2018/19 L.A. Writers' Workshop
The 2018/2019 Writers' Workshop participants include Luis Alfaro, Aziza Barnes, Diana Burbano, Noah Haidle, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Brian Otaño, and Ruby Rae Spiegel.
Luis Alfaro is in his sixth and final season as Playwright-in-Residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Featured in over 25 anthologies, Luis is tenured at USC and an Associate Artist at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Luis is the recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant,” presented to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. He is also a proud Joyce Foundation Fellow. In 2018, Luis was awarded the PEN America/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist, the United States Artist Fellowship through the Doris Duke Foundation, the Annenberg Artist in Residence for the City of Santa Monica, and the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship. His plays include This Golden State, St. Jude, Mojada, Delano, Electricidad, down town, Oedipus El Rey, Body of Faith, Straight as a Line, Bitter Homes and Gardens, Black Butterfly, and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. He will be represented this season at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Denver Center for the Arts, and for a second season in a row at The Public Theater in New York.
Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Aziza’s first collection, i be but i ain’t, was the 2015 winner of the Pamet River Prize from YesYes Books. Aziza’s play, BLKS, was produced in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2017, and is to be produced at Wooly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. and MCC Theater in New York in 2019. Aziza is a cohost of the podcast The Poetry Gods and is a Cave Canem fellow.
Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. Written work include Policarpa, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan Lab 2017, Drama League Rough Draft Series May 2017, Honorable Mention, Jane Chambers Award 2017, Parsnip Ship 2017; Fabulous Monsters, Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017, Festival51 2016 winner, about women in punk rock; Picture Me Rollin,’ featured at the 35th annual William Inge Festival and INK Fest at 2cents; Silueta, about the Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, with Tom and Chris Shelton; and the TYA Shakespeare mash-up, Caliban’s Island, winner 2017 Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory (published by YouthPLAYS). Libertadoras, Vamping, and Linda were written for the 365 Women a Year project and have been performed around the world, with Linda featured in more than 20 festivals over the last year, including Center Theatre Group’s community library Play Readings Series. She is currently writing for Rogue Artists Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta. She has been a working actor since leaving the Professional Actors Conservatory in 1991 and is also a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.
Noah Haidle is a playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced Off-Broadway, regionally, and around the world. Most recently, his play, Everything Beautiful, premiered last October at Munich’s Residenz Theater, and he was the Playwright-in-Residence of the National Theater of Mannheim, a position first held by Friedrich Schiller.
His plays are published by Methuen in London, Suhrkamp in Berlin, Nordiska in Copenhagen, and in New York by Dramatists Play Service and Overlook Press. He is a currently a writer on Showtime’s series Kidding, starring Jim Carrey and directed by Michel Gondry. Haidle graduated from Princeton and Juilliard, and currently lives in Los Angeles with his lovely wife, their pet bunnies, and their dog named Fun.
Aditi Brennan Kapil
Aditi Brennan Kapil is a television and theatre writer, actress, and director. She is of Bulgarian and Indian descent, and was raised in Sweden prior to moving to Minneapolis, and more recently Los Angeles. Current projects include season 2 of American Gods on Starz, a new play titled 1933 commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse, two commissions with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a commission with Audible. Most recently, in the 2016/2017 Season, Kapil premiered South Coast Repertory (SCR)-commissioned play Orange at Mixed Blood Theatre and at SCR, and Yale Rep-commissioned play Imogen Says Nothing at Yale Repertory Theatre. She is a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. Her plays, which have been produced across the US and UK, include Love Person, a four-part love story in Sanskrit, ASL, and English, which received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009; Agnes Under The Big Top, a tall tale; and her Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy (Brahman/i, a one-hijra stand-up comedy show; The Chronicles of Kalki; and Shiv), based loosely on the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahman/i and The Chronicles of Kalki received an unprecedented double nomination for the James Tait Black Prize, University of Edinburgh, UK.
Brian Otaño is a bicoastal playwright and TV writer. Most recently, he co-wrote You Across From Me, the 42nd Humana Festival Professional Training Company show at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Other plays include The Dust, Tara, Zero Feet Away, and The Dooley Street Trilogy: Between the Sandbar and the Shore, What We Told the Neighbors & The Myths We Made. Brian’s plays have been developed and workshopped with Roundabout Theatre Company, Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, IAMA Theatre Company (L.A.), Celebration Theatre (L.A.), and Milagro Theatre (Portland). Residencies & fellowships: The Writers’ Room (Geffen Playhouse), New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group, New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship, ArsNova’s Playgroup, numerous creative residencies with Space on Ryder Farm, Launch Pad New Work Series at UCSB, Disney ABC TV Writing Program (finalist/alternate), NHMC TV Writers Fellowship. Education: BFA, dramatic writing (SUNY Purchase).
Ruby Rae Spiegel
Ruby Rae Spiegel is a playwright and sometimes television writer. Her first produced play, Carrie & Francine, premiered Off-Broadway in 2011 at 59E59 Theater as part of the Summer Shorts 5 series alongside Christopher Durang and Alexander Dinelaris, and received critical acclaim. Her play Dry Land premiered Off-Broadway in 2014 in a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at Colt Coeur, following development in New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Readings Festival and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. A finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the play has since gone on to be produced in more than 10 cities in United States, as well as in London, Sydney, South Korea, Canada, and Abu Dhabi. Ruby has written for several television shows, including The OA, Purity, Mindhunter, and Central Park Five, and is now developing a pilot with Fake Empire. She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and recently workshopped her latest play, Blue/Green, at the Ojai Playwrights Conference.