Guest Artists: Spring 2021

Watch this space as we add full bios and headshots of the guest artists joining us for the Field Work Spring Convening.

Artists are listed alphabetically

May Adrales

Session: Directing New Work*

*Due to late-breaking unforeseen circumstances, May Adrales is unable to participate in this session of Field Work.*

May Adrales is a director, teacher, arts advocate and artistic leader currently serving as the Artistic Director of The Lark.  She served as Director of Artistic Programs for three years as well as a director, artistic advisor and intern.   She has directed the world premieres and productions of Lark-affiliated writers, including Katori Hall, Rajiv Joseph, David Henry Hwang, A. Rey Pamatmat, Idris Goodwin, Chisa Hutchinson, Lloyd Suh, Thomas Bradshaw and Lauren Yee.  Nationally, she has helmed over 25 world premieres, including Qui Nguyen’s Lortel Award and Obie Award-Winning production Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club/ South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Rep.  Previously, she served as Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Milwaukee Rep, overseeing a robust commissioning and development pipeline for playwrights; Artistic Associate at The Playwrights Center, working with early career writers, and as Artistic Associate at The Public, focusing on their Mobile Shakespeare Unit.  She has taught and directed at Yale School of Drama, Brown University, Juilliard, NYU, Fordham, A.R.T., and A.C.T.  Adrales is the recipient of the TCG Alan Schneider Directing Award; League of Professional Women Josephine Abady Award; Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s inaugural Denham Fellowship and the recipient of a TCG New Generations grant.  She has held fellowships at Second Stage Theater, New York Theater Workshop, WP, SoHo Rep, and The Drama League.  She serves on the board of Theater Communications Group and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.  www.mayadrales.net

Jasmine Brooks

Session: Creating Digital Community

Jasmine Brooks is a Boston based director and producer. She is currently the Artistic Associate and NNPN Producer in Residence at Company One. At C1, Jasmine is the Creative Producer for the Better Future Series. She is also the former Boston Project Coordinator at SpeakEasy Stage. Directing/Assistant Directing credits include TOWARDS AN ANTI-RACIST TOMORROW: BLACK FLAG (Free Soil Arts Collective), #SinceYallWantMeToBeWhite (Pao Arts Center/Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston), TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES (Fresh Ink Theatre Company), CAMP STRANGEWOOD: CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN CABIN SIX (Sparkhaven Theatre Company), WORLD LINE (TC Squared Theatre Company), GUPPY (TC Squared Theatre Company), WOLF PLAY (Company One), ¡MAMÁGUA! (Fresh Ink Theatre: Ink Spot), WE SUCK! (Fresh Ink Theatre: Mad Dash), SORRY ASS BLOCK PARTY (Boston Theatre Marathon/Company One), LIFE AFTER LUST (Open Theatre Project: Gay Shorts 3), VIETGONE (Company One), DIVAS (OperaHub), FINAL FLIGHT (Boston University). Jasmine holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University.

jasminerosebrooks.com

Michael Colford

Session: Residencies & Partnerships

As the Director of Library Services, Michael Colford is responsible for the public facing service at the BPL, including Neighborhood Services, Youth Services, Reference & Research, Programming, Public Instruction, Literacy Services, Borrower Services, and the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center. He has been with the BPL since 2004, and has worked in public libraries since he was a high school page shelving books in the 1970s. Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing/Management, and a Graduate Degree in Library & Information Science.

Joshua Glenn-Kayden

Session: Inclusive Character Building & Casting

Josh is the Artistic Associate and Casting Director at Company One Theatre and a Boston based director. Recent directing projects include BALTIMORE by Kirsten Greenidge at UMass Amherst, the world premiere of THIS PLACE/DISPLACED with Artists’ Theater of Boston, the New England premiere of Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS for Titanic Theatre, and the world premiere of Laura Neill’s DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP for Fresh Ink Theatre. Josh has also directed and developed new work for Company One Theatre, UMass Amherst, Flat Earth Theatre, Open Theatre Project, the One Minute Play Festival, TC Squared, and ShotzBoston. Assistant directing credits include productions at Company One Theatre and the A.R.T. Josh holds a BA in Drama from Tufts University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Directing at UMass Amherst.

