Paul Oakley Stovall (Playwright)
has been writing since the age of 16 when his first volume of poetry, another piece of hope, was published by Trail Press. His first play, Love Rules, (which he also directed) received its world premiere at the Theatre School, DePaul University. His second play, As Much As You Can has been produced to acclaim in Chicago at Dog and Pony Theatre Company at New York’s International Fringe Festival, at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles (Hendel Productions and David Tarlow, Producers –2009 GLAAD Media Award nomination), and at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego. A revised version is now titled Immediate Family. Paul Boskind with Steve and Ruth have also commissioned Paul to write the adapted screenplay with writing partner Laura Eason. Paul’s play, Ape, received its world premiere at Dog and Pony in the fall of 2007 to critical praise, and it received a staged reading in Los Angeles at Celebration. His work has been developed at About Face Theatre (where his new work, Billie and Billy is in process) and San Francisco Playhouse. His musical, Clear, was featured at the 2010 Tony Award -winning O’Neill National Music Theatre Conference, the XYZ Festival in Chicago, Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place in NYC, and will be shown in Oct 2012 at Pritzker Pavilion’s “In the Works” festival in Chicago where his cabaret act with Brad Simmons, The Next Best Thing to Love, just played, following its debut at the Arts Club of DC. As an actor, Paul most recently appeared in the world premiere of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Other credits include Shortbus (dir, John Cameron Mitchell), the late Robert Altman’s The Company, Hustler WP (dir, Craig Cobb - editor, Sex and the City), and Lighthouse Lili (dir, Tonya Pinkins), among others. At the O’Neill, Paul has appeared in Grammy-winner Marcus Hummon’s American Duet and Better (Cabaret Conference), and Red Eye of Love, MYTH, Max Understood, and .22 Caliber Mouth (O’Neill NMTC); Off-Broadway- Dessa Rose (Lincoln Center world premiere), Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (2ST). Regional appearances include Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court (Chicago), About Face, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, LaJolla Playhouse, Huntington, Penumbra, KCRep, Rep of St. Louis, Prince Music Theatre, Syracuse Stage, McCarter, among others. National tours: RENT, Once on This Island. International: Otonari No Dasso-Hei (Kinokuniya Hall-Tokyo). Paul currently serves as a White House Advance Associate for the Obama administration. Affiliations: Artistic Associate at Dog and Pony Theatre Company and About Face Theatre in Chicago.
Phylicia Rashad (Director)
became a household name as Claire Huxtable in “The Cosby Show”, and she teamed up with Bill Cosby in later years on television as Ruth Lucas on “Cosby”. Rashad appeared on Broadway as Violet Weston in August Osage County, Big Mama in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (also London), Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s Gem Of The Ocean, (Tony Award nomination) and Queen Britannia in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Lincoln Center. She received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun. She appears in Tyler Perry’s recently released film, Good Deeds, and starred in Perry’s highly-acclaimed film version of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. On stage, she also appeared in Jelly’s Last Jam, Into The Woods, Dreamgirls and The Wiz. She made her directorial debut at the Seattle Repertory Theater with August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. She helmed of The Ebony Repertory Theatre’s production of A Raisin in the Sun in the Spring of 2011 and at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles in January 2012. Respected in the academic world, Rashad is the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University. She recently received an Honorary Doctorate from Spelman College where First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the 2011 commencement address. Rashad also holds Honorary Doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Providence College, Morris Brown College, Clark Atlanta University, Barber Scotia College, St. Augustine College, and Brown University. She received the Texas Medal of Arts, the National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy L. Height Dreammaker Award, AFTRA’s AMEE Award for Excellence in Entertainment, the Board of Directors of New York Women In Film and Television’s Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement, Dallas Women In Film Topaz Award, Peoples’ Choice Awards, several NAACP Image Awards, and the Pan African Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Rashad serves on the Advisory Board of the PRASAD Project and the Board of Directors of True Colors Theatre, the Broadway Inspirational Voices, The Actors Center, the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, and the ADEPT Center which is steering the restoration of the historic Brainerd Institute. A native of Houston, Texas, Rashad graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University.
John Iacovelli (Scenic Designer)
Emmy Award for Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby (A&E). Other Broadway: The Twilight of The Golds. National Tour: Camelot. Regional: over 300 productions: Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Magic, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, GeVa, and Seattle Rep (The Gem of the Ocean directed by Phylicia Rashad). Film: Production Designer on Ruby in Paradise starring Ashley Judd in her film debut. Art Director on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. TV: Beckett Directs Beckett: Endgame with The San Quentin Drama Workshop, The Old Settler starring Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, The Gin Game starring Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, Babylon 5, Ed, Resurrection Blvd., Lincoln Heights. Website portfolio: www.iacovelli.com.
Heather Gilbert (Lighting Designer)
Chicago credits include: RENT (American Theatre Company/About Face Theatre), The Real Thing, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Old Settler (Writers’ Theatre) Home, Comedy of Errors and The Mystery of Irma Vep, (Court Theatre), Honus and Me, Esperanza Rising, and The Hundred Dresses, (Chicago Children’s Theatre), The Homosexuals (About Face Theatre), Our Town and Cabaret (Hypocrites), The Better Half (Lucky Plush Productions at MCA), and A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf). Regional credits include A Streetcar Named Desire (Broad Stage-LA, Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Farnsworth Invention (Alley Theatre) and Off-Broadway credits include Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre). Heather was a 1999-2001 recipient of the NEA/TCG Development Program Award. She serves as the Head of Lighting Design at Columbia College and received her MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul.
Ana Kuzmanic (Costume Designer)
Broadway: Tony Award-winning August: Osage County, Desire Under the Elms and Superior Donuts. Regional: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Court, Geffen Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Looking Glass Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Steppenwolf, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ana’s design work is featured in the theater, film and entertainment industries around the country and internationally. From 1997 – 2002 she designed her fashion and jewelry line. Ms. Kuzmanic is a native of former Yugoslavia and an assistant professor of costume design at Northwestern University.
Josh Horvath (Sound Designer/Incidental Music)
is a Chicago based sound designer, composer, and music producer. His designs have been heard locally at: The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, The Court, Northlight, Timeline, Lookingglass, About Face, and The House Theatre. Regionally: The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, The Alliance, Center Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Kansas City Rep, Center Theatre Group, and California Shakespeare. A four-time Jeff Award-winner; an LA Ovation award-winner; Joshua teaches sound design for theatre and film at Northwestern University, and is an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre.