Tag Archives: 2011

Artist Updates: A Tidal Wave of Awesome

28 Jun

This summer, I reached out to past Freedom Art Retreat participants with the following prompt:

“Tell me one awesome thing you’ve recently done, or about to do.”

The responses are overwhelming in their variety, and I’m excited to share them with you…

Meron Langsner: Three playwriting things: Over Here will be in the NY Fringe Festival, The Devil’s Own Game will have a workshop reading with Turn To Flesh Productions in NYC, and Legacies is being developed through One Bird Productions. (As an aside, fellow Retreatant Angel Veza is likely to be involved in Legacies). I also recently had my play, Bystander 9/11 included in a major documentary theatre anthology published by Bloomsbury.

Lia Romeo: My play Reality won the HotCity Theatre New Play Contest last summer, and I am looking forward to the world premiere in St Louis this fall!

Nina Louise Morrison: I’m a new member of Project: Project and Accomplice Writers Group, and I was a 2014 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist.  I’ll be writing for The Mad Dash on July 12th.

Emily Kaye Lazzaro: I had a small role in Olive Kitteridge, which will air on HBO some time this year. Also I’m in Boston Public Works and we will be producing my new play Three next spring. Just finished the first draft and it’s coming together really nicely!

Corianna Moffatt: I devised and completed an oral history project, called The Impossible Questions Tour, spanning eleven states and gathered over 50 interviews about people’s personal philosophies on life, love, and loss.

Phil Berman: I’m running a Kickstarter to record my first album!! The album features songwriting from the last five years, many of them performed/tinkered at Freedom Art, fully orchestrated by Somerville guitarist/producer Brendan Burns.

Steve Bogart: Devised two theater pieces, Interference, and Lunar labyrinth with Retreat alums John King, Phil Berman, April Ranger, and Corianna Moffatt, that performed at the Oberon.

Amanda Coffin: This past year I served as the Artistic Intern at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD, did some great new-play dramaturgy/directing work with the DC based company Field Trip Theatre, and served as Dramaturg for the Plimoth Players, the Shakespeare Theatre Troupe at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA.  In the fall I’ll be attending Villanova University to receive my MA in Theatre.

Jason Weber: I recently completed phase one of an ongoing practice-based research project in collaboration with a post-doc researcher at Yale (Mary Isbell) where we worked with students to explore the theatre rehearsal process aboard 19th century warships. We performed phase one aboard U.S.S. Constitution for an audience of museum staff and historians and are currently looking at phase two which will involve an expanded script for a public metatheatrical presentation.

Allie Herryman: I’m the managing director at Open Hand Theater. That’s amazing enough considering where I was at retreat.
But just for fun I’ll add that I also got to invent and propose to the staff some new programming for the theater for the fall, and everything I made up was accepted for implementation (!!!)

Colleen Hughes: My play Directive 47 will have a staged reading as part of Fresh Ink Theatre’s Ink Spots reading series this fall.

Barbara Whitney: Just finished up my first year as chair of the theatre dept at cambridge school of weston! Maybe now I’ll get to some of them other projects.

Peter Staley: Just wrapped up my role as Producer and Actor in the world premiere of The Brink of Us, by Delaney Britt Brewer, in Brooklyn this past spring, supported in part by the fantastic New Georges, an Off Off Broadway company specializing in new works by female playwrights with female directors.

April Ranger: Just had two poems published in a rad anthology called Courage: Daring Poems For Gutsy Girls, and I am currently booking myself a Northwest Poetry Tour for the fall!

Lenelle Moïse: As some of you already know, my book, Haiti Glass, is here. I’ve been touring the U.S. and Canada sharing selections, live. Enjoy the book trailer!

Basil Considine: My comic opera The Frat Party is appearing in the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival, mixing a team of Boston-area opera professionals with local talent.

Amy Brooks: In July, I will return to West Virginia to serve as the Humanities Director for the Contemporary American Theater Festival. 

Rosa Nagle: I’m self-producing my play October in October, 2015, at the Broadmoor Sanctuary in Natick, MA, with help from the Massachusetts Audubon Society. 