Lydia Jane Graeff

Session: Nuts and Bolts for Teaching Artists

Lydia Jane Graeff is a Boston based Freelance Teaching Artist, Actor, and a MA K-12 Licensed Teacher. She received her MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College and has worked with several reputable theatre companies and schools around the country and internationally. Currently, Lydia teaches and consults for Huntington Theatre Company, Wellesley Theatre Project, Boston Lyric Opera, Somerville School District, True to Life Training, and Kidstage at the Boston Children’s Museum.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Lauren Gunderson

Session: Building Digital Community

Lauren has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for “I and You” and “The Book of Will,” the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She lives in San Francisco.

Kim Heil

Session: Inclusive Character Building & Casting

Kim Montelibano Heil has been active in the professional performing arts industry as an artist, administrator, educator, producer, and content creator for over 20+ years. In addition, she is a dedicated advocate of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and places those values at the forefront of all her work. She is especially interested in the intersection of the performing arts and financial literacy, and has sought to dispel the myth of the “Starving Artist” through her Instagram Live Channel, @thenuance2020. She is currently part of the Leadership team at San Diego Repertory Theatre as the Associate Producer and Casting Director. She served previously as Education Director at San Diego Junior Theatre, and as the Education Programs Manager at The Old Globe. She’s also a freelance Casting Director, having worked most recently on the new musical adaptation of Farewell My Concubine by Kenneth Lin and Jason Robert Brown. Prior to working in San Diego, Kim was an associate for Broadway producer Arielle Tepper in New York. She was the Associate Producer/Dramaturg for Second Generation’s In The Works Reading Series, where she produced workshops of plays by emerging Asian-American playwrights. In her previous life Kim was an actor, choreographer and dancer in Los Angeles. She currently serves on the Board of the National New Play Network, and also served as an Artistic Trustee at Diversionary Theatre and as an Advisory Board Member at Blindspot Collective. Kim holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University.

thenuance2020.com

Daniel Alexander Jones

Session: Deconstructing Dramaturgies

Daniel Alexander Jones exemplifies the artist as energy worker. Daniel’s wildflower body of original work includes plays, performance pieces, recorded music, concerts, music theatre events, essays, and long-form improvisations. Energy is his true medium. He creates multi-dimensional experiences where bodies, minds, emotions, voices, and spirits conjoin, shimmer, and heal. He aims to return us in full to ourselves and one another. Jones’s numerous critically-acclaimed plays and performance pieces include Black Light (Public Theater, Greenwich House Theatre); Duat (Soho Rep); An Integrator’s Manual (La MaMa, etc. and Fusebox Festival); and Radiate (Soho Rep and National Tour). Jones has recorded five albums of original songs as his alter-ego, Jomama Jones.

Jones creates his own distinctive dramaturgy. His roots reach deep into Black American and Queer Performance traditions, and his work explores ideas of the Afromystical (awakening awareness of the numinous in the everyday through ritualized performance). Over more than two decades of professional practice, Jones has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to civic healing through vulnerable presence, truth telling, and collective critical engagement.

Daniel’s numerous awards include a TED Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Artist Award, an Alpert Award in the Arts, a USA Artist Fellowship, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, an Arts Matters Grant, an inaugural Creative Capital Grant, a McKnight National Residency and Commission, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, a NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Many Voices Playwriting Fellowship. He has been a Mellon Creative Research Fellow at the University of Washington, a Hume Fellow at Occidental College, and a Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute at NYU. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, a company member of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, an associate company member of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis, and was a company member of Austin’s Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre.

danielalexanderjones.com

Tonasia Jones

Session: Forging Anti-Racist Theatre

Tonasia (she/her) is a Boston based Disruptor, Program Director, and Creator (Actor/Director) whose work focuses on diverse collaboration and inclusive storytelling to conquer the societal divides through new and reimagined work.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, in recent years she has ventured to work in places such as Washington DC, Alexandria Virginia, Ashland Oregon, and England.  

