21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival

January 4th-January 28th

Kid Kuisine
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Tammy, Charlie has contracted chicken pox, pink eye, and an ear infection, not to mention a strange coping mechanism to deal with his childhood problems. Among other things, Charlie has begun playing with toys, dressing in feet pajamas, and eating Kid Kuisine meals.

Karma
After falling for Leonora, a girl normally out of Thomas’ league, Thomas has completely changed his look and attitude, which has his friend Terrence trying to convince him that if he would open his eyes, the right girl for him has been in front of him all along.

In Your Dreams
Sparkle and Ebonie are two teenage girls with the usual problems, family, dating & school. Yet when the opportunity to follow their dreams arises, nothing will stand in their way. Follow their epic journey toward achieving their ultimate dream… meeting Bow Wow and Chris Brown.

Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with one intermission

Artists

Aaron Abolt (Co-author, KID KUISINE) is currently a senior at Whitney Young High School. He is currently applying to colleges and hopes to major in English. He writes exstensively, but this is the first time he has had a piece performed.

Enoch Abraham (Author, KARMA) is currently in his first year at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Enoch attended Northside College Prep High School.

Tom Burch (Scenic designer) is thrilled to return to Pegasus where he designed last year’s YPF, and will design the spring production of The Frogs. Other recent Chicago credits include Bad Dates (Northlight), Ellen Under Glass and Hatfield and McCoy (House Theatre), It’s A Wonderful Life and Dark at the Top of the Stairs (ATC), as well as shows for Chicago Shakespeare, Lifeline, Timeline, Light Opera Works, Irish Rep, and several others. Regional work includes shows for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Childsplay (AZ), Peninsula Players and others. He’s the recipient of a Jeff Citation, 2 After Dark Awards and the 2005 Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. He teaches at University of Chicago. Love to the family.

Jasmin Cardenas (Leonora, LaShay, Tammy) is excited to be working for the first time with Pegasus Players! Recently Jasmin wrote and produced her one-woman show Gringa or Latina? This summer you might have seen her in Collaboractions Sketchbook ’06 where she is an Artistic Associate or at The Goodman Theatre participating in The Latino Theatre Festival. Other credits include: Guinea Pig Solo – Collaboraction; Electricidad – Goodman Theatre; Blood Wedding – Aguijon Theater; Maria Chronicles – Teatro Luna, Latino Theater Festival at the Goodman Theatre, Kita y Fernanda and Generic Latina at Teatro Luna. Youth, educators and families might know her from her work as an Artistic Educator and Storyteller throughout the Chicagoland area. Jasmin would like to thank her family, friends and new hubby for their love and support. Gracias!!!

Lisa Dillman (Mentor, IN YOUR DREAMS) Dillman’s plays have been produced in Chicago at Steppenwolf, American Theatre Company, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and Collaboraction; in New York at the Hypothetical Theatre Company; in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at Theaterwork; and elsewhere around the country. Her work has received the Sprenger-Lang New History Play Prize, the Sarett National Playwriting Award, and the Julie Harris–Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award. She has also received two Illinois Arts Council playwriting fellowships, two commissions from Steppenwolf’s New Plays Initiative, and residencies at Blue Mountain Center, the Inge Center for the Arts, and the O’Neill Theater Center, where her play Rock Shore was presented as part of the 2003 National Playwrights Conference. Rock Shore and Flung are available from Dramatic Publishing Company, and several short plays have been anthologized in collections from Dramatic Publishing, Smith and Kraus, Heinemann, and New Issues Press. She is on the faculty of Victory Gardens Theatre Training Center and is a regular instructor at Chicago Dramatists. She is currently working on commissions from Northlight Theatre and Rivendell.

Ilesa Duncan (Director) recently directed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill for CATCO in Columbus, Ohio and Salt in a Wound for eta. She continues her long association with Pegasus which includes Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, Breath, Boom, YPF 2005,2007 and most recently tick, tick…BOOM! Other credits include Red Rain at Lincoln Center Theatre/HERE, Waiting to Be Invited at Victory Gardens, and the Jeff award-winning comedy Love Child at Chicago Theater Co., Theater on the Lake and Live Bait Theater. Regional credits include A Raisin in the Sun at CATCO in Columbus, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery at Indianapolis’ Phoenix Theatre, and The Trial of One Short-Sighted at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee. Additional Chicago credits include Eastville at Writers’ Theatre, and Shakin’ The Mess Outta Misery and the Joseph Jefferson awarded Do Lord Remember Me at Chicago Theatre Co. A member of Lincoln Center Theatre’s Director’s Lab, Duncan is a NEA/TCG Directing Fellow.

