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Competing Narratives

A.B. ASHER (Playwright) is a Bronx native who turned to playwriting in order to bring to life some of the people he has known in his life. Full-length plays: Competing Narratives, Pedestrian Crossing, Gibeah, Broken Soul, and Revelation. Shorter works: Animum Reflectere and Hermanos (one-acts); Candid Date, P.O.C., Play Ground, and Flight (ten-minute pieces). Thanks to Jack, Bruce and Margarett and all my love to Davey, my muse.


Romeo and Hamlet

R. JONATHAN CHAPMAN (Playwright) graduated with a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Calgary in 2001.  In 2008 he won Grand Prize for the Alberta Playwriting Competition for his full length play The Wall. His one act play the god of ordinary things was produced as part of the 2008 Ignite! Festival of emerging artists with Sage Theatre in Calgary, and a new play The Kingdom of Three will appear in Ignite! 2010. Previous work including Romeo and Hamlet, Prometheus Unplugged, and Watching Fight Club Made Me Crazy were produced in Calgary with Hidden Insanity Theatre, of which Jonathan was a co-founder. Jonathan is currently the President of the Alberta Playwrights Network, a non-profit agency providing developmental support for playwrights in the province. 

KEVIN STEFAN (Playwright) another co-founder of Hidden Insanity, is completing his M.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Calgary. His previous writing credits include sketch comedy for Hidden Insanity’s “Culture Pop,” in which he also performed as the show toured the Athabasca, Edmonton and Calgary Fringe Festivals in the summer of 2002, as well as the uplifting "Tour-based Microsimulation of Urban Commercial Movements", which was published in Transportation Research Part B. Kevin currently sits on the board for the Calgary Fringe Theatre Festival.


STEPHEN deGHELDER (book and lyrics)

A Kiss From Alexander

STEPHAN deGHELDER  (Book and Lyrics) has had a long career in show business as a professional actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer and writer. His credits include Broadway (Celebration, Hello, Dolly!, A Chorus Line), Off-Broadway (NY Public Theatre, Playwright’s Horizon, Manhattan Theatre Club, Upstairs at the Downstairs, Hudson Guild), national tours (A Chorus Line, The Boyfriend, Hello, Dolly!), regional theatres (Goodman Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Florida Rep), the Chicago Co. of Hair, and in commercials and film in the US, Portugal, Holland, Australia, Greece, Spain, Mexico and Egypt. In 1993, Stephan became lead writer and co-founder of the award-winning, satirical musical cabaret series, License to Bash which had a highly successful five-year run in Sarasota, FL. Additionally, Stephan wrote the book and special material to Noel and Cole, Men About Town produced by the Asolo Theatre Company, the first state theatre of Florida; Albeit, a ten-minute play for the Edward Albee playwriting festival at the Florida Studio Theatre; and with composer Brad Simmons, the original musical A Dickens of a Carol which recently premiered in Alabama to standing ovations. His collaboration with Mr. Simmons began with the musical fantasy A Kiss from Alexander which premiered at the Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago and was nominated for four “Jefferson Awards” including “Best New Musical of the Season.” De Ghelder and Simmons are currently working on several new projects and are contributing writers to the satirical revue Laughing Matters Too for the Florida Studio Theatre, scheduled for March 2007. Stephan currently resides on a mountain in Asheville, NC with his partner of 27 years and their flat-coated retriever/border collie mix, “Tucker”.

BRAD SIMMONS (Music) An actor/singer, musical director and composer, Brad has worked with Stephan De Ghelder in each of these capacities: As Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! starring Carole Cook, along with And the World Goes Round and Mame;  as Musical Director for Jerry’s Girls; and writing partner for A Kiss from Alexander, A Dickens of a Carol, and Laughing Matters Too. Other compositional credits include In Full Bloom, Reel to Reel, Summer Wind, Back at Home and All for You. His musical direction credits include the recent Off-Broadway reading The Ticket and over 30 other regional shows. NYC recognizes him most as The Pianist in the cult film “Camp.” He has also performed with the Alabama Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony featuring Grammy Award artist Sandi Patty. He now happily resides in New York City, but while living in Alabama he led the Brad Simmons Band, writing and producing 3 CDs. Check them out on ITunes!


Spill the Wine

BRIAN DYKSTRA(Playwright) has been seen on stage and screen throughout the US and UK. His play, Clean Alternatives, won the coveted Fringe First Award at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His solo show, Cornered and Alone, received an extended Off-Broadway run and was hailed by critics, and landed him on several watch-lists including the NRA and Rush Limbaugh. The conservative talk show host put the word out against Dykstra as an “enemy”—but of course Limbaugh never actually saw the show. He is currently appearing in Brian Dykstra: The Jesus Factor at the Barrow Street TheatreOff-Broadway. Brian’s play Hiding Behind Comets saw its world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park during its 2004 Tony Award-winning season. Hiding Behind Comets then moved to NYC for an extended run at 29th Street Rep and Brian was awarded the National Theatre Conference Playwright Award. Notable television credits include: HBO’s “Def Poetry” “Third Watch”, “Law & Order” and Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show.” Brian’s television writing credits include the Emmy-nominated television show “The Life” on ESPN. Brian was 05-06 Playwright Fellow with the Lark Play Development Center and was awarded The Vault’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It Award for exceptionalcutting edge artists who consistently take risks with their art.


