MEET OUR 2021 PLAYWRIGHTS 

In alphabetical order by playwright's name

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Synopsis: Political strategist Yasmin Ali, chief advisor for her fiancé, Congressman Adam Abraham, secures a future endorsement that practically guarantees Adam’s re-election. But when an old flame of Yasmin’s reenters her life and begs Adam to obtain a travel waiver for his Yemeni wife, who’s now banned from entering the U.S., her carefully planned ascent to power starts to unravel as she must decide to reconcile her past or banish it forever. 

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Iman Ahmed is an Egyptian-American screenwriter and playwright. Her work focuses on themes of identity and family dysfunction, often exploring the dualism of being part of both a privileged socioeconomic class and a marginalized ethnic group.  Iman has participated in multiple writing fellowships, including The Orchard Episodic Lab, the UCB Diversity Fellowship, and the Writers Guild Initiative Workshop, where she was mentored by Scott Frank (THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT) and selected to have her one-act plays THE MUPPET MAN, and STILL? read at the annual star-studded Writers Guild Initiative Gala. Her original pilots were second round finalists at the Austin Film Festival and Sundance Episodic Lab. In addition to her writing, Iman is passionate about amplifying diverse voices. She created the first-ever database of Arab-American screenwriters in 2021, and actively seeks to cultivate opportunities for underrepresented talent within TV and film. 

Banned

IMAN AHMED

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Synopsis: Eddie Doran’s alcoholism, infidelity and explosive temper have already cost him his relationship with his father & brothers, his marriage, and -- possibly the only thing he still cares about -- his young daughter. Knowing he’s created his own misery and ready to end his life, Eddie decides to play a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with himself, one that will either leave him dead or with a reason to keep living.

 

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Within a five year stretch, Stephen Boulhosa had a collection of original poetry (You Only Get What You Settle For) published, his first full length play, Wigger, accepted to be performed on Off-Broadway and his screenplay, The Family Tree, named a finalist for HBO’s Project Greenlight. Stephen thought it would always be so easy. Stephen was wrong. He began writing Eddie Doran’s Deal as a one man show some 20 years ago. The play (and Stephen) have evolved and he is now pleased to present his finest work at the 2021 Broadway Bound Theatre Festival. Stephen is a graduate of Fordham University and a member of the Playwrights Center.

Eddie Doran's Deal

STEPHEN BOULHOSA

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Synopsis: Live from Ferguson! is a choreopoem/poetical that chronicles the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 and the community members turned grassroots activists who daily faced armed militarized police in their quest for justice. Their stories are told through a series of songs, spoken word, raps, monologues, poetry, dance, and chants.

 

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Gregory S. Carr, a native of St. Louis, MO., is an instructor of Speech and Theatre at Harris-Stowe State University. Gregory is an accomplished director, playwright, actor and published writer. His award-winning plays Johnnie Taylor Is Gone and A Colored Funeral were produced at the historic Karamu House in Cleveland and the Cleveland Playhouse. Gregory’s play Tinderbox, which focuses on the events leading up to the devastating East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917. One of his most recent plays, Live from Ferguson! dramatizes the events leading up to the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent Ferguson Unrest. Mr. Carr’s essays and plays have appeared in several publications such as Sacred Conflicts: Plays from the Religious Arts Festival, Theatre Symposium, The Routledge Companion to African Theatre and Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent.

Live From Ferguson!

GREGORY CARR

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Synopsis: In 1859 in the heart of Old New York lies a brothel called Cherry House. The proprietor is Miss Cherry. Miss Barnes oversees the girls and Mr Hayes is the muscle. They’re all African American. One evening one of the newer girls, Macy, is threatened by a patron after a disruptive exchange. His name is Chester, sent to New York City by his family to keep him out of trouble. He threatens justice and finds a lawyer, Mr Tolbert, who is obliged to support knowing his dislike for Cherry House. Unfortunately Mr Tolbert is made a fool after Chester neglected to inform him with all the details. Macy has nightmares and is assured by Miss Barnes that nothing will harm her. Macy’s nightmares are more than just the incident, it’s her past that haunts her. Cherry is consoled by her more recent love interest, a wealthy bachelor from Canada named Garland. Chester won’t let the incident rest and after stumbling across a bounty hunter, Draper, he convinces him he can deliver his bounty once they get to Cherry House.

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Frank Dunham Jr, creative director....aka FRANCO is a native New Yorker and an enthusiastic fan and provider for the arts. He is writer, director, composer and founding member of CREATIVE STAGES ENTERTAINMENT. Regarding decor, Franco’s seasonal interior designs have highlighted several Night Club venues in New York City for various exclusive events. Franco is proud to be further pursuing his creative endeavors. During 2002 - 2018 Frank has contributed to various institutions and festivals throughout NYC; The Absolute Theatre Company, The Abingdon Theatre, The Theatre for the New City, The Roy Arias and The National Black Theatre of Harlem. His first love is theater! Franco anticipates an exciting career in independent stage productions.

