Playwrights of 2015
Here are the previous talented playwrights who showcased their work in the 2015 OC-Centric New Play Festival.
Author of "Fabulous Monsters"
Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actress and a respected teaching artist at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA.
She has created notable roles in the world premieres of The Labors of Hercules at the Laguna Playhouse, The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy at South Coast Repertory and Sweet Peace at Center Theatre in Santa Barbara. She is also a familiar presence to SCR's young audiences. She began to write after she realized that there were few parts of substance available for someone of her gender, ethnicity and age. Her first play Silueta, written with Chris and Tom Shelton, was about the tragic death and vibrant life of the artist Ana Mendieta. Silueta has been a selection of several notable festivals including The Cygnet Theatre’s Playwrights in Process and The Great Plains Theatre Conference Play Lab.
She directs, produces, writes and manages Sleep Till Noon Productions. Diana is a member of the inaugural writers circle for Latino Theatre Association/ Los Angeles, which helped birth Fabulous Monsters. Fabulous Monsters was one of 8 plays performed at the Playwrights Nest at Los Angeles Theatre Center, and one of 3 chosen for Fullerton College’s 25th Annual Playwright's Festival.
Author "Grace Note"
Born in Los Angeles in 1960, Robert Riemer understood early on that pursuing the arts wasn’t a choice it was a calling. Writing has always been a passion – short stories, poems, a novel. His father, Norman Modell had a passion for writing and the theatre. When Robert was a child, he instilled in him a love for the theatre with nightly readings of Shakespeare and frequent pilgrimages to an assortment of live performances. Nevertheless, Robert chose painting and experimental photography as the avenue for his expression. A short stint at the Otis Art Institute and then graduating from the school of fine art at UCLA, he became a peripheral member of the community of Los Angeles visual artists. But still, the written word haunted him. In 2007, for reasons that are still unclear to Robert, he wrote the first lines of his first play. From that point on he was possessed. All his study of Shakespeare, of modern drama, of the theatre as a whole and the admiration of those who stage and who give their lives to the theatre, boiled to the surface. Those who know Robert say his paintings look like his plays. The same edgy yet beautiful longing inherent in the human condition is present in both. Robert currently resides in Laguna Beach, California with his wife and three children.
Author of "Corrupt Impressions of The Dangerous Ones"
Joni Ravenna is a television writer/producer, journalist, playwright, and the co-author of “You Let Some GIRL Beat You? - The Ann Meyers Drysdale Story” (Behler Publications, 2012) which Forbes called “A stunning portrayal of one of today’s legendary women’s basketball treasures.”
A graduate of USC, her first full-length play, A Brush with Fate, was produced directly out of college at West Coast Ensemble in one of the early LA Fringe Festivals.
Over the years, she has written and produced award-winning PBS Specials like “The Donovan Concert–Live at the Kodak” and “Latin Music Legends at the Orpheum.” Other credits include “Earth Trek,” “Aging of America,” and “Great Sports Vacations” (which she also hosted and which earned an ACE nomination; it was at one time the highest rated show on The Travel Channel).
Today Ravenna hosts and writes “Hello Paradise” for KVCR-TV (PBS). She lives in Newport Beach and Palm Springs with husband, attorney Mitchell Reed Sussman, with whom she has two daughters. She enjoys collaborating with other writers.
Creator of "HamlEt"
Tamiko Washington is also the artistic director and founder of OC-centric. An Associate Professor of Theatre at Chapman University, she has an MFA in Acting from UCI and is considered the originator of American Noh Theatre. Tamiko has acted at South Coast Repertory, the Old Globe Theatre, the L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare Orange County. Her TV credits include co-starring and guest artist roles in Pensacola, Silk Stalkings and two Lifetime films, Two Small Voices and Kidnapped. In 2009, as a member of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, she was honored, with the company, in receiving the Margaret Hartford Award for sustained excellence in theatre. In 2005, she received a Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Award for Excellence in Education for her work at Chapman University. Tamiko is also artistic director of Actors Circle Ensemble and directed ACE’s productions of Experiment (Hollywood Fringe, South Coast Repertory’s SCRamble series) and A Night of Noh Theatre (Hollywood Fringe).
Leonard Joseph Dunham
Author of "Love's Lost Words"
Leonard Joseph Dunham is an Orange County native and recent graduate of San Francisco State’s Creative Writing program where he received a BA, specializing in Playwriting. He has had works produced in Santa Ana, Fullerton and Indianapolis. He has worked in Orange County’s Storefront Theater community a Playwright, Actor, Director, and Technician. He has a girlfriend and two cats.
Author of "Spoken Allowed"
David Scaglione has been writing for the last twenty years, completing twenty-five full length plays, twenty short plays ,and two dozen children’s and Christmas melodramas. David studied playwriting at South Coast Repertory Adult Conservatory and has taught theatre at Orange Coast College for the past twenty-eight years. David’s first play was produced in 1991 called BA-SHING! The Hunger Artists Theatre Company in Santa Ana, produced David’s modern adaptation of Kafka’s THE METAMORPHOSIS.
David Scaglione has written a new melodrama for every Christmas holiday at Orange Coast College since 2008, with such titles as ONE OF SANTA’S REINDEER IS MISSING, THE TOY MASTER GENERAL and THE LAST RADIO SHOW OF HICK HAYSEED. David has had collection of his plays for young audiences published, which included his adaptation of MOBY DICK and a 20-MINUTE ROMEO AND JULIET. David is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild of America and he would like to thank the members of the play-reading groups: New Voices and L.A. Playwrights for their support and help in the playwriting process.