Katie Bender (she/her/hers) is a playwright, performer, and theater maker. Her plays include Judith, SHE WOLF, The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes, Instructions for a Séance and Howling, Texas to name a few. Her work has been developed and produced all over the country including at Hyde Park Theater, ZACH, Alley Theatre, Shrewd, EST, Kitchen Dog, The Playwrights’ Center, LAUNCH PAD, Fusebox Festival, and All For One Theater. She is the co-creator of Underbelly, with whom she made ecstatic site-specific performances such as Slip River which received the Critics Table Award for Best New Comedy. Her play Judith received the B.Iden Payne Award for Best New Script. Katie was a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center and received her M.F.A from The University of Texas.
Hilary Bettis is a critically-acclaimed playwright, TV writer, and filmmaker. She hails from a Chicana mother who grew up on the border and a Southern father who grew up Methodist. Her work is a culmination of these cultures, exploring the American identity through a working-class Latinx lens. Her plays have been developed and produced all over the US and Mexico. Theater accolades include Egerton Foundation New Play Awards, National Endowment for the Arts Grant, Pulitzer nomination, and a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, among others. She’s currently under commission at Roundabout Theatre, Miami New Drama, Untitled Theatricals, and is writing the musical book Lives in Limbo with Sergio Trujillo, Michelle Rodriguez, and Julio Reyes Copello. In television, Bettis won the 2019 Writer’s Guild of America Award for her work on the Emmy Award-winning FX series The Americans. She wrote for the Emmy-nominated Hulu miniseries The Dropout. She’s currently developing a TV series with Mindy Kaling, a limited series with Anonymous Content, and writing a feature with Carrie Brownstien. She’s an alumni of the Sundance Institute Episodic TV Lab, a graduate of The Juilliard School, and proud member of the WGAEast.
Chisa Hutchinson (B.A. Vassar; M.F.A. NYU) has presented plays at such venues as Alley Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, the National Black Theatre, Second Stage Theater and Arch 468 in London. Her first radio play, Proof of Love, can be found on Audible. She’s won some cool awards including a GLAAD Award and a Lanford Wilson, and also been a member of New Dramatists, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. Her first indie film, The Subject (starring Jason Biggs and Aujanue Ellis) can be found on most major VOD platforms. Currently, Chisa’s gearing up to premiere a new Starz series she wrote for and developing a biopic for Chaka Khan. www.chisahutchinson.com.
Marisela Treviño Orta
Marisela Treviño Orta A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Marisela Treviño Orta was a poet for many years before finding her way to playwriting while working on her first MFA at the University of San Francisco where she studied poetry. Her awards include the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama, 2009 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Drama, 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award, 2018 National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, and 2019 Kendeda Finalist. Marisela’s plays have been presented at American Players Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, the Arvada Center, Brava Theater, Camino Real Productions, Halcyon Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Milagro, Nashville Children’s Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre, Shotgun Players, Stages Repertory Theatre, Su Teatro, and Those Women Productions. Her plays The River Bride and Wolf at the Door are available in print via Samuel French and her play Audible commission Nightfall is available on their platform.
Mark Shanahan returns to the Alley having directed The Three Musketeers, Holmes and Watson, The 39 Steps (2010 and 2018), Hand To God, Around The World in 80 Days, Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure Of the Suicide Club (co-director), and having appeared as an actor in The Hollow, Harvey, Treasure Island, Tryst, Witness For The Prosecution, Hitchcock Blonde and Journey’s End and the 2016 Alley All New Festival. As a Playwright, he is the author A Sherlock Carol (nominated Best Play by The Off-Broadway Alliance, 2022 and playing each holiday season in New York and London) as well as his adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, premiering this summer at the Alley. Other writing credits include the Off-Broadway and regional hit comedy, The Dingdong, A Merry Little Christmas Carol, See Monsters Of The Deep, The Chronology Protection Case (adaptation, Edgar Award nominee), and co-author with Gibson Frasier of the short film Kill Me (Adirondack Film Festival.) Mark is the writer and creator of the acclaimed, White Heron Radio Theatre’s Ghost Light Series (NPR’s WNCK, Spotify, iTunes and other major audio platforms), featuring his own, original radio drama ghost stories as performed by renowned Broadway and Hollywood actors. As a Director, Mark’s work has been seen on the New York and London stage as well as Virginia Stage, Irish Rep, Mile Square Theatre, White Heron Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Arkansas Rep, Theatre Squared, Florida Rep, Weston Playhouse, Florida Studio Theatre, Penguin Rep, The Fulton, Merrimack Rep, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Cape Playhouse and others. As a Performer, Mark has appeared on Broadway in The 39 Steps and Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Off-Broadway in Tryst, Small World, The Shaugraun, Checkers, As Bees in Honey Drown, and more. He has performed on numerous regional stages including The Westport Playhouse, The Pioneer, Bay Street Theatre, The Fulton, The Kennedy Center, The Denver Centre, Hartford Theatreworks, White Heron and others. Mark is the Resident Director of The White Heron Theatre and curator of the Script In Hand Series at The Westport Country Playhouse. He is a graduate of Brown University (BA) and Fordham University (MA), and teaches at New York’s Jen Waldman Studio. mark-shanahan.net.
