Cornell Hubert Calhoun III is 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 Performing Arts Theater in March, 2015. The play was directed by fellow Gym Playwright, Christopher Johnston. Calhoun’s 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 N 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 a M.A. in Education.
Stuart Hoffman is a Cleveland-based actor, playwright, and baker. Since 2006, Stuart has performed with nearly every local theater company in Cleveland, including convergence-continuum, Cleveland Public Theatre, The Cleveland and Ohio Shakespeare Festivals, Ensemble Theatre, Theatre Ninjas, Mamai 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 Children’s 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.
Les Hunter is an Assistant Professor of English at Baldwin Wallace University, Literary Director of Theatre 167, past Curator of New Plays at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and co-founder of the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective. He wrote for all three parts of the collaborative Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167, published: Indie Theatre Now). Other projects include his plays Biggest Break (Artistic New Directions), Lion of the East (Bates College), Cyrano de Bergen County, New Jersey (published: Playscripts), and To the Orchard (Foundation for Jewish Culture New Play Grant); an American adaptation with Ozen Yula of his play, For Rent (LPAC,); a screenplay, Lion (Dubai Film Connection); and a musical, ’99, developed at Millikan University with Ben Morss of the band Cake. Les’ writing about theater has appeared in American Theatre Magazine, offoffonline.com, The Dramatist, and The Eugene O’Neill Review. In 2014 he was a resident at the Ora Lerman Foundation Soaring Gardens Artist’s Retreat and a participant in the Mellon School of Theatre and Performance Research at Harvard University. MA: Brooklyn College, MFA: Boston University, PhD: Stony Brook University. Website: http://www.leslielarshunter.com.
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 Playhouse, Dobama, and Mamai). Her plays have appeared at Cleveland Public Theatre (InCogNegro, The Negro Perkins, and The Bomb) 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.
Anne McEvoy is a Cleveland actor/director who stumbled into playwriting when searching for scripts with multiple female roles for St. Joseph Academy. What resulted was an all-girl take on A Christmas Carol which calls Dicken’s authorship into question. After taking Sarah Morton’s writing workshop, she created Crashing Through Ceilings for Cleveland Public Theatre’s Black[BOX] series, which told the true stories of 6 women in a group home. Remedy of Tea, her 3-person epilogue to Madwoman of Chaillot, was produced by Clague Playhouse, and most recently, she’s had the pleasure of reimagining two classics for Talespinner Children’s Theatre — The Magic Flute in 2012, and Clara and the Nutcracker, Nov., 2014. When not in the theatre, Anne’s a senior writer at American Greetings, has had several children’s books published, and has scripted material for Great Lakes Theatre Outreach, Pandemonium, Women in History, Gateway Walking Tours, and Cleveland’sDowntown City Alliance.
Catie O’Keefe holds a BA in Theatre from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon USA 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 a full length play being work-shopped through the Made in NY Media Center in NYC and Best Intentions a commissioned work touring the UK and fringe festivals in America. She is Artistic Director of Shark Eat Muffin Theatre Company and a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Grant. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild, The Network of Ensemble Theatres, and The International Center for Women Playwrights. Her work can be seen in the UK, the US and Amsterdam.
Juliette Regnier is proud to join Dobama Theatre’s Playwrights GYM. An actor turned playwright, Juliette was the inaugural Nord Playwriting Fellow at Cleveland Public Theatre for the 2013/14 season and dedicated the year to a trilogy of plays called “The S Plays” the first of which, Shorn, debuted in 2007 at Dobama Theatre. Soiled and Sisters were given a staged reading and a workshop production respectively during the fellowship. Ms. Regnier’s most recent acting credits include Lady Ariadne Utterword in Heartbreak House, and Bananas in The House of Blue Leaves at the Beck Center. She has appeared onstage at Kalliope Theatre; (Cleveland Critics Circle Award for her work in Dear World), Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Signstage Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, and the American Repertory Theatre. Film credits include several independent shorts and she was voted best actress at the 2006 Indie Film Gathering Film Festival. She studied with the Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University and taught undergraduate acting at Case Western Reserve University for nine years. Juliette, also a cabaret artist, debuted her fourth cabaret, Elsewhere, in 2013 which she continues to tour.
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 serves 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 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 Playhouse, Charenton Theater Co., TITLEWave theatre, Baldwin Wallace, 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 been 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 is a poet, playwright and social/cultural foundations scholar. Her plays and/or excerpts have been published or produced since 1997. Her play Another Way to Dance won a 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!” by the Cleveland Municipal School District and “From Po Girl on Dope to Ph.D.” adapted from the memoir of Dr. Elaine Richardson aka as 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 Artistic Director, Terrence Spivey, with Dianne McIntyre as guest choreographer, Hats, a one-act drama about Black men set in a pool hall, andBlack 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.