Kenneth Lin

Kenneth Lin is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter and playwright and currently an Executive Producer on STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.

Kenneth began his television career writing on HOUSE OF CARDS, for which he was nominated for an Emmy and WGA Award. Kenneth has previously written for CLARICE (CBS), WARRIOR (Cinemax/HBO Max), and SWEETBITTER (Starz). He recently signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios.

His theatrical plays including WARRIOR CLASS, INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE, and KLEPTOCRACY have been performed around the world and garnered widespread acclaim. He is the winner of the Princess Grace Award, The Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, The Williamstown Theatre’s L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and the TCG Edgerton New Play Prize.

​Kenneth is an alumnus of Cornell University, the U.S. Fulbright Fellowship, and the Yale School of Drama where he was awarded the Cole Porter Prize for excellence in playwriting. Kenneth is currently adapting FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE as a Broadway musical with Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown. His latest play EXCLUSION will premiere in 2023.

Paul Slade Smith

Paul Slade Smith is an actor and playwright living in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, actress Erin Noel Grennan.

Paul received a 2019 Helpmann Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Willy Wonka in the Australian premiere of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

Stateside, his acting credits include: the original Broadway casts of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, FINDING NEVERLAND and the 2018 Lincoln Center revival of MY FAIR LADY; US national tours of MY FAIR LADY (Jaime), WICKED (Doctor Dillamond) and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; and productions at American Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Geva Theatre Center, Asolo Repertory and Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Texas.

​His TV credits include NBC’s The Blacklist, and The Other Two and The Gilded Age, both on HBO.

​Paul’s play UNNECESSARY FARCE, winner of nine regional theatre awards, has had over 325 productions throughout the United States, and in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, Singapore, and Japan. His political comedy, THE OUTSIDER, had a record-making 34 productions in 2022.

​Both of Paul’s plays are available from the publisher Playscripts, Inc.

Paul is at work on his third and fourth plays, simultaneously!

Janine Sobeck Knighton

Janine Sobeck Knighton is a dramaturg, playwright, screenwriter, story consultant, and educator who grew up in central California. Currently based outside of Salt Lake City, UT, she is a storyteller at heart and loves collaborating on new work.

Janine started as the dramaturgy intern at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. before becoming their full-time Literary Manager, Dramaturg, and Producer of New Works. While there she worked with some of the country’s greatest artists, including Pam McKinnon, Kenny Leon, Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt, Phylicia Rashad, Edward Albee, Marcus Gardley, Karen Zacarias, Artistic Director Molly Smith, and more.

Janine also loves to create her own stories. Her translation/adaptation of King Stag was produced at Utah Valley University in 2021 and her TYA play, Scaredy Kat Presents won the Purple Crayon Players PLAYground Festival in 2020 and will tour with Westport County Playhouse in January 2023. Her new plays, Hidden Seashells: A Yoga Adventure (for K-3) and The Tale of Young Beatrix, were both workshopped at Utah Valley University in 2022. Her works have been developed at Utah Valley University, Purple Crayon Players, and Plan B Theatre. Currently, she has two web series, Backstage Bernie and An Open Letter to Isabella Beck, which can be found on the JSK Stories YouTube Channel.

Beyond the stage, Janine has worked with screenwriters in developing several different new screenplays. Freetown was produced in 2014 and Jane and Emma was produced in 2018.

Currently the Associate Professor of Playwriting and Dramaturgy and the Associate Department Chair at Utah Valley University, Janine continues to work while developing the voices of the next generation. Her love for theatre and film education led to the creation of JSK Stories, a production company and website focused on creating a community dedicated to telling stories, arts education, and providing a platform for kids and teenagers to share their creative work in a safe, online environment.