Cherry House

FRANK DUNHAM JR.

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Synopsis: S.U.N. in the U.S.A. is a story that looks at history through the eyes of one Black male, who is kindly reminded just how he has it in his time in the United States of America—from the beginning of African slavery to today's culture.

 

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Michael Hagins is an African-American Playwright, Director, Fight Director, Actor, and Producer. Michael is a Member of Dramatists Guild and an Advanced Actor-Combatant for the Society of American Fight Directors. Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in a small town in Florida during his childhood. He has used the racism and prejudice he dealt with at an early age to fuel his writing, which he has done so since the age of 9. Michael is an avid lover of Shakespeare (he has done every play in the Shakespeare Canon) and has performed, directed and taken part in over 1,000 plays and films over his artistic career. Off-Broadway: The Long Rail North (Soho Rep, FringeNYC). New York Productions: Basement (Roly Poly Productions), The Quest of the Hero (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity); Michael is Black (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity); The Renaissance Dueling Plays (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity); The Vengeance Room (FRIGID Festival). Regional/Other: Hit and Match (Chicago Fringe, Johannesburg Fringe); AWARDS - Outstanding Playwriting - Hit and Match, 2013; Outstanding Overall Production of a Solo Show - Michaelis Black. Artistic Director, C.A.G.E. Theatre Company

S.U.N. in this USA

MICHAEL HAGINS

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Synopsis: Edmond Dantes, a young black sailor in 19th century France, is falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit. After fourteen years in prison, he makes a daring escape, and with newfound wealth at his disposal, sets out to even the score. Cleverly disguised, Dantes slips back into the lives of his enemies and, one by one, sets them up for a fall that will cost them their lives. Both avenging angel and defender of the innocent, Dantes fights to free himself from a past that nearly destroyed him in this musical adaptation of the Dumas classic.

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A native of Richmond, Virginia, Michele studied theatre at Hofstra University, journalism at NYU, and music at Florida International University. In 2018, she completed the book, music, and lyrics for the The Black Count of Monte Cristo, a faithful adaptation of Dumas’ novel. Later that year, she co-created the internet musical, Happy Landings, which was produced and released by New Musicals, Inc. Michele is currently working on a new musical with author-playwright Lynn Clay Byrne. She is a member of ASCAP and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild.

The Black Count of Monte Cristo

MICHELE R. HAMPTON

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Synopsis: In 2005, Carolyn Bryant, widow of Roy Bryant, one of Emmett Till’s killers, is confronted by four women from her past on the eve of a grand jury decision on whether to indict her in Till’s murder fifty years before. As a district attorney and an FBI agent await the grand jury’s action, Carolyn recalls the night that changed her life forever, realizing she’ll never be truly free, always bearing the burden of Till’s death.

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David Holmberg is an “old school” journalist who worked for newspapers in New York and Washington and other cities for 40 years. He covered the civil rights movement, the war in El Salvador, and the AIDS crisis in New York. He’s written for the Times Magazine, The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Village Voice, and Forbes. His play, “I’m Dying Now And I Did Not Kill Emmett Till,” was produced off-off Broadway in 2015 and 2017, and “A Cop Shot My Son!” ran off-off Broadway in 2017 and a short version of “White Woman, Black Boy” in 2018.

White Woman, Black Boy

DAVID HOLMBERG

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Synopsis: Ten years after Jack the Ripper shook British society to its core, another brutal crime hits the headlines: Amelia Dyer is arrested on suspicion of murdering over 300 infants, including her own daughter and son. However, her one surviving child, Polly Dyer may be the key to her mother’s conviction -- if she can bring herself to remember the past. With the help of her friend Charlotte Cullum and renowned prosecutor Horace Avery, Polly discovers that our traditional ideas of motherhood can often hide an untamable darkness.

 

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Rachel Leighson is an actor/singer/writer based in New York City. Previous writing credits include The Forest Musical (Broadviews on Broadway, 2018) and Why TYA? (Musical Theatre Today: Volume 2). She has been seen in numerous Off Broadway shows at Playwrights Horizons, St. Luke's Theatre, and The Actors Temple Theatre and has toured nationally with ArtsPower and Two Beans Productions. Most recently, she played serial killer, Judy Buenano, on Diabolical Season 3. She would love to thank her team, her friends, and her family for all their support in bringing this piece to life! www.RachelLeighson.com

Blood On My Mother's Apron

RACHEL LEIGHSON

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A crime has been committed, and Sherlock Holmes should be on the case! But…Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is suffering an emotional breakdown, his characters are disillusioned and exhausted, and Sherlock’s inner song-and-dance man is bursting to emerge! Sherlock sheds his detective persona and persuades his associates to leap off the page and finish the story themselves, with colorful twists, unexpected romance and, of course, fabulous production numbers. Seeing unrecognizable pages before him, Doyle believes he is going mad, until Sherlock himself meets Doyle face to face, to force a battle of wits and finally determine who’s really in control.

