JAMES ANTHONY TYLER (Lead Mentor) is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award and an inaugural playwright to receive a commission from Audible. He was also recently The Playwrights Center’s McKnight Fellow. His plays include Artney Jackson (World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters), Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and Finborough Theatre in London). He has a MFA in Film from Howard University and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He is also a graduate of The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. He was the Staff Writer for the OWN Network show Cherish the Day and was most recently in the writers’ room for a new Apple+ drama series starring an Academy Award-winning actress. Upcoming: Some Old Black Man in London 2024 and the world premiere of Into the Side of a Hill in Flint, Michigan in 2024.
JENNIFER BLACKMER’s (Lead Mentor) plays have been seen in productions across the country and include Human Terrain, Unraveled, Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (Joseph Jefferson award for Best Adaptation), Delicate Particle Logic, Borrowed Babies (David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award) and Predictor, a rolling world premiere, O’Neill finalist, and finalist for the 2020 Jane Chambers Award for Feminist Playwriting. Her newest play, I Carry Your Heart With Me, will premiere at Third Avenue Playworks in May 2023. Jennifer’s work has been developed by Seven Devils, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Repertory Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Lark and Activate Midwest, and she is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award for Emerging American Playwright, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Tribeca Film Institute award, the Indiana Women of Achievement Award, and the Gold Medallion from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Jennifer is a Professor of Theatre at Ball State, where she also serves as Director of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. www.jenniferblackmer.com
AMALIA OLIVA ROJAS (she/her/ella) is a Mexican poet, performer, and theater artivist based in Nueva York. Her work centers and archives the stories, myths, and legends told by her family, her community, and fellow immigrant women. She is a proud alumnus of the Vassar College Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Program and CUNY Lehman College. Residencies Include Pen America’s DREAMING OUT LOUD fellowship, New Perspectives Theater Company Women’s Work Short and Full-Length Play Lab, NYU Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, EmergeNYC Program, Culture Hub’s Thriving Changemakers, Beam’s Center Lighthouse Artist Residency at Governors Island, among others. In November 2022, her play A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Succeed in the Myth-Making Business was produced by Lehman College. Most recently, Amalia’s play How to Melt ICE (or How the Coyote fell in love with the lizard who was really a butterfly) received the New York Women’s Fund grant. How to Melt ICE was co-produced by New Perspectives Theatre Company and Boundless Theater Company in February 2023. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University.
EMILY ELYSE EVERETT is a writer and actor living in New York. In her work, she is interested in the mysterious, bizarre, and dark, and in exploring the complexity of human morality, womanhood, and the psychological unraveling of the contemporary world. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Emily has a BA from Brown University and is a Playwriting MFA candidate at Columbia University, where she works with Lynn Nottage, David Henry Hwang, and Chuck Mee. Emily was awarded Synecdoche Works’ 2022 Frank Moffett Mosier Fellowship for Works in Heightened Language and the $3000 winning prize for her play Strange and Splendid. She was a Semifinalist for the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival and a Winner of the Players Club of Swarthmore New Play Festival for her play Serenity, and was selected for the 2023 Valdez Theater Conference for her play Tryhard. Emily attended the 2015 New South Young Playwrights Festival and is honored to be back as a mentor!
jose sebastian alberdi is a Mexican-Basque-American playwright, born and raised in San Diego. He now lives in Brooklyn and writes plays to make sense of things he finds interesting &/or important. sebastian has received commissions from SpeakEasy Stage for their annual Boston Project and is under commission at INTAR as their inaugural Max Ferrá Playwriting Fellow. He was a writer-in-residence at Fresh Ground Pepper’s first-ever Eco Week as part of their 2022 BRB Retreat, and a playwriting fellow at Lambda Literary’s 2018 Writer’s Retreat. Selected plays: bogfriends (O’Neill NPC Selection 2023); The Family Saves A Life (O’Neill Semifinalist 2022); rachel, nevada; and de tal palo, tal astilla, a ten-minute play (Take Ten Theater Masters 2023, Concord Theatricals/Sam French). MFA: NYU; BA: Northeastern; @milk_jello
RO REDDICK (she/her) is a queer Black playwright/songwriter and a third year MFA Playwriting candidate at Brown University. She writes off-kilter comedies that are the theme songs to your late capitalist nightmares. Plays: Throwback Island (Bushwick Starr Reading Series ‘22, O’Neill Finalist ‘23), ROBAMA (Williamstown Theater Festival NYC Reading ‘22, O’Neill Semifinalist ‘22), Miss Black Syracuse (The Duplex), Cold War Choir Practice, and The History of Black People… (co-writer Daryl Lathon). Her script The Fam was a semifinalist for the MACRO x Blacklist Episodic Lab, and her short A Test in Stamina premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival. Fellowships + other fun stuff: Venturous Fellowship Nomination 2023, Lambda Literary Writers Retreat (summer 2023), La Mama Umbria International Playwright Retreat, Miranda Theatre Company Playwright Grant. Ro has a BFA in Acting from Ithaca College and an MBA from NYU, which she has no intention of using.