*Information about each and every show at the 2006 festival* *use your back button to return to the site*
Director Bio's follow below - please scroll down.
A Girl Can Dream by Olga Humphrey
Directed by Josie Davis
"The worst form of arrogance, joined to intellectual imbecility," a historian once said of one of America's political leaders. The time is not 2006, but 1706. The politician in question was Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, the first colonial governor of New York and New Jersey. Cornbury was corrupt and vilified, and he also wore a dress, adding transvestism to the long list of complaints about him. A comedy inspired by Cornbury and his inner girl.
Olga Humphrey's play Veronika Vavoom, Volcanologist received its world premiere from Boston Theatre Works, F-Stop was produced by the B Street Theater (Sacramento) and New Directions (New York), Svetlana's New Flame and Hyperactive were both produced by the Perishable Theater in Providence after winning their Women's Playwriting Festival two years in a row and I Used to Be Famous Once had its world premiere at Buffalo's Alleyway Theatre and was selected for the Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus. She has a Fellowship from IFP/New York.
Animal Control by Barbara Genovese
Directed by Gretchen Drew
In that time between sleeping and waking a woman who cannot sleep asks for love with a deep inner longing. The unseen world responds in the guise of a man from Tierra del Fuego, who is in the avocado tree outside her window. It is not a figment of her mind, neither is it a fragment of hope - but rather the true desire of her heart.
Barbara Genovese wrote from the age of 16 -- after her mother threw out her art work. Her Master's Thesis was a play called Threading Light. She studied with the Writer's Workshop in Dublin, Ireland, the William Butler Yeats' Summer School in Sligo and received an invitation to work with The Painted Horse Theatre Company, also in Dublin. Writing is a shamanic act, an act of soul retrieval, to which the audience bears witness.
As I Live And Breathe by Freddie Brinster
Directed by the playwright
A one-act play, a comic version of a serious, full-length play titled Not Where I Breathe . It concerns a desperately dysfunctional family that has finally come to the end of its rope in every sense of the term.
Freddie Brinster is a retired theatre critic and the author of several unproduced, unmarketed and perpetually unfinished plays including Freight , Road Trip and Dark Farce .
Baggage by Michael Ramirez
Directed by Adrienne Green
Baggage is the story of twenty-year-old Lewellyn, who is about to enter yet another placement. In alternating voices, Lewellyn and her Worker each tell their own version of Lewellyn's experiences as a girl raised by a crack-addicted mother, an abusive father, and a series of foster families and group homes. Despite her tragic life and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Lewellyn's strength and intelligence shine through; she's hopeful, and determined to take control of her life.
Michael Ramirez wrote Spanish White Girl for In the Door at Second Stage Theatre in connection with the American premiere of Athol Fugard's Sorrows and Rejoicings . Michael teaches writing courses, is a book reviewer and has had nine books published. A social work consultant, she works with foster care youth and homeless HIV+ street kids in NYC. Michael is an Associate member of the Dramatists Guild. Baggage is an excerpt from her full-length play, unWanted .
Blackened Windows by Yasmine Beverly Rana
Directed by Linda Lombardi
"With that ... came this." Under the most brutal existence for women, Laila, a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, living under the Taliban, finds herself engulfed in violence and loss. Her single claim to humanity comes in the most extraordinary, unexpected form.
Yasmine Beverly Rana, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a playwright, drama therapist and teacher. Her play Returning , inspired by her experiences in Sarajevo as a drama therapist, will have its world premiere at Johns Hopkins University Theatre in the spring of 2006 under the artistic directorship of actor John Astin. An excerpt from the play, "Sniper Avenue," will be published by The Kenyon Review in the fall of 2006. Yasmine's plays have been produced and stage-read in theaters in the US and abroad, including La Mama Theatre, The Looking Glass Theatre Company, Playwrights Theater of New Jersey, and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company (UK). Blackened Windows is part of a two-part piece, The War Zone is My Bed . Sarajevo , the latter of the piece, was recently published in Blackbird (http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu). Fellowships and memberships include a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Playwriting from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, a Paulette Goddard Fellowship from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, PEN, the Dramatists' Guild, and Writers' Guild of America, East.
