U.S Writers & Directors To Look Out For

Punk fairies in Detroit. Manhattan rewriting its geography. An impromptu helium balloon filled stage. The creativity and ingenuity were on display at the Old Vic stage on June 3rd. I’m not sure any of us knew what we were getting into when we signed up to come on the T.S Eliot US/UK exchange. The mission was twofold: 1. Put on a killer show of 7 plays at the Old Vic and 2. Get to know the living, breathing artists working in the UK today. I was so proud of my U.S team. We brought everything I love about American theater with us. It was bold, brash, insightful and inventive. And most importantly, I now know the following talented writers and directors.  The second part of the mission will culminate tonight as we part ways with the Brits, mutually inspired by each others’ work.  Congrats to all involved.

T.S Eliot, Jonathan Caren
The T.S Eliot U.S team of artists
Joshua Conkel on Jonathan Caren writes

Joshua Conkel

Joshua Conkel is the author of MilkMilkLemonade (Best Off Off Broadway Show of 2009-NY Press, published by Playscripts), The Chalk Boy (Published by Original Works Publishing), Lonesome Winter and I Wanna Destroy You as well as countless short plays, of which he is a prolific and enthusiastic writer. Conkels’s work has been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, San Diego, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Baton Rouge. He is the Co-Artistic Director of The Management, and a member of Endemble Studio Theatre, TOSOS and The Dramatists Guild. He is currently finishing a graphic novel for First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan and was recently named one of Next Magazine’s «Who’s Next 2011.» Joshua has a BFA in theater, Cornish College of the Arts.

Dipika Guha on Jonathan Caren writes

Dipika Guha

Dipika’s plays include The State of Affairs (Yale School of Drama), The Betrothed (produced by Wellfleet Harbour Actor’s Theatre, ‘11), Passing (Yale Cabaret) and Grand-MotherLand (New Play Festival, Brown University). Shorter plays includ

e Habeas Corpus and In the Red White and Blue (Theatre 4, New Haven). She is an ensemble member of Good Belly Collective, has taught Playwriting at Fairfield University and has worked as a mentor on the O’ Neill Playwriting Program.  She studied English at University College London and was a member of the Young Writer’s Program at the Royal Court Theatre, London.

Lila Rose Kaplan on Jonathan Caren writes
Lila Rose

Lila Rose Kaplan

Recipient of  The Kennedy Center’s National Science Award in Playwriting, The Shank Playwriting Fellowship, an EST/Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and the I.J. Kapstein Award in Playwriting. Plays include We All Fall Down, 100 Planes, Wildflower, Bureau of Missing Persons, The Light Princess, Tink, Catching Flight, and Biography of a Constellation. Work produced and developed by Second Stage, Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse/UCSD, Chalk Rep, Perishable Theatre, Mixed Blood, The Camden Fringe Festival, New Dramatists, PlayPenn, and The Lark. Graduate of Brown University, MFA in Playwriting from UC San Diego.

Jonathan Nebors on Jonathan Caren writes

Janine Nabers

MFA from New School for Drama. Current P73 playwriting Fellow and member of MCC playwrights Coalition. Selected plays include: Annie Bosh is Missing, A Swell in the Ground and Welcome to Jesus. Published by Sam French.

Christopher Oscar Pena on Jonathan Caren writes

christopher oscar peña

Plays include maelstrom (Kennedy Center Latino Playwrights Award), icarus burns and the suicide tapes. He was a New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artists Fellow and has been in residence with the Playwrights Realm, Rising Circle, and the Ontological Hysteric Incubator among others. He is currently working on commissions for Mark Wing-Davey (NYU Grad Acting) and Theatre C. Originally from California he holds a BA in Dramatic Arts from UC Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Dramatic Writing.

Joe Tracz on Jonathan Caren writes

Joe Tracz

Joe has an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Theatre includes Boy Wonders (Roundabout workshop), Up North (TheatreWorks New Works) and Song for a Future Generation (The Management). TV includes Lights Out (FX). Upcoming film: Legend of the Leafmen (Fox).


Krystal Banzon on Jonathan Caren Writes

Krystal Banzon
Krystal has an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her interest lies in the intersections of technology, performance, and multicultural/race studies. Theatre includes Dogeaters (HFST), Parang Sabil (AD, New WORLD Theater), Leah’s Train (AD, NAATCO),Throat (AD, INTAR), Post No Bills (AD, Rattlestick), Marisol (THY), Ama Namin (CCP), The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret (Under St. Marks) and One Journey: Stitching Stories Across the Mexican “American” Border (TheaterLab). Video includes 1,324 Reasons for Marriage Equality with Alan Cumming. Awards include SDC Foundation Observership with Chay Yew (Playwright’s Horizons), 2010 Point Scholar, 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar to the Philippines in theater arts.