Her roots in classical theater have given her opportunities of traveling England, Washington DC, and New England Areas.  Her administrative work has enabled her to work for amazing New England Theater organizations such as Arts Emerson (Creative Producer), Huntington Theatre (Casting/Producing Apprentice), Bad Habit Productions (General Manager), Brown Box Theatre Project (Artistic Outreach Manager), The Theater Offensive (Programs Coordinator), and StageSource (Program Director).  Her Acting and Directing work has enabled her to work freelance at New England theaters & universities such as Greater Boston Stage Company, Suffolk University, A.R.T, Fresh Ink, The Theater Offensive, Speakeasy Stage Company, Huntington Theater, and more.

Tonasia holds a BFA in Acting from Emerson College, and is dedicated to collaboration and changing the perspectives of diversity, ethnicity, and gender norms through theatre.  Utilizing theater to make those uncomfortable conversation happen. She strives to make today’s theatre genuinely reflect and mirror the world as it is “now”.

John J King

Session: Residencies & Partnerships

John J King is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur, and lives in New York City where he makes serious comedy. He has a B.A. in Theatre & English from SUNY Boondocks, and an accent from his mama. His mission: To Create and Spread Delight.

I bIn 2020, John’s play 7 MINUTES reached the finalist shortlist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Cycle 3 at the American Shakespeare Center, and was a finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theater Center. His web series HOME OFFICE – created and written with his wife – about a couple learning to work from home together during lockdown, received rave reviews from the Boston Globe, and WBUR’s The Artery. John’s latest play, MUSEUM PIECE, a farce about institutional (personal, and national) diversity, was developed at Speakeasy Stage Company, part of the 2019-20 Boston Project.

Shawn LaCount

Session: Directing New Work

Shawn LaCount (he/him/his) is a co-founder of Company One Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts where he has served as Co-Executive Director & Artistic Director since 1998. Under Shawn’s co-leadership, Company One Theatre has grown into a nationally recognized theatre at the intersection of art and social change, having served over 15,000 students, 100,000 audience members, and presenting over 80 productions in 21 years. The company has been called “one of the most innovative theatre companies in the country” by the American Theatre Wing.; received an Official Resolution by (then) Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley for “countless contributions to Boston’s Art community and dedication to diversifying arts and theater in Boston”; named Boston’s Best by Boston Magazine & Best of Boston by The Improper Bostonian multiple times; awarded over 30 local theatre awards for artistic achievement; three “50/50 Applause Awards” from the International Centre for Women Playwrights for C1’s focus on gender parity; participation in the Theatre Communication Group’s national Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Institute; a citation from The Boston Globe as one of the “12 Ideas for Making Boston more Inclusive”; selection as a Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum; received the TASC Social Justice Award; selected as part of the Arts Innovation Management program with Bloomberg Philanthropies; selected as a partner for the national Mellon Foundation Resident Playwright Program; named to the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative; and most recently received a 2020 Modeling Equity Organization Award by Boston Cultural Council. As a stage director, Shawn’s focus has been on new play development and amplifying the stories of often marginalized communities. Select directorial credits include the world premiere of HYPE MAN by Idris Goodwin (Elliot Norton Award, Outstanding Production); regional premieres of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s REALLY; Young Jean Lee’s WE’RE GONNA DIE (American Repertory Theater /Company One Theatre); A. Rey Pamatmat’s EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM (Elliot Norton Award Nominee for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production); Annie Baker’s THE FLICK (Elliot Norton Award, Outstanding Production); the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s SPLENDOR (IRNE Award nominee, Best New Play); the Boston premieres of BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO by Rajiv Joseph; THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY by Kristoffer Diaz (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production); Annie Baker’s THE ALIENS (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production); and the world premiere of GRIMM (IRNE Award nominee for Best New Play). Shawn holds an MA Ed. in theatre Education from Clark University and an MFA in Directing from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has taught at Emerson College, Boston Arts Academy, Huntington Theatre Company, Tufts University, Stage One and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Shawn is a proud alum of ArtEquity’s National Facilitator Training as well as the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive program, where he earned a certificate from Harvard Business School. Shawn holds an MA Ed. in Education from Clark University and an MFA in Theatre from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

M Sloth Levine

Session: Inclusive Character Building & Casting

M Sloth Levine is a trans theatremaker who directs, writes plays, and designs in Brooklyn, NY. Recent work has been seen at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sparkhaven Theatre, Trans Theatre Ensemble, Company One, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Fresh Ink Theatre, Brown Box Theatre Project, and Milky Way Coffee Roasters. They have been involved with the Gender Explosion Initiative with StageSource, advocating for gender diversity in New England theatre. They are a proud alumnus of the Company One PlayLab Unit. Sloth’s work often involves the fantastic, spooky, and queer. In 2016 they received a BA in Theatre Studies: Directing & Playwriting from Emerson College.