Chipped Mug by Leslie Hayertz
Directed by Louise Penberthy
If art can't make a friendship, can it break it? Poetry brought best friends Linden and Ronni together, but Linden, reeling from being dumped by her college boyfriend, decides her poetic calling is a social liability. Ronni's answer to her friend's misery is more matchmaking. Linden's rejection of her art and Ronni's attempt to fix her up once again put their friendship on the line.
Leslie Hayertz is a native of SW Washington. She writes plays and short stories. Her work has appeared in various publications, and in 2004, Chipped Mug was presented at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. She lives in West Linn, OR.
Commit Me To Memory by Karen Macklin
Directed by Cindy Hoots
Three months after Jessie has been living at a healing ashram in India, her boyfriend Adam from back home comes for a visit. But Jessie's been ill and she's not the same person she used to be. Although Adam wants to bring her back home to their life as reporters in the big city things may not go quite as planned. And both will leave this encounter forever changed.
Karen Macklin is a San Francisco-based playwright, director, journalist, editor and poet from New York. Her plays - which include Popping the Cherry, And Baby Makes Two, Commit Me to Memory , and Mister President - have received readings and/or productions in San Francisco (at Actors Theatre, Eureka Theatre, Mason Street Theatre and Teatro de la Esperanza) and have been chosen as finalists for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award and Humana Festival and the Shenandoah Playwriting Award. Her articles have been published bicoastally in major newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and San Francisco Weekly . Currently she is on a State Department fellowship teaching Journalism in Guatemala City.
Girl Beats Boy by L. J. Voss
Directed by Megan Hescock
Two short plays by award-winning, Washington, D.C. playwright, L. J. Voss
The Hen Gets a Flag : In the game of love, some win and some floss. Egged on by a dental hygienist, two young lovers duke it out while George Washington, Father of our Country, plays peacekeeper.
Smarty Spice and the Serial Killer : When midlife crises collide, the shrapnel can kill. Girlpower meets psychopower in this show-down of the killer misfits.
L. J. Voss's New York City credits include A Little Rebellion Now (2004), Psychodrama (2003, 2002, 2000), Tiny Madmen (2003) and Smarty Spice And The Serial Killer (2003). Washington, D.C. credits include Little Rebellion (2005), Ninja Motorcycle Babes (2005), Impersonal Ad (2005), Tiny Madmen (2004, 2003), Wolf Whistle (2003), Psychodrama (2002) and Macho Sluts (2002). She received the Winner, 2004 Reverie Productions Playwrights Prize for Little Rebellion ; Winner, 2004 Spotlight On Productions One-Act Play for Smarty Spice and Finalist, 2005 Reva Shiner New Play Contest for Tiny Madmen .
Haunted by Stefanie Zadravec
Directed by Erin Fortier
Dan has taken Audrey away for a Romantic weekend in a secluded house: Audrey thinks Dan is going to kill her. A comedy about love, violence and what happens when you watch too much Lifetime Television.
Stefanie Zadravec's plays have been produced in NY and LA at The Barrow Group, The Lillian Theatre, The Sounding Theatre, The Vital Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source and workshopped regularly in NYC's Blue Plate Special series. Her short plays, Bliss and Wedding Jitters , were Samuel French Festival Finalists. Stefanie was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and is a member of Foolish Wednesdays, for writers of comedy. She is a workshop participant at Primary Stages and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
I Like It When You Touch Them by Susan Gidding Green
Directed by Teresa Thuman
Insomnia and sex--a bedroom romp? That's how I Like It When You Touch Them begins. It's the middle of the night; Lily can't sleep. She wakes up her partner, Joe. Annoyed, they argue and Joe's about to go sleep in his study when Lily reveals the reason for her sleeplessness. Now we're in darker territory--a place of love and loss. Funny and poignant--the play shows a slice of life with an unexpected twist.
Susan Gidding Green is a New York City transplant living in Portland, Oregon where a number of her plays have been produced. She also had two short plays performed in festivals in New York City in 2005. At present she is working on a full length play, The Whole Story , which is about a couple's right to choose. She was co-founder of a play development series for local playwrights and actors and a member of the Northwest Playwrights' Guild.
