The Playwrights

Paulina Barros was born and raised in Mexico City. After getting her BA in Communication, she studied screenwriting at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts Film School. During 2007-2008 she held a fellowship for Playwriting at the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, where she started her carrier in theater. In September 2010 she moved to New York to pursue her MFA degree in Theatre Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts.

Zhao Binghao is a bilingual writer originally from China. Now he is pursuing his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. His previous works in Chinese include: The Trial, Death Penalty, Microcosmos, Lotus (short play), Time (screenplay), etc. He is also an independent filmmaker in China and has finished three half-hour films, including The Linguist, Love in Coincidence, and Kunqu Opera, 72 hours (a documentary). His plays in English include Solid Geometry, Cat\Smoking\Glasses and Strangers’ Love, and also the incoming HOPSCOTCH: some ashes. He received his BA from Nanjing University, China.

Keith Boynton is a New York City-based playwright and filmmaker, and an MFA candidate in playwriting at Columbia University, under Charles L. Mee. His works include Books and Water (produced at Amherst College), Trinity (produced at the Abingdon Theatre, NYC), The Quotable Assassin and Walls (both produced at Altered Stages, NYC), and The Improbable Tragedy of Dr. Ivan Roshashonnavich, which was performed at a benefit by Sam Waterston, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, and Meryl Streep.  The New York Times has called Keith “a talent worth watching,” but they said some mean stuff too.

Talya Chalef is an independent theatre-maker working in multidisciplinary visual performance work and is currently based in New York City where she is pursuing her MFA in playwriting within Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She grew up in Cape Town and has been based in Melbourne for the past seven years where she devised and directed new performance works site (2006, nominated in the Victorian Green Room awards for Outstanding Direction), In Other Words (2007- Melbourne and 2009 Buenos Aires, Argentina, also nominated in the Victorian Green Room awards) and Eyton Rd (2009, Melbourne and Infecting The City Festival, Cape Town). Earlier this year she took part in an artist residency at the Robert Wilson Watermill Center and began the first stage development on of an international theater project port cities.  Recently Talya participated as an invited guest artist at the Mapping Spectral Traces Symposium in Dublin, Ireland, directed Daniella Shoshan’s An Improvised Explosive Device: An MTV War Story for the New York International Fringe Festival and has just been honoured as the 2011 Dame Murdoch Travel Fellow through the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.Talya has received numerous awards and fellowships that have enabled her to study in NYC, for which she is ridiculously grateful.

Angelica Chéri wrote her first full-length play Solitaire at age 16 at Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. She then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television, during which she wrote several plays that were performed in the Theater Department and with the African Arts Ensemble. Her plays have been workshopped with Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA and numerous other venues in Los Angeles and New York City. In addition to her plays, Angelica is also currently working on a short film and two works of poetry both to be published this spring. Her first film, Papers and Plastics, is currently in post-production and will be released this summer.

Pei-Chieh Chiang is an actor and playwright-director born in Taipei, Taiwan, now studying toward a Playwriting MFA at Columbia University. Her playwright-directing work includes, A Lover’s Discourse 2, ADvertisement, Three One-Man Shows, The Criminals of Cultural Mimicry Tetralogy, I-Seoul,  I Love You. Musical-The Criminals of Cultural Mimicry Tetralogy, II-My “Goodness”!!?? Her acting productions include: Headless in Los Angeles, Life and Times of Robert Wilson, e Play XD, Prophet’s Apartment, A Study in Art and Love, The Man WhoTurned Into a Cloud, Michael Jackson and 80s.

Alessandra Hirsch is a second-year Playwriting MFA candidate at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Her plays include Sevens: A Play in Eight Scenes, The Incomplete Ones, One Thousand Days, Fit To Print, Notes In the Sand, and The Canoe Play. She is currently penning numerous new plays and pilots, as well as the libretto to an original musical on which she is collaborating with a composer from the NYU Musical Theatre Writing Program. In her former life, Alessandra was on the casting team for Chicago: The Musical (Broadway, UK, and Tour Productions), La Cage Aux Folles (Longacre Theatre) and numerous productions at Playwrights Horizons, The Huntington Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Women’s Project.  She proudly holds a bachelors degree in Dramatic Literature from Barnard College.

Paola Lázaro Muñoz is yeah, and is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently challenging her government and trying to solve the ambivalent political status of her colonized island through theater.




Christina Quintana (CQ) is a New York-based playwright and New Orleanian-transplant pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University.  Her plays have been developed, produced and/or workshopped in New York City, Santa Fe, Williamstown and New Orleans. The Gay Play will be presented in Outworks 2012 this Spring at LSU Theatre Department. The Recession Club, was featured in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Reading Series and her short play, The Dragon Box, in The Movement Theatre Company’s GO GREEN Festival.  Other plays include: (HEARSAY), Sacred Mistakes, Blank Canvas, ZEITGEIST, and Commute. Her blog, The Perpetual Postcard Project, was freshly pressed and featured in the South African webzine, Itch.

Torrey Townsend


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