 

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As a husband-wife team, Marney and Anthony Makridakis live in the constant energy of collaboration, launching a variety of successful enterprises centered around the arts. Anthony graduated Yale University in 1993 and worked as a highly regarded test prep tutor in New York City.  Marney graduated Duke University in 1992 with a BA in Drama, and went on to direct innovative arts-in-education programs in New York, including for The American Place Theatre and Westchester Philharmonic. In 2000, they launched Artella Land, a ground-breaking online creativity network that was one of the very first virtual social communities. In 2015, they founded their non-profit organization, Read Play Love, which now operates as an Arts and Nature Exploratory Center and a children’s theatre.  Through their series of “new musicals for a new generation,” they have returned to their first loves of music and theatre, writing and producing seven original musicals. Marney is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books about creativity, published by New World Library: Creating Time: Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life, and Hop Skip Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life. They live in Denton, TX, where they homeschool their 12-year old son, whom Anthony names as his brilliant assistant in the songwriting process.

 

The Whimsical World of Sherlock Holmes

MARNEY & ANTHONY MAKRIDAKIS

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RENAMING SHAIM is a non-linear, episodic, memory play about three women’s victory over adversity. Shay/Shaim has a secret! She was sexually abused as a child! Yet, her journey to emotional freedom is complicated by the self-destructive habits she adopts as coping mechanisms. She, Danni, and Jan meet later in life when they seek therapy for their childhood trauma. It is in revealing and confronting their trauma and the stigmas they have carried all their lives that they are finally able to heal their wounds and use their experiences to help other people heal too.

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Alethea McCollin is a playwright, director, producer, and former instructor at Virginia State University. Her plays include Re-Naming Shaim, The Stilettos Monologues, Pastor Willie’s New Church, and the musicals Christmas: Behind the Headlines, and Symbols. Her works have been workshopped Virginia State University, was selected for a readers’ theatres at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, the National Black Theatre Festival, and the DC Black Theatre Festival. Alethea is a member of the Richmond Playwrights Forum and the Virginia Screenwriters Forum. She also serves on the Board of Directors - James River Writers, and the development committee of the Perkinson Center for the Arts in Education. Alethea holds a Master of Arts in English, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics and Law.

Renaming Shaim

ALETHEA MCCOLLIN

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Synopsis: In 1986, Archbishop Frederick is about to be named Cardinal when his protégés, Padre René and Monsignor Larry, discover another priest’s abuse of an altar boy. While Larry advises caution, the Padre’s desire to bring the predator to justice jeopardizes the Archbishop’s elevation and all of their careers when the pedophile priest threatens to expose the secret relationship between the Archbishop and his confidants to Rome and the world. With the very soul of the Catholic Church on the line, Padre René is forced to decide: stand up for the victim, or stay silent and allow the abuse to continue.

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Robert Monaco is a playwright, director, and scenic designer. He adapted, directed, and designed MACBETH FOR THREE WITCHES in the NYFringe Festival. This year his play ORDAINED was selected as IATI Theater’s Top Ten plays of 2020. In October of 2019, Robert directed a reading of his play SPOOKY BEACH for the Village Playwright’s Queer-scare Halloween festival and again for Between Us Productions’ ten-minute play festival in Long Island City. Robert is the resident Set Designer and Technical Director for the CUNY Kingsborough Theater Arts Program in Manhattan Beach Brooklyn.

Ordained

ROBERT MONACO

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Synopsis: Expecting their first child, newlyweds Muriel and Jake are happily settling into Jake’s hometown in the rural mountains of East Tennessee. But as Jake draws closer to his roots, Muriel becomes increasingly disenchanted with motherhood and the peculiar inhabitants—the snake handler, the rumored murderer and drug-addicted kin—of Jake's childhood home, forcing an ever-expanding gulf between them.

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Molly Nevin writes plays, stories, screenplays and essays. She lives, works, and raises her two sons with her husband in Georgia.

In This Place

MOLLY NEVINS

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Synopsis: After the death of his father and the end of a clandestine relationship, working-class Paul Scrope focuses on managing his family’s small Wisconsin farm with his troubled mother, Laura. But when Ellis McHenry, one of Paul's teammates on the high school cross country team, applies for the scholarship on which Paul pinned his future, fears creep in that Ellis is trying to destroy his already unstable life. As Paul's suspicions grow, an unusual spiritual movement suddenly decides to make him a figurehead for their cause, forcing every corner of Paul's carefully compartmentalized world to collide.