Keith Trickett: I am once again acting this summer as Lancaster in Theatre@First’s production of Henry IV.  

Alison Ruth: This fall I’m moving to Iowa City to start an MFA in dramaturgy at the University of Iowa!

Morgan Goldstein: I recently worked as the dramaturg for a year-long development project Sean Graney’s play All Our Tragic through the Radcliffe Institute, and as the dramaturg and line producer for a reading of Sextet by Tommy Smith.



Meet the Retreatant: Amanda Coffin

23 Jun

Amanda, a dramaturg, joins us from Emerson.  (Hooray for local dramaturgy programs!)

Amanda Coffin is a director, dramaturg, actor, writer, and teacher. Originally from New Hampshire, Amanda has been in Boston since attending Emerson College where she studied directing and dramaturgy in addition to fiction writing.  She currently works at The Mary Baker Eddy Library giving tours, which is a much tamer position than her last museum job at The Witch Dungeon Museum in Salem, MA (puritan dress, re-enactments of witch trials, a really scary, possibly haunted, dungeon!).  She also has a recent interest in American Sign Language and is struggling to become more fluent in this very expressive language.


As a dramaturg, Amanda has worked extensively on new works and classic productions.  She recently directed a one-woman show about Zelda Fitzgerald entitled Zelda: Musings from the First American Flapper, which is currently touring libraries and theaters around New England.  She served as dramaturg for Emerson College’s 2010 Rod Parker Award-winning play Paint: Imagining a Love Story of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns which had its world premiere at Emerson and is currently being performed in Los Angeles, California to much acclaim.  Amanda also serves as an artistic adviser for Boston Stage Company and recently co-directed their New England premiere of iLove.  As an actress, Amanda performed opposite her twin sister in the world premiere of The Argument in Newburyport, MA and also spent a summer playing Miranda in an outdoor production of The Tempest.  She had a blast as a cast member of The Awesome 80s Prom: Boston for more than a year.

Amanda loves: her one-eyed cat Monkey, writing depressing fiction, reading classic books that everyone else seems to have read except for her, Jerzy Grotowski and physical theater, attempting to cook, and watching the Red Sox.  She got her BA from Emerson College in Theater Studies (Directing and Dramaturgy) and a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, also from Emerson.

Meet the Retreatant: Emily Kaye Lazzaro

22 Jun

Emily is making bold moves.  Check her out:

Emily Kaye Lazzaro is a playwright.  In 2011 she quit her office job to write full time.  She’s a little scared and a lot excited.

Emily was born and raised in Connecticut, outside New York City.  She moved to Boston in 2003, where she earned a BFA in Theatre Arts in 2007, and an MFA in Playwriting in 2011, both at Boston University.  She also studied Irish ensemble acting in Dublin through New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, and Trinity College, Dublin.

Emily’s undergraduate thesis, Be The Dog, was adapted from four short stories from the collection How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers.  Be The Dog was produced in 2008 by the Pendragon Theatre Company in Saranac Lake, New York, and in 2009 in New York City as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.

Her ten-minute play Crickets was produced by the Boston Center of American Performance (BCAP) as part of the 2011 Boston Theatre Marathon, and will be produced in August of 2011 in Chicago along with another of Emily’s ten-minute plays, Saving DeShawn, or The Carrot Play at Gorilla Tango Theatre.  Emily’s masters thesis, Grief and Surfing, will have a staged reading at Oberon in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also in August of 2011.

Emily is currently working on a full-length play about adolescence, infidelity, and Title IX, tentatively titled Girls Sports.  She is also planning to write a full-length play featuring all her actor friends – just like the Group Theatre.

Emily lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Billy, their cat Oscar, and a rotating house guest.

Meet the Retreatant: Nina Morrison

22 Jun

Nina is recent to Boston, but we sure are happy to have her. Here’s what she’s all about:

Nina Louise Morrison is a playwright, director, dramaturg, actor and teacher. She has had nine plays produced and developed, including her play Constitution about the last woman hanged in Massachusetts, starring Tony-nominated actress Xanthe Elbrick.

She holds an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts where she was a Shubert Grantee and a Richard Rogers Fellow. She also attended the National Theatre Institute, the New Actors Workshop and earned her BA from Oberlin College.  This year she worked as a dramaturg with Examined Man Theatre, as a director with Obehi Janice on her solo show fufu & oreos, and developed a book project with her father about teaching acting.

Nina is an adjunct professor at American International College in Springfield, where she rode out the tornados in the basement with her in-laws, the emergency radio and a bottle of wine. As the former Senior Program Associate for the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative she spent two years administering major grants for innovative theatre projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Nina grew up in White Plains, New York, and, having spent the last decade in Ohio, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Ithaca and Philadelphia, is thrilled to finally call Boston home.

Meet the Retreatant: Tyler Monroe

21 Jun

Tyler is joining us in the woods & it sounds like he’s going to be a lot of fun….

Tyler Monroe is a dramaturg, adaptor, and dirty, good-for-nothing liar.

He tells people that he is from Chicago… even though he spent most of his life in and around Indianapolis where he obtained a BA in Theatre from Butler University.  However in the six years before he moved to the Boston area, he worked and lived in the Windy City.  So it’s not a complete lie….

After moving to Chicago he was a company member of the fringe theatre ensemble Blank Line Collective—with whom he worked as dramaturg, creator, and/or adaptor on many productions.  Beyond that, Tyler worked as production dramaturg with Chicago companies New Leaf Theatre, Village Players Theater, Halcyon Theatre Company, and About Face Theatre.

Tyler is now half way through obtaining his MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advance Theatre Training at Harvard University.  This past season, he was dramaturg on Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and assistant dramaturg on Steven Sater and Serj Tankian’s Prometheus Bound.

Tyler is currently working on adapting a series of Edgar Allan Poe stories (Tales of Poe) for New Rep Theatre’s “New Rep on Tour” series,and is writing a new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen for the A.R.T./MXAT Institute graduate acting class of 2012.

Tyler strongly dislikes walking up a flight of stairs and ending on his left foot, has to have his glass in the exact middle of a coaster, aquatic life really freaks him out, he eats popcorn one kernel at a time, and “umbrella” is his favorite word in the English language to say… although “esplanade” is rapidly climbing the ranks.

We’ve all got our neuroses and idiosyncrasies—Tyler is just being up front about his.

Meet the Retreatant: Allie Herryman

21 Jun

Allie is a designer, production manager, and general Jill-of-All-Trades; we’re excited to have her on Retreat!

Alexandra came to Boston in the fall of 2009 to start her MFA at Boston University, and has gone on to a freelance career in production management and the occasional prop and puppet design. She has also built sets, hung lights, driven big trucks through cities, sewn on buttons, built risers, moved chairs and made lots of coffee.

Locally she has worked with Boston Opera Collaborative and Metro Stage Company, and she regularly appears at the Puppet Showplace Theatre as the technician for their quarterly Puppet Slam events.

Before Boston, Alexandra lived in Chicago, where she spent years as the full-time production manager for Silk Road Theatre Project.  She also worked around the city as a stage manager and prop designer for storefront companies Quest Ensemble, Tantalus Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. When not busy behind the stage, she likes to drink coffee and be outside.

Meet the Retreatant: Corianna Moffatt

21 Jun

Corianna is the Associate Producer & Dramaturg for Playwrights’ Commons.  She’s been working hard to help put the Retreat together, and will also participate as a dramaturg. 

Corianna Moffatt is an actor, director, playwright and dramaturg originally from Nashville, TN, currently residing and creating in Boston, MA.  As an actor she has performed the roles of Thea Elvsted in Hedda Gabler, and Cassandra in Agamemnon at Boston University, where she received her BFA in Theatre Arts in 2010.  She has also performed with Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Boston Actor’s Theatre.

