Deborah Bostock-Kelley is a multi-time playwright whose plays have been seen across stages in Tampa. She received the inaugural 2019 Tampa Bay Theatre Festival Denise Deneen award for her work in theatre and a 2017 recipient of Theatre Tampa Bay’s Jeff Norton Dream Grant. With the grant, she produced her original gun violence production with Peter Nason, A Necessary Conversation at the Straz Center which went on to win Regional Broadway World’s 2018 “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” Awards and is nominated for Regional Broadway World’s “Best Original Script of the Decade.” The new, expanded production, written after the Stoneman Douglas school shooting, is debuting at the festival. She is also a theatre reviewer for Broadway World – Tampa Bay, Creative Loafing, The Free Press, and Groove Magazine, a reporter for Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles Magazine, and past journalist for The Tampa Tribune, and owns a creative services agency since 2005. She is a published author of a children’s early reader and teen YA fiction anthology. Deb is a past educator, Florida native, and graduate of the University of Tampa. www.anecessaryconversation.website
Pamela Bulu is a graduate of the University of South Florida and a member of the Outcast Theatre Collective. She is a tech worker by day, student by night, and artist twenty-four seven. Her artwork, ranging from paintings to relief prints, has exhibited in shows all around St. Petersburg. She is excited to use the medium of performance to explore the sentiments of her community. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Rich Courage is currently a Peer Counselor at Fountain House, a clubhouse for folks recovering from mental illness. He lives in Washington Heights, otherwise known as Manhattan’s Dominican Republic. He sings blues and folk-rock. “I love me my bacon cheddar burgers. My beagle Snoopy passed away in 2019 and I still cry every so often when I look at his smiling face. I’ve quit smoking many times. I go from thin to overweight, every day it fluctuates (That’s an Ed Sheeran line.) My favorite painting is Starry Night. And there’s a lot more to me.”
Clareann Despain holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from The University of California, Santa Barbara. Directing credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, Green Day’s American Idiot, Cabaret, Proof, Hamlet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Topdog/Underdog, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, On the Verge, Wonderdog!, Pale Idiot, I Sea, Below the Belt, Summer Shower, and 8 Life Lessons from Mort and Mindy. Dr. Despain has worked as a director and dramaturg on a number of new scripts. In 2014, Clareann directed 3 short plays for Tampaworks at Stageworks in Tampa, FL. As part of Risa Brainin’s LaunchPad program at UCSB, Clareann served as the assistant director for the world premiere of Sheri Wilner’s Kingdom City. Clareann also directed 8 Life Lessons by Jackson Warkentin for UCSB’s 2007 New Plays Festival, produced by Naomi Iizuka. .With one of her favorite collaborators, playwright Lou Clark, Clareann worked on two original scripts for young audiences: Wonderdog! and I Sea, the latter of which won an ACTF/Kennedy Center award. Clareann has also worked in theater management for several companies including: the Straz Center and Next Generation Ballet in Tampa; Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre in New Orleans; the MFA program at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) & Lamplighter’s Music Theatre in San Francisco; PCPA Theatrefest in Santa Maria, CA; Nevada Dance Theater in Las Vegas, NV; and Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, IA. Dr. Despain has taught at the University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College, University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of New Mexico. Subjects taught include acting, directing, script analysis, theatre history, public speaking, and stagecraft. Regardless of whether the context is explicitly educational, Dr. Despain delights in mentoring young theatre artists.
Leigh Flayton is a former magazine editor whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Salon and The Huffington Post, among other publications. She is also a playwright, and, in 2015, Cherry Lane Theatre hosted a reading of her first play, The Generator, as part of its TONGUES reading series. In 2018, Too Close to Home was presented in an industry reading and starred two-time Tony winner Judith Light in the lead role. The play was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference that same year. The Voices of Truth Festival marks the debut of Leigh’s newest play, Classic Six. She lives in New York City.
