NSYPF 2020 Participants

2020 Playwright Participants

Abigail G. Norris is a playwright and actor from Richmond, Virginia. Last month, she finished her B.A. in Theatre Performance at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has written four full-length scripts, all of which have been produced and/or publicly workshopped. She has also written and devised over thirty short plays as a part of a theatre company (known as Short Plays for Hot Singles Near You) that she created with other UNCW Theatre students.  She doesn’t like to talk much but loves to eavesdrop which, any writer can tell you, is the perfect recipe for finding golden dialogue. She is a big advocate of Theatre for Social Change. As Margaret Atwood said, “A word after a word after a word is power.” Abigail hopes her words can help others find pride, power, and perspective. Also, once she had to play a Squid Girl onstage and is now vehemently determined to help fill the world of playwriting with less talking animal scripts.

AJ Maryn (they/them pronouns) is a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplined theatre artist, creating work that exposes vulnerabilities and speaks to emotional truths within us all. They come from a creative background that includes many years of dance, singing and acting, in addition to writing short stories and non-fiction essays. Maryn is an early-career playwright, whose first short play production was in Mesa, Arizona, on March 2019, for Laughing Pig Theatre’s Monologue Cafe play festival. Since then, they have had their short plays produced in many festivals in New York City. They are currently studying English at the Community College of Philadelphia while working on a production of their first full length play, as well as their first EP. AJ Maryn (who can also be found as Alex J. Maryn) can be contacted by email at handlegproductions@gmail.com and followed on Instagram @temporaryground.

Amanda Friedman (New York University) is a writer, producer, and actor from Stamford, Connecticut. She is currently a rising junior at New York University studying Dramatic Writing, with plans on concentrating in TV writing. She has completed several comedic works during her time at Tisch so far, and was given the opportunity to have some produced. These include her most recent film Appetite and her 2019 film Bad., which received “Best Original Screenplay” at NYU Tisch’s 48 Hour Film Festival and “Best Concept” at the Rough Cut Film Festival. Along with this, she also enjoys doing aerial silks and was lucky enough to combine her interests as the producer for Camp Lindenmere’s 2019 circus show “Click and Flip”. 

Anna Steuerman (Towson University) is an actor, poet, playwright, dragster, solo performer, and theatre artist from Baltimore, MD, and graduated this May from Towson University with a B.F.A. in Acting. Their favorite type of theatre is “theatre that hits you in the gut” and their favorite word to live by is “vast” (Ask them why! They have a poem and a whole thesis to share with you). Amidst our current pandemic, Anna has begun work on their first poetry album and a virtual theatre and art collaboration space called The Porch Night Collective with TU Theatre peers and alumni. When not in the theatre Anna can be found rock climbing, spending quality time with their beloved dog Stella, and supporting their local drag community. Anna firmly believes the best way to tell stories, especially stories that reflect a narrative different than one’s own, is to listen. 

Bella Cavicchi, originally from Mansfield, MA, is a rising senior at Brown University, where she is pursuing an independent major in Literacy and the Performing Arts. She is passionate about increasing access to the arts and creating theatre for all ages, and she aspires to a career in arts education. In addition to playwriting, she also loves to read, bake, and stage manage student productions.

Beverley Sylvester (Emory University) is a rising Junior pursuing a double major in music composition and playwriting. Her dream career is one in which she creates beautiful things that encourage people to love and find magic in each other and themselves. Her current means of acquiring money include giving piano lessons, teaching martial arts, gigging with her band, and miscellaneous artistic endeavors. Some of her recent recognitions are the Artistine Mann Award for her play Becoming, acceptance into the Juniper Summer Writing Institute for poetry, and selection for Vice Presidency of Emory Musician’s Network. 

