2024 Playwrights

Cate Berg  (River of Possession(s)) Last year, Cate’s play Landis and the Bear was selected as one of the Top 30 plays (of 850 entries) for the 48th Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival and performed at the Vineyard’s Dimson Theatre. Her plays have been produced by the Omaha Magic Theatre, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Seattle’s Stone Soup Theatre. The Playwrights Group recently presented a public Zoom reading of her full-length What is Good. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with an MFA in fiction writing, Cate lives in Kingston, NY, with her partner Pat and their spoiled pets. She’s thrilled to be included in this year’s RTB series. More info: www.cateberg.com

Cris Eli Blak (Girl on a Hill) is an emerging proud Black playwright whose work has been performed around the world. He is the inaugural winner of the Black Broadway Men Playwriting Initiative, the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s inaugural winner of the Muse of Fire BIPOC Playwriting Festival, the 2024 Charles M. Getchell New Play Award, and the recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre. He is currently an artist-in-residence with Abingdon Theatre Company and has had his work published by Smith & Kraus, Inc., YOUTHPlays, Applause Books, New World Theatre, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and in the Black Theatre Review.

Barbara Blatner’s (Cage) verse play No Star Shines Sharper, published by Baker’s Plays, was aired repeatedly on Christmas eve on NPR stations and acquired by New York’s Museum of TV and Radio. The award-winning Years of Sky was produced by Scripts Up! at 59E59 Theatres and read at the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Jane, Queen’s Foole was part of Centenary Stage’s 2023 Women Playwrights Series. Hamlet Leaves England appeared on the Pittsburgh New Works Mainstage. Two Sisters was read in the 2022 Inge Play Festival’s New Play Lab. Secret Places was produced by New Circle Theatre Company. Spell, a riff-in-verse on Shakespeare’s Tempest, was featured in Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival and as an audio play by Open Door Playhouse. Light was read at the 2020 ATHE Conference.
Barbara is a poet who writes plays. New York Quarterly Books published her poetry collections, The Still Position (2010) and Living with You (2012). Poetry, fiction and reviews have appeared in Beloved on this Earth, Heliotrope, House Organ, Poetry Northwest, The New York Quarterly, Lift, Apalachee Quarterly, 13th Moon, and others.
Barbara’s plays are hysterical, difficult, tragic, funny, probing, plunging. Her plays show an intensity of engagement with contemporary issues, with stories that focus on the micro-politics of relationships and expand to cultural and historical dimensions. She heightens language to conjure characters and conflict.
Late Primary Stages Artistic Director Andrew Lenyse said of Barbara’s Years of Sky that its “characters are fully and complexly written which adds….[to the] depth to the piece….[and] grapples with important topics…” Playwright-director-educator Erik Ehn (Brown University, CalArts) said that Marilyn Monroe in the Desert invokes “commerce, politics, and vast forces of time and death…”
Ms. Blatner has been a Fellow at many competitive residencies, including the Tyrone Guthrie Center, Blue Mountain Center, Banff Colony, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Arts, Jentel Foundation and La MaMa Umbria International Playwright Retreat.
Representation: Ms. Marta Praeger, mprfda@gmail.com, The Robert J. Freedman Dramatic Agency, New York, NY.
New Play Exchange (NPX) link: https://newplayexchange.org/users/3713/barbara-blatner

