2016 Developmental Lab

2016 Developmental Lab
Four playwrights, Four directors, Four exciting new projects


Public Presentation: Saturday May 28th, 8pm
Access Theatre Gallery, 380 Broadway, NYC

Tickets: FREE!
Space is limited, reservations are strongly suggested

Featuring scenes from:
1989, and hot, Written by Helen Banner, Directed by Courtney Laine Self
The Cave, Written by Eleanor Burgess, Directed by Todd Brian Backus
Supertopia, Written by Laura Hirschberg, Directed by Katherine Sommer
Eden Far Gone, Written by Matthew Minnicino, Directed by Christine Zagrobelny



TODD BRIAN BACKUS (Director) is a director/producer/illustrator interested in juxtaposition in art and life. Directing credits include: Derek and the Sheep by Nora Sørena Casey (Communal Spaces), Let’s Play Play by Ben Ferber (GamePlay, FRIGID), The Shadow by Shannon Stockwell (PortFringe), For the Lulz by Ben Ferber (Portland Stage Studio Rep), Bystanders by Shannon Stockwell, and three installments of his staged reading series StageWhispers all with PowerOut. As an illustrator Todd has designed for LCT3, The NY Neo Futurists, and Portland Stage. He is a cofounder of the NYC-based PowerOut (poweroutnyc.com) and its webseries Hot Pepper Theater (youtube.com/hotpeppertheater) where he eats habaneros while reviewing theater (it’s just as idiotic as it sounds). Todd is secretly a 12 year old girl from Japan. Follow his art rants just about everywhere @TBBackus

HELEN BANNER (Playwright) is a Manhattan based playwright. She grew up in the British Channel Islands and studied at Cambridge and the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, where she completed her MFA in Dramatic Writing and was awarded the John Golden Graduate Playwriting Award. Helen is an associate artist with New Georges and a member of The Jam, their performance lab for women theater artists. She is also a participant in the Ingram New Works Lab 2015-16 at Nashville Repertory Theater. Her work has been developed at New Georges, the Wild Project, Dixon Place, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Lark, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Helen has been a Finalist for a 2015 InterACT 20/20 Commission and a semi-finalist for the 2016 P73 Playwriting Fellowship. Her play Soldier Love was a Semi-finalist for the Stanley Drama Award 2015 and a Finalist for the Newman/Woodward Prize 2015.

ELEANOR BURGESS (Playwright) plays include Chill, Start Down, and These Dying Generations.  Her plays have been produced by the Alliance Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Last Act Theatre Company, the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival, and Everyday Inferno, and developed at the Huntington Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Luna Stage. She is the recipient of the 2016 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award, an EST/Sloan rewrite commission, and a playwriting fellowship at the Huntington Theatre. Originally from Brookline Massachusetts, she has studied history at Yale College and playwriting at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. www.eleanorburgess.com
LAURA HIRSCHBERG (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright, director, and stage manager.  Her writing has been produced by the WorkShop Theater Company, Everyday Inferno Theatre Company, 3V Theatre, 9BC Performance Series, and Looking Glass Theatre.  Most recently, Laura's short plays, Call Me... and Fish Food, were featured in 3V's staged reading series and The WorkShop's mainstage season respectively.  Verona Walls, Laura's full-length romantic tragicomedy about Shakespeare's Mercutio, will be the final production in The WorkShop's 2015-2016 season.  Laura's plays have featured cowboys, robots, talking whales, titans, the aforementioned Shakespearean character, biblical references, and pirates, as well as love, family, friendship, and sacrifice.  She is looking forward to developing her next piece with Everyday Inferno and their playwright/director lab.  www.laurahirschberg.com
MATT MINNICINO (Playwright) is a writer, actor, teacher, and teller-of-tales born and bred in Virginia, presently based in Manhattan. His words have been heard at the Pershing Square Signature Center, HERE Arts, Dixon Place, The Cell, The Tank, The Flea, and site-specific venues across NYC, as well as in the college circuit at Barnard, Columbia, the Universities of Virginia and Colorado, and Wake Forest. He is an Artistic Associate of Cradle Theatre, Resident Artist for Exquisite Corpse Company in Brooklyn, and collaborator with Artilliers, Underling Productions, Wandering Bark, Bicephaly Pictures, Easy Leap Theatre, Reckless Bard, Mad/Ecstatic Collective, and others. His articles have been published by HowlRound and The Dramatist, and he frequently serves as a teaching artist at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA. MFA: Columbia.
COURTNEY LAINE SELF (Director) has worked as director/choreographer in NYC for Medium Face Productions, Rebel Theatre Company, The Dirty Blondes, The Gallery Players, The Chappell Players, and Concrete Temple Theatre. Recent credits include Mary Poppins (Dir/Chor, Millbrook Playhouse), Under Her Hat (Dir/Chor, Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Work Series), The Tunnel Play (Dir., NY Fringe), Transformatique (Chor., Dixon Place), Hallowed Ground (Dir., The Brick), In The Heights (Dir/Chor, St. Johns Univ.). Previously Head of Dance and Acting/Movement professor at Southern Illinois University. MFA in Directing (SIU), BFA in Music Theatre (Hartt). She was the SDC Observer for the workshop of Big Fish with Susan Stroman and has presented at numerous national theatre conferences. www.courtneylaineself.com
KATHERINE SOMMER† (Director) is a New York-based producer and director. She is a Skidmore College graduate and a proud founding member of Everyday Inferno Theatre Company where she now serves as Producing Director. With Everyday Inferno, Katherine’s directing credits include the world premiere of Punk as Fuck, By Sun and Candlelight, Stella Starlight: Queen of Space and The Policy as a part of If on a Winter’s Night…, and Dog and Human as a part of The Golden Hour. Katherine has produced The Turn of the Screw at the historic Morris-Jumel Mansion, A Map to Somewhere Else, Something Wicked and Heart of Oak (Hangover Encore selections in the 2014 and 2015 FRIGID New York festivals), and Briar Rose & the Thirteenth Fairy. Katherine has served on the board of Tomfoolery Theatre, and has directed multiple short plays at the Looking Glass Theater (NY).
CHRISTINE ZAGROBELNY (Director) is a NYC-based director, passionate about new work and immersive theatre.  Credits include: The Splendid Adventurers Club (as part of 'If on a Winter's Night' with Everyday Inferno Theatre Company), An Anonymous Contributor (Women at Work Festival), Breathing Corpses, Jailbait (Burning Coal Theatre Company), The Shape of Things, and The Nina Variations.
† Denotes Everyday Inferno company members