Guest Artists

2022 Guest Artists

John Adams

John Adams (New Play Lab Playwright)

John Adams (he/him) is thrilled to have his play Some Specter selected for the William Inge Theater Festival Play Lab. John writes about teenage detectives, robo-butlers, and cursed cowboys in a genre he’s coined “absurdist... Read more
Gregory Almanza

Gregory Almanza (Actor)

Gregory Almanza (he/him) is a Junior at Webster’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. He is proud to be performing in his Black Rep debut in the role of Oscar in SWEAT by Lynn Nottage. Through the... Read more
Hannah Brooks

Hannah Armstrong (Stage Manager)

Hannah Armstrong (she/her) received her degree in Stage Management from the University of Northern Colorado in 2009. She has been avidly working in the Northern Colorado area for many years. Most recently she has worked... Read more
Velma Austin

Velma Austin (Actor)

Velma Austin (she/her) is honored and excited to be returning to The St. Louis Black Repertory as Cynthia in the production of SWEAT by Lynn Nottage. Velma last appeared on stage at Congo Square in... Read more
Brittany Bellizeare

Brittany Bellizeare (Actor)

Brittany Bellizeare (she/her) is a native of Philadelphia who currently resides in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Some of her New York City credits include the Off-Broadway production of Charly Evon Simpson’s new play sandblasted (Angela)... Read more
Joe Binzer

Joe Binzer (Actor)

Joe Binzer (he/him) is an actor and teaching artist based in Fayetteville, AR. He has appeared onstage in educational touring productions The Poe Show, The Shakespeare Show, The Math Show and traveling production of A... Read more
Barbara Blatner

Barbara Blatner (New Play Lab Playwright)

Barbara Blatner’s (she/her) Light was developed at the 2020 ATHE Conference and produced by EmerGENce Theatre. Years of Sky was produced at New York’s 59E59 Theatres, read at the Great Plains Theatre Conference and has... Read more
J.M. Bock

J.M. Bock (Stage Manager)

J.M. Bock (she/her) is a midwest-based actor, director, stage manager and now Covid Safety Manager, who is thrilled to return to the William Inge Theatre Festival and to stage manage the new reading by Otis... Read more
Heaven Booker

Heaven Booker (Actor)

Heaven Booker (she/her) is a senior from Des Moines, Iowa, studying Performing Arts with an emphasis in Musical Theatre, Acting, and Directing at Iowa State University. She is an ISU Theatre office Assistant as well. She... Read more
Cherise Boothe

Cherise Boothe (Actor)

Cherise Booth (she/her) is an award winning actress with work in various mediums including Live Theatre, Film, TV, Commercials, Voice Over for Audiobooks, Animation, Video Games and Commercials.  She was seen as Undine in Signature... Read more
Jackson R. Bryer 

Dr. Jackson R. Bryer (Scholars’ Conference Co-Director)

Dr. Jackson R. Bryer (he/him) is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses for 41 years, He has attended the Inge Festival since its inception and... Read more
Darren Canady

Darren Canady (New Play Lab Respondent)

Darren Canady (he/him) hails from Topeka, KS. His work has been produced at the Alliance Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Aurora Theater, Congo Square Theater, Horizon Theatre, London’s the Old Vic Theatre, M Ensemble, Milwaukee Repertory... Read more
Kailan Clay

Kailan Clay (Actor)

Kailan Clay (he/him) is a junior theatre major at the University of Arkansas with an interest in Acting and Scriptwriting. Kailan is very excited to be a part of the Theatre Festival this year. He... Read more
Caroline Clay

Caroline Clay (Actor)

Caroline Clay (she/her) – SAG-AFTRA, AEA is an actress, director, educator, playwright, and vocal coach. On Broadway, she has appeared in Tony Award-winning productions, including: The Little Foxes, Doubt; (Broadway. & National Tour) The Royal... Read more
Vivian Cook

Vivian M. Cook (Actor)

Vivian M. Cook (she/her), originally from the mountains of Arizona, is a community-engaged performing artist based in Ames, Iowa. Currently a graduate student studying community development, sustainable agriculture, and youth program management at Iowa State... Read more
Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper (Actor)

Tori Cooper (she/her) is currently a junior at the University of Arkansas. She is a Theatre and African and African American Studies Major with a concentration in theatrical performance. After college, Tori plans to go... Read more
Khalia Davis

Khalia Davis (TYA workshop panelist)

Khalia Davis(she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and Artistic Director of Bay Area Children’s Theatre where she recently led the world premiere of The Imaginaries: An Immersive Musical. Directed and devised other new works with prominent... Read more
Blaire Deziel