Anna Ziegler’s plays include the widely produced Photograph 51, which starred Nicole Kidman on the West End (WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play), is available on Audible and in Bloomsbury’s Modern Classics series, also named Chicago Tribune’s #1 play of 2019; Actually (Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown, Geffen Playhouse, London’s Trafalgar Studios, among many others; L.A. Ovation Award for Playwriting for an Original Play), Boy (Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award nominee); The Wanderers (Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play), and A Delicate Ship (NY Times Critic’s Pick). Anna Ziegler: Plays One and Plays Two are published by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama.
Afsaneh Aayani Stages: Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Main Street Theater: Last Stop on Market Street, Charlotte’s Web, Dog Act, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Book of Magdalene (Digital World Premiere), Alley Theatre: (Assistant Set Designer) Sweat, Catastrophic Theatre: (Director) Innominate, (Set Designer) 4:48 Psychosis, The Drama Squad1,2,3, (Assistant Set Designer) Fefu and Her Friends; Rec Room: (Director) The Moonlit Princess, (Assistant Set Designer) Pass Over, The Children; Classical Theatre: R.U.R, Lysistrata; A.D. Players:The Christmas Shoes, Unplugged, David The Best Slinger of The West; University of Houston: (Set Designer) Haroun and The Sea of Stories, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Dear Charlotte, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Luchadora, (Costume Designer) Three Sisters; Landing Theatre: Rapture Blister Burn, Caught, Oleanna; HGO.co: The Pastry Prince, The Puffed Up Prima Donna; Rogue Production: Two Mile Hollow, Pulsate; Actor’s Equity Festival: The Effect. Education: B.A., Art University of Tehran, Puppetry; M.F.A., University of Houston, Scenic Design. afsanehaayani.com.
May Adrales is a director, artistic leader, educator and mother; she has directed over 25 world premieres. Her work has been seen most recently at Second Stage (Rajiv Joseph’s Letters of Suresh) Manhattan Theater Club (Felicia Anchuli King’s Golden Shield, Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone) Signature Theater, LCT3, The Public Theater, WP, New York Theater Workshop,Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep and South Coast Rep. She was awarded the prestigious Ammerman Award at Arena Stage and Theater Communications Group’s Alan Schneider award for freelance directors. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Van Lier Directing Fellow, WP Lab Director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab and New York Theater Workshop directing fellow, TCG New Generations Grantee, SDC Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. She served as an Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep; Artistic Associate at The Playwrights Center; Artistic Associate at The Public Theater; and Director of Artistic Programs and Artistic Director at The Lark. She serves on the board of Theater Communications Group. May has directed and taught at Juilliard, Harvard/ART, ACT, Fordham, NYU and Bard College. May has served on faculty at the Yale School of Drama and Brown/Trinity MFA program. MFA, Yale School of Drama. She is currently the Director of the Theatre Program at Fordham University. (www.mayadrales.net).
Jade King Carroll
Jade King Carroll Seven Deadly Sins – Wrath (Miami New Drama – Drama League Award); Proof of Love (Audible at Minetta Lane/audiobook); New Age (Milwaukee Rep); Red Velvet (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Detroit ’67 (McCarter Theatre co-production with Hartford Stage); Intimate Apparel, The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Having Our Say (Hartford Stage co-production with Long Wharf Theatre); Autumn’s Harvest (Lincoln Center Institute); Trouble in Mind (Two River Theater & Playmaker’s Rep); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Whipping Man, Native Gardens, Skeleton Crew, Bad Dates, Perseverance, How I Learned What I Learned (Portland Stage); The Revolutionists, Sunset Baby (City Theatre); A Raisin In The Sun (Perseverance); The Tempest (Chautauqua Theater Company); Seven Guitars, The Persians (People’s Light and Theatre); Still Life(Ancram Opera House); King Hedley II (Portland Playhouse); A Raisin the Sun, Cardboard Piano (Juilliard) Laughing Wild, Redeemed, Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theatre Festival); New Golden Age (Primary Stages-Susan Smith Blackburn nominated); Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (Atlantic Theater – NYT Family Pick). Audio Plays: Marvel’s Wastelanders: Doom (Marvel, Ambies Nomination for Best Production); Proof of Love (Audible); Redeemed (Broadway Podcast Network/Dorset Theatre Festival); The Bleeding Class (Geva Theater); Isolated Incidents (Broadway Podcast Network). Associate Director for Broadway’s Streetcar Named Desire with Blair Underwood and The Gin Game with Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. Winner of the Paul Green Award from the Estate of August Wilson.Producing Artistic Director for Chautauqua Theater Company.
