Archive by Author

Meet the Retreatant: Angel Veza

25 Jun

Angel Veza was recently one of two Fight Directors working on Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension at Vagabond Theatre. In addition to being a fight director, Angel is also an actor whose recent credits include: When the Gods Speak (Bostonia Bohemia/Interim Writers), A Dream Play (Heart and Dagger Productions), and Stoops! (Divine Stage Works). She recently served as the Fight Director for From Denmark With Love (Vaquero Playground). Angel graduated from Tufts University and has also trained at the Vampire Cowboys Rabid Vamps Fight Studio in NYC.

Meet the Retreatant: Bill Doncaster

25 Jun

bill doncasterBill Doncaster is a playwright, producer, and the co-founder and President of Stickball Productions. His adaptation of George V. Higgins’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle was Stickball’s inaugural production, ran for 11 performances, and was re-mounted as part of the Emerging America Festival.  His short plays have been produced in Boston, New York, Chicago, Louisiana, Florida.  He earned a BFA at Emerson College, MFA at Lesley University.  He’s currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Small Theater Alliance of Boston.

Race & Gender in the New Play Sector: XX PlayLab

21 Mar

Hello PwritesCom friends!

There are some exciting events coming up this weekend for those who care about playwrights and new plays.  See the announcement below. All roundtables are free and open to the public (no reservations or tickets required), and the panelists are really phenomenal. I’m so proud to be producing and moderating these conversations.


Join Company One, the Boston Center for the Arts, and some of the smartest artists around talking about gender and race in the new play sector. The XX PlayLab Festival features public readings of new plays by Kirsten Greenidge, Natalia Naman, and Lydia R. Diamond, as well as two roundtable conversations with industry leaders. Roundtables are free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed on NewPlayTV Saturday, March 23, 10am (ET), and Sunday, March 24, 12pm (ET). Join us in person at the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston’s South End, or online (#newplay #xxc1). Details are below:


Saturday, March 23, 10am (ET)
• Lydia R. Diamond, playwright
• Kirsten Greenidge, playwright
• Natalia Naman, playwright
• Shawn LaCount, director
• Megan Sandberg-Zakian, director
• Charles Haugland, dramaturg
• Moderated by dramaturgs Ilana M. Brownstein & Tyler Monroe


Sunday, March 24, 12pm (ET)
• Jacqueline Lawton, playwright
• Hana Sharif, playwright/producer
• Lenelle Moïse, playwright/performer
• Anne García-Romero, playwright
• Moderated by dramaturg Ilana M. Brownstein


Can’t make it in person? WATCH THE LIVESTREAM.


XX PlayLab, a program jointly presented by the BCA and Company One, a BCA Resident Theatre Company, supports, develops and propels the work of female playwrights. This season, the BCA and Company One invited three dynamic women at various stages of their careers for a year-long program composed of in-house and public readings, dramaturgical support and artist mentorship, culminating in a weekend long festival in March.



For a full schedule of Festival events, CLICK HERE.
For more information about Festival panelists, CLICK HERE.
For more information about, and interviews with Festival artists, CLICK HERE.
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Update: Where Boston Stands for 2012-13

22 Oct

{Welcome, HowlRound readers!}

In late April, I posted a report card on the Boston theatre scene and the available numbers on racial and gender diversity for the 2012-13 season. The problem with those numbers were that some theatres I wished to include in the counts had not yet announced their seasons.

In concert with Boston week on, I wanted to revisit my accounting, and see if things have changed much in the last few months.

Please see the original post HERE, which lists the companies I counted, by name, and details my methodology I used then (and now).

Here’s what’s changed. Unlike in April, there are now other categories “of color” to count. Again, I’d like to reiterate how non-scientific this is. As I said in April:

“And a final caveat about the designation “of color“: […] It’s tricky, since I’m operating largely from names, bios, and photos for the artists I don’t know personally or professionally. This method obviously has its faults.”

That said, we now have several plays in Boston this year by Asian American writers, when we had none as of a few months ago. I’d call that an improvement, especially in light of the national attention drawn to underrepresentation of Asian American voices by AAPAC-NYC, the Asian American Performers Action Coalition.

I’ve been able to add the seasons of Company One and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre to the mix, as I’d wished to do in April, as well as additional information on shows from the ART, Lyric, Trinity Rep, Merrimack, Central Square, and Fresh Ink.

Here are my revised numbers for the 2012-13 Boston theatre season.