Jeopardy Gaping by Roxanne Ray
Directed by Dawn Stoyanoff
Twenty weeks of physical therapy, but only 19 short scenes... What's missing? And how did it change everything forever? In this surreal dramatic comedy, the characters' names draw upon larger social and historical conflicts: we watch Jaffna and Valdisa struggle with excess and emptiness as well as willful blindness on the part of those who could exercise individual action - all absurdly in the waiting room of a physical therapy office. This non-chronological play asks where have we missed opportunities for compassion and peace?
Roxanne Ray is a playwright, dramaturge and scholar whose plays have been produced in Seattle, Portland (OR), Boston, New York and Scotland. Her writing has been published in Hawai'i Review , Onion River Review and Wings and she recently edited the anthology 8 Plays from the Mae West Fest 8: New Plays by Women . She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and is a 1994 alumna of the Hedgebrook writer's colony. She currently serves on the Literary Committee of ACT Theatre and as Co-Vice President for the Northwest Region for Literary Managers and Dramaturges of the Americas (LMDA).
Leni by Sarah Greenman
Directed by Sarah Greenman
German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl is dead, but she is not ready to lie down. Her 1934 film, Triumph of the Will supplied Hitler with a valiant, embattled epic. Fascism was mythic politics and Riefenstahl became its myth-maker. She was a child of the century and embodied some of its most troubling contradictions. Sarah Greenman's play, Leni, journeys deep inside the mind of Leni Riefenstahl to discover why art can be a dangerous business.
Sarah Greenman holds a BA in creative writing from Mills College where she was awarded the Hoa Chang Playwrighting Prize for her original play Leni . Recent directing credits include Twelfth Night for Paper Trail Productions (Seattle) and Kindred for Insight Out Theatre Collective (Portland). Sarah is also a graduate of the acting program at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA. Sarah resides in Seattle with her husband Jack where she works as an actor, director and playwright.
Losing Things by Ellen West
Directed by Teresa Thuman
The winner of the Mae West Fest’s First Annual Female Protagonist Project: In Losing Things, our protagonist Carolyn faces mortality by recapturing a dream from her youth, and by learning how to leave another lost dream in the past.
As a child performer, Ellen West appeared in an Our Gang Comedy and has been performing, writing, and producing plays ever since. Her first play, Charlotte, was produced her senior year at Wellesley College and together with the novel she wrote won her the Jacqueline Award for Writing at graduation. She was the first writer/producer for the public TV station KTWU Channel 11 in Topeka, Kansas. She was the 2004 winner of Alleyway Theatre's Maxim Mazumdar prize for her one-act, Bertha, Helen, Vivian, or Jane. Other scripts include My Hat and The Gift of Speech as well as individual pieces such as Time Between and Old Age Ain't No Place for Sissies which were commissioned by Bump in the Road Theatre. In addition, she writes inspirational essays for magazines such as Unity, The Catholic Digest, and The Family Digest and has produced three films on women's health distributed by Health Communications, Inc. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Moliere's Women by Nancy Jones
Directed by the playwright
The great French dramatist, Molière (aka Jean Baptiste Poquelin) lived a life filled with scandal, treachery, lust and love. Molière was both revered and disdained by society and his days were filled with a desperate attempt to have his work seen by the public. Molière's Women describes his life as told through the eyes of the women who surrounded him.... in the courts, the audiences, his bed, his dreams and his nightmares.
Nancy Jones is a theatre artist and associate professor of theatre at the University of Kentucky. Her work has been showcased at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, New York International Fringe Festival, American Living Room Festival, New Dramatists, Women without Borders at the Immigrants Theatre Project and New York Performance Works. She is the fanatically proud mother of four-year-old Madeleine, her utmost creative treasure.
Monologue For Lady Macbeth by Aoise Stratford
Directed by Cindy Hoots
Lady Macbeth has a secret, but it's not what you think. In this short play about confession, infidelity, ambition and love, one of Shakespeare's least admired, most intriguing and often misunderstood women speaks out. Trapped in her room at the top of the tower in Dunsinane Castle, just hours before her death, she examines moments of her life trying to justify her choices and make her peace.
Aoise Stratford's plays have won several awards including the Hudson River Classics New Play Award, Yukon Pacific Playwright Award and the Alan Minieri Award. She was a finalist for the Humana Festival's Heideman Award, received an American Theatre Critics' Association New Play Award nomination and was a silver medalist in the 2004 Pinter Review Prize for Drama. Her work has been produced throughout the USA and in Italy, Canada and Australia. She is a member of the Dramatists' Guild.