Brian Leahy Doyle (Dead End Kids, A Post-Covid Dystopian Love Story and Other Alternate Realities) is a playwright, director, and lyricist/librettist, who earned his MFA in Theatre from the University of Utah and served as first resident dramaturge of Pioneer Theatre Company. Playwriting: And We Danced (KNOW Theatre); Telepathy, Starry Starry Night, Dining for One, Want to Hold Your Hand, Still Life, and Franny Ornstein, Secret Agent Sous Chef (Secret Theatre); Maybe Tomorrow (KNOW Theatre, Chain Theatre, and Secret Theatre); and the one-act version of Dead End Kids (KNOW Theatre and Chain Theatre). As a lyricist/librettist, Brian has collaborated with composer Michael Dilthey on numerous projects, including writing the lyrics to “Each and Every Day in December,” which was featured in New Sounds for the Season and sung by Broadway soprano Lauren Zakrin. Michael and Brian have also collaborated on the musical Greetings from Fitzwalkerstan, which was produced at the Broom Street Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin; My Way of Life, a musical adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which was workshopped at Ripley-Grier Studios in New York; and The Weeping Woman, an opera about the relationship between Dora Maar and Picasso, which premiered at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Brian also directed an Equity staged reading of his play Light from the Pleiades (The Players), then directed two Zoom readings of Light from the Pleiades for English Theatre Düsseldorf. His one-act play The Architecture of Desire was published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021. Directing: Whole Theatre, Cincinnati Theatre Festival, Louisville’s Classics in Context, Irish Arts Center, Riverside Shakespeare, Open Eye, 92nd Street Y/Makor, Chain Theatre, and New York premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernitz’s The Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. Writing: Encore! The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses, focuses upon the restoration of historic theaters in Wisconsin, receiving Theatre Historical Society of America’s Outstanding Book of the Year Award. He teaches film and communications at Mercy University. https://brianleahydoyle.wixsite.com/brianleahydoyle

Danielle Frimer (P. Pan Et Al.) is a queer writer for theater, film, and new media. Her plays include Monarchs (Round the Bend Theatre, Valdez Theatre Conference, Morgan Wixson New Play Fest), a marriage is a story we tell and keep telling (Winner of the Fresh Fruit Festival’s Short Play Contest, Rosendale Theatre, Village Playwrights, TOSOS, Secret Theatre), The Dishtowel (24/6, Irvington Theatre), Frankie & Wally (Sharon Playhouse, Stissing Center), The Undergrowth (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Between Friends (Brick Theatre, Irvington Theatre’s Playwright Festival), and Honey (CoHo Lab in Portland, Oregon). Screenplays include Safe (with co-writer Fi Connors), and the shorts Sovanna (Netic Studios), Sleep, Made You Look, and Dog Park. She was a 2023 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and is a member HOWL Playwrights, a Hudson-Valley new works incubator. As a conversation designer, she’s created several award-winning interactive audio stories and games for smart speakers, including the Emmy-nominated Esme & Roy (Sesame Street), the Cannes Grand Prix winning Westworld: The Maze (HBO/Kilter Films), and Bosch: A Detective’s Case (Amazon Studios). Danielle holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theater. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife, Kelty, and their rescue dog, Dory. 

Richard Gotti (Dante in the Big-Box Store) explores the second half of life and strives to create dynamic roles for actors—roles that rub against stereotypes and challenge society’s prescriptions for aging. His work has been produced in festivals at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, The Tivoli Players, and on radio station WGXC at a live performance in Hudson. Readings venues include Round the Bend Theatre, The Albany Civic Theater’s Playwright’s Showcase and The Hudson Valley Writers Guild & Theatre Voices. The Little Fish Theatre in Los Angeles selected one of his plays as a semi-finalist, and a recent short story was a finalist in the Lost in Words international competition. His short fiction has appeared in Chautauqua, andhe co-authored the nonfiction book Overcoming Regret (Bantam). A former college teacher and psychotherapist, he holds an MFA in literature and writing (fiction) from Bennington College and membership in The Dramatists Guild of America.

Jonathan Kalb (Captain Odyssey’s Piebald Parliament) is a professor of Theatre at Hunter College, the Resident Dramaturg of Theatre for a New Audience, and the author of five books on theater, including Beckett in Performance, The Theater of Heiner Müller, and Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theater. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Nation, Salon, and many other publications. He is a two-time winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the country’s premier prize for theater criticism. His TheaterMatters blog on current theater may be found at www.jonathankalb.comCaptain Odyssey’s Piebald Parliament grew out of his lifelong admiration for Herman Melville.