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Ben Parkhill is currently a Junior at the University of Southern California, where he studies in the English department with a double minor in Screenwriting and LGBTQ studies. The Catamite is his first play, and was originally written for a playwriting class at school. Ben was 19 when BBTF first selected his play, working at the time as an assistant accountant in Los Angeles, but will turn 21 a few weeks before it premieres, which is exciting for self-explanatory reasons. He looks forward to legally buying an alcoholic beverage (his first, of course) in New York after the show premieres.

Playwright of The Catamite

BEN PARKHILL

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Synopsis: Are you still friends with your ex? In this dramedy, after a bar fight, Lily finds herself in a situation where she has taken in her ex, Mia. As old feelings begin to emerge, Lily must decide if she's going to take Mia back or not. The play asks, what exactly is a love/hate relationship and should we love or hate our exes? Is it possible to do both? Who knows? Join the club! 

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Juan Ramirez, Jr. is a Borinquén-Chapín-Bronx internationally produced award-winning playwright, monologist, director, screenwriter, filmmaker, poet and producer. Notable works include Calling Puerto Rico (Second Round Austin Film Festival, Miranda Family Voces Latinx Finalist with Repertorio Espańol, Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist, 2019 Bronx Recognize Its Own Award), Ridin' Shotgun (2019 Best Play Downtown Urban Festival) and The American Dream (NAV The Landing Theater, Broadway Bound Theater Festival). He’s a founder of The PlayPen Collective and R&R Productions with his wife Cristy Reynoso. He’s a Dramatist Guild member, 2020-2021 Dramatist Guild Fellow, NYC LatinX Playwright Circle member, an ATG PlayLab member and a teaching artist with Art Defined. He received his B.A. from Lehman College and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch. www.JuanRamirezJr.com

The Love Hate Club

Juan Ramirez, Jr. 

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Synopsis: On a warm December night in 1985 West Hollywood, the Oki Dog, infamous hangout for runaways and misfits, is forced to close. For Twilight and her friends, this means the uprooting of all that they know: their friendships, their makeshift home, even their hopeful Hollywood dreams. As Twilight clings to the only real family she’s ever known, their last night together forces a reckoning with the past and hesitant steps towards an uncertain future – one in which their security, relationships and very lives remain in doubt.

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After graduating from UCLA, Jeff never really focused on establishing a career.  Eventually, while writing the novelization of Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part 2, Jeff met Len Wechsler. They began a three-year screenwriting collaboration, which yielded some modest success. Jeff was offered a temp job at a motion picture advertising agency. He took the job to get out of debt but that temp job lead to a 33 year career in the Motion Picture Advertising world, 17 years helping to make Aspect Ratio the number one agency in Hollywood, followed by 16 years at a company Jeff started called Open Road Entertainment. It was one of the first boutique agencies in the business. Jeff loved making trailers and various types of movie advertising, but two and a half years ago he sold his company and is now ecstatic to be writing again. He reconnected with Len, and The Last Night at the Oki Dog is our first ‘re-collaboration’. 

 

After college, Len played professional basketball in France and Italy, then traveled and worked in Europe and North Africa. He taught High School English in New York City, and in Santa Monica, California. He was one of the first to capture the world of surfing and skateboarding in several short films. He returned to Europe to make a film on the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. He then began a career in screenwriting. He is a member of the WGAw. “The Last Night of the Oki Dog” is his first foray into the theater.

The Last Night of the Oki Dog

JEFF SMITH & LEN WECHSLER

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Synopsis: Sarah always dreamed of having the perfect family, however life handed her Adam, instead; a child with an undiagnosable set of disruptive behaviors and challenging disabilities. While she and her husband Jake fight to navigate these unchartered waters, Sarah hides Adam’s challenges from those close to her, trying to protect her family but effectively isolating herself in her struggles. Seeing no other option, they reluctantly send their son away to a specialized program. In his absence, Sarah is forced to face her own emotional trauma and some ugly truths about her life. When Adam returns home, they both must learn how to trust each other.

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Dani Tapper is a composer/lyricist from Wayne, PA. She began her career in Cleveland, OH children’s entertainer, “Dani B” recording two award winning children’s albums, “Me an d you” and “Life is Sweet” and performing hundreds of concerts for young children. In Cleveland, Dani also established her pwn program of children’s music and theatre classes. In 2009, Dani relocated to Philadelphia and began composing her first musical, Class Reunion. She is presently working on her second musical, Brilliant. In 2018, Dani established the musical theatre program for the Shipley Lower School in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Brilliant

DANI TAPPER

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