Christine Howey

Christine Howey is a performance poet, playwright, actor, director, and theater critic. Her one-person stage play of poetry about her transgender journey, Exact Change, premiered at Cleveland Public Theatre, had a three-week run at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, and was an official selection of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. She then adapted the play into a film, which was an official selection of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in 2018. Christine (then Richard) was an actor and director at Dobama Theatre from 1968 to 1985. For 20 years beginning in 1998, Christine was a theater critic for Cleveland Scene, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Free Times, and City Pages in Minneapolis, MN. She was been named Best Critic in Ohio by both the Press Club of Cleveland and the Society of Professional Journalists

 

Christine has had four books of poetry published. She was the Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for 2016-2018. She is also a slam poet and competed in the National Poetry Slams, in 2013 and 2017, as a member of the four-person Cleveland team. Christine was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2014 from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council in 2016, which also granted her a 13-week residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She was honored to receive the Illumination Award as the transgender leader of the year in northeast Ohio for 2015, and the Torch Award for leadership on transgender issues from the Cleveland chapter of the Human Rights Campaign in 2017.  For 40 years, Christine was an award-winning copywriter and creative director for ad agencies in Cleveland and Minneapolis, MN. She is currently executive director of Literary Cleveland, a nonprofit organization supporting writers and readers in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

Claire Robinson May

Claire Robinson May is a playwright based in Cleveland, Ohio with roots in New England and Nova Scotia. In 2019, she was named Playwright in Residence for the inaugural Exceptional Inclusion Program at Talespinner Children’s Theatre, working with specialists and company members through a devised process to adapt a cycle of Aesop’s Fables for intentional inclusion of audience members with disabilities. Her plays have been performed on the stages of Talespinner Children’s Theatre (THE SILENT PRINCESS, THE BREMENTOWN MUSICIANS, ANDROCLES & THE LION, THE WIND & THE SUN, and THE FOX & THE CROW), convergence-continuum (PUPPET PARTY and RIVER SKY (SOAPOCALYPSE NOW)), Cleveland Public Theatre (MOTHER/TONGUE, THE WORLD’S LARGEST AXE, and STANDARDIZED CHILD TM ), Playwrights Local, and others. She served on the board of Talespinner Children’s Theatre for five years, from 2014-2019. Claire Robinson May is a licensed attorney in Ohio and teaches legal writing at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She is a Cleveland Heights native and a proud graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Harvard College, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing (NEOMFA) at Cleveland State University.

Rachel Zake

Rachel Zake is a writer, actor, and director. A native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Boston University, Rachel used her degree in advertising and psychology for a few years before moving to Madrid and traveling the world. She landed in LA in 2010 to pursue her first love, acting, before stumbling into published writing. Rachel has published three books: Two People are Coming out of a Building(2014, fiction), The Nomad Diaries(2017, nonfiction), and Pants Off/Dance Off: A Gentleman's Guide(2019, nonfiction). Her plays have been seen onstage at Playwrights Local and other local venues. Rachel has been acting for over 27 years, having performed on numerous stages, including (locally): Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Cain Park, Playwrights Local, and Halle Theatre. A member of SAG-AFTRA, she has appeared in many TV shows, films, and commercials. She also served as Director of Playmakers Youth Theatre in Beachwood, OH for approximately four years. During that time, she directed over 40 casts of kids (ages 5 to 22) in musicals and straight shows and oversaw 17 other casts in various shows. Beyond the theatre, Rachel proudly serves on the Hathaway Brown Alumnae Committee.

Les Hunter

Playwrights Local, Theater 167, Cleveland Public Theater, Bates College, Dobama Theatre, Piper Theatre, St. Joseph’s College, Manhattan Theatre Source, Artistic New Directions and America-in-Play have produced or developed Hunter’s plays. Playscripts, Indie Theatre and Brooklyn Publishers publish and license his plays. He was a finalist for the Jewish Play Project 2016 International Jewish Playwriting Contest and has held residencies at Soaring Gardens Artist Residency and Millikin University.

Hunter’s writing on theater has appeared in American Theatre MagazineTheatre SurveyOffoffonlineThe DramatistThe Eugene O’Neill ReviewEcumenicaText & Presentation and as chapters in the books Performing the Progressive Era (University of Iowa Press) and Experimental O’Neill (Rare Bird Press). He also has publications in the journals Fiction Southeast and Cutbank.

In 2014, Hunter attended the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. He has served as the literary director of Theatre 167, curator of new plays at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and co-founder of the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective. 

He is an assistant professor of English and Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University. PhD: Stony Brook University; MFA: Boston University; MA: Brooklyn College; BA: Macalester College. leslielarshunter.com

Lisa Langford

Lisa Langford, a graduate of Harvard University, is an actress and playwright.  In addition to television and film, Lisa has acted Off-Broadway (Playwrights Horizons), regionally (LaJolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and locally (Cleveland Play House, Dobama and Mamai).  Her plays have appeared at Cleveland Public Theatre (ICOGNEGRO, THE NEGRO PERKINS, THE BOMB and, most recently THE ART OF LONGING) and convergence-continuum (OUTSIDE/IN: THE FATTENING HOUSE and THE SPLIT SHOW).  Lisa has also been a copywriter, a journalist, and a member of the creative team that launched the late Dr. Maya Angelou’s greeting card line. She received her MFA from Cleveland State and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