Blaire Deziel (New Play Lab Playwright)

Blaire Deziel (she/her): Blaire’s one act plays include Hometown Glory and Waiting for Evangeline. Blaire’s work has been produced previously by The College of New Jersey and Fearless Productions. She eagerly loves exploring and is... Read more
Mary Doveton

Mary Doveton (New Play Lab Respondent)

Mary Doveton (she/her) is the founder and longtime Executive Director of Theatre Lawrence in Lawrence, Kansas, growing it into a purpose built 35,000 sq ft theatre/education facility with a $1 budget. Mary holds a B.A. in... Read more
Jeff Dunne

Jeff Dunne (New Play Lab Playwright)

Jeff Dunne (he/him) is thrilled to be having his play, One’s Cup of Tea, included as part of the William Inge Theater Festival’s New Play Lab. Jeff began writing plays actively in 2017, and since... Read more
Kaylen Dwyer

Kaylen Dwyer (Scholars’ Conference Keynote Speaker)

Kaylen Dwyer (she/her) is the Digital Media Specialist at the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas where she collaborates with faculty, students, KU Libraries, and the local community at... Read more
Blake Edwards

Blake Anthony Edwards (Actor)

Blake Anthony Edwards (he/him) is thrilled to be making his debut with The Black Rep as Stan in SWEAT by Lynn Nottage. Locally, he has appeared at the St. Louis Repertory Theatre (Mister Roberts) and... Read more
Teresa Eyring

Teresa Eyring (Panelist)

Teresa Eyring (she/her) is Executive Director and CEO of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre in the U.S., with a mission to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Throughout her... Read more
Estefania Fadul

Estefanía Fadul (Director, Mercutio Loves Romeo Loves Juliet Loves)

Estefanía Fadul (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based Colombian-American director and producer. Current and recent projects include the world premiere of The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle (Philadelphia Theater Company), Carla’s Quince created with The Voting Project (Drama League Award nomination), Kamloopa by Kim Senklip... Read more
Buddy Farmer

Buddy Farmer (New Play Lab Playwright)

Buddy Farmer (he/him) is originally from Alabama. His first play, Coaches, received critical acclaim in Los Angeles and toured to Notre Dame, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Phoenix. He wrote the book for the musical, Knute... Read more
Ron Fassler

Ron Fassler (New Play Lab Playwright)

Ron Fassler (he/him) is an author, playwright, director, actor, theatre critic and historian and blogger. His acclaimed first book “Up in the Cheap Seats: A Historical Memoir of Broadway” tells the stories of how from... Read more
Gina Femia

Gina Femia (Otis Guernsey New Voice in the American Theater winner)

Gina Femia (she/her): Gina’s work has been seen and developed at MCC Theater, Playwrights Horizons, EST, Page 73, New Georges, CTG, Theater of NOTE, Panndora Productions, among others. Selected honors include The Kilroys List, Leah... Read more
Julia Flood

Julia Flood (TYA workshop panelist)

Julia Flood (she/her) has been Artistic Director of Metro Theater Company, a 49-year-old TYA company in St. Louis, MO, since 2014. Prior to MTC, she led a professional TYA touring company based in Clearwater, FL... Read more
Gabriel Franco Kull

Gabriel Franco-Kull (Actor)

Gabriel Franco-Kull (he/him) is an MFA actor from the University of Arkansas. He received his BFA from The University of Texas at El Paso. Some of his recent work includes Ride the Cyclone, Tortuga and... Read more
Chuma Gault

Chuma Gault (Panelist)

Chuma Gault (he/him) is a Los Angeles based theater artist. In 2011 he came to Independence for the first time as part of the original cast to develop EM Lewis’ new play Magellanica, a five-hour epic.... Read more
Franky D Gonzalez

Franky D. Gonzalez (New Play Lab Playwright)

Franky D. Gonzalez (he/him) is a Latino playwright based in Dallas. Work appearances include The Lark, the Sundance Institute, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, the Latinx Playwrights Circle, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Goodman Theatre, The New... Read more
Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin (Theater for Young Audiences workshop facilitator)

Idris Goodwin (he/him): Across two decades Idris Goodwin has forged an impactful career as a multiple award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, educator, and culturist. Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts,  Idris is The... Read more
Raynesha Green

Raynesha Green (Actor)

Raynesha Green (she/her) is a recent alumna of the University of Missouri. During her time there she served as President of Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society-Alpha Zeta Delta chapter. She is the recipient of... Read more
H. Adam Harris

