DIRECTORS LAB WEST CONNECTS

Producer Bios

CHE'RAE ADAMS is currently the Director of Operations and Programming for the Moss Theater in Santa Monica and has been the Producing Artistic Director of the LA Writers Center since 2006 where she develops new work with local writers. She has also been a Development Executive for Playhouse Pictures Studios, Co-Artistic Director of the Road Theatre Company, and Managing Producer for the LA Women’s Theatre Festival. She began her career as the Assistant to the Staff Producer at The Mark Taper Forum where she worked on the writing workshop of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika. Also for the Taper, she coordinated the Taper Lab Series and Mentor Playwright's Series working with writers such as Luis Alfaro, Anthony Clarvoe, Marlane Meyer, David Lee Lindsey, Oliver Mayer, Ellen McLaughlin, Alice Tuan and Mac Wellman. Che'Rae has directed/dramaturged the West Coast premiere productions of several new plays including pieces by Lee Blessing, Ken Hanes, Patricia Cardosa, John DiFusco, Jon Bastian, and Abi Morgan. Other credits include Cincinnati Opera Outreach, Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Highways Performance Space, and Troupe Vertigo at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. She has worked with prominent performers such as Tonya Pinkins, Lynn Redgrave, Patti Cohenour, Kim Fields, and Carlos Alazraqui. She has worked with award winning directors and choreographers such as Vincent Paterson, Tom Hulce, Bonnie Story, Lula Washington, Kitty McNamee, Tina Kronis. Che'Rae is also an experienced public speaker and teacher having taught acting and writing workshops at various institutions around the country such as The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Catholic University, Miami Dade University, California State University, Fullerton, UCLA Extension, and Azusa Pacific University. She has also served on panels for Hollins University, The New Playwright’s Festival at the College of the Desert, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her students are Academy Award winners, New Century Writer Award Finalists, PEN West Literary Award Drama Nominees, New York Drama Desk Award winners, Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award Winners, and NAACP Award Winners. She is the recipient of a SDC Foundation Observership Award and has been nominated for a Cincinnati Enquirer Entertainment Award and Backstage West Garland Critics Citations Award. She has a Masters Degree from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Northridge. Fun fact: In 2009, Che’Rae played Gladys Presley in Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis which opened the Aria Casino in Las Vegas.  cheraeadams.com  |  lawriterscenter.org

DOUGLAS CLAYTON (bio coming soon)

REENA DUTT is a city girl with a country soul who believes in creating with a conscience, on and off stage. Los Angeles: “This is Not a True Story” (Artists at Play), “Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s” (Sacred Fools), “Defenders” (Pandelia’s Yellow Canary Company | Theatre Planners), “Rise & Shine: I thought I was white” (Bad Hindu Productions), “Katy and Jennifer” (Fierce Backbone). Associate/Assistant Directing: “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo” (Fountain Theatre dir. Jennifer Chang), “The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona” (The Geffen Playhouse dir. Jo Bonney), “The Limitations of Genetic Technology” (Off-Chance Productions dir. David Watkins Jr.). 2020 Drama League NY Directing and Hangar Fellowship Semifinalist, 2018 and 2017 Producers Encore Award (“Katy and Jennifer”, and “Waitless”). Dutt is also a producer having screened her films at Sundance, LAFF, Outfest, Frameline, Cucalorous, NBCUniversal, BET, PBS/Latino and HBO. Website: ReenaDutt.com

ERNEST FIGUEROA has been a dedicated director, producer, actor and playwright in theatre, radio, film and television throughout the country. As a founding director of Directors Lab West, he has served on the Steering Committee for the past twenty years from 2000 to the present. He was a member director and presenter for the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York in 1998 and 1999. He directed the New York premiere of Dos Corazones representing the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab Festival @ HERE in New York. Figueroa served as Producer at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica for eleven years where he assisted on the programming and produced over 900 events including notable artists in the fields of opera, jazz, choral, chamber and orchestral music, multi-media, theatre and dance. He served as Artistic Director of The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood and as a Director and performer with the second longest running show in Los Angeles, the American Girl Revue.  He was the Associate Artistic Director for the Sacramento Theatre Company where he also served as casting director and literary manager. Previously, he worked as the national Education Director for Plays for Living, Inc. in New York City and worked twice on the professional staff of the Pasadena Playhouse. He works as a Director and Producer with Bonnie Franklin’s outreach program, C.C.A.P. – Classic and Contemporary American Plays directing a large variety of staged-readings with featuring notable actors from theater, film and TV. In 2001, he was honored as a Drama League Fellow serving as the Associate Director on Blue starring Phylicia Rashad, first working on the production at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, then working on the production at the Pasadena Playhouse, finally guiding the play onto the Arizona Theatre Company, Coconut Grove in Florida, and the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey starring Leslie Uggams. His award winning productions include Oleanna at the Third Street Theatre and The Effect of Gamma Rays . . . at the Alternative Repertory Theatre. He has launched two active Improv companies, “Loose Screws” in Hawaii and “Metro North Improv” in Connecticut. Figueroa won the ’96 W.A.V.E. award for his talk show “Adelante!” featuring Hispanic role models. He received his Masters of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and his Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theatre Education from McPherson College in Kansas. His professional training includes improvisation studies at the Groundlings School in Los Angeles and studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Figueroa is a Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Currently, as Ernest “Sparky” Figueroa, he serves as a DJ Personality for Z107.7 FM in Joshua Tree California.​  ernestfigueroa.com

 