Brooklyn Norrington (Kennesaw State University) is an aspiring actress, musical theatre performer, and playwright. From Los Angeles to Marietta, Georgia, Brooklyn now resides in Kennesaw, working towards earning a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies as a third-year student at Kennesaw State University. She wrote her first original, short play her senior year of high school, and has recently gotten involved in creating more works of art with her fellow co-playwright Le’Kee Horton, and as an individual. Her first experience with theatre was in 2014, performing as a Dynamite in Hairspray, and after feeling the magic of theatre, caught stage fever and a passion for the arts immediately! Brooklyn has been casted as Snoopy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Feste the Clown in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and Gloria in Thoroughly Modern Millie, along with many more roles and shows! After she graduates, Brooklyn would like to pursue a career in musical theatre and acting, and hopes to someday be seen on a Broadway stage and feature films! Not only does she believe in the love and light that theatre possesses, but she also has unwavering faith and confidence in herself and her path in life, and would like to assure everyone that with hard work, time, positivity, and perseverance, you can do anything you set your mind to! 

Cameron Shomari Noel (Sewanee) is a rising senior at Sewanee University. He is studying Theatre with a minor in dance. Originally from Glen Allen Virginia, he is currently located in Suitland Maryland. He is an aspiring director and playwright who enjoys writing plays centered around the experiences of African Americans & the LGBTQ community. In 2018 he attended a playwriting intensive at the Kennedy Center and served as a paid playwriting fellow for their summer festival. On Sewanee’s campus, he is a Posse Scholar, member of the track team, and member of the Queer & Ally house (2018-2020). This year he also was a member of Advocates for Youth, as a member of their Youth resource team. He focused on spreading awareness about sexual health and fought to have PREP available at the University Wellness Center. In his spare time, he enjoys binge-watching shows on Hulu and Netflix, dancing, and making youtube videos. His goal as a writer is to create interesting and thought-provoking plays featuring minorities that both show the issues they face, but also allows them to exist without being boxed in by their identities.

Cassidy Byron (any pronouns) is a rising third year student at NYU Tisch studying dramatic writing with a focus in playwriting. They are dedicated to telling queer stories and employing fellow queer artists, and will only write a cishet character as a villain. Ze has been involved in theatre for a little over 10 years, including over 50 credits in acting alone. Huge thanks to his fellow classmates at NYU for helping make this show what it is, and to xir girlfriend, Lexi, for all the undying support. See more of Cassidy’s work at cassidybyron.pb.gallery, or follow her instagram @booksbroadwayb99. Happy pride month!

Claire Dell-Priscoli is an aspiring queer playwright and part time actor. She just finished her first year at UAlbany and is studying to get her Masters in Information Studies in order to become a librarian, with a minor in theatre. Although she goes to school in Albany, she’s originally from Southern New Jersey, in a town fifteen minutes from Atlantic City. So, no, she can’t pump her own gas. When she’s not writing or crying to a Front Bottoms song, she enjoys video games, cross-stitching/embroidery, song-writing, poetry, and cooking! She’s always been inspired by theatre, and used to be in a leadership position in her drama club in high school as a captain. She’s also a part of the improv trope on campus, and recently performed in a production of Suddenly Last Summer last winter. Instead of having a normal job like a functioning person in society, she just plays Animal Crossing all day, every day. Although she has written scripts before, they often have never seen the light of day. She did, however, win a screenwriting award from Rowan University at their RTF Media festival in 2019. This is her first public theatre work, and she’s ecstatic it will be shown off at the festival!

Cole Henry graduated from Georgia State University with a BA in film production and a minor in marketing. He will be pursuing graduate studies in the spring of 2020. His dramatic and filmic work is deeply concerned and in tune with the human condition, giving light to mundanity, and telling stories born of his own experience—mainly narratives around skateboarding. Born and raised in Georgia, Atlanta runs in his blood. 

