2012/13 L.A. Writers' Workshop
The 2012/2013 Writers' Workshop participants include Zakiyyah Alexander, Sheila Callaghan, Jonathan Ceniceroz, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, Meg Miroshnik, Tanya Saracho, and John Sinner.
Zakiyyah Alexander's work has been seen and/or developed all around the country; including the World premiere of 10 Things To Do Before I Die (Second Stage), and the musical GIRL Shakes Loose (Penumbra). She's the winner of numerous awards and residencies, including the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwriting Award, ACT New Play Award/Lorraine Hansberry Prize, amongst others. An alumna of New Dramatists, past participant in Center Theater Groups Writers' Workshop. Past commissions include: Second Stage, The Philadelphia Theater Company, and the Children's Theater of Minneapolis. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama (MFA in playwriting); for four years she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard College where she taught undergraduate playwriting. Television credits: 24: Legacy, Grey's Anatomy.
Sheila Callaghan's plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, Yale Rep, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court, and Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include Scab, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something, Kate Crackernuts, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, Fever/Dream, Everything You Touch, Roadkill Confidential, Elevada, Bed, and Women Laughing Alone With Salad. She is published with Playscripts.com and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P. Sheila is also an alumni of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World." She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless and a founder of the feminist activist group The Kilroys. She was nominated for a 2016 Golden Globe for her work on the Hulu comedy series Casual and a 2017 WGA Award for her Shameless episode "I Am A Storm."
Jonathan Ceniceroz is a Los Angeles-based, Latino playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced and developed by Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum, Latino Theater Company/LATC, South Coast Repertory, Company of Angels, Provincetown Players, New York Theater Workshop, Partial Comfort, Chalk Repertory and Dixon Place. A native of Los Angeles, his work explores the evolving definition of racial and sexual identity in the U.S., quite often in blunt and satiric terms. Jonathan earned degrees in writing from UCLA and Brown University, studying with Luis Alfaro, Paula Vogel, and Oskar Eustis. His most well-known plays are: The Cruise, Lupe, Now! The Drowning of Natalie Wood, BIG BRO/lil bro, and Hole in the Boy, which are available on The New Play Exchange. In film he wrote two original dramatic shorts, Mousy Brown and Der Fisch, for a Swiss/US production company, which premiered on the festival circuit. In television, Jonathan was a member of the National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writers Program where he wrote a popular episode of Castle and the original drama 7 Mares. In the Center Theatre Group Writers' Workshop, he wrote an early draft of The Cruise, which had its World premiere by the Latino Theater Company and the Los Angeles Theater Centre in 2017. He is an alumnus of the Los Angeles playwrights and television writers’ collective Playwrights Union, founded by Jennifer Haley, and is a MacDowell Colony Fellow in Writing. He is currently working on a new comic drama Monte Carlo/Montenegro, set in the Balkans during the civil war of the 1980/90s. He is also commissioned by Chalk Repertory to write a short audio drama about former mayor Tom Bradley. He is currently seeking representation and new opportunities in scripted entertainment.
