INTAR Names 2011 Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence

INTAR Names 2011 Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Julissa Contreras, Fernanda Coppel, Beto O’Byrne and Lisa Ramirez have been named INTAR Theatre's 2011 Maria Irene Fornes Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence.

As part of the residency, each writer is afforded the opportunity to workshop his or her play prior to three public performances. Lucy Thurber will lead the first of three residency sessions, which will focus on fine-tuning and workshopping a new play. A pre-production session will follow, centering on collaborating with designers, directors and casting agents. Casting director Billy Hopkins will work with the playwrights to cast their works in preparation for the final session, which will mark a public presentation of the respective plays.

Here's a look at the playwrights:

Julissa Contreras is an actor/playwright/director, who is a LaGuardia HS alum and current Brooklyn College student. Contreras is a also a former member of the Manhattan Class Company’s Youth Company where she appeared in In The Moment, Uncensored ’08 and Uncensored ’10 (which she assistant directed), and had her first full length play, Daniel, presented at the company’s FreshPlay festival. Contreras has had her writing presented at RattleStick’s Play Jam Festival 2010, and Rebel Verses at Developing Artist Theater.

Fernanda Coppel was born in Mazatlan and raised in San Diego. Her play Chimi-Changas and Zololft was the winner of the Asuncion Queer Latino Festival at Pregones Theater and has had readings at both Atlantic Theater and The Public Theater. Her play Pussy has had readings at NY Theatre Workshop and The Juilliard School. She recently had a workshop production of her play, The Leak at INTAR Theatre. Last summer her short play, That Douche Bag's Play, was produced by The Old Vic. She received her MFA from NYU and won the John Holden Playwriting Award. She is currently in her second year of residence in the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at The Juilliard School.

Beto O’Byrne is a theater artist from the pine forests of northern East Texas. He holds a BA in Writing from Northwestern State University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California. Among his many and varied experiences in the theater profession, he is most proud of his work as Artistic Director of Austin Latino Theater Alliance, where he created the ALTA Performing Arts Showcase and directed La Pastorela. As a playwright, his work has been performed in San Antonio and Austin, as well as Los Angeles. He was a runner up for the National Latino Playwriting Award (Into the Pines, ’06), and a participant in the Texas Black and Latino Playwriting Festival. Lisa Ramirez is an actor and a playwright. Her solo show, Exit Cuckoo (nanny in motherland), was presented Off-Broadway by the Working Theater (directed by Colman Domingo). Other writing credits include Art Of Memory, a dance theatre piece presented by Company SoGoNo at 3-Legged Dog (conceived and directed by Tanya Calamoneri); Invisible Women-Rise, in collaboration with the Foundry Theatre and Domestic Workers United (Ramirez directed); In Mother Words (co-conceived by Susan Rose and Joan Stein). Ramirez is currently working on a newly commissioned play about the mostly Latina/immigrant women who live and work up in Sullivan County, New York’s poultry plants. The Poultry Play (working title) will be produced in New York in the Working Theater’s 2011-12 season (Lisa Peterson director). As an actor, she has performed at the Roundabout Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Tectonic Theatre, 3-Legged Dog, Clurman Theatre, INTAR, HERE Arts Center, The Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, and NY Theatre Workshop.

INTAR is one of the longest-running Latino theatres in the U.S. For further information visit INTARTheatre.

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