H. Adam Harris

H. Adam Harris (he/him) is a director, actor, educator, and cultural equity consultant. He often works at the intersection of theater, education, social justice, and community engagement. Recent theatrical credits include directing Redwood by Brittney... Read more
Daniel Heddendorf

Daniel Heddendorf (Actor)

Daniel Heddendorf (he/him) is an alumnus of Iowa State University. He will be participating in New Play Lab readings, directed by Dr. Charissa Menefee, who he has had the pleasure of working with in other productions. Read more
Morgan Hicks

Morgan Hicks (Director, New Play Lab plays)

Morgan Hicks (she/her) is a co-founder of TheatreSquared, where she serves as the Arts Engagement Director. Directing credits include Murder for Two, The Dingdong, Noises Off, Boeing Boeing and The Mystery of Irma Vep. She... Read more
Diane Hightower

Diane Hightower (New Play Lab Playwright)

Diane Hightower (she/her) is a lesbian feminist playwright living in the suburbs of Kansas City. She began playwriting to give a voice to lesbian experiences and bring opportunities for female and LGBTQ performers to the... Read more
Ron Himes

Ron Himes (Director, SWEAT)

Ron Himes (he/him) Producing Artistic Director of The Black Rep, has produced and directed more than 200 plays at The Black Rep, including all ten plays written by August Wilson. His Black Rep directing credits... Read more
Mary Hodges

Mary E. Hodges (Actor)

Mary E. Hodges (she/her): (Actor, Director, Teacher, Mom) Mary was last seen in the hit broadway show The Lehman Trilogy at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City. Off Broadway: Hope Hypothesis (Sheen Center); Macbeth3... Read more
Kelly Howe

Kelly Howe (Actor)

Kelly Howe (she/her) is beyond thrilled to be playing Jessie in this gorgeous play, SWEAT by Lynn Nottage, for this the 45th season of The Black Rep! Kelly earned her BFA in theatre from Stephens... Read more
Samuel Huhn

Samuel Huhn (Actor)

Samuel Huhn (he/him) is an Iowa State University student majoring in Performing Arts. Some formal productions include Anon(ymous) as Mr. Mackus, Corners Grove as George Gibbs. More contemporary shows include Perform the Protest as a... Read more
Tim J. Jones

Tim J. Jones (Scenic Designer, SWEAT and Tribute)

Tim J. Jones (he/him) is happy to be working as the Scenic Designer on The Black Rep’s production of SWEAT by Lynn Nottage and the William Inge Theater Festival Tribute to Lynn Nottage. Tim is... Read more
Franklin Killian

Franklin Killian (Actor)

Franklin Killian (he/him) is incredibly grateful to be on The Black Rep stage for the first time as Jason in Lynn Nottage’s play SWEAT; it is truly a pleasure to be sharing planks with these... Read more
Jacole Kitchen

Jacole Kitchen (TYA workshop presenter)

Jacole Kitchen (she/her) is Director of Arts Engagement and In-House Casting at La Jolla Playhouse. Directing credits: Pick Me Last and Light Years Away (La Jolla Playhouse POP Tour), Cardboard Piano (Diversionary Theatre), An Iliad... Read more
Marcel LaFlamme

Dr. Marcel LaFlamme (Scholars’ Conference Co-Director)

Dr. Marcel LaFlamme (he/him) is Co-Director, with Jackson Bryer, of the Scholars’ Conference at the 2022 William Inge Theater Festival. From 2008 to 2010, he served as director of the Independence Community College Library and... Read more
Mónica Toro Lebrón

Mónica Toro Lebrón (Actor)

Mónica Toro Lebrón (she/her) from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico is a student at Iowa State University majoring in performing arts. She has worked in 5 productions as an actor, those being Perform the Protest, On... Read more
Julie Linden

Julie Linden (New Play Lab Playwright)

Julie Linden (she/her) lives in central Connecticut. As a child, she was a public library rat; as an adult, she’s made a career in academic libraries. She knows how to work a microfilm machine. Inspired... Read more
Amy Loui

Amy Loui (Actor)

Amy Loui (she/her) is so happy to be joining the remarkable talent creating this notable season at The Black Rep as Tracey in SWEAT by Lynn Nottage. Amy was last seen by Black Rep audiences... Read more
C.Andrew Mayer

C Andrew Mayer (Lighting Designer)

C. Andrew Mayer (he/him) is a Minneapolis-based sound and projections designer who has worked extensively at theatres across the Twin Cities and elsewhere, including Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, ACT in San Francisco, Arkansas Rep in Little... Read more
Don McClendon

