Charles Smith, Head
MFA Playwriting Program
Charles Smith is Head of the MFA Playwriting Program at Ohio University, a member of the Playwrights Ensemble at the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, and is a recipient of the 2008 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. His plays have been produced off-Broadway and around the country by theaters such as Victory Gardens, The Acting Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, People’s Light & Theatre Company, The Goodman Theatre, Penumbra, Ujima Theatre Company, St. Louis Black Rep, New Federal Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Berkeley Repertory Theater. His work has also been produced for the HBO New Writers Project, the International Children’s Theater Festival in Seattle, and the North Carolina Black Arts Festival. His most recent play, Denmark, was the inaugural World Premiere production of the newly renovation Victory Gardens at the Biograph Theater. His play Pudd’nhead Wilson enjoyed a twenty-two city national tour and his plays Takunda and City of Gold enjoyed tours of the west coast. His other plays include Knock Me a Kiss, Freefall, Les Trois Dumas, The Sutherland, Sister Carrie, Black Star Line, Jelly Belly, Young Richard, Cane, and Free Man of Color which recently premiered in Australia after being awarded a Joseph Jefferson Award and John W. Schmid Award, both for Outstanding New Work. He is also author of two Emmy Award-winning teleplays, Fast Break to Glory and Pequito. A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Smith has received commissions from Victory Gardens, The Goodman, Seattle Rep, Indiana Rep, The Acting Company, and Ohio University. He is an alumni playwright of the Tony Award-winning New Dramatists in New York and taught playwriting at Northwestern University for seven years. His most recent work currently in development, The Cattail Memoirs, was a commissioned by Indiana Rep and is the result of a Joyce Award. His plays may be obtained through Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, Northwestern University Press, Smith & Kraus, Meriwether Publishing Ltd. For more information about his plays, visit http://www.csplays.com.
Erik Ramsey, Associate Professor
MFA Playwriting Program
Erik’s plays have been developed at numerous regional theaters including Cleveland Public Theatre, American Stage, Victory Gardens, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre and been published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing. His recent drama, Smith Unearthed, is about the surprising turn of events that boosted Joseph Smith from life as a small time con-artist to Prophet of the Mormon Church, and has been developed at the International Society of Contemporary Literature and Theatre Conference (Estonia), the Gwen Frostic National Reading Series at Western Michigan University, Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater. In 2007, Erik was named a Kennedy Center Faculty Fellow for his work as a new play development specialist; in 2010, he was appointed as Director of Innovation for WordBRIDGE Playwrights’ Laboratory after many years of new play development research. As a new play dramaturg he has worked in a variety of venues, most recently as part of Steppenwolf Theater Company’s First Look Series and The Playwrights’ Lab at Salt Lake Acting Company. Over the past decade he has been a guest artist and taught master classes in playwriting, new play development and narrative theory in a variety of national and international venues, including the St. Petersburg Academy of Dramatic Arts “New American Plays” Conference (St. Petersburg, Russia), and Lubimovka Playwrights Laboratory at Teatr.doc in Moscow, Russia.