2014/15 L.A. Writers' Workshop
The 2014/2015 Writers' Workshop participants include Joshua Allen, Evelina Fernández, Dorothy Fortenberry, JC Lee, Alex Lewin, Ken Roht, and Kimberly Rosenstock.
Joshua Allen is the recipient of a "New Voices/New York" Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center. His plays include Boy in a Blue Tweed Suit, Chrysalis, The October Storm, and The Last Pair of Earlies. His work has been developed at Primary Stages, the Lark's Playwrights' Week and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. A resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011, he has also been a member of the Ars Nova Play Group and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers’ Group at Primary Stages. Joshua is a proud graduate of the University of Southern California and the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School.
Evelina Fernández was born and raised in East LA. She is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor and she writes about the U.S. Latinx experience. She received the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Writing of a World Premiere Play for A Mexican Trilogy published by Samuel French. Her plays have made the L.A. Times Critic's Choice list; Solitude (2009), Dementia (2010) and her holiday pageant play, La Virgen de Gaudalupe, Dios Inantzin have been featured in both the L.A. Times and The New York Times. She received a Best Playwright Ovation Award nomination for her stage play, Hope: Part II of A Mexican Trilogy which premiered in October 2011 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center to critical acclaim. In 2003, Dementia won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Theater Production in Los Angeles and received four L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award nominations, including Best World Premiere. Charity: Part III of A Mexican Trilogy premiered in May 2012 and was Back Stage's Critic's Pick and Faith: Part I of A Mexican Trilogy premiered in October 2012 to critical acclaim. Her most recent play, Premeditation was nominated for three Ovation Awards including Best Theater Production in 2014 and in 2015 it had a 2 week run at ArtsEmerson in Boston. In March 2015, her adaptation of Plautus's Pot of Gold, La Olla was staged at the Getty Villa Lab and had a full production at her home base, the LATC. Evelina's 6 hour epic production, A Mexican Trilogy: An American Story ran at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in the Fall of 2016. She was part of the Center Theatre Group Writers' Workshop where she began her "Virgin" series with The Mother of Henry. She is currently commissioned by the South Coast Rep and Teatro Vision. She was a writer for Emmy®-Nominated East Los High seasons 2 & 3 and is developing A Mexican Trilogy for television with Wise Entertainment, producers of East Los High. Evelina has won several awards and recognitions nationally and internationally for her work in film and television, including the Nosotros Golden Eagle Award for Outstanding Writing for her produced screenplay, Luminarias; International Film Festival in Bolivia (Best Screenplay—Luminarias), and many more. She was nominated for the Humanitas Prize in 2005 for an episode of PBS's Maya and Miguel, “Give me a little sign." She was inducted into the James A. Garfield High School Hall of Fame along with Los Lobos, Congressman Esteban Torres and others; was awarded the "Women in Entertainment" award by the Comision Femenil of Los Angeles along with other prominent Latinas; and was honored by the Community Coalition for her community work. She received a commendation from the Los Angeles City Council and was the recipient of the Lifetime Television Latino Pioneer Award in Washington, D.C; the Spirit Award from the Latino Legislative Caucus in Sacramento, CA and the Latina Business Women Association's Entertainment Award. She was a proud member of the Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Transition Team in 2005 and was appointed by both Mayor Villaraigosa and Mayor Garcetti as a Commissioner on the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. Evelina was honored by La Opinion with the Mujeres Destacadas Award for her contribution to the Arts, received recognition awards from Playwrights' Arena, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the California State Assembly. Evelina is a founding and board member of the Latino Theater Company and the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Dorothy Fortenberry's play Species Native to California recently received its world premiere at Iama Theatre in Los Angeles. Her work has been developed and produced by theaters across the country, including Arena Stage, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Page 73, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She wrote for three seasons on The 100 for the CW and is currently a writer/producer on Hulu's award-winning The Handmaid's Tale. She lives with her family in Burbank where she pays too much attention to politics.
