Contributor Bios Issue 2

Gary L. Blackwood (“Derangement”) is best known as an author of novels and nonfiction books for young readers, but he’s also a playwright and occasional screenwriter. Several of his stage plays have won major playwriting competitions. His stage adaptation of his bestselling YA novel The Shakespeare Stealer has been produced by most of the top children’s theatres in the US and is published by His adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome is published by Samuel French. Many of his other plays can be found on ProPlay and his screenplays are posted on InkTip.

Rachael Carnes (“Utøya”) has productions across the U.S., U.K., Canada and Asia, and invitations to the Inge Theatre Festival, the Midwestern Dramatists Center, the Mid-America Theater Conference, the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference New Play Development Series and the Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, as well as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Playwriting Intensive. Rachael’s award-winning play Partner Of— is published by the Coachella Review, and will be featured in the 2019 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival in New York City. (One of 30 plays chosen from more than 900.) Her play Egg in Spoon will be published in the Coachella Review and her plays Ice Front and Curbed will be published in the Silk Road Review. Rachael’s full-length play Practice House is a semi-finalist for the 2019 New Dramatists Princess Grace Award. Rachael is the founder and editor of CodeRedPlaywrights, a consortium of writers across the country, responding to gun violence. She and her family live in Oregon.

Sophie Katz (“Aspec” & “A Swift and Painless Death”) is a Jewish, demisexual playwright and stage manager. For Sophie, storytelling is both a joy and a tool to build a better world.

August Magee (“Rachel, Sarah, Jenna, Chris”) is a director and screenwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied at the University of Iowa in Cinema and Theatre with a focus in writing. Some of his work can be seen on YouTube in the sketch series No Rush Theater as well as his own channel.

Charissa Menefee (“Grounds for Play”) teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment and for ISU Theatre at Iowa State University. She has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar in Playwrighting at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as a writer-in-residence at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts and the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s New American Playwrights Project. Her plays have been recently produced in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Also a poet, her collection When I Stopped Counting is available Finishing Line Press, and her poems can also be found in literary magazines such as Adanna, Terrene, Poets Reading the News, Dragon Poet Review, and Poetry South.

Ross Peter Nelson’s (“Workers of the World”) plays have been performed across the US and on three continents. He earned his MFA from the University of New Orleans and recently served as playwright-in-residence at Can Serrat, Spain. He has had work published in literary magazines and anthologies. Eight of his short plays are available from Heartland Plays. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the New Play Exchange. More information can be found at

L.B. Ramsey (“The Holiest Thing”) is an agender scriptwriter, poet, and musician whose work focuses on spirituality, different aspects of identity, and the vessel we know as our body. You can follow them on twitter at @loubakerramsey to read some of their poetic endeavors.

Ran Xia (“Onions” & “Táo”) is a Shanghai-born, NYC-based interdisciplinary theatre artist. Her plays include Pomegrenade (IRT), De Profundis, Harmony (HERE, an audio trilogy), [ai] (Brick), In Blue (The Tank). Resident Director at the Flea and The Tank (Inaugural Artist of the Year; directed Ben Gassman’s Independent Study, and Ailís Ní Ríain’s The Tallest Man in the World). A staff critic at Theatre Is Easy and Exeunt.

Kathy Rucker (“Beautiful Scar”) is a past member of the San Francisco Bay Area theatre company, Playground. Her first play, Beautiful Scar, was a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival Ten-Minute Play Contest. Her next play, Chop Shop, earned her an invitation to the Sewanee Writers Conference where she developed the work with playwrights Romulus Linney and Dan O’Brien. Ms. Rucker’s play, Turing Tested, was selected for participation in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, as was Sultan’s Battery, which was also selected for the Great Plains Theatre Conference and was a finalist in the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest. The play was also nominated for the London Fringe Festival Theatre Writing Award and had its world premiere in 2010 in Los Angeles, produced by the Fresh Baked Theatre Company. In 2013 her play, Done There, Been That, was produced at the Bierkeller Theatre in Bristol, England, directed by Natasha Harper-Smith. Crystal Springs was produced in 2014 at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, directed by 2013 Bruntwood Prize Winner, Anna Jordan. In the summer of 2014, Crystal Springs was produced at the Park Theatre in London, UK, directed by Jemma Gross. In 2017 Hula Girl, a one-act was performed at the Barrow Theatre in New York City. Ms. Rucker is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

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