Next by Mavis Seehaus & Jewel Seehaus-Fisher
Directed by Phyllis Wilson
Next is a political play about the harshness of immigration policy as meted out in the courtrooms of New York City. The play is based on actual cases reported in the newspapers or observed by the playwright as she sat in on hearings and on other research and interviews. It was performed in 2005 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, NYC, by Theatres Against War and at the Puffin Theatre in NJ.
Jewel Seehaus-Fisher is Artistic Director of the Teachers Theatre in Atlantic City and Madison, NJ. Individual Artist Fellow, NJ, 2001-2004. Finalist: Samuel French Festival, Moondance Film Festival, Playwrights Platform Fest, Actors Theatre of Louisville (twice). Full length plays ( Fanny and Walt , Gesualdo , Wilde in Leadville and Wilde Night In The Rockies ) produced in New York City, San Francisco and Madison and Cranford, NJ. The one-act My Sister Underground was produced at the Mae West Festival and the Looking Glass Theatre, NYC in 2004.
Mavis Seehaus is Director of the Voices program at the Hospital for Special Surgeries in New York City. A psychotherapist with a private practice, she has co-authored several articles in her field and several short plays with her mother, Jewel.
Portia of the West by Lauren Jost
Directed by Suzannah Rogan
Clara Foltz made headlines in the 1870's as California's first female lawyer and a prominent suffrage activist, all as a single mother of five. Her long and illustrious career guaranteed her place in history but the night after her death her only surviving daughter, Virginia, burned Clara's lifetime-worth of papers and Clara's work was all but forgotten. Why did Virginia destroy her mother's work and what is left of Clara's legacy?
Lauren Jost is a theatre artist and educator currently based in New York. She began her career in Washington at the Seattle Children's Theatre and Book It! All Over and is excited to be working in Seattle again. Lauren currently works for the New Victory Theater and the American Place Theatre in New York and is a Masters candidate at New York University, studying educational and community-based theatre.
Rainier Valley Youth Theatre: Selection from their New Play Festival
Directed by Maria Glanz
The Mae West Fest partners with the Rainier Valley Youth Theatre in Southeast Seattle to present a staged reading of a play from the 2006 New Play Festival.
Recipient of a 2002 Artist Trust Fellowship, Maria Glanz has worked as a playwright, performer, director, educator, and arts administrator in Seattle and Hawaii. She has performed her work across the United States and Canada. Her solo play See Me Naked received Best of Fest at the Seattle, Edmonton & Winnipeg Fringe Festivals and has also been seen at Cape May Stage, NJ, Bumbershoot, Open Circle Theater, Intrepid Theatre of Victoria, BC, and Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha. Pu’uhonua (place of refuge) was named Artistic Pick of the Seattle Fringe and went on to tour Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Maria’s newest work, And the Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon, was recently adapted into a radio drama thanks to a Special Projects grant from 4Culture. Maria’s multi-actor plays include Rapunzel, commissioned and produced by UMO Ensemble, and VIC (Spirit Made Flesh), winner of the 2002 Richard Hugo House New Play award. Maria has worked as an actor for ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Open Circle Theater, theatre simple, Seattle Mime Theatre, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Currently Artistic Director of Rainier Valley Youth Theatre, Maria has worked as a teaching artist for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Public Theater, and many schools in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
Shawn Marie's Porno: My Naked Journey by Shawn Marie Bryan
Directed by Keira McDonald and the playwright
Shawn Marie's Porno: My Naked Journey is pornography stripped bare to its original meaning- the innocent, sometimes hard truth. Through revealing stories that traverse time and geography, Shawn Marie's Porno illustrates a map of self-discovery that just may help a society that doesn't stop to ask for directions. At turns poignant, funny and thoughtful with detours that entertain and travel guides that just may enlighten.
Shawn Marie Bryan was born in Denver, Colorado and has traveled as a gypsy around the globe before landing most recently in Seattle. She is a Playwright and an Essayist. Her articles have appeared in Weird Sisters West . Her plays have been presented by Novice Artists and Girlpatch Productions. She is the co-founder of the e-zine, SaucyChicks.com and a graduate of The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
The 38th of February by Miriam Tobin
Directed by M. Elizabeth Eller
The 38th of February answers the question: "What if humans were to hibernate?" In a world where the winters are too harsh to bear society is forced to adapt in the most extreme ways. On an especially cold night, during an especially cold winter, Jack finds himself suddenly awoken by his wife Mariana. Winters are usually quite difficult to survive but now that Jack's awake... nothing seems to go right.
