2022 OOB Festival – Meet the Playwrights

AURORA BEHLKE (Thank You, Porcupine) (she/her) is an Alaska raised, Seattle / St. Louis based playwright and creative. She will be making her professional playwriting debut this September at Echo Theatre in Dallas with her full-length play, Founders, Keepers. When she’s not writing, you can find her sharing the Seattle’s early history as an underground tour guide. Education: Aurora is currently pursuing a BA in Directing from Webster Conservatory.


CLARE FUYUKO BIERMAN (The Very Furious Kugel) is a playwright and lyricist raised in a Japanese-Jewish home with some rabbits, a snake, and a bunch of finches. Current commissions include Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria (Book by Brandy Hoang Collier, Music by Erika Ji, Winner of 5th Avenue Theater’s First Draft Commission), and Theseus and the Minotaur and the Other Six (Music by Joshua Vranas, Youth Theater Northwest). Her past work has been seen at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Spooky Action Theater, Open Door Playhouse, Broadway’s Future Songbook Series, and as a winner of the New Musicals Inc. New Voices Project. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her MFA from New York University.


DAN CAFFREY (Duckass) graduated from UT Austin’s M.F.A. Playwriting program in 2020, and is now based in Brooklyn after a stint teaching playwriting at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. He was a 2022 Semi-Finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship’s 2021 Theatre Prize, has been a Finalist and Semi-Finalist at the O’Neill, a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Awards Playwriting Fellowship, a Semi-Finalist for The Civilians’ R&D Group, a Resident Artist at Tofte Lake Center, an M.F.A. Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and his work has been published in several anthologies by Smith & Kraus. His plays have recently been developed/produced by The Workshop Theater, American Records, Mixily Presents, Jarrott Productions, Kitchen Dog Theater, and Pegasus PlayLab at UCF. His play A Seed was part of the 46th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, produced by Concord Theatricals.


RACHAEL CARNES (SYZYGY) spent two+ decades as founder and director of a nonprofit dedicated to inclusive dance education for children with disabilities, while moonlighting as a freelance journalist and being a mom, before deciding to try playwriting, stumbling into a class at her local theatre in 2017 and — WHOOSH! — Dance and writing came together in playwriting and she never looked back. Rachael received a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship, a 2020 Oregon Arts Commission Grant, a 2021 Lighthouse Writers Workshop Advanced Dramatic Writing Fellowship, and is the recipient of the 2021 Jane Stevens Award in Theatre. Rachael has had productions of her work across the U.S., U.K., the Middle East, Canada and Asia. She’s published in many literary journals and has enjoyed developing work at many theater and writing festivals and conferences. Rachael’s thrilled to return to NYC and the Samuel French OOB Festival. Rachael and her family live in Oregon. rachaelcarnes.com


CHRISTIN EVE CATO (American Made) is a playwright and performing artist from the Bronx. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Indiana University and completed her BA at Fordham University. She is affiliated with NYC theater companies, Pregones/PRTT (ensemble member & former Resident Dramaturg), INTAR Theatre (UNIT 52 ensemble member), and the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Cato’s artistic style is expressed through Caribbean culture and the Afro-Latinx diaspora, honoring her Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots. She has developed her work with The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harlem9, Milagro Theatre, Borderlands Theater, Teatro Vivo, Smith College, Indiana University, Texas State University, Cardinal Stage, The Road Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, and many others. She is a 2021-2022 Playwrights Center Core Apprentice. Cato is also a recipient of the 2021 ReImagine New Plays in TYA grant. She is currently represented by 3 Arts Entertainment and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.


