THE PUSSY GRABBER PLAYS
Producer & Playwright Biographies
KATE PINES, CO-CREATOR
Kate Pines has worked in nearly all aspects of creating new plays for the American theatre, currently as a literary agent in the theatre department of ICM Partners. Previously, she served as the Literary Director of The Playwrights Realm, and the Associate Artistic Director of Women's Project Theater. In the years prior, Kate spent two seasons on the artistic staff of the Public Theater, and the previous decade as a freelance director, working on Broadway and at such off-Broadway and regional theaters as Ars Nova, Second Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many more. Kate holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.
SHARYN ROTHSTEIN, CO-CREATOR & PLAYWRIGHT of TROUBLEMAKER, based on the bravery of Jill Harth, and MISS USA, based on the bravery of Sam Holvey
Sharyn Rothstein is a playwright and television writer, whose plays and musicals have been workshopped and produced around the country, as well as internationally. Her play By The Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova and was the recipient of the American Theater Critic’s Association Francesca Primus Prize. Her play All The Days was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation Award and was produced at the McCarter Theater Center, directed by Emily Mann. In addition to playwriting, Sharyn is a writer and consulting producer for the USA Network drama SUITS. She is currently working on a television pilot for Apple, a theater commission from Manhattan Theater Club, as well as a stage adaptation of the beloved film Hester Street. In 2019, Sharyn’s drama Landladies will premiere at Northlight Theater in Chicago, her comedy Tell Me I’m Not Crazy will premiere at The Williamstown Theater Festival and her drama Right To Be Forgotten will premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College, with a concentration in Urban Health. She is represented by ICM Partners.
HOPE CHAVEZ, FOUNDING MANAGING PRODUCER
Hope Chavez is a creative producer, arts administrator, and activist in New York City. She is a proud member of Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) and former mentee in their Leadership Through Mentorship Program. Hope currently serves as the Programs Manager at A.R.T./New York. Primarily focused on the workshops, roundtables, racial justice education, and grant programs, Hope acts as a hub of information and resources to organizations ranging from $1,000-$10 million in size. Additionally, Hope is the Managing Producer of two educational programs in NYC—The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and Keen Teens. With every project or program she produces, Hope seeks to center the voices and experiences of those who are historically marginalized and create a vibrant environment that acknowledges their dignity and allows them to flourish. Select producing credits: HONORS STUDENTS (Wild Project), KEEN TEENS 2016, 2017, 2018 (Keen Company), SALTY (Lyra Theater), THE 24 HOUR PLAYS OFF-BROADWAY (Roundabout), MY HEART IS IN THE EAST (La MaMa), THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI (Lyra Theater), THE UNUSUAL TALE OF MARY & JOSEPH’S BABY (FringeNYC), THE 24 HOUR PLAYS: BROADWAY 2015, 2016, 2017 (The 24 Hour Plays), LUCKY CHICK (Fringe Encore Series).
SHIRA MILIKOWSKY, FOUNDING ARTISTIC PRODUCER
Shira Milikowsky is a theater director based in Brooklyn. She is an associate lecturer in Theatre, Dance & Media at Harvard University, and co-founder of the new theater company, The Neon Coven. Shira spent six seasons as the Artistic Associate at the American Repertory Theater, where her projects included The Lily’s Revenge by Taylor Mac. As an artist/activist, Shira seeks ways that theatrical events can activate communities around urgent social issues. In 2016 she conceived and produced A Safe & Special Place, an evening of original protest plays that brought together over 45 artists to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. As a Luce Scholar in Seoul, South Korea, Shira created a Korean adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle that toured to the Tumen River Arts Festival on the Chinese border with North Korea. OSCAR at The Crown, a post-apocalyptic nightclub musical, produced by www.TheNeonCoven.com, premiered in January 2019. Shira holds an MFA in directing from Columbia and a BA in Theater Studies from Yale.
Playwright & Composer Biographies:
JULIA BROWNELL (FIVE BEAUTY QUEENS WALK INTO A BAR, based on the bravery of Tasha Dixon)
Julia Brownell is currently a writer/co-executive producer on the Emmy-winning NBC seriesThis is Us. She has also written on NBC’s Parenthood, Smash, and About a Boy; The Path on Hulu; and the HBO comedy Hung. Julia’s play All-American premiered Off-Broadway produced by Lincoln Center/LCT3. Her play Smart Cookie was the winner of Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award and had its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
SAM CHANSE (CREDIBLE WOMEN, inspired by the women who haven’t come forward)
Sam Chanse is the author of Trigger, The Opportunities of Extinction, Fruiting Bodies, The Other Instinct, What You Are Now, Lydia’s Funeral Video, about that whole dying thing, and Asian American Jesus. She is a Lark Venturous Fellow, a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. A former fellow at MacDowell, the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop at The Lark, Sundance Institute, Cherry Lane Mentor Project, and Playwrights Realm, she has also received residencies from Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Her work has also been developed and supported by Ma- Yi Theatre, Leviathan Lab, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Project, Ma-Yi/the Flea, Second Generation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her plays have been recognized by The Kilroys, and her first solo play, Lydia’s Funeral Video, is published by Kaya Press. She is the former artistic director of Kearny Street Workshop, and has taught writing and theater workshops at colleges, universities, and nonprofits. More info: www.samchanse.com.