Miriam Tobin lives in New York and attends the Atlantic Theatre Company's Acting School. She recently moved from Seattle where she acted on stage and voiced a cartoon. As a writer she has a collection of short stories that poke fun at society's ideals and fantasies. Her first play produced was Sleeping Beauty; A Farce , which was a wild success and has since triggered a slew of politically incorrect fairy tales.
The Art Of Courtly Love by Alina Trowbridge
Directed by Nina Laboy
Two women who discuss falling in love late in life have a surprise for each other.
Alina Trowbridge studied creative writing at San Francisco State University and is a member of the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco. Her ten-minute plays have been performed in Berkeley and San Francisco, Boston and New York by the Playwrights' Center, PlayGround, Pan Theater, Three Wise Monkeys, Theaters Against War and Another Country Productions. Her full-length play, Seismic Surprises Enliven Our Lives, received honorable mention in Stage 3's Festival of New Plays (Sonora) in 2005.
The Chicken And The Egg by Shelly Mazzanoble
Directed by Heidi Broadhead
Having a baby is one of the most life-changing occurrences a woman will experience. To not have a baby is one of the hardest decisions a woman will ever make. Along with her best friend, Mexican food and bittersweet humor, The Chicken And The Egg deals with one woman's struggle to exercise her right to choose and prepare for the consequences that follow.
Shelly Mazzanoble is a playwright and author whose short stories and essays have appeared in The Seattle Times, Carve, Whetstone , Skirt ! and SomeOtherMagazine.com. In a fit of narcissism she has appeared in her own work, casting herself as the lead in her play, Blue Malls , which was produced in the 2004 Mae West Fest. Originally from Upstate New York, she now lives in Seattle where she spends entirely too much time editing her novel and fending off slander lawsuits from family members.
The Last Frontier by Robin Rice Lichtig
Directed by Karen Kinch
Does Mother Nature have endless patience? Can humans disrespect the planet without repercussions forever? Could one more assault on the earth tip the scales and result in worldwide devastation? Does a lone wolf hold the future of humanity in his paws? Does one Alaskan woman hold the future in her womb? And where does television figure in all of this? The Last Frontier has the answers.
Robin Rice Lichtig has authored over 30 plays, onstage from Florida to Alaska, Amsterdam to South Africa. Publishers include: Dramatic, Bakers, ArtAge, JAC. NYC producers include: The Drilling Company, Six Figures, HERE, Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, TADA. Others: NJ Rep, Karamu House, Bailiwick, Alleyway, Stockyards, Toronto and Columbus Fringe Festivals. Embracing The Undertoad (Mae West Fest 2004) was produced in NYC by This Woman's Work Theatre Company last year. Robin is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and Manhattan Oracles. For script info and upcoming gigs: www.dramamama.net.
The Perfect Relationship by Jill Elaine Hughes
Directed by Erin Fortier
Three Chicago women attending their weekly New Age relationship support group discover that they are all involved with the same man. A wacky comedy about the search for the elusive perfect relationship.
Jill Elaine Hughes is a Chicago-based playwright, novelist and journalist. Her plays have graced the stages of more than twenty-five theater companies in eight U.S. states and Canada. Recent productions include: Circle Line at Speaking Ring Theatre (Chicago, IL) and NewGate Theatre (Providence, RI); The Devil Is In The Details at Whole World Theatre (Atlanta, GA) and This Is Your Lifetime at Bailiwick Arts Center (Chicago IL) and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (Dartmouth, MA). Her plays are published and licensed by Smith & Kraus, Meriwether Publishing, Ltd. and Brooklyn Play Publishers. She has been a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists since 2000 and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Romance Writers of America.
The Time The Flower Withered by Nu Quang
Directed by Nancy Nakano
The American Dream is no different for Linda Tran; fleeing her Vietnamese homeland she is temporarily held in a Malaysian refugee camp and within her confines Linda experiences a different agony. Now, 20 years after camp life, in America can she finally find the courage to really live her dreams?
Nu Quang's plays have received nationwide recognition. She was the recipient of the GAP and the Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in 2000. The Philanthropist was part of the 2nd Annual FringeACT Festival of New Original Work 2003 at ACT. She also had a staged reading of her play Returning Home as part of Live Girls! Playwriting Festival 2004. She was a Jack Straw Productions writer-in-residence for 2003.
Warren's Warning by Molly Best Tinsley
Directed by Louise Penberthy
She's a new widow who'd been living in a dream. He's wide-awake and freeway-wise. Their paths cross at an interchange, then mysteriously merge, pointing towards an unknown road ahead.
Molly Best Tinsley has been widely published in fiction and received the Oregon Book Award 2001 in that genre for her story collection, Throwing Knives. She lives and writes in Ashland, OR, having landed there when the paradox of teaching creative writing at the U. S. Naval Academy got to be too much. Her full-length play, Fission, was named runner-up for Seattle's best new play in 2005 by The Seattle Times.
What Doesn't Die by Louise Penberthy
Directed by Courtney O'Conner
What do we do when we're tempted? By love, lust, loneliness or disappointment? Young, married Samantha struggles with her attraction for another man; her older friend Lily struggles with her loneliness and need for human contact. Meeting by chance at a coffee house, Samantha and Lily talk about what doesn't die and how to keep it alive - including their own friendship.
Louise Penberthy is an improviser, director, web designer, graphic designer and acting student. She wrote her first plays in fourth grade at Alki Elementary School in Seattle, and produced them for her class. Her first "real" production was her short play Before the Wedding produced in the Mae West Fest in July 2004 and published in 8 Plays from the Mae West Fest 8: New Theatre by Women . What Doesn't Die is dedicated to the memory of her friend, Lily Su Hoyne.
What The Birds Carry by Elizabeth Gjelten
Directed by Kerry Christianson
Twenty years after she sliced him from memory, a woman returns to Seattle to see her old lover, a Vietnam vet. He's dying but can't stop flirting; she's still mad but can't stay away. As they reenact old battles--from his war and hers--echoes of their younger selves help them grope toward forgiveness. A lyrical, searing play about the half-life of war, the unruly persistence of love and a shag carpet that swallows things.
Elizabeth Gjelten came to playwriting via solo theater. Her play What the Birds Carry was produced in 2005 at Pear Avenue Theatre in Mountain View, California. She's also had plays produced at Off-Market Theatre and in the 1999 Working Women Festival (both in San Francisco), as well as staged readings at the Magic Theatre and elsewhere. Along with her ongoing studies in poetics with Diane di Prima she's an MFA student in playwriting at SFSU.
Heidi Broadhead (The Chicken and The Egg) is a writer/director whose Seattle credits include Verbatim Verboten (technical director), Blue Malls and On the Virg (2004 Mae West festival, director), and the Intiman's production of The Singing Forest (assistant to the director). She earned her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she wrote and directed several plays/performance pieces for the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, 24-hour Play Festival, and various galleries.
Nancy Calos-Nakano (The Time The Flower Withered) has worked in the A&E industry since 1977 in various genres (mass media, performing arts, literary, culinary, visual and adornment arts) and in numerous capacities (performer, director, producer, artist, teaching artist, board member, art activist, program developer, writer, pr/marketing, grantwriter). Nancy has worked with over 80 organizations, locally and nationally and enjoys the diversity of projects (NWAAT, Group Theatre, King TV, Manila Pen, Kyushu Cultural Art Center, Langston Hughes, Rainier Valley Youth Theatre, Youth Theatre NW, Postime Video, Fox Broadcasting, Burke Museum, SAM, Seattle, Tacoma, Snohomish School District, APCC, Asian Weekly, Black Arts West, City Kids Magazine, City of Seattle).
Kerry Christianson (What The Birds Carry) has been working in the Seattle Fringe Theater scene for over ten years as an actor, choreographer and director. In the past two years she has directed Getting Out at Theater Schmeater, Influence at Theatre Babylon, Nunsense at Centerstage Theatre, and Woman/Girl at Richard Hugo House for White Cat Productions. A graduate from the Acting department at Cornish College of the Arts, Kerry is an active performer as well and can be seen regularly on stage as her erotic mime alter-ego, Verotica143. She'd like to thank her incredible cast and crew for pouring so much heart and time into this production of What the Birds Carry - it's been an amazing script to work with.
