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Art Works / Art Words – Artist Bios

 

Marjam Oskoui (Co-creator, DO SAY: PAS DE DEUX)
A transmedia fine artist working and living in Los Angeles since 1992, Marjam had a nomadic childhood. Born in Giessen, Germany, she was raised in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Hannover, Germany when her family was exiled in 1973. It was there that she received her early education, and she also credits heavy artistic influence to the Dada artists active in Hannover at this time. Marjam entered the University Hildesheim to study culture and art, though it was not until 1999 that she went on to receive her M.F.A. at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. From 2002-2006, she taught at the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste Muenchen, New Media Arts with Professor Klaus vom Bruch. She also continues to teach by invitation, and leads innovative and intuitive painting classes entitled “Express Yourself.” Currently, Marjam’s artistic work explores the intersection of cultural myth and the perception of the reality inhabited. “I believe communication on all levels, across all media, is the underpinning of better understanding. Before the picture stands the word. www.marjamoskoui.com

 

Vanna-Mae (Visual artist, LOOK AT ME) is a self taught watercolor artist and live painter. She is exploring the meaning of self-love and self-care through her art. 4 years ago Vanna Mae was in a very difficult place in her life battling with depression. After seeking professional help and a support system, Vanna Mae found art to be an important key for healing her trauma. She enjoyed painting female figures in their homes relaxing and doing acts of self love & care. The more Vanna painted these whimsical figures she calls “Dream Girls”, the more she’d practice her visions in her everyday life. Organically, Vanna realized this was her purpose in life and devoted her time to her passion for art. Vanna Mae is currently Live Painting & Vending nationwide with a mission to continue her healing practices and connecting with people from all walks of life with her art. www.vannamae.com

 

Matthew Robinson (Visual artist collaborator, LEAVE THE NEST)
I had always liked drawing with pencil and pen on paper since I was very young and painting in oil seemed the natural progression to fully realize my own artistic potential and vision. I like to pose interesting questions to the viewer rather than force a finite answer. I would hope that a person viewing a piece of mine would be challenged to pick up the pieces of narrative that I have represented on the canvas to form a story that is told by their own past experiences and opens up his/her mind to consider future possibilities in life with art as the vehicle for a more philosophical understanding of it.

 

Walter Belenky (Instructor, LOOK AT ME)
Born in Detroit, Michigan.  He is an American Actor and Visual artist.  He has starred on TV, Film, and Broadway as well many many Commercials.  Much love to his family and everyone at Chalk Rep.  Follow him on Instagram- instagram.com/walter_belenky

 

Pearl Bindler (Young Artist, COLLECTING) is a 13-year old artist living in Los Angeles, CA.

 

Spencer Saccoman (Production Stage Manager) is a stage manager in Los Angeles. This is his third show with the Chalk Rep (In Case of Emergency LA, Aesthesia) and he is so happy to be back. Other recent credits include The Comedy of Errors (Southern California Shakespeare Festival) and Pride and Prejudice (Cal Poly Pomona). Spencer is the Production Manager and Technical Director for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. For more info visit spencersaccoman.com.

 

Ruth McKee (Playwright, LOOK AT ME) is a founder and co-Artistic Producing Director of Chalk Repertory Theatre, and has been producing site-specific work with Chalk for the past nine years. A graduate of UC San Diego’s MFA playwriting program, Ruth was trained as a traditional playwright but has found her voice creating work outside of the box, breaking down the barrier between the artists and audience. She has written four full-length plays for Chalk Rep: Stray, Full Disclosure, Hell Money and In Case of Emergency, as well as numerous short plays for Chalk’s FLASH Festivals, and Gallery Secrets at The Natural History Museum of LA County. She is thrilled by the opportunity to collaborate with visual artists on this project!

 

Inda Craig-Galván (playwright, LEAVE THE NEST) is a Chicagoan living in Los Angeles. Where it’s warm. Inda’s plays have been developed and presented at theatres including Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, Kitchen Dog Theatre New Works Festival, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Chalk Repertory Theatre, Skylight Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Playwrights’ Arena New Pages Lab, MPAACT, Trustus Theatre Playwrights Festival, and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre.  Honors: The Kilroys List, The Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Blue Ink Playwriting Award, Urbanworld Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, Jane Chambers Student Award for Feminist Playwriting, Black & Latino Playwrights Conference Winner, WomenWorks Playwriting Winner, Humanitas Play LA, and Princess Grace Award in Playwriting (runner-up). MFA in Dramatic Writing, University of Southern California. Sketch comedy writing/performing, The Second City Training Center in Chicago; The Groundlings School in Los Angeles. Member of Dramatist Guild, Actors Equity Association, and SAG-AFTRA. Member, The Playwrights Union, a network of LA theater artists writing for stage, tv, and film.

 

Meg Miroshnik (Playwright, COLLECTING) is an LA-based, Minneapolis-bred playwright who writes heightened language. Plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep; Alliance), The Tall Girls (Alliance; O’Neill; La Jolla Playhouse DNA Series), The Droll (Pacific Playwrights Festival; Undermain) and Lady Tattoo (Pacific Playwrights Festival, Rattlestick F*cking Good Plays Festival). Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Publications: Samuel French. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Affiliation: Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Upcoming: Sonnet: A Play, a Shakespeare-inspired commission for the Acting Company.