Marcela H. Lorca
Marcela Lorca is currently Artistic Director of Ten Thousand Things Theater. Her directing and choreography has been seen nationally in venues like the Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theater, Milwaukee Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Mixed Blood Theater, Goodman Theater, Washington Shakespeare and Juilliard Drama School. Directing credits include Emilia, Iphigenia at Aulis, The Comedy of Errors, Thunder Knocking on the Door, The Sins of Sor Juana, The Winter’s Tale, Into The Woods, Disgraced, The Count of Montecristo, Scorched, Caroline; Or Change, Crimes of the Heart, The Burial At Thebes, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, House of the Spirits, Blood Wedding, The Clean House, The Gods: Helen and Orestes among others. Numerous original plays include Macondo, Time Sensitive and Incurable: A Fool’s Tale. At the Guthrie Theater she directed movement for over 150 plays and choreographed over 20. She is a founding member of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training. In 2019 she received the prestigious Zelda Fichandler award.
Rob Melrose is the Artistic Director of the Alley Theatre where he has directed productions of Sweat, The Winter’s Tale, 1984, and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. He was formerly the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Cutting Ball Theater. He has directed at The Public Theater (Pericles, Prince of Tyre), The Guthrie Theater (Frankenstein, Happy Days, Freud’s Last Session, Pen, Julius Caesar – with the Acting Company); The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Troilus and Cressida – in association with the Public Theater); Magic Theatre (An Accident, world premiere); The Old Globe (Much Ado About Nothing); PlayMakers Rep (Happy Days); Black Box Theatre (The Creature, world premiere, BATCC Award for direction); as well as Actors’ Collective; The Gamm Theatre; and Crowded Fire, among others. His directing credits at Cutting Ball include Timon of Athens, A Dreamplay, Ondine (world premiere), Mount Misery (world premiere), Strindberg Cycle, The Chamber Plays in Rep, Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night (world premiere), Pelleas & Melisande, the Bay Area Premiere of Will Eno’s Lady Grey (in ever lower light), The Tempest, The Bald Soprano, Victims of Duty, Bone to Pick & Diadem (world premiere), Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Hamletmachine, As You Like It, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, among others. He has taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, USF, the University of Rhode Island, and Marin Academy. He has a BA in English and Theater from Princeton University and an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Rob directed Strindberg’s Svarta Handsken (The Black Glove) in Stockholm, Sweden at Strindberg’s Intimate Theater. This was the first time the play was performed on the stage for which it was written, 110 years after it was composed. He has translated Woyzeck, Ubu Roi, Pelleas & Melisande, The Bald Soprano, The Chairs, No Exit, Communique n o10, Where and When We Died, and The Blind. His translations of Woyzeck, Ubu Roi, and Pelleas & Melisande have been published by EXIT Press. He has written a number of plays including: Helen of Troy, The Flat Earth, Divorsosaurus, When Human Voices Wake Us, Asylum, and Serpentyne and has written a rock musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz with the San Francisco electro-rock group Z.O.N.K.
Hannah Wolf (she/her/hers) is an LA-based theatre director, producer, and educator originally from Juneau Alaska. Hannah has directed and developed Katie Bender’s play Instructions For A Seance at The Playwrights’ Center, Tofte Lake Center, and the Museum of Human Achievement. She’s directed and developed work at the Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla’s WOW Festival, Perseverance Theatre, Fusebox Festival, and many others. Recent shows include Fixing King John by Kirk Lynn, Airness by Chelsea Marcantel, and Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. Hannah’s currently teaching at the University of California Riverside and is the Artistic Producer at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. She’s a National Directors Fellow, a Fulbright Research Fellow (Bucharest Romania), an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She received her M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin, her B.A. from Western Washington University, and is a member of SDC. hannahjwolf.com
Lily Wolff is a British-American director and new play dramaturg/super-fan. Formerly Literary Manager at the Alley Theatre, Lily worked passionately on the All New initiative from 2018-2022 until she relocated to Philadelphia with her family (promptly cursing all of their sports teams…). Lily is now Director of Play Development for renowned visual artist and burgeoning playwright John Ransom Phillips and will be directing his Edinburgh Fringe-bound world premiere production Mrs President this summer, co-produced by Houston’s own Rec Room Arts. Recently, Lily directed Wolf Play and Hurricane Diane (Houston Theatre Awards “Best Play/Production,” “Best Ensemble,” and “Best Director” Finalist) for Rec Room, a series of pandemic audio plays for their Writer’s Group, led play development and collaboration workshops at the University of Houston, The University of Texas at Austin, and HSPVA, dramaturged Cowboy Bob playwright Molly Beach Murphy’s new play set in Galveston for New York Stage and Film/New Georges; directed at an Italian new play festival at Theatre503 in London; and became a Pandemic Parent! Previous directing credits also include: The Oresteia (University of Houston), From White Plains (Houston Theatre Awards “Best Play/Production” and “Best Director” Finalist), The Madres (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Cry It Out, A Bright Room Called Day, The Effect, Fahrenheit 451, Lungs (“Best Direction” Austin Critics Table Award), As You Like It, and Gidion’s Knot. Lily is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Heartfelt thanks to the Alley family for welcoming me back home!