MARTIN JAGO is a British theatre director and writer who lives in Los Angeles and works internationally. He is a respected authority on acting methods relating to Elizabethan and Jacobean texts and the author of four books on Shakespeare.  Artistic Director of RAZE THE SPACE, the theatre ensemble produces cutting-edge contemporary & classical theatre with global focus and community impact epitomized by events such as RAZE's annual international ten-minute play festival at the Mark Taper Auditorium in Los Angeles. After several years as Associate Producer at Directors Lab West, Martin has recently become a full member of DLW's Steering Committee. He also teaches acting far and wide, from on-camera classes at the Actors Centre London to Shakespeare Masterclasses the Malibu Playhouse. He was educated at RWCMD and University of Oxford.  martinjago.net

CINDY MARIE JENKINS is a Write-at-Home-Mom from Los Angeles who lives somewhere between Los Angeles and Beijing. She writes advice on how to make it work as a work-at-home-parent and consults with employers who want to offer more flexibility to their staff. She reviewed family excursions around Beijing for both Time Out Beijing Family and Beijing Kids, and has been published at The Mary Sue, Star Trek, Theatre Communications Guild, The Clyde Fitch Report, The Mom Forum, No Proscenium, Dwarf+Giant (a blog of The Last Bookstore), Better Lemons, Theatre @ Boston Court and more. Cindy is Communications Advisor for the Women’s Theatre Festival (NC) and consults with arts organizations on how to live their mission in the virtual worlds. She wrote and managed the blogs for many entrepreneurial businesses and nonprofits, is a published short story writer and member of the Author’s Guild and the Nonfiction Writers Association. Cindy recently ran workshops around Orlando, Beijing, and now online to help people “Make it Work as a Work-at-Home-Parent,” including one hosted by the Orange County Public Library. She’s been sourced on the topic for the PAAL (Parent Artist Advocacy League) Readiness Series on work-at-home-parenting, Wired, Care.com, and more. Having spent over a decade in Los Angeles as a consultant for entrepreneurs and the arts, her workshops used a highly organized and creative approach to help clients articulate their values and strategies; these included an NEA funded workshop series to elevate the digital marketing plans of local theaters and a residency at Hollywood’s Theatre Asylum every June from 2011-2015. For five years she experimented in connecting audiences with arts they’d enjoy at the Hollywood Fringe Festival through live interviews, podcasts, and a YouTube talk show. From 2012-13, she co-hosted Web Series Watch and the RUGeekie Interview Series for The Geekie Awards on YouTube.

RANDEE TRABITZ is a director based in Los Angeles. She recently staged the award-winning productions of The Solid Life of Sugar Water BY Jack Thorne for Deaf West Theatre and Friends With Guns by Stephanie Walker at The Road Theatre, returned from NYC’s Dixon Place with her long-time collaborator, John Fleck and remounted his award-winning Blacktop Highway at the Odyssey Theatre. She directed a run of new works at Berlin’s English Theater in Germany, took her own version of Sophocles’ Electra to an international festival Delphi, Greece and staged a pirate musical on a Disney Cruise Ship. She’s directed and helped devise many works with Obie-winning satiric-puppeteer Paul Zaloom, of Beekman’s World fame. Her work has been seen at regional theaters, (The Mystery of Irma Vep and Hedwig and the Angry Inch) at Actor’s Express, Atlanta and in Santa Fe, and many intimate theaters specializing on new plays with writers like: Doug Cooney, Julie Hebért, Bridget Carpenter, Jessica Goldberg, Jamie Brandli, Elizabeth Dement, Jennie Webb and Susan Merson. She worked in some big places too, like MOCA’S Geffen Contemporary (Brecht/Weill’s Happy End), California Adventure Themepark (Chance to Shine), Cal Plaza, The Getty (Fleck’s Dirt), The Los Angeles Opera (Jack and the Magic
Songbird) and the Performing Arts Center in Santa Clarita (Lysistrata, Hair) and REDCAT in Disney Hall (Blacktop Highway and Zaloom’s Mother of All Enemies & ABCdarium). Her work and productions have garnered some prizes, (LA Valley Award, Robbie, LA Weekly Award, Garland and Ovation Awards, Finalist Short and Sweet Festival) and been awarded grants (CAD, Durfee and Flintridge). Randee teaches and directs at CSULA. She has worked as a critic for the L.A. Weekly and analyzes writing and screenplays for Disney Animation.  Randeetrabitz.com

DIANA WYENN is a Los Angeles-based theater and opera director, choreographer, and dramaturg, as well as a curator of contemporary performance and community organizer. Whether working on large gatherings and spectaculars or more intimate experiences and performances, she consistently challenges and inspires artists and audiences to see beyond the usual. Diana has recently worked with the LA Philharmonic, Walt Disney Company, Lincoln Center, LA Opera, Center Theater Group, CAP UCLA, Ford Theatres, Pomona College, Occidental College, Moving Arts, and more. Her work has been presented by REDCAT, Grand Performances, New York University, American Jewish University, Highways Performance Space, and Central Park’s SummerStage. In addition to her freelance work, she is the co-founder of Plain Wood Productions and Artistic Director of TIOH Arts & Culture at Temple Israel of Hollywood where she presents the work of contemporary artists from a myriad of backgrounds and disciplines. To fight for solutions to climate change, she volunteers as a member of Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps; and to foster the artistic and professional development of her fellow theater directors and choreographers, she volunteers as a producing steering committee member of Directors Lab West. Diana also recently jumped back on stage to create and perform Blood/Sugar, an award-winning autobiographical solo performance illuminating, embodying, and challenging the global diabetes epidemic. Her work has been supported by the California Arts Council, National Arts and Disability Center, Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Los Angeles, Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Woman's Building. Her work, ideas, and words have been featured in American Theatre Magazine, Howlround, the Daily Beast, LA Times, Fast Company, and on NPR. She received a BFA in Drama with Honors from New York University and is a proud associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.  dianawyenn.com

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