Josie Davis ( A Girl Can Dream) is a teaching artist, director and music educator. Her experience ranges from Montessori music to non-profit work with women's advocacy and global health issues as well as youth education in the performing arts. Josie is a graduate of the Colorado College with a degree in Music and Vocal Performance. She has trained with the Opera Theatre of the Rockies and performed with the Inter Rocky Mountain Opera Association and Equinox Theatre Company. Josie has worked with Seattle Public Theater's Bathhouse as an Assistant Director. Josie's favorite past theatre experiences include Into The Woods (Musical Director), Lucia Di Lamermoor, 13 Clocks (Assistant Director), The Vagina Monologues (Director, actress), Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Assistant Director), Guys and Dolls, and Oedipus, King of Thebes (Stage Manager). 'A Girl Can Dream' is Josie's first production with the Mae West Festival. Later this year, Josie will begin a graduate program in Performance Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Gretchen Drew (Animal Control) is a director, producer, manager and most anything else one can do in the theatre. Originally from Fairbanks, AK, she has spent most of the last seven years within spitting distance of Puget Sound. Gretchen is the artistic director of efstar seakae theatre, a small fringe company dedicated to stretching the boundaries of the art form. In 2005, Gretchen was chosen as a Drama League New Directors semi finalist. Animal Control is her Seattle directing debut, and she wants to thank Mae West Fest for the opportunity.
M. Elizabeth Eller (The 38 th of February) is thrilled to be a part of the Mae West Fest this year. She is a nationally acclaimed theatre artist, and has been recognized by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC for her work. Elizabeth earned a BA in Theatre with a double emphasis on directing and design from Central Washington University. Since then, she has worked at the O'Neill Theatre Center as a guest artist, and at a number of theaters in the Seattle area directing and designing. Her most recent work includes assistant directing and sound designing Seattle Shakespeare Company's Cyrano de Bergerac, directing Paper Trail Production's Romeo & Juliet , and sound designing upstart crow's King John. Elizabeth is, as always, deeply grateful for the support of her loved ones.
Adrienne Green (Baggage) This is Adrienne's first time working with Mae West Fest, as well as her directorial debut. She has been acting locally since 1997 with theatre companies including Rainier Valley Youth Theatre, AFrican ConeXion, and recently with Brownbox Theatre. She has also been involved with many behind-the-scenes projects in theatre.
Megan Hescock ( Girl Beats Boy) is thrilled with the ensemble's work on these two fun pieces in-one: one a spectacle where the "voices in your head" materialize on-stage, the other a dark but powerful game of hunter and hunted with a twist. Although Megan is relatively new to Seattle, she has produced and directed a handful of plays here over the past few years, including Boys' Life and Rope. She has studied theater at the National Theater Institute, the Moscow Art Theater, and the University of CT, with a concentration in playwriting and directing, and a certain passion for producing.
Cindy Hoots (Monologue for Lady Macbeth and Commit Me To Memory) is a newbie to Mae West Fest. This will be her first time directing for MWF this season. She last assistant directed The Joy Luck Club with ReAct Theatre and stage managed The Day They Shot John Lennon for them as well. Originally from Colorado, she worked with The Theatre on Broadway and MTS Productions directing such productions as Boys' Life, Antigone and Bent. Her production of Bent garnered several Denver Drama Critics Circle Award nominations and was voted on of the top 12 shows of the year by the Denver Post. She was also appointed to The Theatre on Broadway's Directors Ensemble. Her stage managing credits include: Madame Butterfly, The Aztec Empire Does the Hokey-Pokey, Women Behind Bars, and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with her BA in Theatre Directing.
Karen M. Kinch (The Last Frontier) Karen has been involved in producing and directing for many years. She has brought several new plays to Seattle, including the North American premiere of Stephen Greenhorn’s The Salt Wound, the world premiere of Stephen Price’s The Collaborators, and the Northwest premiere of John Fisher’s Medea, the Musical.
Nina Laboy (The Art of Courtly Love) Nina is happily returning to stage directing after many years. A transplanted Neuyorique?a, Nina is a graduate of Fordham University School of Drama and the NYC American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has a long list of credits performing Latin Jazz, Standards and musical theatre. Her Off-Bway experience includes acting and directing theatre for Intar and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and a role in the film I Like It Like That.
