2013 Citizens Play Festival Playwrights
Arlene Malinowski is an actor/playwright whose award-winning solo shows have been produced in venues and colleges across the country and abroad. including St Louis Center of Contemporary Art, the New Works Project at Millennium Park and HBO Workspace. Her other plays have been produced by Victory Gardens, NY Flash Fest, Chicago Theater Off Book, G1-60 UK Fest and was a finalist for the Heartland. In addition to her film and TV work (some of it good- most of it bad) she has appeared on stages in LA and Chicago including the Goodman and Victory Gardens. She teaches at Chicago Dramatists and coaches privately. She has been a contributing writer to a lot of literary publications with strange names like Paramanu Pentataquark, En Posse Review and The Week Behind. She is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a Ragdale Fellow. When she wants to show off she mentions that her work was cited in the Huffington Post and is to her knowledge, the only actor to appear both in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure AND Doogie Howser and in the same 24 hours. arlenemalinowski.com
Laurie McConnell is a St. Louis resident who’s thrilled to be in Chicago for Fine Print’s Citizens Play Festival, although she’s not sure she’s allowed back in the Cubby Bear after an unfortunate flash-for-beads incident while broadcasting the 2010 Cubs/Cards series. Her theatrical endeavors have focused primarily on acting, and her writing skills have been put to use most frequently in radio and television, but these two worlds now collide with her new comedy, The Dick and Doe Show. She swears that the events depicted in the play are not nearly as weird as an actual day in radio.
MT is a Chicago-based writer and performer. Her plays include Boy Small (part of The Fine Print Theatre’s 2012 Citizens Play Festival) Infernal (part of the 2012 Women’s Theatre Alliance New Play Development Festival), the musical Earth to Margaret (premiered at the Acorn Theatre, Three Oaks, MI), and The Picture of Dorian Gray (an adaptation commissioned for Flying Leap Radio Theater).
You can find her first feature film Eye of the Sandman (Split Pillow Films) on Amazon, and read her story “Grey Seal” in the July 2012 issue of Hippocampus Magazine. She keeps a story blog at Midwestern Robot and is a member of Courier 12 Collective. Some things she loves are the color orange, a fully committed clash of context, and really, no kidding, the kindness of strangers.
Jeff Bouthiette is a playwright, songwriter, and actor of Chicago. His original musical, Miami Nice: A Golden Girls Musical was produced by Gorilla Tango Theatre in November of 2012, and extended through March of 2013. Jeff served as a staff writer on Bare Boned Theatre’s live GLBT soap opera The Ville, contributing scenes and characters to new episodes as they premiered on a monthly basis. He also co-wrote Bare Boned Theatre’s first mainstage production, The Hecubae. He has written music and lyrics for Victory Gardens’ Fresh Squeezed Series, the Second City National Tour, the independent film “Snow Bunny,” and countless sketch comedy revues. In 2012, his play Installation had a reading at the Betty Dare Gallery. Jeff is a founding ensemble member of The Improvised Sondheim Project, and is currently Head of the Music Program at the Second City Training Center. He is an alumni of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters’ Project and a proud graduate of the Black Box Acting ACADEMY.
Aaron Graham is a Jeff Award-winning actor with over twelve years experience as an actor, singer, improvisor, teacher, and director. He is an associate artist with The Fine Print Theatre Company, where he previously directed the musical sketch show Christmas in Chicago in 2011 and 2012. Aaron has worked with many Chicago theatres including Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight, and TimeLine, and is a proud member of the Story Pirates, a nationally-recognized arts education and performance organization. In 2007, Aaron was honored to receive the Joseph Jefferson Award (Equity Wing) for his performance as Tateh in Porchlight Music Theatre’s acclaimed production of Ragtime. He also spent time working in Los Angeles where he performed at iO West, ComedySportz LA, and The Second City Hollywood. Aaron is a founding member of the Improvised Sondheim Project and teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Originally from Deerfield, Illinois, Aaron earned his B.A. from Cornell University.
Nikki Paley Cox
Nikki Paley Cox writes poems and plays when she’s not teaching Freshman Composition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is thrilled to be a part of the Citizen’s Play Festival. “Lift and Separate” is based on her experiences working part-time at a bra store in Boston while earning her MFA in Poetry at Emerson College. If you corner her before or after the performance to ask for a private bra-fitting consultation, rest assured you would not be the first, and you will get an accurate assessment.
Joe Janes is an Emmy award winning writer who teaches comedy writing at The Second City and Columbia College. He has written for Jellyvision’s “You Don’t Know Jack” and SNL’s “Weekend Update.” He has written three books: 365 Sketches, 50 Plays and Seven Deadly Plays. His full-length plays include Metaluna and the Science of the Mind Revue, A Hard Day’s Journey Into Night and Always Never. He writes regularly for WNEP Theatre and Robot vs Dinosaur. He is teaching an intense writing intensive called “3 Days, 3 Plays” the first weekend in August at Gorilla Tango.
Lisa Holmes is a fiction writer & playwright. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the literary journal “After Hours,” on WBEZ’s Radio M, and in storytelling events like Speak Easy Speak Hard and Story Lab. Holmes was awarded a Richard H. Driehaus grant for her play Summer Solstice, and her other work has appeared around Chicago at Steel Beam Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, the Midwest Playwriting Fest, and Second City, as well as the Salt & Pepper Theatre Co. in NYC.
Ross W. Berman IV
Axel Arth is a Nebraska born, Chicago based playwright. A graduate of the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film, Axel feels that society needs story-tellers now more than ever. He thinks that problems can’t be fixed unless people understand them. Change comes when people get angry enough to do something, but stay level headed enough to keep thinking. And that’s his goal.
Lynne McMahon, the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has received a Guggenheim Foundation Grant and an Ingram Merrill Award. Her play Half Irish was a finalist the Heideman Award (Actors Theatre of Louisville); her one-act play The Bird Sanctuary was a finalist for the Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Competition; her full-length plays Anonymity and Admit Impediment were semi-finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference.
McMahon’s play The Party was produced by the Manhattan Theatre Source Estrogenius Festival. The Bird Sanctuary received staged readings in both Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and had a full production at the Side Project, Chicago, April-May, 2009, under the direction of Adam Webster. Grief won the first place prize at the Durango Arts Festival and received a full production at their festival in September, 2011.