2018-19 MFA Playwrights
Third Year Students
Inna Tsyrlin (left, in photo) is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University after taking classes at HB Studio (New York City) and at Primary Stage (ESPA, New York City). Inna’s one act plays performed in New York City, include: I (heart) Subway (2014) and Happy Anniversary (2014) (Emerging Artists Theater: New Works Series); My Wife (HB Playwrights Foundation shorts series); Principal’s Office (semi-finalist of Manhattan Repertory Spring 2014 One Act Competition); Fat (Mount Carmel Theater Winter 2014 New Works program). Her one acts, Coffee and Murakami (2014) and Bentley (2013) have had staged readings as part of the Jack & Julie Project at HB Studio; while she has also had readings (2015) for Lama Theatre Company, and a reading of her full-length Animals (2015) in New York City. Apart from plays, Inna has written and produced shot films, reviewed Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway plays for stagebuddy.com, and contributed to Australian lifestyle publications. Her work tends to focus on exploring darker and unusual aspects of relationships and how these reflect in our current social and political environment, with particular attention to freedom and identity.
Katherine Varga (centered, in photo) Katherine Varga’s plays often explore her love-hate relationship with the Internet. Her full length plays include I ❤ Girls (Seabury Quinn, Jr. Festival), Cora (Geva’s Regional Writers Showcase, Benchmark Theater’s Fever Dream Festival, Viterbo University New Works Festival), and Sunny Days (upcoming: production at Ohio University). Her shorter works have been performed at Writers & Books (Rochester, NY), the Rochester Fringe Festival, 20% Theatre Company (Chicago, IL), Tantrum Theatre (Dublin, OH), and Curious Theatre (Denver, CO). Her full-length screenplay It’s Not Rocket Science was a finalist in the 2017 LezPlay Contest. In July 2016, she attended the Curious New Voices National Collective in Denver, CO, where she attended a master class with Octavio Solis. She has interned with the Literary Department at Geva and with the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT. Her freelance writing has appeared on Barnes & Noble’s SparkLife blog and the Huffington Post, as well as in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, a Gannett newspaper. She received her B.A. English (Language, Media, and Communications) from the University of Rochester, where she studied creative writing with Stephen Schottenfeld, Joanna Scott, and Catherine Filloux. She was awarded a Take Five Scholarship to complete a self-designed study in urbanization and art.
Trip Venturella (right, in photo) is a graduate of Colby College with a degree in Religious Studies. He has worked with Colby College’s Theater and Dance Department, the human rights group ANHAD: Kashmir, Delhi University in New Delhi, Floating Space Theatre Company in Sri Lanka, and many, many groups in the Boston area. He has done field work on Chams Dance in Sikkim and studied Chhau Dance in Delhi. He currently serves as the Development and Outreach Director of Apollinaire Theatre Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where he has overseen the conception of, fundraising for, and buildout of the Riseman Family Theatre and the Chelsea Blackbox Theatre, as well as the production of three years of Apollinaire in the Park: a free, outdoor, bilingual summer theatre production. His original musical “Killer Maples: The Musical!,” a collaboration with the composer Andres Ramos, was produced by Yelling Man Theatre in June of 2016.
Second Year Students
Liv Matthews (right, in photo) is a playwright from Central Florida. Her ten-minute play, Home Going, was produced by Playwrights’ Round Table in Orlando and is published in The Best 10 Minutes Plays of 2015 by Smith and Kraus. She has worked at the Alliance Theatre, first as a literary intern and then as the Kenny Leon Fellow. Her short play co-written with Dre Camacho, White Picket Fence, was produced by Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta. Her plays often explore family dynamics, the complexities of young women and teens, and the oddities and magic of the Sunshine State. They also include at least one dance number. When not writing, Liv can be found working through Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook Cravings, dancing to Beyoncé, and listening to the podcast The Read.
Jordan Ramirez Puckett (centered) is a playwright and lighting designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She often writes about being caught between two identities and our intrinsic desire for human connection, no matter how brief. She most recently participated in the 2018-2019 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series. Her work has also been produced and/or developed by 2Cents Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA), Abingdon Theatre Company (New York, NY), Custom Made Theatre Co. (San Francisco, CA), Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre Company (New York, NY), Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, National Winter Playwrights Retreat (Creede, CO), Playwrights Center of San Francisco, San Francisco Playhouse, among others. Her plays include To Saints and Stars, A Driving Beat, Las Pajaritas, Restore, and Inevitable. She has designed lights for the world premiere productions of Bauer by Lauren Gunderson, 77% by Rinne Groff, and 1 2 3 by Lila Rose Kaplan, among others. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and the former Associate Artistic Director at San Francisco Playhouse.
Jean Egdorf (left in photo) was born and raised in a small town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her plays often feature young women from small towns, and her work is heavily influenced by the southwest. Jean is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and has worked in Colorado for the past decade as a Stage Manager and dramaturg. Her short plays produced in Colorado include Eastwould?, Mission Impassable, The 1st Law of Robotics, and Escalator to the End of the World. Her full-length plays include How to Bake a Genoise Sponge Without Breaking Any Eggs, The Flood, and Poetic License Will Be Taken. Her short dramaturgical essays have been published for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Jean worked six seasons with the Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT) where she co-developed the CRT Company Generated Ten-Minute Play Festival, now entering its fifth year, and perfected the art of improv stage management.
First Year Students
John Hendel (right, in photo) is a playwright most recently from Los Angeles. His plays have been seen at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival (2013: Pulling Off Procreation – winner, Founders’ Pick of the Fringe) and the Hollywood Fringe Festival (2014: Wearhorse). Both of these plays were developed at the Last Frontier Theater Conference. John had short plays produced at NY Artists Unlimited’s International CringeFest (2009: Fame Confusions; 2010: The Greatest Play Ever (If You Don’t Think So, You’re a Basket of Farts) – winner, Best Direction). Additionally, John has written and produced works online, including his 64 Plays in 64 Days project.
Skye Robinson Hillis (centered, in photo) is a playwright, director, and dramaturg in based Chicago. As a playwright, her work has been seen at The Route 66 Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, A Red Orchid Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Artistic Home, Prologue Theatre Company, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, Columbia College, and the City of Chicago’s In the Works Play Lab at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park. Her play AND VASTER was awarded a residency at the New Works Lab at Stratford (2015), winner of the Ashland New Plays Festival (2015), and winner of the Holland New Voices Award at the Great Plains Theatre Conference (2017). AND VASTER was also named a semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Award. As a director and dramaturg, she has worked for Hartford Stage, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, A Red Orchid, Remy Bumppo, Stage Left, and more.
Devin Porter (left, in photo) is a New York based playwright who uses writing to grant voice to the ones who aren’t heard. Raised in Long Island, Devin expresses his own individuality and unique style similar to his home state. His works examine race, political ideals, social class, and gender identity. Devin graduated with honors from the University of Albany with a B.A in English, where he was a three-time Spellman Academic Award winner. Devin is excited to be at Ohio University pursuing his MFA in Playwriting.