RASTUS AND HATTIE

Juliette Regnier

Juliette Regnier’s stage and film credits are numerous. She will be seen next, albeit briefly(!) in David Fincher's Mindhunters for Netflix in the fall of 2017. On stage, recent roles include the Iraqi Woman/Leper for Ensemble Theatre's production of BANGAL TIVER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO alongside her husband, actor Michael Regnier as the Tiger; Mary Todd Lincoln in A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION for Dobama, Ariadne Utterword in Shaw's HEARTBREAK HOUSE, an Equity Members Project Code and at The Beck Center as Bananas in THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES.  She was a company member with Kalliope Stage,  Dobama Theatre & The  Cleveland Signstage Theatre and has appeared on stage at Cleveland Public Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre, to name a few. She studied with the Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University and taught undergraduate acting at Case Western Reserve University for nine years. Juliette embarked on the path of original work in 1999 as a cabaret artist with the creation of her first cabaret, SHADES OF BLUE. Since then she has developed, written and  produced three more cabarets, her  proudest, ELSEWHERE, which traverses in story and song  the landscapes of Paris, Mother Courage's wagon, The French Quarter, the Birdcage Theatre in Tombstone, AZ and the playground. In 2000 she began to write plays. The first of four one acts in a cycle of plays called THE S PLAYS, SHORN, debuted in 2007 at Dobama Theatre.  In 2013 she was chosen to be the Inaugural Nord Playwriting Fellow at Cleveland Public Theatre to work on the second and third plays in the series, SOILED and SISTERS. Both were produced as staged readings and workshop productions during the fellowship year. As a member of Dobama's Playwrights GYM, she completed a fourth play, SUPERIOR to conclude the cycle. Juliette's directing credits include two critically and audience acclaimed productions,ROMEO & JULIET for Cleveland Shakespeare Company and NECESSARY TARGETS for Willoughby Fine Arts. 

Faye Sholiton

Faye Sholiton developed her work in the Cleveland Play House Playwrights’ Unit (1996-2011) and is a charter member of Dobama’s Playwrights’ Gym. Her full-length plays have been read and performed more than 45 times throughout the U.S. and in London and have won her four Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence grants, plus many national honors. Scenes from THE INTERVIEW, V-E DAY, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, and TELLING LIVES appear in multiple anthologies and THE INTERVIEW is published by Speert Publishing. PANAMA, her newest full-length had staged readings recently at Dobama and at Detroit’s Marygrove College. Since 2009 she has served as Ohio Regional Representative to the Dramatists Guild. In 2011 she founded Interplay Jewish Theatre, a company that offers free staged readings of significant works on contemporary Jewish themes. Visit www.fayesplays.com.

Greg Vovos

Greg Vovos is a playwright and director who has worked in Cleveland theater since he returned in 1998, after earning his MFA in Playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  He has worked as a director and playwright for Dobama, Cleveland Public Theatre, the Beck Center, Cleveland Play House, Charenton Theater Co., TITLEWave theatre, Baldwin Wallace University, Tri-C and others on many critically-acclaimed productions.  He has taught playwriting at Baldwin Wallace University, Cuyahoga Community College West, UNLV and various theatres in the area. He also writes screenplays and is a writer at American Greetings. His plays have been seen all over the world and published by Dramatic Publishing and PPT Press.  His most satisfying work has been for the Theatre for Healthy Living, where he has written plays about difficult issues facing youth today.  These plays — performed by the young people themselves — have been produced at high schools, detention centers and youth prisons, among others, and address issues such as racism, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, heroin abuse, obesity and the challenges of transitioning back to society. Greg was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for Playwriting for 2014. Beyond writing, he is married to his best friend and together they have two awesome kids.

Dr. Mary E. Weems

Dr. Mary E. Weems is a poet, playwright and social/cultural foundations scholar. Her plays and excerpts have been published or produced since 1997. Her play ANOTHER WAY TO DANCE won Cleveland Public Theater’s Chilcote Award. Weems’ play MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS, a 45-minute overview of the Civil Rights Movement was produced by Young Audiences from 1998 through 2007.  Publications include Another Way to Dance and Dead Soul 4413. Part of ANOTHER WAY TO DANCE and NUMBERS respectively published in The Theatre Audition Book 2, (Meriwether, 2009) Gerald Lee Ratliff, ed., and TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY, in Still More Monologues for Women, By Women (Heinemann Books, 2001), Tori Haring-Smith, ed. Weems has been commissioned to write two plays. AFRICANS IN AMERICAN GULLAH! the Cleveland Municipal School District and FROM PO GIRL ON DOBE TO PH.D., adapted from the memoir of Dr. Elaine Richardson aka Dr. E. In January of 2013. Weems’ new work A CONVERSATION AFTER A FUNERAL, about a meeting between Emmett Till and Anne Frank at Till’s funeral, was the featured event at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and an excerpt from her play CLOSURE, about the foreclosure crisis, was featured at Case Western Reserve University by the Mandel School of Social Work. Currently, Mary Weems is seeking production possibilities for her new play MEAT, which explores the murders of eleven Black women in her hometown, CLOSURE, which opened the 2010-11 season at the Karamu House under the direction of  former Artistic Director Terrence Spivey with Dianne McIntyre as guest choreographer, HATS, a one-act drama about Black men set in a pool hall, and BLACK NOTES, her one-woman show about the Black experience, which includes excerpts from her new book Blackeyed: Plays and Monologues. Dr. Weems currently designs and implements diversity programming in the public and private sector, professional development workshops and seminars designed to suit client needs. She may be reached at www.maryeweems.org.