C. A. JOHNSON (playwright) is a Louisiana native currently living in Queens, New York. Her plays include GOSSAMER, MOTHER TONGUE, THE CLIMB, WAITIN’ ON THE MOON, ELROY LEARN HIS NAME and THIRST. C.A. is The Lark’s 2016 Van Lier Playwriting Fellow, a member of 2016-2017 R & D Group at The Civilians, and a 2016-2017 Dramatists Guild Fellow. Her work has been developed at NYU Tisch, The Lark, Open Bar Theatricals, UC San Diego, and The Fire This Time Festival. In addition to her playwriting, C.A. was a Mellon Mays undergraduate fellow, a winner of a Legacy Prize from The Creativity Foundation, and a creative writing instructor at her alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. BA: Smith College MFA: NYU
Lori currently resides in Woodside with her actor/playwright husband Seth McNeill. By day she’s an executive assistant to a bunch of (you guessed it) executives. By night she’s feeding her actor habit by working on some play/artistic project or another. Lori and Seth are big fans of Thai Kitchen in Woodside so if you are looking for a great Thai restaurant she highly recommends you go. Her favorite dinner is fried chicken and a martini. If you’ve never tried that combo, go ahead give it a whirl. Your life will change forever. www.lorimcnally.com
Nat Cassidy in an award-winning playwright, director, and actor, and a sandwich-winning musician. Born in North Carolina and raised in the deserts of Phoenix, Arizona, he received his BFA in Acting/Directing from the University of Arizona in 2004. As an actor, Nat has appeared in television shows like “The Following” (Fox), “The Affair” (Showtime), “Red Oaks” (Amazon) “High Maintenance,” as well as in over 50 theatrical productions at venues such as Lincoln Center, Cherry Lane, The Public, SoHo Playhouse, Classic Stage Company’s East 13th Street Theatre, The Arclight, 59E59, Theatre Row, P.S. 122, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Gallery Players, 45th Street Theatre, The Players Theatre, The Players Club, and many others. Nat’s scripts have been produced and/or developed at The Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, Primary Stages, The Flea, One Minute Play Festival (The New Ohio), The Players Club, The Players Theatre, LaMaMa ETC, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Nosedive Productions, Piper McKenzie, Adaptive Arts, CAPS LOCK Theatre, Retro Productions, Blood Brothers Present, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Gallery Players, The Brick, The Den Theatre (Chicago), American Theatre Company (Oklahoma), World’s Stage (Wisconsin), Finborough Theatre (UK), and others. His work has been published by New York Theatre Experience, Smith & Kraus, Applause, and Indie Theatre Now. His plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including three times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won for his play THE RECKONING OF KIT & LITTLE BOOTS in 2009). Other scripts include I AM PROVIDENCE (winner, New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, 2011); ANY DAY NOW (Primary Stages’ ESPA Drills workshop at The Duke Theatre, August 2014, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel); OLD FAMILIAR FACES; THE ETERNAL HUSBAND; SONGS OF LOVE: A THEATRICAL MIXTAPE; THE TEMPLE, or, LEBENSRAUM; THE DEMON HUNTER; TENANTS; PIERCE; GOLDSBORO; and many others. In 2012, Nat was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a new opera with composer Scott Perkins as part of the inaugural American Opera Initiative. The Washington Times called their piece, CHARON, “terrific,” “remarkable,” and wrote that “both the composer and librettist have an uncanny ability to [do] what a great composer like Verdi once did and what so many modern classical composers fail to do—make a visceral connection to their own times.”
He’s currently at work on a boatload of new scripts, screenplays, teleplays, and a couple musicals. He also never thought he’d leave Brooklyn, where he lived for over 10 years, but after moving to Astoria, it took him about 45 minutes to realize he wanted to stay in Queens forever.
Kit Goldstein Grant is a musical theatre composer, lyricist, librettist, and teaching artist. She has studied at Juilliard, the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, Union College, and the Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages. Musicals include black comedy The Wrong Box, finalist for London’s Burbage Productions New Writing Prize, and works for young audiences include It’s Raining Tamales!, a prize winner in the Jackie White Memorial National Children’s Play Writing Contest and finalist in the Mountain Playhouse International Playwriting Contest, published by YouthPLAYS. Recordings of It’s Raining Tamales! and The Wrong Box are available on iTunes and Amazon. www.kitgoldstein.com.
Michelle has lived in the Ditmars area for the past 5 years. She has worked with several Queens companies to develop new plays including “Sweating Bullets” with the Ophelia Theater Group, and “Kit and Dabney” with the Secret Theatre. Other directing credits include “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” “The Pawn,” and “Radical.”
She has also been the assistant director for “Suddenly Last Summer” with White Horse Theatre Company, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” with 5th Floor Theatre Company, and for the Off-Broadway production of “Alphabetical Order” with the Keen Company.
She is currently starting to jump into the film world by developing and directing a new web series.