The Casserole Brigade

ROBERT JOHN FORD (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, composer and lyricist whose theatrical works have been produced or are scheduled for upcoming productions/readings in New York, California, Florida, Minnesota and Iowa. He is the author/composer/lyricist of numerous musicals, including: Six-On-Six, Caucus!, The World’s Largest Aluminum Foil Ball, and Trice; and the author of three plays: The Casserole Brigade, Wake, and Identity.  He and his works have received numerous grants and been featured on National Public Radio, BBC America, and Voice of America.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and enjoys a 19-year creative relationship with San Diego's Old Globe Theatre.


Jumping Blind

PHILIP GERSON (Playwright) writes for theatre, television and film. His work for theatre includes the play Night (NY International Fringe Festival 2007); the book for the musical, The Last Metro, based on Francois Truffaut’s film (Musical Theatre Works, NY, and the Colony Theatre, LA), and the books for the enormously popular musical theatre parodies, Fiddler on the West Hollywood Roof and West Hollywood Gypsy (produced by Charity Parody Productions with the special permissions of the original authors, to benefit AIDS charities, at the Harmony Gold Theatre in LA and UCLA’s Freud Theatre).  Philip Gerson has written for two of the most successful series in TV history – “Murder, She Wrote” (for which he was Story Editor) and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” (for which he was Co-Executive Producer). Other series for which has written include “Christy” (Executive Story Editor), “Legacy” (Co-Executive Producer), “Cover Me” (Co-Executive Producer) and “Mysterious Ways.” He wrote the hit TV movie, “A Change of Seasons,” and pilots for several studios and networks. His pilot, “R & D,” was selected to be published by the Writers’ Guild of America’s “Written By” magazine as one of the six Best Unproduced Sci-Fi scripts. Philip Gerson is the recipient of the Film Advisory Board Award, The Prism Award from the Entertainment Industry Council, and the Dialogue Award from the Institute for Mental Health, all for his work in television. 


Mother Tongue

F.J. HARTLAND(Playwright) is a playwright/actor/director currently based in Pittsburgh.  In 2008 he was the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. F.J.'s work has been produced a record-setting nine times in the Pittsburgh New Works Festival; other Pittsburgh venues include Bricolage Theatre, Rage of the Stage, South Park Theatre, Duquesne University, Prime Stage and PrideFest. In NYC his work has been produced by Emerging Artists Theatre, Love Creek, 13th Street Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Quaigh Theatre and Don't Tell Mama and five times in the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival.


Steve Hayes’ Hollywood Reunion
Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies: Live!

STEVE HAYES (Writer/Performer) is an award-winning comedian, actor and writer, as well as the host of the classic movie review/comedy show: “Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies,” which is seen weekly around the world on YouTube. As an actor, he recently starred in The Big Gay Musical directed by Casper Andreas and in Fine Line Features motion picture trick directed by Jim Fall and starring Tori Spelling and Christian Campbell. trick was nominated for Best Picture at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and Steve can be heard singing a solo number on the soundtrack CD. Off-Broadway he starred in the world premiere of Paul Corrigan’s comedy Queen’s Blvd directed by Vincent J. Cardinal and recently appeared at the NYMF Festival in Bradford Scobie’s Moisty the Snowman Saves Christmas. Steve won Outstanding Actor at the International New York Fringe Theatre Festival in 2006 for The Penguin Tango by Stephen Svoboda. He performed his one-person show Steve Hayes’ Hollywood Reunion directed by Vincent J. Cardinal to sold-out audiences at GAYFEST NYC 2008. Steve is a nine-time nominee and three-time winner of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs MAC Award for Outstanding Comedian and Characterization. He is also the recipient of the Backstage Bistro Award for Comedy Performer of the Year and is a six-time recipient of the ASCAP Popular Music Award.


Edward the King

DAVID BRENDAN HOPES (Playwright) is Professor of Literature and Language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and director of Black Swan Theater. He is extensively published in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His most recent volume of non-fiction is the book of nature essays, Bird Songs of the Mesozoic (Milkweed), and his newest volume of poetry, A Dream of Adonis, was published by Pecan Grove last fall. His plays have been performed recently in California, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Ohio and Ireland, and have won the Arch Brown scholarship, the Siena prize, and the YES Festival production prize. He is also a painter and a basso profundo.