JAY EDDY (Big Red Button) is a writer, composer, and performer. In 2022, their solo show Driving in Circles won the Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award and Musical Theatre Award, both from the Kennedy Center. They are a recent Yaddo fellow, Jonathan Larson Grant finalist, New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, and Connecticut Office of the Arts fellow, and their writing has been published with North American Review, Tikkun, Pidgeonholes, Poets Reading the News, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and TulipTree. Their work for the stage has been called, “Bracingly original, astonishingly resourceful, and daringly theatrical,” and, “a joy to listen to…a beautiful tapestry of sound.” As a performer, they’ve been called, “Kate McKinnon on a cocaine bender.” MFA in Playwriting at Boston University, MA in Music Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


JESSIE FIELD (Too Much Lesbian Drama: One Star) (she/her) is an award-winning queer NYC playwright and director. She has written book and/or lyrics for numerous projects including Charlotte Lucas is 27 and Not Dead (WINNER Musicals Now Competition, O’Neill NMTC Semi-Finalist, SDSU Semi-Finalist), Madam President (workshopped at the New Musicals Lab at Ferguson Center), Ren Faire (being developed with Theatre Now), La Maupin (WINNER 2018 International MUT Competition, WINNER Audience Favorite – 2017 Fresh Fruit Festival) and Rachel (2018 JDT Lab Selection, WINNER Outstanding Musical – 2015 Fresh Fruit Festival, 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Prize for Best Original Play). Jessie has also written TYA straight play To The West, which was a finalist in the Growing Stage’s New Play Reading Festival and the school play at Randolph High. Jessie is a co-creator (with James Salem) of the musical webseries Is This Art Now? and she earned her MFA at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. jessiefield.com


CARY GITTER (How My Grandparents Fell In Love) has plays including The Virtuous Life of Joseph Andrews (Penguin Rep Theatre, Stony Point, NY) and The Sabbath Girl (off-Broadway, 59E59 Theaters; Penguin Rep Theatre; Theatre Ariel, Philadelphia; upcoming, Invisible Theatre, Tucson), which is published and licensed by Stage Rights. His play How My Grandparents Fell in Love was a New York Times Critic’s Pick as part of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays and aired on the acclaimed podcast Playing on Air. His work has been developed at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and New Jersey Repertory Company, among others. He has received commissions from the EST/Sloan Project and Penguin Rep. He is a two-time O’Neill semifinalist and Jewish Plays Project finalist, and an alumnus of the Obie Award-winning EST/Youngblood playwrights’ group. His work has been published in anthologies from Smith & Kraus and Applause Books. BFA, MA: NYU. carygitter.com


BEN HOLBROOK (Chemistry) is a Brooklyn-based (originally from NC) playwright and filmmaker whose works have been produced, developed, or commissioned by: Fundamental Theater Project, Ruddy Productions, The New York International Fringe Festival, The Memphis Fringe Festival, The Motor Company, Voices of the South (TN), Ugly Rhino(LA), Seoul Players (SK), Holiday House, Find the Light (LA), The Irish Arts Council, 45th Street Block Association, and Paper Lantern Theatre Company (NC). He’s been awarded the Edward Albee Foundation fellowship, the Drama League Rough Draft Residency (partnering with Sam Underwood), The Williamstown Theatre Festival residency, Fresh Ground Pepper’s Playground Playgroup Residency, the Wildwind Performance Lab residency, The New Concepts Theatre Lab at UNC-Greensboro, Magic Time at Judson Church, and is the inaugural recipient of the Peter Shaffer Award for Excellence in Playwriting. More info at baholbrook.com


ONYEKACHI IWU (Georgia Rose) is a Nigerian-American playwright, director, and filmmaker from Nashville, TN. She is a member of the American Theatre Group Playlab, 2020-2022 and Eden Theater Company Playlab, 2020. Her plays have also been developed and performed with the Classical Theatre of Harlem (Where is Nina Mae?), Two Strikes Theatre Collective (Georgia Rose), Conchshell Productions (Ants and Garlic), and Columbia University (Cotton Harris). Her full-length play, The Magical South, was a finalist for the Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers in 2020 and the Crossroads Diverse Voices Playwriting Initiative in 2021.She was also a finalist for UCROSS+The Blank Theatre’s 2022 Future of Playwriting Prize. Iwu’s work explores themes of Black love, Black womanhood, communal healing, and radical escapism.