Matt Gould’s Witness Uganda (co-written with Griffin Matthews) is the recipient of the Richard Rodgers Award, ASCAP's Dean Kay Award and Harold Adamson Award and has received a Disney/ASCAP workshop with Stephen Schwartz, a workshop at the Vineyard Arts Project, and a special presentation at the New York Stock Exchange with TedxWallStreet. Matt is working on a commission for Yale Rep with playwright Carson Kreitzer on the new musical Lempicka. He wrote and directed Free Style for L.A.'s REPRISE Theatre Company, wrote Twilight in Manchego (directed by Billy Porter) in the NYMF (Jonathan Larson Foundation Award), was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons to write music for Lucy Thurber's Dillingham City, composed music for Dreyfus In Rehearsal (Off-Broadway), and translated, adapted, and directed Romeo and Juliet in Pulaar (Mauritania, West Africa.) He was a composing fellow in New Dramatist's Composer/Librettist studio and has composed and arranged music for Grammy Winner Desmond Child, Terrence McNally, Vanessa Williams, and more. His music has been performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Saban Theatre (L.A.), Symphony Space (NY), Joe's Pub, New World Stages, Huntington Theatre Company (Boston), Rattlestick (NYC), and Summit Series. WitnessUganda.com
Griffin Matthews graduated with a BFA in musical theatre from Carnegie Mellon University, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a writer, director, actor, and philanthropist who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles. He co-wrote (book, music, and lyrics) and directed numerous staged readings of Witness Uganda (Harold Adamson Award/Dean Kay Award), a musical based on the formation of his grassroots non-profit organization: Uganda Project. Witness Uganda was invited to perform at Vineyard Arts Project/Art Farm (New Writers. New Plays), Rattlestick Theater (F*!@cking Good Plays Festival), and The ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop hosted by Stephen Schwartz. He directed two readings of Lempicka for Yale Rep and New Dramatists. He and Matt Gould are honored to have been asked to perform selections from Witness Uganda at this year's TEDx conference in New York City. As an actor, he has appeared on The Mentalist, Suburgatory, Weeds, Torchwood, 90210, Law & Order LA, Cashmere Mafia, numerous commercials, hosted several web series, and has appeared Off-Broadway and regionally. UgandaProject.com
Meg Mirshnik’s plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep; Alliance), The Tall Girls (Alliance; O’Neill; La Jolla Playhouse DNA Series), The Droll (Pacific Playwrights Festival), and Lady Tattoo. Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Publications: Samuel French. Commissions: South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, and Yale Rep. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Affiliation: Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center. Meg hails from Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles. MegMiroshnik.com
Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. She is a playwright and television writer who has worked on How To Get Away With Murder, and HBO's Looking, among other shows. Currently, she serves as the creator and showrunner of the upcoming series VIDA on Starz. She is also developing a television series called Brujas with Big Beach, which deals with the intersection between Brujería culture and Feminism. Named "Best New Playwright" by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: Dallas Theatre Center, Victory Gardens Theatre, Theatreworks, Primary Stages and 2nd Stage in NYC, Denver Theatre Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater, and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino "Luminarios" by Café magazine and given the first "Revolucionario" Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is the founder of Teatro Luna (all-Latina Theatre Company) as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). She is currently under commission with: South Coast Repertory Theatre and Two River Theatre.
John Sinner is a writer, director, and the founder and co-artistic director of fancyplayground, a 501(c)(3) non-profit theatrical production company. As an L.A.-based gay artist living with multiple sclerosis, John is drawn to telling stories about those who feel disenfranchised from what we collectively call a place/seat at the table of our institutionalized culture and the toll that disconnect takes on the individual or on society as a whole. A native of L.A., he went to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, Trinity College in Dublin, the O'Neill Center National Theatre Institute in Connecticut and Bradford College. He came back to L.A. to join the downtown team producing Reza Abdoh—Sinner has referred to the onstage gigantic sculpture of his naked derriére in Abdoh's "Bogeyman" as his “diploma.” His company's most recent surreal extravaganza, An Invasion of Decency!, was performed in a 5000 sq. foot vintage 1920's warehouse (L.A. Times:
a wild theatrical spree that makes a direct appeal to the unconscious; KCRW:
like a Grimm's fairytale…if it were inspired by Richard Foreman and costumed, beautifully; Luis Alfaro:
a great aesthetic demand…I love the costumes, the outbursts, the frank sexuality of the piece, I'm upset in a good way…it does a lot in ways we never think of"); The Devil Has A Sister (A Sororicidal Tale) at the Nederlands Theatre Festival Amsterdam Fringe Festival; Happy Ending (Who Will Live, Will See) at Highways Performance Space; 2 By Sinner: Unburthen (To My Soul’s Delight!)/If Water Were Present It Would Be Called Drowning at the New York International Fringe Festival; If Water Were Present It Would Be Called Drowning at REDCAT/Studio and at The Hollywood Fringe Festival; Blood Is My Legacy! (A Theatrical Extravaganza of Pure Family Values) at Art/Works Performance Space; and What Remains of a Whore, amongst many other works. In 2013 Sinner won the Sherwood Award for “Innovative and Adventurous New Artists”. He has received funding awards from the Durfee Foundation, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and other grantors.