MICHAEL D. JACKSON (Playwright/Director) has seen his plays Three Women, See You In Yosemite, Hidden People, My Magic Kingdom, Coffeehouse, Astor and Irving and five productions of A Taste of Heaven brought to the stage, of which one was part of the Gay Pride Series 2004.  Michael has also directed 25 productions. In New York: The Student Prince, Dearest Enemy, A Taste of Heaven, Screwups, Character Forum and Three Women.  In California: Private Lives, Peter Pan, Ah, Wilderness!, Into the Woods, Jumbo, The Captive, Good, Jeffrey, Babes in Arms and many others.  He worked for 11 seasons with the California Musical Theatre as Assistant to the Director on 16 productions as well as an Instructor for the Theatre Education Project.  His collection of 12 gay history plays, Making Progress, was published by AuthorHouse in 2004.  New York Stages: A Journal of New Millennium Theatre was also published by AuthorHouse in 2005. Michael is a licensing agent with Music Theatre International, a member of SSDC and the Dramatists Guild.


The Wrath of Aphrodite

TIM O’LEARY (Playwright) grew up in New Jersey, and started acting at the age of 11 in the children’s chorus of a Paper Mill Playhouse production of Jesus Christ, Superstar. From that point on, he was hooked on theatre and never looked back. In college, he exercised his creative muscles by helping to found an a cappella group, eventually coming to write fully scripted shows and short films for them to act in, as well as performing in various theatrical productions. One of these productions was Euripides’ Hippolytus, and that experienced sparked in him the desire to write The Wrath of Aphrodite. Tim has always been drawn to the less traditional when it comes to theatre. Since moving to New York he appeared in productions such as Twist, an S&M rock musical based on Oliver Twist, and a staged reading of Bedbugs: The Musical, in which mutant bedbugs attack Manhattan. Tim is also an avid stage combat enthusiast, and it’s not uncommon to find him working a little bit, or a lot, of violent spectacle into his shows. (When hit with a case of writer's block, he practices with his nunchucks. Seriously. Just ask his roommate.) As a writer, he enjoys flipping wildly between genres. His last outing was Pieces on the Board, a modern-day noir thriller; The Wrath of Aphrodite is quite literally a Greek tragedy; and up next is a sci-fi action adventure romantic comedy. But Greek mythology has always been very close to Tim’s geeky heart, and it is with great pleasure that he sees Aphrodite come to life. He is extremely grateful to Jack Batman and Bruce Harris for this wonderful opportunity.


The Legacy

ADAM SIEGEL (Playwright) is the author of several plays, including The Legacy, which was the winner of the New Play Festival at South Carolina’s Centre Stage. The Legacy was also selected by HRC Showcase Theater in Hudson, NY, for a reading during their 2008-2009 season and was a semi-finalist in the Eileen Heckart Drama Competition. His previous play, Color Blind, was given a staged reading by FirstStage in Los Angeles. In addition to writing plays, Adam is the Editorial Director of Bearport Publishing, an award-winning children’s publisher. He lives in Maplewood, NJ with his partner, Gary Collins, their four children, Ben, Noah, Simon, and Eve, and their dog, Coco. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.


 DIONNE McCLAIN-FREENEY (music and lyrics)

This One Girl’s Story

BIL WRIGHT (Book) is a novelist, playwright and director. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novels “Sunday You Learn How to Box,” “One Foot in Love” and “When the Black Girl Sings.” Directing credits include: Yasmine Rana’s The War Zone Is My Bed (San Diego premiere), Bloodsummer Rituals based on the life of poet Audre Lorde (Jerome Fellowship, N.Y. premiere), Men As I Needed Them (International Festival of New Theater and Dance, Theater Am Turm, Frankfurt, Germany) LAMI Playwriting Award for Mother, Father, Lover Man. Silencing Ning produced this spring by Emerging Artists Theatre as part of their EATfest. Member of Dramatists Guild. Graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

DIONNE McCLAIN-FREENEY (Music and Lyrics) is a pianist, singer, songwriter, choral director, arranger, musical director, teacher and actor, appearing on some of the world’s best known stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Yankee Stadium, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Don’t Tell Mama, Chicago’s Soldier Field and Millennium Park, La Bellevilloise in Paris, and the Lyon Opera House in Lyon, France, and an accompanist for some of New York tri-state area’s most beloved churches, including Canaan Baptist Church, Unity Fellowship Church, Marble Collegiate Church, and Middle Collegiate Church. As an actor, Dionne appeared in Cape May Stage’s production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She is a composer, creating music and lyrics for This One Girl’s Story, Artistic Director of TruPraise Gospel Ensemble, and a regular performer in, and consultant to France’s Absolute Gospel Festival.