JULIANNE JIGOUR (Domestic Help) earned her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where she received the West Coast Drama Alumni Clan Award for Dramatic Writing. Her plays have been produced by or developed with PlayGround, Moving Arts’ MADlab, Santa Clara University, Theater Masters, KCACTF, Bombay Theatre Company (Mumbai), and the HBMG National Winter Playwrights Retreat. She has received two commissions from Planet Earth Arts, one of which—Bright Shining Sea—received its premiere production with PlayGround in San Francisco, where it was a Theatre Bay Area Awards Recommended Production. Her short play Beech.Oak.Iris. was a finalist for the 2020 Samuel French OOB Festival. Julianne has twice received grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for science-themed TV pilots and has been a finalist for the Steeltown Film Factory competition. A member of the Playwrights Union, Playwrights Think Tank, Antaeus Playwrights Lab, and Trap Street arts collective, she resides in Los Angeles.


JAY KOEPKE (Blocked) (he/him) is a creative based in Colorado. His work has been developed and produced in New York (Pietra or the Stone Baby, Adrift, The Idyllic Life: A Bavarian Fairy Tale), New Jersey (The End is Far, The Chief’s Last Day, The Cost of Living, A New Relationship), Chicago (What Makes the Buddha Smile?) and Pittsburgh (The Oak Tree) among others. Jay has been a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the New Jersey Playwrights Contest and a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He’s twice previously been part of the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. His work has been seen at the Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival. In addition to writing plays, he also loves creating portraits of the LGBTQIA+ community. Find him on insta @jay_cupcake or at jaycupcake.com.


MILDRED INEZ LEWIS (We Jump Broom) writes and directs for theater, film and the digital space. A Dramatists Guild member, she writes with the Antaeus, Company of Angels, EST-LA, PlayGround-LA and Towne Street Theatres. Upcoming productions include The Womens Annex at Central Works (Berkeley, CA) and Juked at A Noise Within. Recent productions include Ghosts of Blackness commissioned by the Harlem9, Lucille Lortel Foundation and National Black Theatre. Meets Prince, Loves Frog with the Feminist Fairytale podcast series. $10 and a Tambourine podcast with Antaeus Theatre (2021 Ambie nominee) and The Peace of Home, The Road Theatre Summer Playwrights Festival. She wrote and directed Cast Me! which screened at Outfest and Outfest Fusion. Publications include The Gift with Broadway Play Publishing and Roost First, Then Fly in Applause Books’ 2020 10-Minute play collection. Awards include the L.B. Williams Award (New Circle Theatre), PLAY LA (Humanitas) and Samuel Goldwyn Creative Writing Award (UCLA).


IGNACIO LOPEZ (f) is a playwright and actor living in Maine. His work has been supported by New York Theatre Workshop, the Bushwick Starr, and INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center, among others. His play, Severed, was published by 53rd State Press. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Texas at Austin and has contributed his writing, dramaturgical, and performance talents to the Public Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others.


DAPHNE MACY (Validation) is an Israeli-American writer and actress. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute and holds a B.A. in Communications and Film from Tel Aviv University. Her work was included in festivals and programs such as CineWomen Magazine, Chicago Blow Up Art House Festival, NewFilmmakers NYC, Primary Stages ESPA’s Detention Series, NYCLife, and CrossingsTV. She was also a finalist for Playwrights Realm’s Scratchpad Series, and a semifinalist for Playwrights Realm’s writing fellowship and for the Premiere Stages Play Festival. daphnemacy.com


MATTHEW MCLACHLAN (Toxic Norse-cultinity) was born in Scotland, raised in Florida, and currently survives in New York City. He is a Dramatist Guild Member, current Artist in Residence with Abingdon Theatre Company and a two-time ScreenCraft Stage Play Finalist. His plays include: The Demand of Avarice, This God Damn House, Jack & Melissa, Orion, and The Place We Are Meant to Be, among others. His plays have been presented by Abingdon Theatre Company, Nylon Fusion, The Chain Theatre, The NOW Collective, The Farm Theater, The PIT, Thespis Theater Festival, The Midnight Factory, and performed regionally in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, New Jersey, & Florida. Other credits include: Nominated for Best Writer of a Web-Series (ADULTish), The Roast of Michael Musto (Head-Writer), & his published works A Collection of One-Acts & Other Things You May or May Not Enjoy and full-length play Orion are available now at The Drama Bookshop and on Amazon.


