Cornell Hubert Calhoun III

Cornell Hubert Calhoun III is the Arts & Culture Coordinator for Mayor Frank G. Jackson and the City of Cleveland. He is an award winning actor and playwright. His plays, MISS PAULINE and PORTRAITS OF NOVEMBER were featured at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center and Paul Robey Theater in Los Angeles California in 2104.  Mr. Calhoun is a three-time nominee for the Cleveland Art Prize for Literature. He received a 2012 Writing Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnston, VT and was awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. His play, THE MIGHTY SCARABS received its World Premiere at the Karamu House Theater in March 2015. The play was directed by former GYM Playwright Christopher Johnston. Calhoun is a three-time semi-finalist (2006, 2007 and 2013) at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference for his works EAST 43RD, A TYME 4 BLUE and BLUE SILK. Cornell’s Intergenerational plays THE BAD HOUSE, SCENES IN CEDAR & CENTRAL, A CHILD IS MISSING IN OUTHWAITE HOLMES, B.U.L.L.Y. NATION, HOLIDAY PROMISE and MOMENTS N’ BLACK HISTORY, which he also directed, were featured on Cleveland’s TV Channel 20.  He credits much of his success to Cleveland theatre legends Reuben and Dorothy Silver, his long-time mentors. Mr. Calhoun holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education.

Stuart Hoffman

Stuart Hoffman is a Cleveland-based actor, playwright, and baker.  Since 2006, Stuart has performed with nearly every theater company in Cleveland, including convergence-continuum, Cleveland Public Theatre, The Cleveland and Ohio Shakespeare Festivals, Ensemble Theatre, Theatre Ninjas, Mamai Theatre Company and The Ohio City Theater Project.  As a playwright, his work has been seen, varying from readings to full productions, at Ensemble Theatre (COCOPELLI: a fairy tale), Lorain County Community College (A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS), Dobama (LET'S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF) and Cleveland Public Theatre (EUREKA, KISS KISS BANG BANG, BROKEN WINGS).  Stuart has served as a judge for Dobama’s Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival for the past six years and currently serves on the volunteer board for the FRIENDS of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public libraries, committed to the appreciation, improvement and use of our public libraries.

CANNON FODDER

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

Catie O'Keefe

Catie O’Keefe holds a BA in Theatre from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR and a Masters in Playwriting from Royal Holloway University of London, UK.  Her work has been performed in London at the Jerwood Centre, Southwark Theatre, Henley Fringe Festival, The Royal Court Upstairs, Theatre 503, Bread & Roses Theatre and the 2008 and 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She participated in the Fall 2007 session of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Program and also the 2008 Invitation Class back at the Royal Court.  THE SPACE BETWEEN MY HEAD AND MY BODY premiered at London’s Theatre 503 and then transferred to the Underbelly Baby Belly 3 in Edinburgh. Her Play DECEPTION, ILLUSION AND NATE has been performed in the US and as part of the Dyssing Monday’s Dyslexic Festival in October 2008 and again in the Henley Fringe Festival in July 2009 in the UK. AN APARTMENT WITH GRACE was one of six winners to be produced for The Louisiana State University Outworks Festival in April 2010.  She served as Playwright in residence at New Edgecliff Theatre 2010-2013 during which they produced DARKER in the 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Festival,  POE-SSESSED in Oct 2011, THE CANTERVILLE GHOST in Oct 2012, SLOW DESCENT FROM HEAVEN in Feb 2013 and FRANKENSTEIN In Oct. 2013. She wrote and directed WELCOME HOME: THE WADDIE WELCOME STORY at the historical Emery Theatre in May 2012. Her latest work includes FLIGHT 212, a short play for a human and a puppet that performed in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Portland, OR, FANTASIES AND NIGHTMARES with a reading at Playwright’s Local in Cleveland, ILLUMINATED (a prequel to DARKER with a World Premiere at convergence-continuum) and BEST INTENTIONS, a commissioned work that opened in London and transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe. She is Artistic Director of Shark Eat Muffin Theatre Company and a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Grant. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Network of Ensemble Theatres and The International Center for Women Playwrights. Her work can be seen in the UK, US and Amsterdam. Catie was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for FY2018.

MAGS

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.