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Clockwise from top left: Kilroys logo, Melissa Crespo, Dipika Guha, Kelundra Smith, Joy Meads, and Hilary Bettis.

Panel to Look ‘Inside the Kilroys List’

Dipika Guha, Hilary Bettis, Joy Meads, and Melissa Crespo will talk about the gender-parity collective with moderator Kelundra Smith.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.: Playwrights Dipika Guha and Hilary Bettis and dramaturg Joy Meads will join Syracuse Stage associate artistic director Melissa Crespo and moderator and arts journalist Kelundra Smith for a panel discussion, “Inside the Kilroys List,” on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. (Guha’s Yoga Play, directed by Crespo, is running at Syracuse Stage through Feb. 6.)

Hosted by Syracuse Stage and sponsored by the Syracuse University Humanities Center and the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, the panel discussion is a free event accessed over Zoom. Advance registration, required to join the discussion, is available here. The discussion will last approximately 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session.

Founded in 2013, the Kilroys theatre collective is dedicated to addressing gender inequity in American theatre and has generated more than 100 professional productions of works by female, transgender, and/or non-binary playwrights. Meads was a founding member, and Bettis is a current member, of the Kilroys collective.

“It is our hope that this discussion will give a history of the Kilroys list—how it came into existence and why such a list was seen to be so crucial—and illustrate how theatres like Syracuse Stage can and do make use of it,” said Eric Grode, director of the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Program.

Hilary Bettis is a critically acclaimed playwright whose work has been developed and produced all over the country, including the Roundabout Theatre, New Georges, The Sol Project, Miami New Drama Studio, Alley Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Accolades include Edgerton Foundation, New Play Awards, National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and a finalist for the Blackburn Prize, Kendeda Awards, Nuestra Voces National Playwriting Competition, American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Award, among others.

Melissa Crespo is a director of new plays, musicals, and opera. Upcoming as a director is the world premiere of Justice, book by Lauren Gunderson, music by Bree Lowdermilk and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan, at Arizona Theatre Company. As a playwright, her play Egress, co-written with Sarah Saltwick, will receive an NNPN rolling world premiere at Salt Lake Acting Company.

Dipika Guha is an L.A.-based, Calcutta-born playwright raised in Russia, India, and the United Kingdom. Her plays include The Art of Gaman and Unreliable. Recent commissions include Azaan, a play for Oregon Symphony, In Braunau for Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and contributions to You Across From Me (Humana, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Getting There for New Conservatory Theatre Center. She is a current Venturous Fellow with the Lark for her play Passing, was a Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and was the inaugural Shakespeare’s Sister Playwriting Fellow.

Joy Meads is director of dramaturgy and new works at American Conservatory Theater. Previously, Meads was literary manager/Artistic engagement strategist at Center Theatre Group, literary manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and associate artistic director at California Shakespeare Theater.

Kelundra Smith, a Georgia native, got into theatre because that’s where teachers put the kids who talk too much in class. As a playwright, she has a passion for Southern historical narratives and writing stories about people who no one else sees. In her other life, she’s a sometime theatre critic and arts journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, American Theatre, Bitter Southerner, ArtsATL, Atlanta magazine, and more.

Founded in 1974, Syracuse Stage is the non-profit, professional theatre company in residence at Syracuse University.

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