Linda Lombardi (Blackened Windows, Mae West Fest Co-Artistic Director) has worked as a director, actor, stage manager and production manager with The Empty Space, GreenStage, Theater Schmeater, Open Circle, Theatre Babylon, Pork Filled Players and others. Favorite directing credits include Henry IV, Part I & II and Henry V. Next up she returns to the world of sketch comedy with her 3rd time directing for Seattle’s only Asian American sketch comedy group, The Pork Filled Players. Don’t ask why…just come see it! Thank you so much to the hard working volunteers, artists and staff of the Mae West Fest and, of course, you, the audience. As always, Nolite te bastardes carborundum.
Courtney O’Connor (What Doesn’t Die) received her MSEd in Counselor Education and holds a BA in Theatre and English. Courtney very recently moved here from Upstate NY and has enjoyed getting acclimated to the area through a variety of projects, most notably directing for the Mae West Fest! She spent the last 3.5 years implementing a drama program in an Upstate NY school. Courtney would like to thank her fiancé for his support, encouragement, and love. If it was not for his move out here she would not be here today, which she would regret very much!
Louise Penberthy (Chipped Mug/Warren’s Warning; playwright for What Doesn’t Die) is an improviser, director, web designer, graphic designer and acting student. She wrote her first plays in fourth grade at Alki Elementary School in Seattle, and produced them for her class. Her first "real" production was her short play Before the Wedding produced in the Mae West Fest in July 2004 and published in 8 Plays from the Mae West Fest 8: New Theatre by Women. What Doesn't Die is dedicated to the memory of her friend, Lily Su Hoyne.
Suzannah Rogan (Portia of the West) is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor's Degree in Drama. Her thesis: "A Brechtian Analysis: Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom"; paired with her direction of a staged reading earned her departmental honors within her degree program. She continues to develop her thesis, delving into the role Brechtian and Aristotelian techniques play in documentary drama. When not directing, Suzannah works as a stage manager around Seattle.
Dawn Stoyanoff (Jeopardy Gaping) received a B.A. in Psychology with emphasis in Women Studies from University of Minnesota, Duluth, and an M.A. in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University. She has worked as artist-in-residency, actress, director, educator and dramatic instructor with various venues. She has directed numerous children's productions and a few mainstage productions. She is very thrilled to direct Jeopardy Gaping and looking forward to more.
Teresa Thuman (I Like It When You Touch Them, Losing Things) is thrilled be returning for her third Mae West Fest. Previous MWF directing credits are Embracing the Undertoad (2002) by Robin Rice Lichtig, Hiding Hannah (2003) by Joy McCollough-Carranza and the multi-media solo play Dead Woman Home (2003) by May Nazareno. Teresa has directed locally at Civic Light Opera (High Society), Driftwood Players (Tartuffe, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Oliver), Bainbridge Performing Arts (Kiss Me Kate, Little Shop of Horrors) and Cornish College of the Arts (Pericles). Portland directing credits include A Simple Act (also by Susan Gidding-Green), Henry V, Woyzeck, Dancing at Lughnasa, Damien, Our Town and The Haven Project. She has also taught at the UW School of Drama Professional Actor Training Program, Cornish, Freehold Studio/Theatre Lab and served eight years as an Artist-in-Residence at PCPA Theatrefest in California.
Phyllis Wilson (Next) In her “before Seattle” life, Phyllis Wilson was the Director of Student Productions at a liberal arts university in Texas where she conceived and directed gigantic Broadway-style musical revues with a cast of thousands…no seriously; the last show had a cast of 1500! When her golf cart battery gave out she moved to Seattle where she has been quite busy for the past 2 ½ years. Phyllis has worked as assistant director/dramaturg at Taproot Theatre Company on Arthur: The Begetting, Fools and Shadowlands; as Props Master for Proof at Seattle Public Theatre and as stage manager for Theater Schmeater’s Getting Out. She has also been seen on stage as a soloist in Black Nativity at Intiman and as Reverend Mother in the Centerstage production of Nunsense. A heartfelt thank-you to the Mae West Fest women for the opportunity to direct, to Jewel Seehaus-Fisher for writing such a vital and poignant play and to the cast of Next for bringing these stories to life.