JC Lee writes for theatre, film, and television. His play LUCE received its world premiere in 2013 at LCT3 at Lincoln Center Theatre. His plays have been staged and developed throughout the United States including The Old Globe, The Magic Theatre, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Next Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, Azuka Theatre Company, and many others. He's received commissions and/or fellowships from South Coast Repertory, Playwright's Realm, and the National New Play Network. JC is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Bloomsburg University. He is currently a writer and coproducer for Looking on HBO, where he previously wrote for Girls. He's also in development at HBO on his dark comedy Bad Kids with Peter Berg and writing a screenplay for Imagine Entertainment.
Alex Lewin's plays have been presented and developed at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the La Jolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, MCC, where he was, for five years, a member of the MCC Playwrights Coalition, The New Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, the New Harmony Project, P73, the Absolut Gay Theatre Festival (Dublin), The Playwrights Realm, where he was in the inaugural class of playwriting fellows, New York Theatre Workshop, where he is an Artistic Associate, and The Playwrights' Center (Minneapolis), where he was a 2012–13 Jerome Fellow. Commissions: La Jolla Playhouse, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Foundation, and KBEM/Jazz 88 (St. Paul, MN). He's been a finalist for the Weissberger Award, the Kendeda Prize, and the Heidemann Award, among others. Alex is the founding teaching artist of the Mind the Gap program, which has been a fixture at New York Theatre Workshop since the spring of 2009. Mind the Gap brings together teenagers and folks over age 60 to interview each another and write plays based on, or inspired by, each other’s lives and experiences. As the program has grown, NYTW has partnered with other community organizations throughout New York City to bring the Mind the Gap instruction model to their populations. In a previous life, Alex was a staff writer at the (late) movie magazine Premiere. He wrote for a handful of other magazines, all of which are now defunct. (Alex likes to think that has nothing to do with him.) As an undergraduate he won the Scenario/Writers Guild of America Student Screenplay Award. His winning script, Weeds, was published in Scenario magazine—which also, sadly, no longer exists. Alex holds an MFA in Playwriting from the University of California at San Diego and a BA in Creative Writing & Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, where he graduated with High Honors and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Ken Roht is a theater and film artist in Los Angeles. His most recent project Perfect Cowboy, an Alternative Family film, received its World premiere at Outfest Film Festival, with Ken as one of the "5 in Focus" writer/directors to watch. He also acted a lead role in the film. Ken's other feature film is a raunchy vampire musical starring Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, The Bloody Indulgent. Miss Julie(n), Roht's music theater adaptation of Strindberg's classic, was produced at the MorYork Gallery in Los Angeles. Ken adapted, directed and choreographed Duke Ellington's only opera Queenie Pie for Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Commissioned by Department of Cultural Affairs, his chamber opera Permissible Union premiered at L.A. Grand Performances. He sang the lead tenor role. Ken is the creator of the 99c Only Holiday Spectacles, eight unique, music theater pieces from 2002–2011. As a director/choreographer, Ken has worked at Bard Music Festival and in the Spiegeltent in New York; Theatre @ Boston Court, Largo at the Coronet, Warner Grand Theater, Center Theater, Evidence Room and Playwrights Arena in Los Angeles. As a choreographer, Ken has worked for New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Playwrights Horizons, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (seven seasons) Center Theater Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep, South Coast Rep, The Walt Disney Company, and for experimental theater auteur Reza Abdoh for seven years. Ken has received numerous grants and commissions, including those from Plum Foundation, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs—COLA grant, Good Works Foundation, Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theater Projects TIME grant, Durfee Foundation, L.A. Future Projects.
Kimberly Rosenstock’s plays include Tigers Be Still, 99 Ways to F@%k a Swan, and Bride*Widow*Hag. In addition, she conceived and co-wrote the musical Fly By Night. She is currently working on a new musical with singer-songwriter Shaina Taub for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as working on commissions for Roundabout Theater, Dallas Theater Center, and Ars Nova where she was the 2011 playwright-in-residence and a member of the writers group Play Group. She is a graduate of Amherst College where she first began writing plays under the mentorship of Constance Congdon. She subsequently earned her MFA in playwriting at Yale School of Drama. She is originally from Baldwin, Long Island and currently lives in Los Angeles where she is a writer for the television show New Girl.