Don McClendon (Actor)

Don McClendon (he/him) is a veteran St. Louis actor and plays the role of Evan in the Black Rep’s production of SWEAT by Lynn Nottage. Don has worked in several areas of theater, film, television... Read more
Chris McCoy

Dr. Chris McCoy (Conference Scholar)

Dr. Chris McCoy (he/him) is Assoc. Professor of Theatre at William Jewell College. For nearly a decade, he worked in artistic administration and education with professional theatre companies across the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre,... Read more
Brian McKinley

Brian McKinley (Actor)

Brian McKinley (he/him) is a native of Peoria, IL. Peoria’s rich community theatre scene drew Brian onto the stage during his teenage years. Brian attended Western Illinois University (WIU) to earn a BFA in Musical... Read more
Huascar Medina

Huascar Medina (Poet Laureate of Kansas)

Huascar Medina (he/him) has lived artfully in Kansas for over 20 years. He is a father, son and brother. As the 7th Poet Laureate of Kansas, Medina works with the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission... Read more
Charissa Menefee

Charissa Menefee (Director, New Play Lab plays)

Charissa Menefee, she/her is the founder and artistic director of The EcoTheatre Lab. She has been an EST/Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project Commission recipient, a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a... Read more
Lena Menefee-Cook

Lena Menefee-Cook (Actor)

Lena Menefee-Cook (she/her) is a theatre and visual artist based in Ames, Iowa. She recently graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts, Art & Design, and International Studies. Her... Read more
Ana Miramontes

Ana Miramontes (Actor)

Ana Miramontes (she/her/ella): Regional credits include Lucha in American Mariachi and Eva in At the Wedding (TheatreSquared), Titus Andronicus (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Jaime in Slow Jam (The Kennedy Center American College Theatre... Read more
Isabel Nelson

Isabel Nelson (Telling our Own Stories workshop presenter)

Isabel Nelson (she/they) is a performer, director, and theatre creator based in Saint Paul, MN. She trained at the Lecoq-based London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), and subsequently founded award-winning physical theater ensemble Transatlantic... Read more
Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage (Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award Recipient)

Lynn Nottage (she/her) is the only person to date to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama two times. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning plays are Ruined and Sweat, and they are two among scores of  award-winning stories written for... Read more
David Palmer

David Palmer (Conference Scholar)

David Palmer (he/him): Until his retirement a few years ago, David Palmer taught philosophy and literature at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a college that prepares students for careers in the merchant marine and environmental protection.... Read more
Charles Ranum

Charles Kalakaumaka Kekoa Ranum (New Play Lab Playwright)

Charles Kalakaumaka Kekoa Ranum (he/him) lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Upon graduating High School, Charles enlisted in the Army but was injured and discharged.... Read more
Jack Reuler

Jack Reuler (New Play Lab respondent)

Jack Reuler (he/him) founded Mixed Blood Theater at 22 and has served as its Artistic Director since then. Mixed Blood disrupts injustice, models equity, and creates community, using theatre as a vehicle for artistry, entertainment,... Read more
Guillermo Reyes

Guillermo Reyes (New Play Lab Playwright)

Guillermo Reyes (he/him) was born in Chile and immigrated to the United States as a child. He has produced and published a variety of plays including Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown and... Read more
Mabelle Reynoso

Mabelle Reynoso (TYA workshop panelist)

Mabelle Reynoso (she/her/ella) is a multidisciplinary storyteller, teaching artist, and applied theatre practitioner. Her plays have been performed in traditional and non-traditional theatre spaces including classrooms, community centers, and correctional facilities. She is co-host of... Read more
Tori Rice

Tori Rice (TYA workshop panelist)

Tori Rice (she/her) is a playwright, teaching artist, actress, and co-host of the Hey Playwright podcast. She has enjoyed productions with Scripps Ranch Theatre, New Play Café, The Magnetic Theatre, SMoCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary... Read more
Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas (Actor)

Rebecca Rivas (she/her) is an Artistic Associate for TheatreSquared, the Program Director for the LatinX Theatre Project, as well as a director and actor. Most recently, she directed productions of American Mariachi and Native Gardens... Read more
Arianna Rose

Arianna Rose (New Play Lab Playwright)

Arianna Rose (she/her) is the recipient of the MAC Song of the Year Award, the York Theatre NEO Award, and playwright awards from Theatre Odyssey, Tree City Playhouse, Mixing It Up Productions, the Know Theatre,... Read more
Stacey Rose

Stacey Rose (Writer, Tribute to Lynn Nottage)