Todd London

Session: Creative Reflection Workshop

Todd London has worked in the American theatre for more than thirty years, supporting the flourishing of individual artists, advocating for best practices, creating connection between independent artists and producing theatres, and documenting the evolving field. His service has taken many shapes: artistic director, educator, arts journalist and essayist, public speaker, and theater historian. He is also a novelist, and his second novel, If You See Him, Let Me Know, was published in February, 2020 (Austin Macauley). This Is Not My Memoir, co-authored with Andre Gregory (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), was just released. The Long Revolution: Collected Writings of Zelda Fichhandler (Theatre Communications Group), which he edited, is due out in May, 2021. Todd has written, edited, or contributed to more than twenty other books. Most recently: 15 Actors, 20 Years (Dutch Kills Press); An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art (Theatre Communications Group); and a collection of his theatre essays, The Importance of Staying Earnest: Writings from Inside the American Theatre, 1988-2013 (NoPassport Press). He is also the author (with Ben Pesner) of Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (Theatre Development Fund), The Artistic Home (TCG), and The World’s Room, a novel (Steerforth Press), among others. “A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights,” his column of tributes to contemporary playwrights, appears on howlround.com. Todd London is the the Director of the newly formed Dramatists Guild Institute for Field Learning and teaches at the New School School of Drama, where he most recently headed the MFA Playwriting Program. From 2014-18 he was the Executive Director of the University of Washington’s School of Drama, where he held the  Floyd U. Jones Family Endowed Chair in Drama. Before that he spent 18 seasons as Artistic Director of New York’s New Dramatists, the nation’s oldest laboratory theatre for playwrights, where he created programs for and worked closely with more than a hundred and fifty of America’s leading playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. In 2009 Todd became the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) Visionary Leadership Award for “an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the theatre field as a whole, nationally and/or internationally.” A former managing editor of American Theatre, he has won the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays and a Milestone Award for his debut novel, The World’s Room. ​Todd is the founder and director of The Third Bohemia, a traveling site for interdisciplinary artistic retreats. He’s a past Literary Director of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard and Associate Artistic Director of CSC Rep off Broadway and New Playwrights Theatre in Washington, D.C.  He holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University and a PhD in Literary Studies from American University. He is married to playwright Karen Hartman and has two sons, Guthrie and Grisha.

toddlondon.net

James Milord

Session: Nuts and Bolts for Teaching Artists

James Ricardo Milord is a professional actor and teaching artist from Boston, Ma. He currently sits on the advisory board for Company One and also works for Stage One. He was last seen in Pipeline at Central Square Theatre. Most recent credits include A Christmas Carol (Underground Railway) The Handmaid’s Tale (Boston Lyric Opera), The Agitators and Cyrano (Gloucester Stage). Other credits include Anna Christie and Barbecue (Lyric Stage), Akeelah and the Bee (Wheelock Family Theatre), Clybourne Park (Longwood Players Club), The Good Negro, Splendor, The Brothers Size Trilogy, Clockwork Orange (Company One), & Macbeth (Shakespeare Now) to name a few. Film credits include Honest Thief (Solution Entertainment Group), Proud Mary (Screen Gems), The Brotherhood (Showtime), a handful of indies and industrial commercials. He is the proud recipient of the David Wheeler Award for Best Emerging Talent. Mr. Milord continues to pursue his dreams professionally and encourages all to do the same.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Diana Oh