LaNisa Renee Fredrick (Librarian, Ebonie, Mom) A native of Cincinnati, this is LaNisa’s first production with Pegasus Players. Previous credits include “The Exonerated” (Raven Theatre), “Flyin West” (Thymley Theatre), “Meaningless” (Bailiwick Repertory), “Kiwi Black” (MPAACT), “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” (Overflow Ensemble), “Alexander Project 1” (London),”The Heidi Chronicles” (London) and “Proof” (London). She is an artistic associate of MPAACT Chicago (Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre), and can be seen in their next show “Blaxplotation: This is how we Deux”. LaNisa holds a B.A in theatre from Loyola University of Chicago and M.A in theatre performance from East 15 Acting School (London, England).

Adam Glueckert (Little Boy, Mickey) made his acting debut In Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Loyola University last spring. Adam wants to wish all his friends peace and love and thanks his mom for her constant encouragement.

Marisha Hekmatpour (Co-author, KID KUISINE) attends Whitney Young Magnet High School. She is seventeen years old and was born and raised in the city of Chicago. In college she intends on majoring in business though she is unsure of the specifics. She also plans on continuing her advancement in various artistic outlets, one of which includes creative writing. In addition she is a four year and very devoted member of the Whitney Young Girl’s Basketball team.

Howie Johnson (Thug, Guard, Buck) Howie was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He is a graduate of the The Second City Conservatory and Players Workshop. He has performed at Second City in Duckhunt, Donny’s Skybox in The Funshow, Trapdoor Theater in The Venetian Twins, EP Theater in La Bella Vita, and as a member of The Boxer Rebellion Ensemble in such shows as The Audit, Devoured, The Vortex, Creeps, and the Jeff recommended Lepers of Baile Baiste. He spent the last 18 months doing Leaving Iowa at many theaters in Chicago as well as throughout the Midwest. He has done several independent movies around town, including The Door, Fools Gold, and The Site. He has also been on the small screen as Lt. Zuelke on E.R. and as Lukasz the super on Prison Break. He would like to thank Susie for bringing home the bacon and allowing him more than his share.

Osiris Khepera (Terrence, Chuck Black, Joe) is proud and honored to be making his debut at Pegasus with the YPF. Previous Chicago credits include work with Victory Gardens Theater, the Biograph (inaugural production), Next Theatre, Lookingglass Theater, Blindfaith Theater, Dog and Pony Theatre, and MPAACT. Mr. Khepera is also an accomplished poet and voice-over artist. His spoken word EP ‘2 Trade Blood 4 Ink’ is currently available.

Christopher Kriz (Sound Design) has recently designed sound for Pegasus productions of THE FROGS, BLACK CAESAR, PANTOMIME, STILL LIFE and TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Past Pegasus credits include sound design for THE UPPER ROOM, BROADWAY BOUND and AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW Other recent credits include sound design for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE (Loyola Theatre). Selected past credits include sound design for TURN OF THE SCREW and LA VAGABONDE (City Lit Theatre),NELSON AND SIMONE (Live Bait Theater) and ANGELS IN AMERICA (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble).

Alex Levy (Director/Artistic Director) has been with Pegasus for over nine years. In that time he has directed several productions including Black Caesar, Still Life, The Upper Room (winner of the Joseph Jefferson Citation for “Best New Work”), Broadway Bound (Jeff nominated for four citations including “Best Production” and winner of the After Dark Award for “Best Ensemble”), The One-Eyed Man is King, Kid Kuisine, An Evening with the Living Dead, Waking Up, Portrait of an Exile, Insert Title Here and Free Will. He has also directed several of the Young Playwrights Festival touring productions. Since joining Pegasus, the theatre has won ten Joseph Jefferson Citations, seven After Dark Awards, and Pegasus became the first arts organization to win The Chicago Community Trust’s “James Brown IV” award (which included a $50,000 grant) and the City of Chicago’s “Human Relations Award.” Alex has led Pegasus on international tours in 20 and 2002 through the Middle East sponsored by The United States State Department. He was chosen to serve on the Theatre Communications Group’s Literary Manager’s advisory panel in New York and to serve as entertainment coordinator by the alderman for the “Uptown Unity Festival.” He has also worked with Smoke and Mirrors, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Building Chicago, Oakton College, Loyola University, The Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. and Geva Theatre in Rochester, N.Y.