MEGAN CHAN MEINERO (Leaf Hunters) is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include Hells Canyon (The New Group commission), The Pre-Med Math Club (Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist, Honorable Mention), Good Fortune (EST Bloodworks, The New Group No Limits) and Art Therapy. Currently, Megan is adapting Good Fortune for the screen with A-Major Media and 42 m+p. She was recently a staff writer on Dear Edward, Jason Katims’ new series for Apple TV+. MFA: Northwestern University


ALEX MOON (Bugs) (they/he) is a genderqueer theatre artist and translator who’s worked with organizations such as The American Repertory Theatre; Ensemble Studio Theatre; Speakeasy Stage Co; Boston University; Emerson College; Theatre Collaborative, and more. Recently their play, G-Town, was a finalist for the 2021 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Ari + Dee was produced by Broke People Play Festival and The Chain Theatre, and their short play Hanoi Jane Piss Target was selected as part of the 46th Annual Concord Theatricals Off-Off Broadway Festival. Their recent translations of the Homeric Hymns to Dionysus will be featured in the forthcoming spring issue of Persephone: The Harvard Undergraduate Classics Journal. They are a member of New York University’s class of 2022, double majoring in Dramatic Writing Classics, as well as training with the Yale School of Drama, Frantic Assembly, and One Year Lease’s Apprentice Program in Papingo, Greece.


R. D. MURPHY (The Pros and Cons of Implosion) is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild and has performed on New England stages for over 25 years. R.D. was named a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in Dramatic Writing in 2015. Three of his scripts: Pros and Cons of Implosion; Glenda Jackson in a Bodega (I Am Not); and Scrapgoat have been produced in the annual Boston Theatre Marathon and Glenda Jackson was published in the BTM XXII Anthology. That Thing You Do With Your Tongue and Bollywood Ending have been published in Smith & Kraus Best 10-Minute Plays anthologies. In 2019, under the auspices YASPLZ LLC, R.D. co-produced and performed in a festival version of Noir Hamlet by John Minigan at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. R.D. has served on the executive boards of Boston’s Theatre Community Benevolent Fund and STAGESOURCE. Contact [email protected]


ERIKA PHOEBUS (Shark Week) is a NYC based playwright/performer who often writes magical, messy plays about body stuff and autonomy. Her work has been developed and/or produced at New Ohio Theatre, Fresh Ground Pepper BRB Retreat, The Flamboyán Theater, So-Fi Festival co-produced with Torn Page, Theatre 4the People, Actors Theatre of NY, and with Tessa Faye Talent, and her play Rusalka won 5 Planet Connections Awards at the 2018 Planet Connections Theatre Festival, including Best Production and Best Script. B.F.A. Creative Writing, Brooklyn College. William Esper Meisner Conservatory alumni. Dramatist Guild Member. For more info, or to just say hi, check out erikaphoebus.com; IG: @ephoebs


NICHOLAS PILAPIL (if all that You take from this is courage then I’ve no regrets) is a Filipino American playwright. His work has been developed with Artists at Play, IAMA Theatre Company, Playwrights Foundation, Theatre Rhinoceros, The Fountain Theatre, The Vagrancy and Victory Gardens, among others. His play The Bottoming Process has been read at Victory Gardens’ Ignite Chicago Festival of New Plays, IAMA Theatre Company’s Under 30 Lab Series, and was a finalist with honorable mention at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Nicholas is a member of The Writers’ Room at the Geffen Playhouse, and is an alum of the IAMA Theatre Under 30 Playwrights Lab, The Vagrancy Playwrights Group, Playground-LA, and artEquity.