Session: Dope North Star Workshop

Diana Oh (they/she) is a Truth Teller and Truth Seeker in all forms of the Art. Oh is the creator and performer of {my lingerie play} with national underground installations and concert staged in an effort to provide a safer, more courageous world for women, queer, trans, and non-binary humans to live in, Clairvoyance (her year-long installation, concert series, and tree planting in Harvard Yard, the Boston Public Library, Institute of Contemporary Art, Harvard Arboretum and A.R.T), The Infinite Love Party: an intentional barefoot potluck dinner, dance party, and sleepover for QTPOC and their allies (Bushwick Starr), Asian People Are Not Magicians (Mic.com) and My H8 Letter 2 The Gr8 American Theatre (The Public Theater). TV/Film: Queering, How To Be Single (with Dakota Johnson), New York is Dead (Tribeca Film Fest with Ana Gasteyer), Hey Yun (feat. on Janet Mock), Unicornland (feat. Medium). As a Refinery29 top LGBTQ influencer, the first queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean broadcast radio, a Tow Fellow (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Van Lier Fellow in Acting (Asian American Arts Alliance) Venturous Capital Fellow, Sundance Institute Fellow, writer with the Public Theater’s mobile unit and EWG, Oh tours with their art in unexpected spaces and enjoys not fitting into boxes. The New York Times calls Oh “Irreverent,” you can call her “friend.”

www.dianaoh.co

Nicole Olusanya

Session: Nuts and Bolts for Teaching Artists

Nicole Olusanya, M.Ed, is the Education Program Manager at Company One Theatre (C1) in Boston, Massachusetts and the Practice Coordinator for Schaffel Educational Consulting, LLC. A parent artist and a creative producer, who is passionate about equity and social justice, Nicole’s work focuses on supporting arts educators and uplifting emerging theatre artists. She specializes in community engagement, partnership development, and activating new initiatives. As Special Initiatives Manager at ArtsEmerson Nicole reactivated, I Dream: Boston, while managing several community engagement programs, including Community Curators and Citizen Read. She was an arts administrator in Boston Public Schools for 7 years at Dorchester Academy, BPS Visual and Performing Arts Department, and Boston Arts Academy. Nicole is an actor, a co-founder of TC Squared Theatre Company, a member of the MassCreative Leadership Council, a co-facilitator for Wollaston Elementary School’s PTO Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and a co-facilitator for the Arts & Culture Taskforce for Quincy for Transformative Change. She is a proud alum of Boston Arts Academy’s first graduating class.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Kristin Parker

Session: Artist Resources at the Boston Public Library

Kristin Parker is a cultural heritage expert with a focus on advocacy, preservation, and collaboration. Kristin’s work focuses on identifying strategies that will preserve cultural heritage at risk. She’s certified as a trainer in First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) through the International Center for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property – ICCROM (Rome, IT) and the Smithsonian Institution’s Cultural Rescue Initiative (DC, USA), and has completed coursework related to the impact on communities from the looting of its cultural patrimony. She is a research associate with Brandeis University’s Peacebuilding and the Arts Program, with a focus on the role of heritage recovery in humanitarian settings. Kristin has 20 years experience managing both contemporary and historic collections, artist projects and exhibitions. Over her career, she’s worked with many of the most well known museums around the world, and is equally committed to local and personal heritage that may not be located within the walls of a famous museum or library. Kristin’s mission is to use her love for hands-on and team work to analyze institutional challenges and create plans that will improve standards and performance. An exceptional bridge builder and negotiator, Kristin recognizes unique connections between organizations and people, creating the potential for greater resource sharing and innovative thinking.

https://www.kristinparker.org/

Tyler Prendergast

Session: Telling Your Story

Tyler (he/him/his) is a writer, director, actor, dramaturg, and graphic designer. Prior to joining Company One as Marketing & Communications Manager in 2017, he worked in the marketing department at New Repertory Theatre for four seasons, where he also assistant directed several productions and performed in New Rep’s Classic Repertory Company. From 2014 to 2018, Tyler co-produced over 60 new short plays with ShotzBoston, part of the Resident Lab at the Charlestown Working Theater. He has also worked with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Anthem Theatre Company, Boston Center for American Performance, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Fresh Ink Theatre, Flat Earth Theatre, TCSquared, Longwood Players, Merely Players, Open Theatre Project, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Micah Rosegrant