HALLEY FEIFFER (RACHELS based on the bravery of Rachel Crooks)
Halley Feiffer is a writer and actress. Plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic, OCC Nom.), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC), How To Make Friends and Then Kill Them (Rattlestick), Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow(Williamstown and MCC — upcoming), and The Pain of My Belligerence, which she will star in at Playwrights Horizons this spring. Her plays have been produced around the country and in the UK. Acting credits include the recent production of her play A Funny Thing Happened...at the Geffen, the Broadway revivals of The Front Page and The House of Blue Leaves (Theater World Award) and numerous off-Broadway productions including Tigers Be Still(Roundabout, Drama League Nom.). TV writing / producing credits include The One Percent(Starz), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), Purity, SMILF and Kidding (Showtime) as well as original pilots for FX and TNT.
SHARON KENNY (MISS USA based on the bravery of Sam Holvey)
Sharon Kenny writes songs and the words that go with them. She lives in New York. Kenny's solo projects include My Name Is Sharon, Adjectives & Nouns (EP), and Pianocentric. They are available everywhere music is sold. Her song "Hotel Heart" reached #68 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. Her music has cumulatively garnered nearly 10 million views on YouTube. Sharon is the composer/lyricist to the musical Mrs. Hughes (book by Janine Nabers, dir. Mark Brokaw) which has been developed at New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Theatreworks Palo Alto, and the Yale Institute of Music Theatre. Mrs. Hughes was recently named a finalist for the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award. She is also currently at work on the musical In Vain (book by Cristina
Pippa), which received a workshop at the U of M/Guthrie BFA program. She has participated in ANTFest (Ars Nova), The Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project (American Music Theatre Project), Prospect Theatre Company's Musical Theatre Lab, and received a MAC nomination for her piece "Leaky Ceiling" (Best Comedic Song). She has performed sold out shows to Joe's Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Gramercy Theatre. Her songs have been prominently featured both nationally and internationally on television, most notably on Lifetime's hit show, Dance Moms. Her album Songs About You; (Songs About Me) was released in January 2019, free of charge. www.sharon-kenny.com
MELISSA LI (The Interview based on the bravery of Natasha Stoynoff)
Melissa Li (she/her) is a composer, lyricist, performer, and writer. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a Lincoln Center Theater Writer in Residence, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate(New York Musical Festival), Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for "Best New Play" 2007), and 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive). Her works have received support from 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, terraNOVA Collective, and more. She is proud to be from Boston, and proud to be based in NYC and Baltimore.
NATASHA STOYNOFF (The Interview based on the bravery of Natasha Stoynoff)
Natasha Stoynoff is a two-time New York Times bestselling author with over a dozen books to her credit. She graduated with a BA in English and Psychology from York University in Toronto and studied journalism at Ryerson University. Natasha began her career as a news reporter/photographer for the Toronto Star and columnist/feature writer for the Toronto Sun.
A two-time winner of Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Award for excellence in journalism, she was a longtime staff writer in People magazine’s New York bureau and a news correspondent
for TIME. She currently writes an ongoing series about sexual harassment and assault
in People called, “Women Speak Out.” Natasha lives in Manhattan and is finishing her second screenplay.
BESS WOHL (Jessica based on the bravery of Jessica Leeds)
Bess Wohl’s plays include SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (NY Times Critic's Pick, John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award, year's top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Guardian and others), MAKE BELIEVE, AMERICAN HERO, BARCELONA, TOUCHED, IN, CATS TALK BACK and the musical PRETTY FILTHY with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her new play, CONTINUITY, will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2019. Her plays have been produced or developed at theaters in New York and around the country, including Second Stage, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman Theater, The Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Vineyard Arts Project, The Pioneer Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, PlayPenn and the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Best Overall Production). She currently holds new play commissions from Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, VIRGINIA, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center and Hartford Stage. She also writes screenplays and has developed multiple original television projects for HBO, ABC, USA, FOX, Disney, Paramount and others. In her previous life as an actress, she appeared onstage in New York and regionally, and in numerous films and TV shows where she has given birth, solved crimes, committed crimes, been wrongly accused, and come back from the dead. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.
ANNA ZIEGLER (SAT NAM based on the bravery of Karena Virginia)
Anna Ziegler has written the plays Actually (Manhattan Theatre Club; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Geffen Playhouse; L.A. Ovation Award winner for Playwriting for an Original Play), the widely produced Photograph 51(directed on the West End by Michael Grandage and starring Nicole Kidman; WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play; year’s top ten list in The Washington Post and The Telegraph), Boy (Keen Company/Ensemble Studio Theatre; Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award nominee), The Wanderers (The Old Globe; Blanche and Irving Laurie Theatre Visions Fund winner), The Last Match (Roundabout Theatre Company; The Old Globe; Craig Noel Award nominee for Outstanding New Play), and A Delicate Ship(New York Times Critic’s Pick; The Playwrights Realm; Cincinnati Playhouse). She holds commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and The Geffen Playhouse. Oberon Books has published a collection of her work entitled Anna Ziegler: Plays One. This season: Photograph 51 at Melbourne Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Court Theatre; Actually at Theater J, Hartford Theaterworks, Aurora Theatre, GableStage, Minnesota Jewish Theatre and San Diego Rep.