Mary Birnbaum on Jonathan Caren Writes

Mary Birnbaum

Training includes: Juilliard School, Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Credits include: devised pieces with art.party.theater.company (Artistic Director, http://www.artpartytheatercompany.com) including collaborations with Flux Factory, American Opera Projects and Bryant Park. Mary assisted the director Stephen Wadsworth at the Metropolitan Opera and Seattle Opera, and has done other assorted freelance directing around NYC. Mary also teaches acting to opera singers, and coaches musical theatre performers at Juilliard and around New York. Upcoming: Assistant Directing Terrence McNally’s Master Class on Broadway.

Mike Donahue


Mike Donahue on Jonathan Caren writes

BA from Harvard University (Louis Sudler Prize for Artistic Excellence) and MFA from Yale School of Drama. Upcoming: a workshop of Max Vernon’s new musical Wired (Ars Nova), Caryl Churchill’s A Number (Playmakers Rep) and Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki (Chicago Opera Theater). Past projects include: Kim Rosenstock’s 99 Ways to Fuck a Swan (Playmakers Rep PATP), Charles Mee’s Big Love (The Wild Project) and Tennessee Williams’s Stairs to the Roof (A.R.T. Institute). Affiliations/Awards: Fulbright to Berlin, Drama League Directing Fellowship, Theatertreffen International Forum Fellow (Berlin), Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and Opera America Director-Designer Showcase Award. http://www.mikemdonahue.com.

Jeremy Bloom

Jeremy directs his original adaptation plays including La Boheme (Spoken), Peter-Wendy (Dark) and Leaves of Grass (Nude), as well as the work of new playwrights. In New York, he has directed at The Flea, Walkerspace, The Cherry Lane, Incubator Arts Project, NYU Grad, 45 Bleecker, The New York Botanical Gardens, in festivals, site specifically, and at The Cell where he is a resident artist. Jeremy is a Drama League Directing Fellow.

Kel Haney on Jonathan Caren writes

Kel Haney

Kel has directed and developed new work with theatres such as Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, New Georges, Ars Nova, The Directors Company, 52nd Street Project, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Youngblood, Vampire Cowboys, 3Graces, Red Fern Theatre Company, Emerging Artists Theatre, Desipina & Company, NY Fringe Festival and Westport Country Playhouse. Kel has worked as assistant director to Doug Hughes, Lynne Meadow, Joanne Woodward & Charlotte Moore and served as a Lincoln Center Directors Lab Member, Ensemble Studio Theatre Director in Residence, and a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club. http://www.kelhaney.com.

Luke Harlan on Jonathan Caren writes

Luke Harlan


Luke has developed new plays at The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Tectonic Theater Project, The New Group, The Kennedy Center, Columbia University, and the O’Neill Theater Center, among others. Luke is a teaching artist with Stages on the Sound, a member of The Pack, The Assembly, an associate artist with Working Theater, co-founder of the Southeastern Fringe Festival, and founder/director of the Working Theater Director’s Salon. Selected: #serials (Flea Theater), Shakespeare in ACTion (Stages on the Sound), Fat Cat Killers (New Group), Frontier, As Told By The Frontier (Columbia) Cou-Cou Bijoux, Pour Vous (Public, Galapagos), Insatiable Hunger, a new musical (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater), Fighting A Fish (Kennedy Center). Assistant Director: 33 Variations (La Jolla Playhouse). SDC National Directing Award Winner, Member SDC.

Michael Schwartz

Michael trained at the USC Schools of Theatre & Cinema/Television in Los Angeles, as well as the British American Drama Academy in London. Theatre includes Basement Pinter (A.C.T.) for which he was also the curator, 1st & 2nd Annual Tommy Awards (New World Stages/Skirball Center) for which he also produced and choreographed, More Than Abel (Magic Theatre) which he also wrote and acted in, and Lying Naked (Planet Connections) winner of Best Short Play at the festival. Assistant Directing credits include Company (NY Philharmonic), The Homecoming (A.C.T.) and Sunday In The Park With George (Roundabout/Studio 54, Asst Choreographer). Film credits include various shorts and independents, both in front of and behind the camera. California Arts Scholar, SDC Associate and member of The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.