Session: Artist Residencies

I am a words-worker who descends from farms on the lands currently known as the United States and the Philippines. Through mediums like poetry, oral history, and theatre, I tell stories that center ancestry and queer divinity as a means of displacing the ideologies that call for the extinction of my blood and chosen families. As an Artist in Community Fellow at Arts Connect International, I am co-creating art by/for/with community while working to dismantle oppression within the American arts & culture sector. In addition, I co-founded Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston (AATAB) with Sarah Shin, serve on the Asian Pacific Islander Arts Network steering committee, advise the StageSource board, and write/speak/perform as a freelance artist. The First Pineapple and Other Folktales, premiered at Central Square Theater after development at Boston University. Their writing is published/forthcoming in The Wave and Marías at Sampaguitas. Twitter/IG: @micah_pdf

micahrosegrant.squarespace.com

Megan Sandberg-Zakian

Session: Directing New Work

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a theater director, author, and educator with a passion for the development of diverse new American plays for the stage and the ear. She is a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond, and her first book, There Must Be Happy Endings: On a Theatre of Optimism and Honesty, is available from The 3rd Thing Press. Megan is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She lives in Jamaica Plain, MA, with her wife Candice. megansz.com

Yura Sapi

Session: Self Care = Self Love

Yura Sapi (Viviana Vargas Salvatierra) is an artist, activist, arts manager, educator, facilitator, and entrepreneur. After finishing two degrees in the performing arts and spending time in the “diversity and inclusion” field of the U.S. American Theatre, they founded Advancing Arts Forward, a movement to advance equity, inclusion, and justice through the arts by creating liberated spaces that uplift, heal, and encourage us to explore our vast potential to change the world. Advancing Arts Forward hosts and consults for in person and online workshops, university classes, gatherings, discussions, and resource sharings across the country and worldwide. Yura Sapi is also the founder of Balistikal, a healing and arts space that centers LGBTIQ+ community in Latin America. They actively consider their role in the fight for liberation beyond the U.S. borders thinking specifically about anti-racism, decolonization, and collective liberation.

 www.advancingartsforward.org | www.yurasapi.com |  www.balistikal.club

Audrey Seraphin

Session: Civic Engagement

Audrey Seraphin is an artist and arts administrator who is honored to work in the Boston community as an actor, director, stage manager, and community organizer. She is the Director of SPARK Boston, a program of the Mayor’s office, and leads community engagement for Front Porch Arts Collective. She was previously the Membership & Capacity Building Manager at ArtsBoston, and the Community & Inclusion Advocate at Central Square Theater. Audrey is a proud member of the Network of Arts Administrators of Color (NAAC) Boston, and serves on their Steering Committee. Recent collaborators include Heart & Dagger Productions, Take Your Pick Productions, and Fresh Ink Theatre. She is a graduate of Emerson College’s Theatre Studies program. 

SPARK Boston @ boston.gov

Vincent Siders

Session: Nuts & Bolts for Teaching Artists

Vincent Ernest Siders is a stage director, equity actor, producer, educator, and consultant. Currently he is the Director and Lead Instructor for the ‘Ambassadors’, the touring division of Youth Underground at Central Square Theater. Vincent has served as Artistic Director for two theater Companies, both in Boston: New African Company and TYG Productions -home of the Family Beef Feast Festival. Vincent has worked as director and theater educator for a number of theaters and institutions of learning including: Huntington Theater, Central Square Theater, Hibernian Hall Boston, Boston Playwrights Theater, Boston University, Emerson College, New African Company, Dance Theater Complex, Upward Bound and Boston Public Schools. As an actor, Vincent has performed throughout the East Coast. Memorable roles include but not limited to: King Shahrayar in “Arabian Nights” and Uncle Diva in “Mr g” both at Central Square Theater; Joe Bell in “Guided Tour” at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury; Tom in “The Glass Menagerie at Lyric Stage; Friar Francis in “Much Ado About Nothing” with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Lucius in “Jesus Hopped the A Train” with Company One; Rooftop in “Our Lady of 121st Street” with SpeakEasy Stage Company; and James in “Monticel” at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, where he played the role of Thomas Jefferson’s unclaimed son. Dubbed ‘a Boston Treasure’ by The Boston Globe, Vincent has received: two IRNE nominations for Best Direction, two IRNE Awards for Acting, the Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor, and Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston Award for best Actor.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Dawn Meredith Simmons

Session: Forging Anti-Racist Theatre

Dawn is the Executive Director of StageSource, after serving at the Boston Center for the Arts as Director of Performing Arts since 2014, overseeing performing arts programming and artist residencies. Prior to the BCA, she was the Director of Programs at StageSource for ten years, and more recently served on the organization’s Board of Directors. She is founder and director of the Front Porch Arts Collective, a culturally-specific performing arts company founded in 2016, and the New Exhibition Room, founded to produce political theater works in 2008.