Aaron Moore (On This Chosen Ground) is an Actor, Director, playwright and Acting instructor. Aaron comes from Albany NY and always had a heart for the stage and screen. He graduated from Albany High School in 2010. He trained in the Drama program at SUNY Potsdam (2014), where he earned a degree in theatre with a concentration in African American theatre. He continued his education at The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Aaron has performed and worked with company’s such as Pendragon Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Proctors Theatre, The Roundtable Theatre Company, NBC, Showtime, The History Channel, ParamountPictures, HBO, Lions Gate and much more. In 2014 Aaron created his performance art education company Acting with Aaron. Where he facilitates Acting classes, playwriting classes, and more. Its mission has been to provide performing art experiences to underserved communities.

Jennifer O’Grady (still small voice)is a playwright and poet whose plays have been produced and developed throughout the U.S. and internationally. She is a recipient of the Rising Artists Award, 1st Place Henley Rose Award and other awards and a recent finalist for the Moxie Incubator, Waterworks, Panndora’s Box and the Garry Garrison Playwriting Award. She is also a two-time semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and a recent semifinalist for the Prince Grace Award/Fellowship at New Dramatists. Her plays have been presented by The Irish Rep, 6th Street Playhouse, Little Fish Theatre, Short + Sweet, The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, Brave New World Rep, Rover Dramawerks, Attic Salt Theatre, Lakeshore Players, City Theatre and many others and are published in multiple editions of the annual Best Ten-Minute Plays, Best New Ten-Minute Plays and Best Women’s Stage Monologues among other anthologies. She is also a widely published poet and author of the poetry books White (Midlist First Series Award for Poetry) and Exclusions & Limitations (MadHat Press). Born and raised in New York City, she holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA from Vassar and lives with her family in Pelham, NY. (www.jenniferogrady.net)

Tom Rowan’s (The Weekend People) produced plays include Kiss and Cry (GLAAD Nomination), The Second Tosca, Faye Drummond, David’s Play, and The Blue Djinn (Best Short Play, Fresh Fruit Festival 2014). He has held commissions from The Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Maryland Opera Studio, where his libretto for The Young King (music by Martin Hennessy) was heard in concert in 2017. Tom’s work has been published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, Smith & Kraus, Next Stage Press, The New York Theatre Experience, and Steele Spring Stage Rights. His many directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Denver Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Director), Landscape of the Body (Westword Best Director), and the fortieth anniversary New York production of A Chorus Line (Queens Kudos Award, Best Director of a Musical). Tom is the author of the books A Chorus Line FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Broadway’s Singular Sensation and Rent FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Broadway’s Blaze of Glory. He was a Drama League Directing Fellow and holds an MFA from the University of Washington School of Drama. www.TomRowan.net

Margie Semilof’s (Kenoza Lake) play, Thea’s Window to the World, had its world premiere at The OvertimeTheater in San Antonio, in 2023. She has had short plays produced at many regional and national festivals, such as The Group Rep, in LA, Break-A-Leg Productions, in New York, Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport, Mass., to name a few. Her play, Liz Comes Home a Day Early, won first place for playwriting at the ARTfactory 10×10 Play Festival in 2023, and is included in the Best 10-Minute Plays 2024, published by Smith and Kraus. She is a Kingston native and currently toggles between Hurley, New Paltz and Boston.

Charles (Chuck) Simon (The Sod) is a former Hudson Valley resident, having lived in Poughkeepsie for a number of years. During that time and since then, he studied and taught volunteerism and gender studies, thus providing an opportunity for community and organizational leaders to build successful volunteer cultures. Almost a decade ago, he returned to his first love and began to write. He is a published author having written both a novel and a number of academic works. He has been a member of the New Circle Theatre’s writer’s group for nearly a decade and currently studies with Richard Caliban.Several of his plays have been read and staged.  Currently he serves as a volunteer on the North Fork Art Center’s advisory board in Greenport, NY. In addition to his writing and volunteer work, he enjoys studying wine.