Her other artistic adventures include being a member of the Artistic Council for the O’Neill Theatre Center, a Reader for the Sundance Theatre Lab, a Developer of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network, a member of the Writing Lab at Plan-B Theatre, Co-director of the dramaturgy program for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VIII, and former board member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. She is a proud member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

You can find Janine on Instagram: @janinesobeckknighton

Madison Fiedler from shoulders up in Prospect Park Brooklyn

Madison Fiedler

Madison Fiedler from shoulders up in Prospect Park BrooklynMadison Fiedler is a playwright from North Carolina. Plays include The Incubators (upcoming workshop: Westport Country Playhouse), Spay (extended-run 2022 world premiere at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 2022 Jeff Award nominee for Best New Work, 2020 Kilroys List, 2021 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship runner-up, 2019 National Showcase of New Plays, Florida Rep’s 2020 PlayLab Festival, 2021 Theatre Lab at FAU, 2018-2019 BoHo Theatre commission), SCREECH OWL (2021 finalist: Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers, Theater J’s 2021 Patty Abramson Prize), If God Came a Callin (Barter Theatre’s Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwrights),  Exalted (IRT Theater, New York Theater Festival) and I Talk to the Flowers (Skidmore College, University of Kentucky). She has been a resident at Roundabout Theatre Company (2022 Space Jam) and Sewanee Writers’ Conference (2021 Romulus Linney Playwriting Scholarship). She is a National New Play Network Affiliated Artist, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and is represented by A3 Artists Agency. BA: Northwestern University (2019). She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Endesha Ida Mae Holland


Endesha Ida Mae Holland (August 29, 1944 – January 25, 2006)

The following text is from a piece on Dr. Holland by Dr. Habibi Minnie Wilson. It was written in 2005, prior to Dr. Holland’s death in 2006.

When Ida Mae Holland entered the world on August 29, 1944, in Green­wood, Miss., no one could have predicted the odyssey that would become her life. “Cat,” as she was nicknamed, was born in a rundown, drafty shotgun house to a poor but resourceful black woman, who already had three hungry mouths to feed, no formal education and limited employment choices. Curious, smart and precocious, young Ida learned from her mother, Ida Mae–familiarly known as Aint Baby–how to dream big dreams, for herself and others, in their impoverished Delta community. During the 1940s and 1950s, Greenwood was a place where black people lived in fear of their lives-and rightfully so, as lynchings, rapes, firebombings and a range of unimaginably gruesome atrocities were commonplace.

Raped by a white man on her 11th birthday, expelled from school, a prostitute at 12 and a mother at 15, Holland was headed in the wrong direction; that is, until the civil rights movement came to her town. She was swept into the momentum, participating in sit-ins, mass rallies, even going to jail with other activists, and her life was transformed. “From that moment on I said I could be somebody,” she writes in her memoir. In retaliation for her daughter’s activism, Aint Baby’s home was firebombed by members of the Klan and she was killed. Devastated but determined, Holland earned her GED, and in 1966 she moved north to Minneapolis. Soon afterward, she added “Endesha” to her name-which is Swahili for “one who drives herself and others forward.”

Subsequently, Holland earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in American studies, with a concentration in theatre arts (playwriting). The first of her plays, The Second Doctor Lady, is about her mother, whose skill and competency earned her the title, and it won the Lorraine Hansberry Award for Best Play in 1981.

From the Mississippi Delta, her sixth play and part of a trilogy, has earned critical acclaim and has been nationally and internation­ally celebrated as an inspiring dramatic portrayal of the human ex­perience, as viewed through the eyes of an African-American woman. (Holland’s memoir, also entitled From the Mississippi Delta, was originally published by Simon & Schuster and is avail­able in hardcover and paperback in bookstores.)

Dr. Endesha, as she is called by her students, is now a retired pro­fessor emeritus from the University of Southern California, where she held joint appointments both in the School of Theatre and the program of the Study of Women and Men in Society (SWMS) from 1993 to 2003. Forced into early retirement and a wheelchair by ataxia, a hereditary, neuromuscular disorder, Holland now re­sides in Marina del Rey, Calif., and hopes that her legacy to her students and audiences around the world is one of determination, hope, motivation and inspiration. She holds herself up to the light as a constant reminder that anyone can make it, anyone can sur­vive … anyone can be somebody.