She is also an accomplished theater director and in recent years has directed productions for: Greater Boston Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare’s Apprentice Program, Bad Habit Productions, Lyric Stage Company, Boston Public Works, New Exhibition Room, Suffolk University, Fresh Ink Theatre, Dorchester Fringe Festival, GAN-e-meed Theatre Project, The Theater Offensive, Our Place Theatre Project, Mill 6, Actors Refuge Repertory Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Boston Theatre Works, and As Yet To Be Theatre.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Dawn holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Buffalo and has studied playwriting at Boston University.

Karthik Subramanian

Session: Budgeting from Your Values

Karthik (he/him/his) is the Interim Managing Director at Company One Theatre, previously holding the positions of Business Manager and Production Manager. His most recent Company One credits include HYPE MAN; PEERLESS; REALLY; REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.; THE T PARTY; WE’RE GONNA DIE; AN OCTOROON; and DRY LAND. He is also the part time Arts Coordinator at the recently opened Pao Arts Center. He would like to thank the Company One Theatre staff for their continued support. He would also like to thank his wife, Sumana, for putting up with the fact that he never comes home when he says he will.

Eric Ting

Session: Directing New Work

Mr. Ting is an Obie Award-winning director, Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater and a proud member of SDC for more than a decade. He previously served as Long Wharf Theatre Associate Artistic Director. Recent credits include the world premiere of Sam Hunter’s Lewiston (Long Wharf Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird (Cincinnati Playhouse), The World of Extreme Happiness (Manhattan Theatre Club / Goodman), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum), Kimber Lee’s Brownsville Song (LWT / Philadelphia Theatre Co), A Great Wilderness (Williamstown), Nora Chipaumire’s Miriam (BAM Next Wave), Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… (world premiere, Soho Rep / Victory Gardens) and Rising Son (world premiere, Singapore Rep). Ting is a founding member of the artists’ collective INTELLIGENT BEASTS. Upcoming: Othello (Cal Shakes), Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower with Toshi Reagon (National Tour) and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon (Berkeley Rep). He is a receipient of a TCG New Generations fellowship, a Jerome & Roslyn Milstein Meyer Career Development Prize, a NEFA National Theatre Project grant, and (with Meiyin Wang) a MAP Fund Award. Additionally, he has served on grant panels including the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Jerome and McKnight Foundations, NEA, TCG, PONY, Creative Work Fund and Alpert Awards.

Paloma Valenzuela

Session: Nuts & Bolts for Teaching Artists

Paloma Valenzuela is a Dominican-American writer, director and actress originally from the city of Boston. She is the creative director of the production operation La Gringa Loca Productions. She is the writer/producer/creator of the comedic web series “The Pineapple Diaries”. In 2017 the show was featured in Latina Magazine’s “5 Web Series Every Latinx Needs to Watch Right Now”. Her work has participated as Official Selection at film festivals such as the New Orleans Film Festival and Miami Short Film Festival among others. In 2019 Paloma was featured in Boston Magazine’s “Boston’s New Creative Guard” and selected as one of the WBUR The Artery 25, a series highlighting millennials of color making an impact in the Boston arts scene. In 2019 Paloma won Best Supporting Actress at the Premios IRIS Dominicana Movie Awards for her role as Lolita in the film “Un 4to de Josue” which is streaming on HBO. Paloma has collaborated with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as a museum Neighborhood Salon Artist Luminary. She is the recipient of the 2016 Creative City Grant and in 2019 she was granted the City of Boston Artist Fellowship. In March 2020 Paloma finished editing and launching the third season of “The Pineapple Diaries”. She is currently planning for future projects and also has been working as a teaching artist teaching screenwriting and productions for organizations such as GrubStreet in Boston and the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Mark Abby VanDerzee