Darby Sherwood (University of Washington) comes from Aurora, Illinois and is a rising junior at the University of Washington in Seattle studying Drama and Political Science. Her play Two Heads of a Hydra has been performed and rehearsed three times in the past three years. She has also adapted new versions of Three Sisters and Romeo and Juliet for performance by the UW School of Drama. She is also a director, dramaturg, and classical singer. Her most recent project was directing and performing in Everyone Gets Eaten by Sharks with Asbestos Productions.

D.A. Mindell is a rising junior at Emory University, where he majors in playwriting and minors in Hebrew (and no, as of yet, he has not written a play in Hebrew). He originally hails from Woodbridge, Connecticut and does not miss the snow at all. At Emory, he is a founding member and community outreach chair of the school’s first and only Disability Advocacy Group. He also sits on the board of Ad Hoc, the school’s student musical theatre company, where he occupies the position of mediation office, which he created to facilitate communication between cast, crew, designers, and board members. He served as a production assistant for the 2018-2019 Theater Emory season, and held a production internship at the Welfleet Harbor Actors Theater for their 2019 season. Drew is a content creator for Sex Ed Queeries, an LGBT-inclusive sexual education YouTube series. He is currently co-directing a virtual production of You On The Moors Now, which will stream June 18-20, and will be directing The Baltimore Waltz in the fall. His play Grow Your Roots A Mile Long And Get Me Tangled Up received its first workshop in the 2020 Lenaia Student Playwriting Festival.

Eliana Mabe (Rhodes College) is a rising sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is pursuing a double major in Theatre and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology while being exposed to the vivid community in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee. She writes under the pen name Neurawtic, drawing from her left brain-right brain conflict. Her piece for the NYSPF Show-and-Tell is her first original play and her first festival submission. She would like to thank Dr. Dave Mason and Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield for supporting her through this process and seeing something in her that has since been undiscovered. Neurawtic has explored every aspect of theatre her college program has to offer, including acting in the punk rock musical Hissifit, working in the production shop, and assistant directing the what-would-have-been regional spring premiere of Firebringer. She is heavily involved in the Rhodes Theatre Guild, a student organization dedicated to producing more diverse opportunities in all areas of the theatre community, from tech crew to costume design to the lead role. This coming year she is serving as RTG’s secretary, directing The Prom, and continuing to write stories that represent minorities, mental health, female empowerment, and hope in these uncertain times.

Emily Marie Beltrán (UCLA) is from Paramount, California. She is an Undergraduate Theater, Film and Television major that will graduate this month with an emphasis in Playwriting. Her love for writing came in her youth, and flourished in High School when she won a competition for Theatre of N.O.T.E’s Young Writers Project in 2015. Since then, her focus has expanded into writing, directing and acting in Latinx plays. She has been involved with LATC’s The Latino Theater Company, and acted in the 2019 production of LA VICTIMA that was set to continue touring in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19. She also loves to sing, play music, paint, and take care of children and teenagers! She became a Summer Theater Counselor and is a part-time Caretaker. She is excited to have this opportunity to interact and learn from so many other great theater artists in this program. 

Gerard Eglitis Jr. (Georgia State University) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a rising senior pursuing a BA in Film and Media with a minor in Entertainment Media Management. His enthusiasm for filmmaking has led him to his newest interest in writing for the stage as well. He hopes to create art that not only serves as escapism from the hellscape that is planet Earth but also allows people to laugh a little, with his favorite genre being satire. 

Hanna Rose Wagner is a playwright and theater artist from Seattle, currently studying playwriting at Emory University. She’s passionate about eco-theater, coffee, dramatic research, her dogs, and a very specific female pirate in feudal Ireland that she’s writing a musical about. She has been involved in many facets of theater in the past; some recent favorites include serving as the Artistic Producer of the Lenaia Playwriting Festival at Emory, working as a dramaturg for Village Theater’s production of Tuck Everlasting, and co-music directing Emory’s production of Heathers