Nick Lewis (Waiter, Charlie) is very excited to be a part of the Young Playwrights Festival once again. Most recently he was seen in Marathon ’33 at Strawdog Theatre and WBEZ’s Stories on Stage: Family Edition at the MCA. Since graduating from Columbia College Nick has had the opportunity to work with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writers’ Theatre and Lifeline Theatre among others. Currently he can also be seen in Ugly Baby at Strawdog Theatre and in February he will be in Thief River at The Side Project. Thanks as always to Adam.

Scarlett Mays (Author, IN YOUR DREAMS) is s senior at Curie Metropolitan High School. Her major is drama and she is an active cast member of Curie Productions. Her after school activities include Club Virtue, Improv Team, Upward Bound, Drama Club, Book Club, Black Society, Jazz Choir, and Senior Executive Board. She also enjoys attending church where she is the announcer and part of youth choir and very important princesses ministry. She enjoys writing, reading, movies, plays and musicals, music, and traveling.

Taj McCord (Youngblood) is excited to return to the Pegasus stage in another August Wilson production. He’s had the pleasure of being a part of Pegasus’s last August Wilson award winning production of TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Other stage credits include, Pegasus Players’ THE UPPER ROOM and 19th and 21st Annual Young Playwrights Festival, Court theatre’s FENCES, Steppenwolf’s MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, American Theatre Company’s THE HAIRY APE, Urban Theatre Company’s SHORT EYES, ETA’HOMEBOUND and Appletree Theatre’s LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN, and Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s CYMBELINE. This Atlanta native have also had the opportunity to add numerous television and film credits to his resume such as I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH, AMINA D’VOID, LOVE SHORTS and many others. In addition, Taj is currently in the post production stage of a film he directed called BREATHING ROOM and would like to dedicate the movie and this production of JITNEY to his daughter Amaiya.

Mia McCullough (Mentor, KID KUISINE) McCullough’s most recent productions include Echoes of Another Man at Stage Left Theatre and Actor’s Express in Atlanta, and Since Africa at Chicago Dramatists, InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia and Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego . Since Africa was commissioned by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival and it was a finalist for the 2005 Blackburn Prize and a nominee for a Joseph Jefferson Award. Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced  Mia’s play Taking Care in 2003 and they have commissioned her to write Spare Change which was included in Steppenwolf’s 2nd First Look Repertory of New Work. Aside from Echoes, Stage Left has produced two of Mia’s comedies Cyber Serenade and Suicide, as well as producing the world premiere production of Chagrin Falls.The critically acclaimed Chagrin Falls has garnered many awards including a Joseph Jefferson Citation for New Work, an After Dark Award, the ATCA Osborn Award and first prize in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. It has been published by Smith & Kraus in the anthology “New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2001.” Taking Care was published in the Chicago Dramatists anthology “New Plays from Chicago.” Mia is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a member of Stage Left Theatre and The Dramatists Guild. She has taught playwriting at Chicago Dramatists and Northwestern University. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband and son.

Carlos Murillo (Mentor, Karma) is a Chicago-based playwright, director and teacher. He is a Visiting Professor at the Theatre School of DePaul University. Most recently, his play Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32 premiered at Theatre @ Boston Court in Los Angeles. His play Mimesophobia (or before and after) was produced at Arielle Tepper’s 2005 NYC Summer Play Festival after previous workshops at J.A.W. West Festival at Portland Center Stage (2004), South Coast Rep’s Hispanic Playwrights Project (2003), the Chautauqua Institution Theatre Conservatory (2002) and A.S.K. Theatre Project in Los Angeles (2002). In NY Carlos’ plays have been seen at the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, En Garde Arts, Lincoln Center, Soho Rep, the Hangar Theatre, the Chautauqua Institute Conservatory, the Flea, INTAR and Nada, Inc. Regionally his work has been seen at South Coast Rep, Theatre at Boston Court, Circle X Theatre, Son of Semele Ensemble and A.S.K. Theatre Projects all in southern California, Red Eye Collaboration and the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, The Group Theatre and Annex Theater in Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Madison Repertory Theatre, the Sundance Institute, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Boston Theatre Works, Salvage Vanguard and the dirigo group in Austin, and others. In Chicago his plays have been produced at Walkabout Theatre and Barat College of DePaul University. Recently, dark play was presented in the 2006 Latino Theatre Festival at the Goodman Theatre.

