We are extremely grateful for our panel of readers—theatre professionals from around the world— who are volunteering their time to help us select our 2019 Red Eye plays. Thank you!
Nicole B. Adkins has taught classes and workshops to students of various ages at theaters, K-12 schools, and universities. She currently teaches at Kennesaw State University and is Core Visiting Faculty for the summer intensive MFA program at Hollins University, Playwright’s Lab. Her recent adaptation of the award-winning picture book A Sick Day for Amos McGee was commissioned as part of The Kindness Project at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte where it premiered in May/June 2019 and traveled to Alliance Theatre as part of their Toddler Takeover and the national TYA/USA Festival and Conference. Her plays have also been performed at Mill Mountain Theatre, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, Hollins University, Studio Roanoke, Creative Drama Children’s Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC, SkyPilot Theatre of Los Angeles, the American International School in Guanghzou China, and other theaters, schools, and museums nationally and abroad. She has eight plays published through YouthPLAYS, where she serves as Artistic Associate. She co-wrote Playwriting and Young Audiences: Collected Wisdom and Practical Advice from the Field (Intellect Press, 2017). National playwriting awards include the Write Now! Award (formerly Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman) and recognition in the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Marilyn Hall competition. A Hollins Children’s Literature MFA graduate, Nicole is also a member of Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. You can learn more about Nicole and her work at www.nicolebadkins.com.
Cornelia Drese is a German actress, singer and artistic director. Having played more than 1,600 performances as Grizabella in the German Broadway production of CATS in Hamburg, Berlin and Duesseldorf she moved on to play Fantine in the German premiere of Les Miserable and Queen Anna in the World Premiere of The 3 Musketeers in Switzerland. In 2005, she became Artistic Director for the Stage Entertainment productions of Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia at the Colosseum Theatre in Essen, Germany until 2008 when she founded the Musical Company, Oh-TÖNE in Dresden, where she and her team train musical theatre actors. She is a regular guest performer at the Stattsoperetta Dresden. To learn more about Cornelia and her work, please visit her website at www.oh-toene.de/.
Jack Halpin is an NYC based actor. Recent Credits include TV appearances on BULL and Friends From College; commercials for Microsoft, Amazon Fire, and Acciona (shot on location in Central Chile); and the films I Can Speak (Korea), Don’t Call Me Rebecca, and in the title role of Bike Cop (Golden Door Film Festival 2018 Selection).
Laura King is a playwright, dramaturg, editor, and director. She holds an MFA in playwrighting (with a concentration in dramaturgy) from Hollins University and is a member of the Dramatists Guild (2018-2019 Georgia South Ambassador), Working Title Playwrights, and the Southeastern Theatre Conference (chair of the Playwriting Interest Group and member of the Publications Committee). Laura also serves as a Literary Associate for YouthPLAYS, which has published many of her plays for young audiences.
For more information about Laura and her work, please visit her website at laurakingplaywright.com.
Susan Jane McDonald (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) – Susan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California (USC) with a B.A. in Drama. She continued her acting training at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre where she studied with Sanford Meisner, completing their 2-year professional program. She is a member of the Network Theatre Company in New York City where she acts, writes, and directs. In Season 2 of their New Short Play Festival, she won Best Actress. In March of this year, Susan’s play The Ladies, took home the prize for Best Play of Season 6. She teaches acting classes to young students ages 9-16. Last June she directed young actors in an original play written by a middle school student for The Young Playwrights Contest. Submissions are open to students throughout NJ. The play she directed won first prize. Don Stewart holds an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington Univesrity, a BA from Boston College and has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC and at the Royal National Theatre Studios in London, England. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Intro to Theatre, Acting, and Shakespeare. Don has appeared on film & TV, Off Broadway and at regional theatres including The Kennedy Center and Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA).
Kristen Osborn is a Chicago-based director and theatre-maker. Currently, Kristen
serves as Artistic Associate and Outreach Coordinator at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and Literary and Casting Associate at Northlight Theatre. She is the founder and producing artistic director of JoyistLA. Directing credits include Those Eyes Who Saw Death at Red Theatre (workshop), The Opportunities of Extinction atNorth Central College, Fog at UCLA, JoyistLA’s First Embrace, and an original adaptation of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, Lift. Assistant directing credits include Henry IV, (dir. Daniel Sullivan, Shakespeare Center LA,) The Scene (dir. Kimberly Senior, Writers Theatre,) Sex With Strangers (dir. Kimberly Senior, Geffen Playhouse,) Relativity (dir. BJ Jones, Northlight Theatre,) The Cake (dir. Lauren Shouse, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble,) Choir Boy (dir. Trip Cullman, Geffen Playhouse), Fighting Shadows (dir. Robert Egan, Inner-City Arts.) Kristen’s previous work with the Ojai Playwrights Conference, serving as Artistic Associate and Associate Director, has ignited in her an insatiable appetite for new play development processes. She is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. www.kristenosborn.com
Corey Ragan (MFA ’21) is a second year MFA Directing Candidate at Ohio University. For undergrad, he attended Wittenberg University where he studied Theatre Education. Corey spent three years as the theatre teacher and troupe director at Groveport Madison High School. Over the course of his tenure, Corey was lucky enough to direct 16 shows. Selected credits include: Ohio University- Big Love, Engagements, Cabaret (A.D.) GMHS- Leading Ladies, Fools, Love Letters, Letters to Sala, Godspell (2012 Revised Edition), and The Little Mermaid.
Shane Strawbridge is a professional actor and playwright whose work has been seen throughout Texas, Nebraska, and Chicago. His plays have won numerous awards and been produced across the country in places such as Aurora, Colorado; St Louis, Missouri; Longview, Texas; Plano, Texas; Roanoke, Virginia; Nipomo, California; and Great Falls, Montana. Shane is a currently pursuing his PhD in Theatre at Texas Tech University. He earned an MFA in Playwriting as a member of the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab, his Master’s degree in Theatre from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 2014, and a Bachelor of Music from Howard Payne University. To learn more about Shane and his work, please visit his website at www.shanestrawbridge.com
Don Stewart holds an MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University, a BA from Boston College and has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC and at the Royal National Theatre Studios in London, England. He teaches courses in Theatre History, Intro to Theatre, Acting, and Shakespeare. Don has appeared on film & TV, Off-Broadway and at regional theatres including The Kennedy Center and Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA). Learn more about Don at www.pcpa.org/bios/donstewart.html
Katherine Varga is a millennial playwright working through her love-hate relationship with the Internet. Her full length plays include I <3 Girls (Seabury Quinn, Jr. Festival), Cora (Viterbo University’s New Works Festival, Geva’s Regional Writers Showcase, Benchmark Theater’s Fever Dream Festival), and Sunny Days (thesis production at Ohio University). Her shorter plays have been seen at Writers & Books (Rochester, NY), the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival, 20% Theatre Company (Chicago, IL), Tantrum Theatre (Dublin, OH), Little Black Dress INK, Voices HEaRd Women Playwright’s Festival (Lexington, KY), and Curious Theatre’s National Collective (Denver, CO). She received her MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University in 2019. She lives in Rochester, NY, where she loves teaching kids to write plays. You can find out more about her at http://katherinevarga.weebly.com.