Jayla Creekmur is a rising sophomore studying Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was born and raised in New Jersey. Ever since high school, she has had a passion for filmmaking, acting and screen/playwriting. She has served as a member of the Montclair Film Festival Junior Jury and has acted in multiple theatre productions. Her screenplay College Dreams was awarded Best Youth Screenplay at the Newark International Film Festival. Throughout her artistic journey, she has noticed that there exists a lack of positive media representation of people who looked like her. As a young person who is equally passionate about social justice, she aims to use her art as a platform to create more narratives starring underrepresented groups, therefore allowing audiences to “meet” characters of different backgrounds and dispel the stigmas surrounding certain cultures. She wants to write plays and films that are drenched in a multitude of cultures and filled with a diverse array of intriguing and complex characters. 

Le’Kee Horton (Kennesaw State University) is an aspiring entertainer currently studying Theatre at KSU. His love for thrillers, horror, and campy comedy all forged to create his taste in storytelling. He loves to entertain in any way possible and dreams of one day creating a cult classic.

Logan Butcher is a Houston-based theatre artist focused on playwriting, dramaturgy, directing, and producing (new play development). As a co-founder of Theatre 66, he enjoys developing new works with young artists in the Houston area; they recently produced The NEOS Showcase: A Short Play Festival at The Alley Theatre. A piece he wrote titled What it Takes to Thrive was produced by the Houston Symphony in the event Resilient Sounds at White Oak Music Hall. Several of his ten-minute plays have been produced in the University of Houston 10-Minute Play Festival. He worked on dramaturgy for Julius Caesar and As You Like It at the Houston Shakespeare Festival last summer. During the COVID-19 quarantine, he has workshopped and live-streamed over 15 plays (and counting) through The Quarantine Series, a project he co-founded. Logan isn’t reading or writing, he can often be found playing basketball at the park despite his height disadvantage.

Luke Maloney (New York University) is from Wilton, Connecticut. Currently a junior studying dramatic writing, Luke loves to read works from Annie Baker, Martin McDonagh, and Suzan-Lori Parks. He spends as much time in the woods of Connecticut as he can. He likes to do improv and sketch comedy on campus, but stand up is too scary for him. Luke is not as blurry in real life as his “headshot” might suggest.

Matthew Pittard (Rice University) was born in Atlanta, although he’s lived most of his life in Winston-Salem, NC. He graduated this May from Rice University with degrees in English (Concentration in Creative Writing) and French Studies. Across four years of college, he has served variously as an actor, director, producer, and writer in nearly a dozen productions and events. His one-act Yukon Breakfast was the first of his plays to receive a full production in the fall of 2018. Matthew is both a playwright and a novelist, and now that he has graduated, he is excited to continue honing his craft and exploring his identity as a writer.

Maya Gelting (Agnes Scott College) is a rising junior studying English Literature- Creative Writing with a minor in Public Health. She moved from theater performance to writing when she started college, but still practices and performs as a soprano. She is not only an avid writer in many formats and genres, but also works as a writing and speaking tutor. Her passion for period pieces and obsession with illuminating shared humanity is reflected in much of her work. Her first play, If Not For Family, has been published through the Agnes Scott Writer’s Festival and received the Janef Newman Preston Prize for Dramatic Writing. She looks forward to expanding her skills and portfolio. 

Orlean Vidrine is pursuing a BFA in Dramaturgy from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. Orlean is from a tiny farming town in Vermont and regularly engages in the necessary yet tedious act of splitting wood. Using the mediums of playwriting, filmmaking, and visual/audio art, Orlean works to tap into the human experience of communication, escapism, the meaning of identity, and the pursuit of living. 

William O’Neal II, having been treated by numerous hospitals growing up, has learned to imagine the worlds that are not directly in front of him: worlds that are gentler, more kind, the ones he can control. Will aspires to be a screenwriter and producer who reminds the world of stories where the happy endings are just beyond the storms; we just must be willing to walk through the rain for a short while. After completing two years at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, Will is now a rising junior at Emory University. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.