Jacqueline Reid (Lighting Designer) Chicago lighting design credits include Trying and Cradle of Man for Victory Gardens; Rembrandt’s Gift for Madison Repertory Theatre, Hello Again and Tales of the Allergist’s Wife for Apple Tree Theatre, The Young Playwright’s Festival and Tick, Tick…Boom for Pegasus Players, Antigone, House of Bernarda Alba, and The Oresteia (Joseph Jefferson Citation Nomination) for Greasy Joan & Company. She has designed for many schools including Northwestern, Grinnell, Franklin & Marshall and Wheaton College, and is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. Jacqueline is an associate designer with L.A. based Luxious Lighting, Inc., and is listed as one of 2007’s Who’s Who of American Women.

Cynthia Rogers (Properties Designer) is pleased tomake her Pegasus debut with the Young Playwrights Festival. Favorite past designs include How I Learned to Drive, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Sweeney Todd. By day, Cynthia teaches Performing Arts to kindergarten through eighth grade students at Sacred Heart Schools.

Wynter Spears (Teacher, Mom) is thrilled to be back at Pegasus Players for The Young Playwrights Festival. She was last seen at Pegasus Players as Dr. Jane Osgood in Anyone Can Whistle. Her favorite roles include Mama Euralie in Once On This Island and Brenda in The Waiting Room. Wynter received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and was selected as one of only 36 participants to attend The Cabaret Conference at Yale University in August of 2005. She was recently seen in a Meijers commercial spot running in IL, IN, MI, and KY, as well as a Union Bank spot running in NE. Thanks to Alex and Ilesa for this wonderful opportunity. Love to Mom, Daddy, and Rodger for everything.

Mary E. Stewart (Stage Manager) This is Mary’s first show with Pegasus Players. Stage management credits include La Cecchina (Northwestern University) and Don’t Wait Up For Me (Lincoln Square Theatre) in Chicago. Off Broadway she worked on Mary Stewart, Measure for Measure, and Hecuba with the Pearl Theatre Company as a Stage Management Assistant. Summer Theatre credits include the 2003, 2004, and 2006 musical theatre seasons at Lees McRae Summer Theatre. When not stage managing Mary enjoys a quiet night at home listening to music and curling up with a good book.

Tiffany Trent Director, KARMA) is glad to be working once again with the Young Playwrights Festival after directing Shattered Reflections in 2005 and Writing Your Tragedy in 2006. She’s enjoyed developing new plays in workshops with Chicago Dramatists’, Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writers Project, and New Harmony Writers’ Project. Other recent directing credits include Kid Zero and Aesop and the Fabulous Fable Sisters with University Theater’s Summer Drama Workshop, Back Porch Secrets with Blatnums at Chicago Dramatists’, Niki Mitchell’s Vision Quest with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Park District, Marsha Estell’s one woman show Big Butt Girls and other Stories; Fame, Grease and What Use are Flowers? with Youth Theatre Workshop at Chernin’s Center for the Arts; Defending Myself and The Abesha Conspiracy with MPAACT; and Saving Grace plus a number of Showfolk Series productions at ETA. Tiffany’s costume designs have recently been seen in HEAT and The Age of Cynicism or Karaoke Night at the Hog at Chicago Dramatists; The Emmett Project at NeoFuturists; and Aesop and the Fabulous Fable Sisters with People’s Jazz Theatre. She currently teaches with University Theater at the University of Chicago and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s MFA Directing program. As further exploration of the sacredness of artistic expression, Tiffany recently finished her M.Div. at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Jehan Whittaker (Fiona, Sparkle) received her B.A. in Acting from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. While in Pittsburgh she was seen in A Flea in Her Ear, Two Gentlemen of Verona, First Lady Suite, Anton in Show Business, The Cosmopolitan Identity Crisis, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and a staged reading of Eric Simonson’s Carter’s Way. She also participated in Semester at Sea’s Fall 2004 voyage where she studied theatre in 12 countries and performed in a medley of South African musicals including; Orphans of Qumbu, Who Killed Jimmy Valentine and District 6. During that voyage she also wrote and directed Checkmate. Since moving to Chicago she has worked with Smoke and Mirror production, Bailiwick Repertory and Lil’ Buds Theatre Company.