JACKSON POUNDS (Railroad Homes) studied acting at the Globe Theatre in London and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, in addition to being an alumnus of the Acting BFA program at Texas State University. He began writing short stories before finding his way into plays. He wishes to thank everyone who’s ever supported his writing and craft because without them, he wouldn’t be here.


RONI RAGONE (We’re All Girls Here) is a 22-year-old playwright and director. Ragone is currently studying English and Theatre with an emphasis on playwriting at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ragone’s style has been described as witty and thought-provoking – they often experiment with creating real situations in unreal worlds. roniragone.com Instagram: @roniragone


ANYA RICHKIND (Big Happy Days) is compelled by the lonely, the mundane, and the extreme. Anya has been honored as a winner of Brooklyn College’s 2020-2021 Creative Writing Award and Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing, a finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, the Bushwick Starr Reading Series, the Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers, and the Cutting Ball Theater’s Variety Pack Series, and as a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Seven Devils’ Playwrights Conference. Anya’s work has been produced by Brooklyn College, Guild Hall, Corkscrew Theater Festival, The Barrow Group Theatre, Yale College, The New School for Drama, The American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory, Marin Country Day School and The Tank. Anya graduated with a BA from Yale University and an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College. Come say hi! anyarichkind.com


MARCUS SCOTT (Wookiees in the Wilderness) is a dramatist & journalist. His full-length work includes Tumbleweed (finalist for the 2017 Bay Area Playwrights Festival; semifinalist for the 2022 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference, the 2022 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the 2017 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award), Sibling Rivalries (finalist for the 2021 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference; semi-finalist for the 2022 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, the 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the 2021 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award) and Cherry Bomb (recipient of the 2017 Drama League First Stage Artist-In-Residence). He was commissioned by Heartbeat Opera to adapt Beethoven’s Fidelio (Librettist/Co-writer; The Met Museum; NYT Critic’s Pick). Recently developed at Gingold Theatrical Group (Speaker’s Corner), Zoetic Stage (Finstrom Festival Of New Work) and Queens Theatre (New American Voices series). Scott is a 2021 NYSAF Founders’ Award finalist and a 2021 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award semi-finalist. His articles appeared in Architectural Digest, Time Out New York, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill, Elle, Out, Essence, The Brooklyn Rail, among others. MFA: GMTWP, NYU Tisch.


ALEC SEYMOUR (Beautiful People in a Living Room Doing Nothing) is a queer, neurodivergent writer and actor who writes about the clash between the ways we see ourselves and the narratives imposed upon us. From family mythos, to media tropes, to cultural expectations, he tells stories to untell the stories that keep us from ourselves. His work has been selected for theatre festivals across the country, including the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and the Valdez Last Frontier Theater Conference. He is a two time winner of the AP Sloan Foundation grant for science in TV/Film, and he will generally do just about anything to get affection from any dog.


DANNY TEJERA (Scary faces happy faces) is a writer and actor from Madrid, Spain. He has been a MacDowell fellow and a resident at Tofte Lake Center, and is currently under commission from Second Stage Theater. His play Toros was performed in Second Stage’s 2022 Judith Champion New Voices Series. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and got a Playwriting M.F.A. at Hunter College and UT-Austin, where he was mentored by Annie Baker and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. He’s represented by Amelia Shugrue at 2AM.


AMY TOFTE (The Vagina Read) is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who won the 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her play Righteous Among Us won the 2020 Todd McNerney Playwriting Award. Upcoming productions include the short opera The Course We Set (Boston Opera Collaborative) and a production of her play Cardboard Castles Hung on Walls (Wild Imaginings in Waco, TX). She has been in residence at the Autry Museum of the American West, Brush Creek, The Kennedy Center and Yaddo with work produced and developed throughout the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and twice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild. MFA, CalArts.


WIND DELL WOODS (The Black and White Minstrel Show) (he/him) is a playwright, scholar, and educator. His work centers on the concepts of death, rebirth, race, identity, and slang. His other plays include Harold and I, Skylark Dream, A Bronzian Tale, and Aaliyah in Underland.