CHICAGO: TimeLine Theatre Company has announced four new playwrights who will be joining its Playwrights Collective, the theatre’s new-play incubator. Dolores Díaz, Kristin Idaszak, Osiris Khepera, and David Rhee are now in residence and will be part of the Playwrights Collective through January 2022.
“I am thrilled to continue the work of TimeLine’s successful Playwrights Collective initiative with this incredibly talented group of playwrights in our new cohort,” said literary manager Ben Thiem in a statement. “Dolores, Kristin, Osiris, and David each bring a unique voice and style to the table. We’ve already started our work together, and I can’t wait to support them over these two years as they each work on writing a new play that fits TimeLine’s mission.”
The new cohort of playwrights becomes the third group to be in residence as part of the Playwrights Collective. The writers are selected by TimeLine’s company members and are under the leadership of Thiem. The collective meets regularly as playwrights choose projects that fit within TimeLine’s mission of “presenting stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues.” During their two-year residency, the group workshops the plays in development while TimeLine provides support throughout, including facilitating readings. Additionally, plays developed within the collective may be considered for future development and production at TimeLine.
“Even as our live programming has had to cease during the COVID-19 pandemic, TimeLine’s commitment to these playwrights and the nurturing of new plays continues unabated,” said TimeLine artistic director PJ Powers in a statement. “Under Ben’s leadership, the Playwrights Collective provides an opportunity to support these Chicago-based writers as they create new scripts that help us understand present-day issues and experiences through the lens of the past.”
Dolores Díaz (she/her) is a Chicago-based Latina playwright originally from the border city of Laredo, Texas. Most recently, she served as playwright-in-residence for Shattered Globe Theatre’s 2020 Protégé Program, as a guest artist at Texas Tech’s WildWind Performance Lab, and writer for Sones de México’s 25th Anniversary Showcase at Millennium Park. Her play The Curse of Giles Corey was a finalist for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and a semi-finalist for the 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the 2020 Blue Ink Playwriting Award. Los Tequileros received a reading from 16th Street Theater in October 2019. Rehearsal premiered August 2019 as part of Bechdel Fest 7 with Broken Nose Theatre and the Steppenwolf LookOut Series and was performed again in October by NoMads Art Collective. Man of the People was produced by Three Cat Productions in October 2018. Also in October 2018, Chicago’s Nothing Without a Company premiered Appreciation Day; MOJOAA (Raleigh, N.C.) presented the play the same month. Chicago’s Performing Arts Studio presented her work, devised using Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed methodologies, as part of their Forum Theatre’s 2018-2019 season. From 2015 to 2017, Díaz served as Producer for Teatro Vivo’s annual Austin Latino New Play Festival. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s MFA Program for the Stage and Screen and currently serves as a Dramatists Guild Ambassador in Chicago.
Kristin Idaszak (she/her/they/them) is a two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow and the former Shank Playwriting Fellow at the Goodman Theatre. Idaszak has received commissions from the Goodman, EST/the Sloan Foundation, Cleveland Play House, and St. Louis Shakespeare Festival. Second Skin received the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and the Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, and Another Jungle was a Relentless Award Honorable Mention. Idaszak was the Kennedy Center Fellow at the Sundance Theatre Lab. Idaszak’s work has been seen at or developed through the Goodman Theatre, the Playwrights’ Center, La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Studio, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Drama League, Pasadena Playhouse, Circle X, Rivendell Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, and Perishable Theatre, among others. Idaszak’s work has also received support from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Idaszak is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and adjunct faculty at the Theatre School at DePaul University and Northwestern University, and received an MFA degree from the University of California, San Diego. For more information, visit kristinidaszak.com.
Osiris Khepera (anything respectful) is a Chicago-bred Black queer playwright, poet, actor, teaching artist, and activist. Named as one of six inaugural Russ Tutterow Playwrighting Fellows at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, most recently his plays have appeared in the CIRCLE UP! Reading Series with Jackalope Theatre Company and the Chicago Inclusion Project, National Black Theatre’s I AM SOUL Reading series, the Chicago Theatre Marathon Festival, the MOJOAA Reclamation Festival, and with Greatworks Children’s Theatre Company. He is also a recipient of a 2017 DCASE Individual Artist Grant for his play The Legendary Nana Yaa Asantewaa and the War of the Golden Stool, or, They Is African Royalty Living Off Fuckin’ Wilson. Acting credits include Bootycandy (Windy City Playouse), Rutherford’s Travels (Pegasus Players), Bars & Measures (PROP THTR), R.E.A.C.H. (Second City), The American Revolution (Theater Unspeakable and Lincoln Center); The Fag-Tionary and Relevant Hearsay: Stories from 57 (MPAACT); Harry and The Thief (Pavement Group), and Passing Strange (Bailiwick Chicago). His poetry is published in Illinois’s Best Emerging Poets 2018, and he had the honor of coaching the YOUMedia Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Squad for two years. He occasionally dons the geesh as D’Lisha von Jankynsmurt.
David Rhee (he/him) began his career as an actor after graduating from New York’s Circle in the Square Musical Theatre program. Since then he had appeared on Broadway in the Tony-winning Thoroughly Modern Millie, worked at numerous theatres across America, including Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, and Silk Road Rising, among others, and appeared on television’s Law and Order. Rhee returned to school and earned his MFA degree in Dramatic Writing at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University on full scholarship, where he worked with Oskar Eustis at the Public Theater, Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks, Lucas Hnath, Eduardo Machado, and Kristoffer Diaz. In addition to acting and writing, Rhee is also the Artistic Director of Token Theatre, Chicago (tokentheatre.net), and has been a guest lecturer at Northwestern University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and DePaul University.
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