Elizabeth Indianos is a playwright and artist who creates large-scale, award-winning Public Art projects, noted for, “enhancing the quality of life, exhibiting long-term vision & innovation.” She was one of the 5,000 design teams in the world to contribute a proposal for the World Trade Center Memorial. Early in her career Elizabeth received a Mobil Grant for the exploration of new materials. Over the past thirty years her diverse and varied work has developed in this same spirit of exploration through a wide variety of themes and technology. Many of her Public Art projects received Planning Commission Awards of Excellence for works that, “Enhance the quality of life, exhibit long-term vision, innovation, design quality and environmental sensitivity.” Elizabeth’s writings include award-winning multidisciplinary plays and scripts about artists—and what it means to be one. Stories like LIBERTAIRE and Waiting for Guacamole and NO KNOW NOTHING are all her personal statements about the concepts of art and artists. Each work is a focus on three personal visions, that of the lone artist (Ezmarelda in Waiting for Guacamole); the artist as a famous figure, (Auguste Bartholdi, artist of the Statue of Liberty) in LIBERTAIRE and the creative Cave Girl who instinctively prevails in NO KNOW NOTHING.
Ellen Kaplan is a Professor of Theatre. Fulbright Scholar, actress, director, playwright. Ellen directs and performs internationally: recent directing credits include: The Magic Flute, Curious Incident, Turn of the Screw, Private Lives); recent acting: La Nieta del Dictador; La razon blindada. Guest Professor at Tel Aviv University; the University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest; University of Costa Ricq, and Distinguished Artist at Hong Kong University, where her play Livy in the Garden was performed at the Robert Black Theatre. Other plays include Sarajevo Phoenix, based on interviews with Croat, Slav and Bosniak women; Cast No Shadow, about the legacies of the Holocaust, premiered at the Jewish State Theater of Bucharest ; Pulling Apart, about the 2nd intifada, won a Moss Hart Award; Someone Is Sure to Come, about inmates on Death Row, was presented in NYC and published in the Tacenda Literary Journal. Her book chapter on creativity and trauma was published in Performing Psychologies (2019). Ellen works with underserved and at-risk groups, adjudicated teens; literacy training; and women in prison. She is developing a piece about Kurdish women in Iraq and Syria. www.ElizabethIndianos.com
Julliette “Jules” Moore is a theatre student at the University of South Florida. A self-described artist-activist, Jules is passionate that her art addresses the harder pills to swallow. Advocating for mental health issues and the queer community is especially important to Jules. A Tampa native, Jules is enraptured by our city and is determined to capture its charm in her work. Despite Jules’s recent entrance to the theatre industry she has made quite a splash here at the collective. Her recent work includes the first production of Orlando by Helen Tennison and Stealthcare: Transphobia in Telemedicine with the collective.
Peter Nason is an actor, director, and theatre teacher, who has appeared in dozens of productions around the country, helmed several films, and directed over thirty plays. His love of the theatre, and his passion for the craft of acting and directing, has led him to reach hundreds of Florida teenagers to help make the stage their home. A Pasco County educator for the past fifteen years, he has just started a new theatre program at the Cypress Creek Middle School Conservatory of the Arts in Wesley Chapel. A graduate of the University of Alabama and the Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, Peter is an award-winning playwright and has been one of the reviewers for Broadwayworld.com since 2014. Peter resides in Wesley Chapel, Florida with his beloved Boston Terrier, Ike.
Outcast Theatre Collective works to enhance theatrical diversity within the Tampa area through the facilitation and professional development of artists from marginalized communities. Outcast enhances theatrical diversity within the Tampa area through the facilitation and professional development of artists from marginalized communities.
David John Preece has had several productions of his plays and screenplays, including Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories (winner of Best Play by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards 2008), The Picture of Dorian Gray (winner of ten New Hampshire Theatre Awards 2011 nominations, including Best Original Play), The House of the Seven Gables (winner of the Best Original Play by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards (2009), and Tender (nominated for Best New Play by the Los Angeles Weekly 2004 and (winner of Best New Play by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards 2007). His other plays have received recognition, including According To John (finalist in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Contest), The Unicorn from the Stars (winner of the Vermont Playwright Award 2020), and Dancing Among the Wildflowers (winner of the Best One-Act Play with Mixing it Up Production’s 2020 Spring Emerging Playwrights Contest). His plays, Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories, The House of the Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, are published. Besides being a produced and published playwright, he has had several scripts optioned over several years. His short film, Lunch with Eddie, which he wrote, directed, and produced, was shown at over thirty international film festivals and won several awards, including Best Short Film and Best Director. He has received education and theatre/film training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California – Los Angeles (screenplay). He currently resides in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Bretton Reis is a freelance theatre artist based in New Hampshire. Over the past seven years, he has worked on nearly 200 productions as a lighting designer, actor, or director. Some favorite regional credits include directing “Marat/Sade” at the Player’s Ring, portraying Tony Wendice in “Dial M for Murder” at Hackmatack Playhouse, and designing the lighting for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at SRT. He holds a triple-major B.A. from UVM and a MSc with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh. Bretton Reis wrote “Stat Geek in Natick” to honor one of his best friends and to raise funds for eating disorder awareness.
