2017/18 L.A. Writers' Workshop

The 2017/2018 Writers' Workshop participants include Jeff Augustin, Marcus Gardley, Aleshea Harris, Laura Jacqmin, Molly Smith Metzler, Matthew Paul Olmos, and Jiehae Park.

Jeff Augustin

Jeff Augustin's play The Last Tiger in Haiti premiered in a co-production at La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep. Jeff's plays have also been produced at the Roundabout Underground (Little Children Dream of God) and Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield; Cry Old Kingdom; That High Lonesome Sound). Jeff’s work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theater, and Seattle Rep. Jeff was the Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and the inaugural Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout. He is an alumnus of the New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship; Rita Goldberg Playwright’s Workshop at the Lark; and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Jeff is currently under commission from Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and La Jolla Playhouse. He's translating part of Our Town into Haitian Creole for Miami New Drama's bilingual production. Jeff is a writer for Claws on TNT and developing a new series with AMC. BA: Boston College, MFA: UCSD.

Marcus Gardley

Marcus Gardley is a Bay Area-born playwright who the New Yorker calls the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams. His most recent play, X or the Nation v Betty Shabazz was a New York Times Critic's Pick and will be remounted off-Broadway in the Spring of 2018. He is the recipient of the 2015 Glickman Award for The House That Will Not Stand. The play was commissioned and produced by Berkeley Rep and had subsequent productions at Yale Rep and the Tricycle Theater in London and was a finalist for the 2015 Kennedy Prize. Gardley was the 2013 USA James Baldwin Fellow and the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award winner for Mid-Career Playwright. His play The Gospel of Loving Kindness was produced in March 2015 and won the BTAA award for best play/playwright. His play Every Tongue Confess, starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon, was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award for Best Play, and was the recipient of the Edgerton New Play Award. His musical On The Levee premiered at Lincoln Center and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. His critically acclaimed epic And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi was produced at the Cutting Ball Theater and received the SF Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award nomination for outstanding new play and had two sold-out extensions. His epic black odyssey premiered at the Denver Center Theatre and opened to rave reviews. In 2014, his saga The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry had a national tour and was a finalist for the 2014 Kennedy Prize. His plays This World in a Woman’s Hands (October 2009) and Love is a Dream House in Lorin (March 2007) have been hailed as some of the best in Bay Area Theater. The latter was nominated for the National Critics Steinberg New Play Award. He has had six other plays produced including and adaptation of Tartuffe called A Wolf in Snake Skin Shoes, which was produced in London; dance of the holy ghosts at Center Stage in Baltimore and the Yale Repertory Theatre; (L)imitations of Life at the Empty Space in Seattle, WA; and like sun fallin' in the mouth at the National Black Theatre Festival. He is the recipient of the 2013 Mellon Playwright Residency, 2011 Aetna New Voice Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Hellen Merrill Award, a Kesselring Honor, a Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, a National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, a MidAtlantic Arts Foundation Grant, a NEA/TCG Playwriting Participant Residency, the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. Gardley holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is an alumnus of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and the Lark Play Development Center. Currently, he is working on a TV show for Showtime.

Aleshea Harris

Aleshea Harris is a playwright and performer who received an MFA in Writing for Performance from California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been presented a number of places including the Costume Shop at American Conservatory Theater, Playfest at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, La Comédie de Saint-Étienne, the Skirball Center, and REDCAT. Harris has enjoyed residencies at MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Djerassi and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She is the winner of the 2016 Relentless Award from the American Playwriting Foundation for her play Is God Is, which was published by 3 Hole Press in the Spring of 2017 and will premiere Off-Broadway at Soho Rep. in 2018. Is God Is is also a finalist for the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was seventh on The Kilroys List of "the most recommended un-and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of color" for 2017. Aleshea is currently working on an adaptive response to Sophocles' Philoctetes as a commission with The Denver Center Theatre and a solo play for her own performance.

Laura Jacqmin

Laura Jacqmin is a writer for television, video games, and the live theater. She’s currently a writer-producer on Get Shorty (MGM/Epix). Selected plays: Residence (40th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville); January Joiner (Long Wharf Theatre); Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre); A Third (Finborough Theatre London); Look, we are breathing (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Sundance Theatre Lab); Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (Williamstown Theatre Festival; Chicago Dramatists/At Play, 16th Street Theater); Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Chicago). Awards: Wasserstein Prize, two NEA Art Works Grants, ATHE-Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, two MacDowell Fellowships, Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. Other television: Grace and Frankie (Netflix); Lucky 7 (ABC). Video Games: The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series—A New Frontier, Minecraft: Story Mode (both with Telltale Games). She received her BA from Yale University, and earned an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.

Molly Smith Metzler

Molly Smith Metzler is the author of Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Close Up Space, and Training Wisteria. Regionally, she has worked at South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana, Northlight (upcoming), The Kennedy Center, The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Chautauqua Theater Company, City Theatre, Play Makers Rep, Geva Theatre Center, and more. In New York, she has worked at Manhattan Theatre Club, where she is currently under commission. Metzler’s awards include the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, the National Student Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's David Mark Cohen Award, the Mark Twain Comedy Prize, and a finalist nod for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is a proud alum of the Ars Nova Play Group, the Dorothy Strelsin Writers Group at Primary Stages, and the Cherry Lane Mentor Project. In television, Metzler has written for Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Casual (Hulu), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/co-producer on Shameless (Showtime). She is also adapting Ali Benjamin's award-winning novel The Thing About Jellyfish into a film for Reese Witherspoon's production company OddLot/Pacific Standard. Metzler was educated at SUNY Geneseo, Boston University, New York University's Tisch School for the Arts, and The Juilliard School. She lives in Los Angeles.

Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Playwright, Humanitas Play LA Workshop Playwright, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, National Latino Playwriting Awardee, and La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard. He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by the late Ruth Maleczech and is a former New York Theatre Workshop's Emerging Artist Fellow, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist in Residence, Dramatists Guild Fellow, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Resident Artist, INTAR H.P.R.L Playwright, Rising Circle Collective Playwright, terraNOVA Collective's Groundbreakers Playwright; he is also an Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright and an Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member. He is a proud Kilroys nominator. His work has been presented both nationally and internationally, taught in university, and is published by Samuel French and NoPassport Press. He’s currently working on a devised piece, American Nationalism Project, with director Luke Harlan and designer Nick Benacerraf, which was developed through New York Theatre Workshop's Adelphi Residency. And will soon complete his three-play cycle with So Go the Ghosts of México, Part Three at Undermain Theatre, Dallas, TX. MatthewPaulOlmos.com.

Jiehae Park

Jiehae Park's plays include peerless (Yale Rep premiere, Cherry Lane MP, Marin Theatre Co, Barrington Stage, First Floor, Company One, Moxie), Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Here We Are Here (Sundance Theater-Makers residency, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Princess Grace Works-in-Progress @ Baryshnikov Arts Center), and contributions to Wondrous Strange (Humana/Actor's Theatre of Louisville). Her work has been developed through the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab, the Public's Emerging Writers Group, p73’s i73, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Atlantic, Old Globe, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Conference, BAPF, and the amazing Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Awards: Leah Ryan, Princess Grace, Weissberger, ANPF Women’s Invitational; two years on the Kilroys List. Commissions: Playwrights Horizons, McCarter, Yale Rep, Geffen, OSF, Williamstown, MTC/Sloan. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman. She is a NYTW Usual Suspect, LCT New Writer in Residence, former Hodder Fellow, and current member of New Dramatists. Upcoming: performing in Ripe Time/Naomi Iizuka's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Sleep (BAM Next Wave 2017). BA, Amherst; MFA, UCSD.