Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His stage play Disgraced played at New York’s LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, and won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His latest play, The Who & The What, premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in February 2014, and will be opening in New York at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in June 2014. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.
Eleanor Holdridge Off-Broadway productions include Steve & Idi, (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Cycling Past The Matterhorn (Clurman Theatre), The Imaginary Invalid, and Mary Stuart (Pearl Theatre Company). Regional credits include I and You (Geva Theatre);Gee’s Bend (Arden Theatre); Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Lettice And Lovage, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Taming Of The Shrew (Shakespeare & Company). The Crucible (Perseverance Theatre),Educating Rita, Noises Off and Art (Triad Stage), Julius Caesar and Macbeth (Milwaukee Shakespeare), Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Alabama Shakespeare), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare St. Louis), Henry V (Shakespeare on the Sound), Betrayal (Portland Stage), and Lion In Winter (Northern Stage). Her DC area productions include I and You (Olney Theatre), Zorro, which she co-wrote (Constellation Theatre), Double Indemnity (Roundhouse Theatre),The Gaming Table (Folger), God of Carnage and Pygmalion (Everyman Theatre); Something You Did and Body Awareness (Theatre J); and After the Revolution and Much Ado About Nothing (Taffety Punk). Eleanor has been Founding Artistic Director for the Red Heel Theatre Company, Resident Assistant Director at the Shakespeare Theatre, and Resident Director at New Dramatists. She has directed and taught students at the Yale School of Drama, NYU’s graduate program, and the Juilliard School, among others.
Matthew M. Nielson
Tennessee Williams was a master playwright of the twentieth century, and his plays A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, andCat On A Hot Tin Roof are considered among the finest of the American stage. At their best, his twenty-five full-length plays combined lyrical intensity, haunting loneliness, and hypnotic violence. He is widely considered the greatest Southern playwright and one of the greatest playwrights in the history of American drama.
Mitchell Hébert most recently appeared in Uncle Vanya, The Nutcracker, How to Write a New Book for the Bible (Helen Hayes nomination), and directed Glengarry Glen Ross (Helen Hayes Award –directing) at Round House. Previous RHT credits include The Drawer Boy (Helen Hayes nomination), Young Robin Hood, Charming Billy, Around the World in 80 Days, Eurydice, and Crime and Punishment. Local credits include The Laramie Project at Ford’s Theatre, After the Fall at Theater J ( Helen Hayes Award – acting),and Clybourne Park (Helen Hayes nomination) at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, where he is a long-time company member. Other Woolly credits include: The Gigli Concert, Kvetch, and The Clean House. He has performed at many of the DC area’s theatres including Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, Theater J, Forum Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, and Olney Theatre Center, where he also directed Rabbit Hole. Mitchell is on the faculty of the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Andrew R. Cissna