Moderator Victoria Abrash has served as a dramaturg and collaborator in all forms of theater. She has worked at many leading theaters in New York and around the country, including the Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, the Public Theater, the Mark Taper Forum, the Philadelphia Drama Guild, Lincoln Center Theater, the Acting Company, and others, and has an ongoing collaboration with the multi-disciplinary Ping Chong + Company.
Alvin Eng, a native New York playwright, director, performer and educator, is currently developing Portrait Plays: A Cycle of Historical Dramas about Artists. The first work, THREE TREES, was presented Off-Broadway by Pan Asian Rep at the West End Theatre, as well as in Paris by the Moving Parts Theatre. 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET recently had a NYC reading featuring Kathleen Chalfant as painter Alice Neel and Bob Holman as urban legend, Joe Gould, in a benefit for City Lore. He recently traveled to Russia to research THE IMPERIAL IMAGE, the third “Portrait Play.” In 2011, Eng conceived and directed a Fulbright Specialist residency, “Our Town: China/USA,” at City University of Hong Kong with his wife, director/actor/dramaturg Wendy Wasdahl. At La MaMa, he has directed three of his own works, the opera MAO ZEDONG: JEALOUS SON, a musical, THE LAST HAND LAUNDRY IN CHINATOWN, as well as a solo performance piece, MORE STORIES FROM THE PAGAN PAGODA. He is on the faculty of the Theatre Department at Goucher College.
Talvin Wilks is a playwright, director and dramaturg. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod, The Trial of Uncle S&M, Bread of Heaven, and An American Triptych. Directorial projects include the world premiere productions of UDU by Sekou Sundiata, The Love Space Demands by Ntozake Shange, No Black Male Show/Pagan Operetta by Carl Hancock Rux, Banana Beer Bath by Lynn Nottage, The Shaneequa Chronicles by Stephanie Berry, Relativity by Cassandra Medley, On the Way to Timbuktu by Petronia Paley and The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza. He has served as co-writer/co-director/dramaturg for ten productions in Ping Chong’s ongoing series of Undesirable Elements, as well as for the recent premiere of Collidescope: Adventures in Pre and Post Racial American. For over 17 years he has served as the company dramaturg for the Bebe Miller Company premiering five collaborations, Going to the Wall, the Bessie Award winning, Verge, Landing/Place for which he received a 2006 Bessie Award, Necessary Beauty and A History. Recent dramaturgical and writing collaborations also include work with Camille A. Brown and Dancers (Mr. TOL E. RaNcE), Carmen de Lavallade (As I Remember It), Darrell Jones (Hoo-Ha), Urban Bush Women (Hep Hep Sweet Sweet, Walking with ‘Trane-Chapter 3), baba Israel (The Spinning Wheel) and Hartbeat Ensemble (Jimmy and Lorraine), He was a researcher/co-curator/dramaturg for the 2013 Sekou Sundiata Retrospective, Blink Your Eyes, and the Aunt Ester Cycle at the August Wilson Center in 2009. He is currently writing a book on black theatre, Testament: 40 Years of Black Theatre History in the Making, 1964-2004.
Moriamo Akibu (James Baldwin) Her credits include Collidescope: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, Spring Awakening, Moliere Impromptu, In Time of Roses, In the Red and Brown Water, and The Old Settler. University of Maryland (upcoming) The Human Capacity (assistant director) Spring MFA Thesis (assistant stage manager). Regional: The Cypher (vocal coach), Forum Theatre ReAct(s): Community Day. She is the Artistic Director of Kreativity Diversity Troupe. Training: University of Maryland College Park B.A. Theatre Candidate (Spring 2015).