Session: Nuts & Bolts for Teaching Artists

Mark (he/him/his), a co-founder of Company One, is proud to wear many hats for C1. Mark has enjoyed the opportunity to work as Technical Director for Leftovers, collaborating with a talented and committed group of designers and technicians. Recent C1 Technical Direction credits include: peerless, REALLY, REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN., THE T PARTY, and DRY LAND. Stage One, Company One’s Education Department, is under Mark’s helm and over the past nineteen years he has developed the curriculum for several different branches of the program: the In-School program that provides year long theater residencies to 6 Boston Public Schools, the Apprenticeship program that provides job training and artistic training for Boston teens, and the Professional Development for Actors class that provides acting training for adults.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Shanelle Chloe Villegas

Session: Nuts & Bolts for Teaching Artists

Shanelle Chloe Villegas is a Boston-based actor, poet, deviser and teaching artist. She is excited to be teaching with Company One for the first year and hope the partnership is for many years to come! When she is not teaching, Shanelle can be seen performing all around Boston. Her recent works include touring with New Repertory Theatre’s Classic Repertory Company for both their fall and spring tours. Other works include Fresh Inks’ Last Catastrophist, Yo Soy LOLAs’ Las Que Sueñan, and Speakeasy Stage Companys’ School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Currently, Shanelle is writing an autobiographical one-woman show about intergenerational trauma. Shanelle is a first-year graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Contemporary Theatre program.

Learn more about Stage One: https://stageonec1.wordpress.com/

Ngoc-Tran Vu

Session: Building Digital Community

Ngoc-Tran Vu (she/her/hers) is a 1.5-generation Vietnamese-American multimedia artist and organizer whose socially engaged practice draws from her experience as a connector, educator, and lightworker. Tran threads her social practice through photography, painting, sculpture and audio so that her art can resonate and engage audience with intentionality. Her work evokes discourse of familial ties, memories and rituals amongst themes of social justice and intersectionality. Tran works across borders and is based in Boston’s Dorchester community.

Oompa Williams

Session: Telling Your Story

OOMPA is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born, poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids n’ them. She was named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style won her the Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year in 2019, following her 2018 Unsigned Artist of the Year victory among an unprecedented 12 total nominations. In a 2019 feature, WBUR’s the Artery describes the lyric-focused rapper as having a “natural tenderness with language” and calls her verses “funny…incisive and memorable.” Oompa showed this poetic prowess as the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2016 National Poetry Slam. With the release of her newest album, Cleo, Oompa has sold out the Sinclair and a number of other Boston venues. She has been featured by NPR, the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, WGBH, digboston, and NBC 10 and is the recipient of the 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship, enriching Boston and the world beyond with her work.

Summer L. Williams

Session: Directing New Work

Summer L. Williams (she/her/hers) is a Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director of Company One Theatre in Boston, and award-winning director. Her most recent directing credits include School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Miss You Like Hell by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Erin McKeown with Company One Theatre and OBERON at American Repertory Theater, the World Premiere of Leftovers by Josh Wilder with Company One Theatre, Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney with Company One and OBERON at A.R.T.; Smart People at Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY and Geva Theater in Rochester, NY; Barbecue at Lyric Stage Company of Boston—Winner of the 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director; Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at Company One Theatre; Bootycandy at SpeakEasy Stage Company; An Octoroon and Colossal with Company One Theatre—Winner of the 2016 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director for both productions. Regional credits: Intimate Apparel at Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Shiv as a part of The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy; Shelter of Last Resort by Miranda Craigwell as a part of XX PlayLab 2014; the New England Premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero Of Namibia, Formerly Known As Southwest Africa From The German Sudwestafrika Between The Years 1884-1915; Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On; Lynn Nottage’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston; The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or The Secret Of Sweet as part of The Brother/Sister Plays (2012 Elliot Norton Award nominated for Outstanding Production and winner of the 2012 IRNE Award for Best Play); Neighbors, Grimm; The Good Negro; Voyeurs De Venus (Winner of 2009 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); The Bluest Eye (IRNE and Elliot Norton Award nominated); The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot; Spell #7 (IRNE nominated); Jesus Hopped The A Train (2004 Elliot Norton Award for Best Fringe Production); and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (IRNE nominated).



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