Don Castro is a Manila-born American actor based in New York City. His resume includes diverse roles spanning theatre, film, and television. He has performed on stage in many places across theUnited States, including North Carolina, Florida, California, and Missouri. Don has also performed internationally in Athens and Spetses, Greece. Films featuring his work have screened in festivals in cities worldwide, such as Seoul (Korea), Mumbai and Bangalore (India), Christchurch (New Zealand), Bangkok (Thailand), Cannes (France), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Los Angeles, and New York City. Don also has extensive experience in industrials, commercials, voice-overs, and commercial print. He is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA) and Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
Julie Congress is a founding member/Co-Artistic Director of No.11 Productions and is an actor, director and voiceover artist. Selected acting credits: “Quest for the West: Adventures on the Oregon Trail!” (Kentucky Repertory Theatre, FringeNYC, FRIGID New York, Capital Fringe), “The Eyes of Orbach” (FRIGID New York), “Coosje” (FRIGID New York, Fringe Wilmington), “A Christmas Carol” (Kentucky Repertory Theater), “Medea” (FRIGID New York), “Lysistrata” (FringeNYC, SaratogaArtsFest), “MythUnderstood” (educational touring), “Jet of Blood” (FRIGID New York). Directing credits include: “Survived By” (Columbia University/3LD), “Greatest Place on Earth” (NYU), “The Acharnians” (Assistant Director, Stella Adler Studio of Acting), “Places” (Under St. Marks), “The Elephant Man – the Musical” (Capital Fringe). Julie holds a BS in theatre from Skidmore College, studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School and is the co-chapter director of the New York Thespian Society.
MARC CASTLE started in the business at the age of ten in Thornton Wilder’s Plays for Bleecker St. at the Circle in the Square. He toured in the 1st National Company of Camelot, and appeared off-B’way in My Great Dead Sister (The Production Co.) and Romance Language. (Playwrights Horizons) Regionally: The Foreigner, Crazy for You and A Lion in Winter. Film and TV: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Urbania, and As the World Turns. Productions of his work have been seen at EST, the Neighborhood Playhouse and La Mama. He was the Literary Manager for Emerging Artists Theatre where he has had eight short plays produced (one of which, Invisible, was recently published.) Other recent works include One Brief Shining Moment, his biographical one-man show which he will be performing again this March; Young King Arthur (music: Scott Zesch, book: Jon Shear) which played at the Vital Theater in 2006 and recently won the National Children’s Theater Award which included a month long production at the Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida, and the musical Hollywoodland, (music: Scott Zesch) recently given a developmental reading at Emerging Artists and on the short list for the O’Neill Conference. His musical, Love, Incorporated, was presented in 2008 at the Midtown International Theatre Festival where it won Outstanding Production of a Musical. It recently premiered at the Roper Center in Norfolk VA as an out-of-town tryout for a future Off-Broadway run. His play, Friends and Relations, was produced at the June Havoc Theater in December, 2011. Marc also has an extensive background as a director too, both in NYC and regionally. He recently staged Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels at the Players Club. For Emerging Artists, he directed two short plays; Furious and Belle and Angel, as well as a play by David Bell for Fast Food, the 24 Hour Plays and many pieces for the One Woman Standing Festival. Other directing credits include A Boy and His Dog for The Directing Co., Sly Fox at The Playhouse on the Mall in Paramus, NJ, and the cult Off-Off B’way production of Pledge Girls from Delta, House of Death. Marc was Director of New Play Development at the Vortex Theater Co, ran the Playwrights Platform for the Turtle Shell Theater, and has done a great deal of dramaturgical work as well. He has taught acting and does coaching on an ongoing basis. In Long Island City, he has worked at the Secret Theatre as both actor (Much Ado about Nothing) and playwright, (Short Play Festival) and at the Chain Theatre, as director and playwright. (Unchained Festival) Besides Emerging Artists, Marc is a proud member of The American Renaissance Theatre Co., TOSOS, Equity, SAG/AFTRA, ASCAP, the Dramatist Guild, and an alumnus of both the BMI Composer/Lyricist and Librettist Workshops.
Paul has been a playwright, AEA actor, and director in New York City for eight years. His one act, The Dark Land of the Sun, was produced at the National Comedy Theatre and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Summerfest 08’. His full-length, The Landlord, had a successful reading produced by The Drilling Company (directed by John Gould Rubin). Another of his full-length plays, The Land of Snow and Ghosts, was workshopped by The Dramatic Question Theatre Company (NYC) as part of their “Fresh Faces 2012/2013” and has been published online by Independent Playwrights.
Paul’s play Smallpox in the Blankets has been produced as part of Variations Theatre Group’s “Harvest Theatre Festival,” where it advanced to the “finals.” Smallpox was also performed this summer in Toronto, Canada as part of Newborn Theatre’s “Odds and Ends Festival.” His play The Horses in Central Park was produced as part of AND Theatre Company’s “Eclectic Evening of Shorts” and Emerging Artists Theatre’s (EAT) 10th Annual New Work Series.
Paul is excited to be working with Variations Theatre Group and Theatre Southwest on two new projects this fall. Paul is a Eugene O’Neill Award Semi-Finalist, and a 2011 participant of the prestigious Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is a proud graduate of Webster University where he received a BFA in Theatrical Performance. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHufker.