Tag Archives: director

Meet the Retreatant: Barbara Whitney

11 Jul

For someone who regularly finds her wallet in the freezer, bakes challah at 3 am, sleep crafts, and occasionally eats a sandwich in the shower, you know, just for fun, Barbara Whitney is a model of sanity. A model of sanity who is really struggling with writing this bio. She’s ‘turged, directed, devised, performed, puppeteered, production managed, and taught at a variety of places around the world – from Carnegie Hall to Chicago’s South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade to under a tree in Bangkok. She spent years touring internationally and causing a theatrical ruckus domestically and is proud to have made a living as a freelance artist for 13 years. For the past 4 years she’s been a high school theater teacher where she encourages students to think of themselves as vast beings who exercise curiosity in the out-of-the-ordinary. And who embrace looking like an idiot, and say please and thank you. She is much less of a hippy than this bio makes her sound and, for the skeptics, has a legitimate theatrical resume with credentials and stuff that she’s happy to share if they’re happy to turn their clothes inside out to confuse the fairies. Mainstream is often interesting and worthwhile but the edges are where things happen.


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: 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: 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.