 

Eric Reyes Loo (Co-creator, DO SAY: PAS DE DEUX) is a playwright and TV writer based in his hometown, Los Angeles. He has produced and developed work with local theatres such as Pacific Resident Theatre, Rogue Machine, The Blank, Moving Arts and Chalk Rep and other places around the country like The Inkwell, Lark Play Development Center, Manhattan Theatre Source, George Street Playhouse and Rattlestick. He’s an alumnus of the Playwrights Union and Chalk Rep’s Artistic Circle. His latest play, DEATH AND COCKROACHES, is scheduled for a production with Chalk Rep in Fall 2018. Eric has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He currently teaches playwriting, screenwriting and TV writing at San Diego State University and is a Co-Producer in his second year on GUIDANCE from Awesomeness TV and Verizon’s Go90. Season Two is currently on Hulu.

 

Amy Ellenberger (Mrs. Genervine, COLLECTING) is a founding member of Chalk Rep and has performed with various theatre companies on the east and west coast including South Coast Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Contemporary American Theatre Co. in Columbus, OH, and Six Figures Theatre Company in NYC. In Los Angeles she has performed with the improv comedy group the Mutiny, starred in the web series Lost Angeles, and served as a co-host for the internet radio show, TheWorst Show on the Web.  She has a B.F.A from Otterbein College and an M.F.A. from UC San Diego.

 

Teri Reeves (Gemma, LOOK AT ME) is a proud member of the Chalk Rep’s  Artistic Circle. She appeared as Natasha in Chalk’s inaugural production of Three Sisters, produced and starred as May in Chalk’s Fool For Love, played Olivia in Twelfth Night, the Duchess of Berwick in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Evie in Slither. . She studied acting in the MFA program at UC San Diego and the BFA program at UC Santa Barbara. On television she was series regular Dr. Hallie Thomas first season of NBC’s “Chicago Fire” as well as series regular KJ Jameson on Hulu’s originally scripted series ‘Battleground’. Other credits include indie film 10 Year Plan, guest and recurring roles on Once Upon a Time, Scandal, Castle, NCIS, NCIS:LA, General Hospital, and many more. terireeves.com

 

Megan Smith McGuane (Director, Collecting) is an LA based theater director and non-profit fundraising consultant. She is a founding ensemble member for Sideshow Theatre in Chicago, IL, where she also served as the executive director for the company’s first nine seasons. She focuses on new play development and world premieres. With Sideshow, Megan has directed Chalk (Walt McGough), Tyrant (Kathleen Akerley), The Burden of Not Having a Tail (Carrie Barrett), Theories of the Sun (Kathleen Akerley), and Ekphrasis: Cave Walls to Soup Cans (Warren Perry). Also in the midwest she directed Caity-Shea Violette’s Target Behavior (20% Theatre Company) and Jacob Juntunen’s Joan’s Laughter (Southern Illinois University). Megan serves as the Grants Manager for Sideshow Theatre Company, and is a script reader for Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She is a proud graduate of the Catholic University of America.

 

Dav Yendler (Director, LOOK AT ME) is an illustrator and designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Previous clients include Cards Against Humanity, Discover L.A., and Buzzfeed. As a theatre artist he worked in Chicago at Salonathon, a home for underground, emerging, and genre-defying art. He received his BA in Theatre from UC San Diego, and was a directing apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

 

Mo Beatty (Chick Two, LEAVE THE NEST) is thrilled to be a part of Art Works/Art Words! She’s currently in a film called Submit that is working the festival circuit after premiering here at the Downtown Independent. Her favorite recent onstage credits include Betsy Ross in original play Unheard Voices (Whitefire Theatre), Sue Gaggle of Saints in Bash (Whitmore-Lindley), Sebastian in The Tempest (Studio Stage) Nina in The Nina Variations (The Complex Theatre, Fringe Festival). And in her off time, she performs at kids parties as some favorite Disney Princesses (Papillons Entertainment). Huzzah!

 

Aja Houston (Chick One, LEAVE THE NEST) is an actress and playwright. She received her Bachelor of Theatre Arts Degree from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She is now a MFA Dramatic Writing Candidate at USC School of Dramatic Arts Class of ’19. Aja is a proud member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, Actors Equity Association, British Actor’s Equity, and the Dramatists Guild. Her play, Counting, just received a production this spring at USC’s Massman Theatre. Journey to Alice was recently workshopped at Inkwell Theatre’s New Play Development Lab.  Some of Aja’s other notable work includes The Flight of Emina and Zubaida, an adaptation of classic Polish novel “The Saragossa Manuscript”, commissioned by Playwright’s Arena andThe Adam Mickiewicz Institute for their 2017 Iron Tongues Staged Reading Festival and Floating On Credit ((published by The Dionysian, 2017) For more information visit ajahouston.net