Total number of plays being produced: 64 → 74

Total number of world premieres: 10 → 13

Total number of plays by local playwrights: 9 → 13

Total number of male playwrights/lyricists/composers: 61 → 67

Total number of female playwrights/lyricists/composers: 15 → 19

Total number of playwrights/lyricists/composers of color: 6  → 12

Total number of male directors: 29 → 40

Total number of female directors: 15 → 29

Total number of directors of color: 2 → 5

Welcome HowlRound Visitors

21 Oct

Hello there!

How’s it going? I bet you’re visiting from Thanks for your interest, and I invite you to come back later tonight for the release of the most updated Boston Theatre Season numbers on gender and racial diversity.

All the best,

Ilana Brownstein

Founding Dramaturg, Playwrights’ Commons

Thanks, O’Neill

21 Oct

Huge thanks to Anne Morgan of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, who joined us yesterday afternoon for our most recent iteration of Playwright Night Out.

Anne answered questions about the submission process for the National Playwrights Conference, and provided advice writers about how to make the most out of submission of this type, at the O’Neill and elsewhere.

Anne and her colleagues would like to remind you that submission for this coming summer close on Oct 26th.

See HERE for more details. You can also contact the literary office — litoffice(at) — or 860.443.5378 ext 227 with further questions.

Countdown: 3 days!

27 Jul

As we edge ever closer to this year’s Retreat, we’re looking back at the wrap-up reports from last year. Check out these write ups from 2011 retreatants — click their names for links to full posts:

Nina Louise Morrison

“I am always returning to the question – why this right now? – as I sit and write, alone. I do this because I want the plays I write to mean something, not only to me, but to be worthy of other people’s blood, sweat and tears.  A play asks for the time, attention, spirit, and money of so many people.  So, whether my play is intended to make an audience cry, think, sigh or laugh, I take my job pretty seriously.  Probably, often, too seriously.”

Meron Langsner

“About ten days ago I returned to Boston from one of my best creative and collaborative experiences in a long time.  I am a person who really enjoys what I do, so these are strong words. …The whole week was one constant shifting experience of creative synergy.  Every collaborator I had the pleasure of working with was incredibly smart, giving, and creative and in every group the sum was always greater than the whole of the parts.  This sounds a little cheesy, but everyone made everyone else a better artist.”

Colleen Hughes

“I learned a lot about my own process, and I learned that I love collaborative projects even more than I’d realized before the retreat. I love working with other people and getting to create something even better than I could have made on my own. I went into grad school not knowing anyone else who wrote plays. After I finished school, I knew a nice group of amazing writers, but I didn’t know many other theatre artists working in different disciplines. I now have a group that consists of not only writers but dramaturgs, sound designers, puppet designers, and fight directors who I feel I could call on when a project needed it. It made me want to work collaboratively so much more often.”

Retreat Advice

25 Jul

We asked last year’s Retreat participants to share their advice for new retreatants. Here’s the first installment!


“Bring: Bathing suit and towel. Shoes for walking, and shoes that can go in the water. Art supplies that you love. music device and headphones. Flash drive to get other people’s pictures at the end.
Maybe: computer. you can live without it unless you’re a playwright who wants to spend time writing. games. more like frisbee than monopoly though.
Leave home: bedding, pretty clothes (you’re more likely to be dirty than need to be pretty). I would also say leave home your cell phone if I thought that was realistic…. Look up maps of the region before you get there. Talk to the locals. Ask what their favorite hikes are. Embrace that you are in a region that has it’s own special history and culture.”


“Get ready to collaborate.  •  2 heads are better than one, 4 heads are better than two, etc, etc.  •  Show where you are shy and dive in!  •  Bring a bathing suit.  •  There are sea monsters in Little Pea Porridge Pond.  •  Sometimes it’s best to stop talking and DO something!  •  The key is saying “yes and…”  •  Ilana’s cooking is amazing.”

Revisiting Hammer Time

25 Jul

In preparation for next week’s Retreat, here’s a wonderful piece from last year. We first posted this on Aug 10, 2011.

♺ ♺ ♺ ♺ ♺

In 7 hours over the last two days, a group of four collaborators conceived of a full length play for young audiences, with heavy metal (acoustic guitar) music. It stars a troubadour fox and a katana-wielding hero whose sword is named Hammer.

Here’s the first song, called “Nails.”

Hammer will flatten out all of your problems if all of your problems are nails!

All rights reserved, created by Meron Langsner, Colleen Hughes, Corianna Moffatt, and Phil Berman, with sponsorship by Playwrights’ Commons. Performance by Phil Berman & Corianna Moffatt.

Countdown to the Retreat: One Week to Go!

23 Jul

Seven days from now, we’ll be caravaning up to New Hampshire for the Freedom Art Retreat. In the meantime, check out some of our favorite shots from last year…


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