– Dr. Habibi Minnie Wilson, Los Angeles, Calif., 2005

Amy Herzog

Amy Herzog’s plays include After the Revolution (Williamstown Theater Festival; Playwrights Horizons; Lilly Award), 4000 Miles (Lincoln Center; Obie Award for the Best New American Play, Pulitzer Prize Finalist), The Great God Pan (Playwrights Horizons), and Belleville (Yale Rep; New York Theatre Workshop; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; Drama Desk Nomination). Amy is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Helen Merrill, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity, and the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. She is a Usual Suspect at NYTW and an alumna of Youngblood, Play Group at Ars Nova, and the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab. She has taught playwriting at Bryn Mawr and Yale.  MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Ins Choi

Ins Choi

Ins Choi was born in Korea but grew up and currently lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two children. Some of his theatre acting credits include Banana Boys, lady in the red dress (fu-GEN); Hamlet, The Odyssey, Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well (Stratford Festival); Alligator Pie, and Death of a Saleman (Soulpepper). As a writer, his debut play, Kim’s Convenience, won the Best New Play award and the Patron’s Pick at the 2011 Toronto Fringe festival. It then launched Soulpepper theater company’s 2012 season, toured across Canada, and was adapted into a tv series of the same name on the CBC and Netflix for 5 seasons. Ins was a writer, executive producer and co-creator of the tv series. He has also written a solo show called Subway Stations of the CrossSongs Stories and Spoken Words and was part of the collective that created Alligator Pie, re(birth): ee cummings in song, Window on Toronto(Soulpepper); and 2000 Candles (Brookstone). His new play, Bad Parent, is being produced by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre for the fall of 2022 at PTE in Winnipeg, the Cultch in Vancouver and at Soulpepper in Toronto. He’s also developing various tv and film projects.

Azure Osborne-Lee from the shoulders up, wearing a dark shirt and a silver necklace.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a multi-award-winning Black queer & trans theatre maker from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. He holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice (2011) from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as well as an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies (2008) and a BA in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin (2005). He teaches at New York University, The New School, and Quinnipiac University.

Recipient of Waterwell New Works Lab’s 2021 Commission, Kilroys List 2020 playwright, recipient of Parity Productions’ 2018 Annual Commission, Winner of Downtown Urban Arts Festival’s 2018 Best Play Award, and the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest.

Azure’s full-length play Crooked Parts was published in The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays. His full-length play Mirrors received its world premiere, produced by Parity Productions, at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop in spring 2020. Unfortunately, this production closed early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Azure’s newest play Red Rainbow, commissioned by Waterwell, received a production at Mount Holyoke College in spring 2022 and will receive a production at Tufts University in spring 2023.

Azure is the founder of Roots and River Productions, and was a member of the inaugural Trans Theater Lab cohort. Azure’s work has been produced and/or developed by Trans Lab @ The Public and WP, Parity Productions, PRIDE Plays, The Tank, The Flea Theater, BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BAM, JACK, Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Fire This Time Festival, Horse Trade Theater Group, The Castillo Theatre, The New Ohio Theatre, National Black Theatre, Freedom Train Productions, Downtown Urban Arts Festival, Lambda Literary Foundation, The Helix Queer Performance Network, and regionally.

Finalist for Theatre Viscera’s Queer Playwright’s Contest, VanguardRep’s 2019 Summer Production, BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s 2018 Artist in Residence, National Black Theatre’s I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency, and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab; Semi-finalist for the 2022 National Playwrights Conference, 2019 Burman New Play Award, Ars Nova’s Play Group and New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Artists Fellowship.

Follow Azure’s work at

Raymond Bokhour

Raymond, Broadway’s Mr. Cellophane in Chicago, is an actor, composer, and lyricist. He is the recipient of the Harrington Award and the Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Lyric Writing, and his works have been recorded by the London Symphony and the Warsaw Philharmonic. BMI

Johnny G. Lloyd

Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. Johnny was the winner of the 2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival (The Problem With Magic, Is:) and has been commissioned by Clubbed Thumb and Second Stage Theatre.  Currently he is a member of the Ars Nova PlayGroup and was previously a member of the Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers Group and Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency. Johnny is a collaborator with Theater in Quarantine and SalonSéance. He is the Director of Artistic Development at The Tank and Producing Director for InVersion Theatre. MFA: Columbia University.