As a dramaturg, her main interest is in new play development and devised theatrical works.  For her undergraduate thesis, she co-conceived and dramaturged Here Lies, an ensemble play inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.  She was recently an invited guest artist at BU, where she directed and developed The Last Confession of the Virgin Maria, a new play by Philip Berman, as part of the 2011 S.T.A.M.P. Festival.  She has studied Roy Hart Voice Work and Choreographic Theatre under Enrique Pardo and Linda Wise in Paris, and is working towards receiving her Roy Hart Teaching Certificate through their training center, Panthéâtre.  She is the author of two plays, Orange-Colored Sky andBête.

With Playwrights’ Commons her current projects include the creation and implementation of new programming, associate leadership of next season’s C1 Lab, co-leadership of the summer 2011 Artists’ Playground (co-hosted by Company One), and dramaturgy for the 2011 Freedom Art Retreat.

Meet the Retreatant: Meron Langsner

21 Jun

Meron joins the Retreat as a designer of stage violence, as well as a playwright. He’s got some dramaturgical practice as well — a real triple-threat!

Meron recently defended his dissertation, Impossible Bodies in Motion: The Representation of Martial Arts on the American Stage, and will be receiving his PhD in Theatre History from Tufts University in late August. He believes himself to be the first doctoral candidate in drama to literally defend his dissertation with a katana.

Meron was one of three writers in the country to be selected for the pilot year of the National New Play Network Emerging Writer Residencies, fulfilling his residency at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA. His plays have been performed around the country and overseas and developed at the Lark New Play Development Center, New
Repertory Theatre, the Last Frontier Theatre Conference (where he later returned as a Featured Artist), and the New England Regional Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival. Publishers of his plays include Smith & Kraus, Applause, and YouthPLAYS.

As a fight director and movement specialist, Meron has composed violence locally for companies such as Merrimack Rep, New Rep, Lyric Stage, Company One, Zeitgeist, Whistler In The Dark, and Opera Boston, and numerous academic venues, as well as in NYC for Ensemble Studio Theatre and Polaris North. Directing credits include the 2006 production of Tonya & Nancy: The Opera at the Zero Arrow Theatre in Cambridge that received international media attention; No Exit at Tufts University; and segments of Susan-Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays project for both Yellow Taxi Productions and Zeitgeist Stage. His scholarly work has been published by McFarland, Oxford University Press, Puppetry International, The Fight Master, All About Jewish Theatre, and The Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences;and presented at numerous academic conferences. Last year he was a fellow at Northwestern University’s Performance Studies Summer Institute. Meron has taught at Boston University, Emerson College, New York Film Academy, and Tufts University, where he was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

Meron holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Meet the Retreatant: Jason E. Weber

21 Jun

Meet Jason, who will be participating in the retreat as a designer and a playwright:

Jason E. Weber is a Boston-based playwright, director, and designer. His recent design credits include Projections for Company One’s production of Susan-Lori Parks’ “The Book of Grace” directed by David F. Wheeler, Sound for Jeffery Hatcher’s “A Picasso,” the World Premiere of Bob Clyman’s “The Exceptionals,” and Joel Drake Johnson’s “Four Places” all directed by Charles Towers at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where he has been the Lighting and Sound Supervisor for four seasons.

As a director, Jason has worked with North Quincy Community Theatre and will be helming Riverside Theatre Works’ “Our Town” this fall.

Additionally, Jason researches collaborative and community-based theatre, presenting his paper “Creating Together: Defining Approaches to Collaboratively-Generated Devised Theatre” at the 2011 Mid-America Theatre Conference.

He holds a BFA in Theatre from Marietta College and a MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College.

Meet the Retreatant: Colleen Hughes

21 Jun

Colleen will be joining us as a playwright at the Freedom Art Retreat in August. Here’s what she’s all about:

Colleen M. Hughes is a Boston-based playwright born and raised in Somerville, MA. She received her BA in English and Theatre from the College of the Holy Cross, where she wrote her first play for her senior thesis.

Colleen’s work has been produced by the Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts, and developed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the College of the Holy Cross.

She was a national semifinalist for the 2011 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s National Ten-Minute Play Award.

Colleen holds an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. She lives in Brighton with her boyfriend Allan and their three kitties. She is thrilled to be part of the first Freedom Art Retreat.