Stacey Rose (she/her) is a Charlotte based, award winning, nationally produced playwright. Her work celebrates and explores Blackness, Black identity, body politics, and the dilemma of life as the “other.” Stacey has held fellowships/residencies with... Read more
Karen Saari

Karen Saari (New Play Lab Playwright)

Karen Saari’s (she/her) In a Clearing premiered in 2018 via Asheville’s Magnetic Theatre Company, was a semi-finalist for the O’Neill NPC, a Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival winner, Last Frontier Theatre Conference PlayLab awardee and... Read more
Janet Scanlon

Janet Scanlon (Actor)

Janet Scanlon (she/they) is delighted to be making her William Inge Theater Festival debut! She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota in human physiology and is grateful to participate (safely) in theatre during COVID.... Read more
Taylor Sklenar

Taylor Sklenar (New Play Lab Playwright)

Taylor Sklenar (he/him) is a playwright, poet, and theatre artist pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment and MS in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. He received his Bachelors’ degrees in chemistry, English,... Read more
Michael Spicer

Michael Spicer (New Play Lab Respondent)

Michael Spicer (he/him) During the 24 years that Michael Spicer has been Executive Director, SCT has been the National Winner of AACT-Fest 2001 with its production of Wit, and in 2019 SCT’s production of Silent Sky... Read more
Jacqueline Thompson 1

Jacqueline Thompson (TYA workshop panelist)

Jacqueline Thompson (she/her) is a St. Louis based Actor, Director, and Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Some of her credits include The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Black Rep, Shakespeare Festival... Read more
Emily Tomlinson

Emily Tomlinson (Actor)

Emily Tomlinson (she/her) is an actor and teaching artist based in Fayetteville, AR. She has appeared onstage in At the Wedding, The Wolves, educational touring productions The Poe Show, The Shakespeare Show, The Math Show... Read more
Catherine Trieschmann

Catherine Trieschmann (New Play Lab Respondent)

Catherine Trieschmann’s (she/her) plays include CROOKED (NY Times critic’s pick), HOW THE WORLD BEGAN, HOT GEORGIA SUNDAY (Chicago Tribune critic’s pick), THE MOST DESERVING, HOLY LAUGHTER, and ONE HOUSE OVER. They have been produced Off-Broadway at... Read more
Mark Valdez

Mark Valdez

Mark Valdez Mark Valdez is an artist, cultural organizer, and consultant who partners with communities, organizations, civic institutions, and others, using theater and creative tools to address community needs and to lift up community voices... Read more
Jonathon Ward

Jonathon Ward (New Play Lab Playwright)

Jonathon Ward (he/him) has had his plays produced, presented. published or read at FringeNYC, Birdhouse Theatre, Theatre Conspiracy, Secret Theatre, Manhattan Repertory, Itinerant Theatre, Plays and Pizza, Little Funky Theatre, William Inge Theater Festival, Metropolitan... Read more
Nicole A Watson

Nicole A. Watson (Director, Tribute to Lynn Nottage)

Nicole A. Watson (she/her) is the Associate Artistic Director at the McCarter Theatre Center. Prior to this appointment, she was the Associate Artistic Director at Round House Theatre. On behalf of both theaters, she created... Read more
Lizi Watt

Lizi Watt (Telling Our Own Stories workshop presenter)

Lizi Watt (she/her) is the Managing Director of Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis and a freelance director, theatre educator, and performer. She has taught at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing, Naropa University, Rhodes College,... Read more
Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl (New Play Lab Playwright)

Robert Weibezahl (he/him) is a playwright and fiction writer. His play, And Lightning Struck: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Creation, was first commissioned and presented by Lit Live in Simi Valley, California and later... Read more
Phillip Williams

Dr. Philip Middleton Williams (Conference Scholar)

Dr. Philip Middleton Williams (he/him) has written over sixty plays ranging from full-length to one-minute, including Can’t Live Without You, All Together Now, All Together Again, All Together At Last, Welcome to the Family, Dark... Read more
Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams (Actor)

Jordan Williams (he/him) is a third year MFA Acting Student at the University of Arkansas, originally from Los Angeles CA. Jordan is an actor and professional stand up comedian! Jordan recently played Berowne in Love’s... Read more
Dae Yang

Dexieng “Dae” Yang (Actor)

Dexieng (Day-Sing) “Dae” Yang (she/her) is a Hmong American actress and teaching artist located in the Twin Cities, MN area. She graduated from Augsburg University ‘21, majoring in Theater with concentrations in Playwriting, Dramaturgy and... Read more