Gloria Rosen is an award-winning playwright and actor. Her autobiographical solo show, Listen…Can You Hear Me Now? is a personal recollection of being a hearing child of deaf parents. It was performed virtually for the Marsh Theater’s Solo Arts Heal, the Rochester Fringe and the Marsh International Solo Festival. “Listen…” recently had its International debut at the Campus St Jean, Alberta Canada; had the honor of being asked to perform at St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf in NYC ( the first Church for the Deaf in the US, founded by The Rev. Thomas Gallaudet ) and enjoyed a sold-out run at the United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC where it was awarded Best Autobiographical Script. Gloria has appeared in numerous plays by award-winning playwright Duncan Pflaster, most recently “Lights and Noise and Bees and Boys” for the Red Fern Theatre Company. She originated the roles of Emily in “Hidden Beauty” at the NY EstroGenius Festival; Bubby in “Bubby’s Shadow” at Planet Connections, and The Mother in the Indie Film – “How to Break Up With Your Mother” which has been screened at numerous venues throughout the US. She also participates in the Effective Arts program as an actor using improvisational techniques to assist the training of clinical professionals in the field of organ donation. Gloria has performed at the Actor’s Studio, the Samuel French Festival, Manhattan Rep and Primary Stages. She can be seen in numerous College Humor episodes. The goal and ongoing vision of Listen…Can You Hear Me Now? has been to help bring the Deaf, Coda and hearing worlds closer together in an alliance of mutual trust and understanding For further information: www.listenshow.com
Sheri Whittington is thankful to have been involved in the magic of performing arts since childhood, and understands the power that early exposure to theatre can have on a lifelong love of the arts. She believes the lessons and skills learned through participation in the performing arts will serve the students throughout their lifetime. Sheri has a BA from USF majoring in Theatre Performance, and has continued her education with focused study in Film & Television, serving as an On-Set Tutor and Dialect Coach for area film and video productions. Sheri’s passion is teaching and inspiring others to fulfill their performance dreams which led to founding and serving as the Artistic Director of the Looking Glass Theatre. Her directing credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Nunsense, Tongues, Schoolhouse Rock, Trifles, Diva, Dy, DB & Me, Grease, Evita, & The Sound of Music. Other highlights include directing the elaborate staged reading of Lysistrata in collaboration with Gorilla Theatre and the Lysistrata Project for Peace. Sheri has performed on-stage, in leading roles with Bay Area productions that include Fiddler on the Roof, Talley & Son, Psycho Beach Party, Postcards, As You Like It, Return to the Forbidden Planet, and West Side Story. Sheri will appear in the next Powerstories Theater’s production this spring, and is also privileged to be working with Girlstories at the PACE Centre for Girls in Tampa. Sheri served for five years as the Artistic Director for the Young Dramatists Project with Gorilla Theatre, and as the Manager of Community Relations with the Patel Conservatory at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Sheri has instructed and coached over 300 performers, teaching acting with a local Casting Director, the Young Actors Studio at USF, Summerplay, MJPAA, ArtsCorp, YMCA, and the Patel Conservatory. She is very proud of her students, several of which are currently touring and appearing on stage, in film, and television (including Desperate Housewives, Hairspray, The Shaggy Dog, American Dreams, CSI and Nip Tuck). Sheri is delighted to have the opportunity to continue to work with area students by returning to the classroom at MJPAA.X
Dwayne Yancey is a playwright and novelist from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His scripts have been produced in 47 states, 6 Canadian provinces and 17 countries. A critic in Australia once called his work “blood-curdlingly amazing.” Find more at dwayneyancey.com. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX