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill NPC, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Many Voices Fellowship,  Page 73 Development Programs, Jerome Fellowship, NYTW’s 20/50 Fellowship, The Source Festival & Lark Playwrights’ Week. Follow her at @mfudofia and check out her site mfonisoudofia.com for the latest news.

Sharr White

has had plays developed or produced at theatres across the country, including MCC Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Marin Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab, Key West Theatre Festival, Caldwell Theatre Company, and others. Mr. White’s The Other Place premiered Off-Broadway with MCC Theater, directed by Joe Mantello, and starring Laurie Metcalf. The Other Place was a recipient of the 2010 Playwrights First Award; the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award; and was an Outer Critics Circle Award nominee for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. 

Mr. White’s Sunlight was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, and premiered at Marin Theatre Company as part of a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. Mr. White’s Six Years was produced at the 30th Anniversary Humana Festival of New American Plays. Mr. White has also been honored with a Dr. Henry and Lilian Nesburn Award as part of the Julie Harris Award in Playwriting (The Escape Velocity of Savages); a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (Six Years); and the 2009 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize (Sunlight). Annapurna was a South Coast Repertory commission; and was developed with Loretta Greco during SCR’s 2011 Pacific Playwrights Festival.