Guest Artists

After months of planning and literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of emails, the Guest Artist Committee is proud to announce the Guest Artist Roster for this year's New Works Festival.  Our GA's represent a wide range in theatrical expertise, cultural heritage and geography.

Ken Cerniglia is a dramaturg, writer and director. In addition to co-founding Two Turns Theatre Company in 2009 and producing The Turn of the Screw in a haunted house museum, recent projects include working with Seattle's Fisher Ensemble to create Psyche, a multimedia chamber opera, and with American Records Theatre Company on ReEntry, a documentary play about U.S Marines and their families. By day he is dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group, where he has developed over forty shows for professional, amateur and school productions. Ken holds a Ph.D in theatre history and criticism from the University of Washington and presents and publishes his research internationally.

Ken Cerniglia


John M. Baker is the Literary Manager at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He is the former Artistic Associate at Brooklyn-based Page 73 Productions and Literary Associate at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. He has previously working in the literary departments at The Riverside Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. In addition to his work on classic plays, he has dramaturged new work with Juilliard, The Kennedy Center, and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, among many others. He has recently worked with a variety of directors including Hal Brooks, Sam Gold, and Wendy Goldberg and playwrights Luis Alfaro, Neena Beber (Italian Sojourn), and Julia Cho (The Language Archive) just to name a few. He has taught at Boston Latin School, Fordham University, Marymount Manhattan College, Rutgers University, and the University of Iowa. John holds a BA in English from Boston University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from the University of Iowa.

John Baker
Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1989 after being a member of the Joffrey Ballet for four years. Patrick was featured in five PBS Great Performances between 1988 and 2004 and the 1998 Academy Award nominated documentary Dancemaker. In 2001 Corbin was the recipient of the New York Performance Award (Bessie) for Sustained Achievement with The Paul Taylor Dance Company. In 2005 Patrick danced with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and in 2010 he created a role in Martha Clarke's Angel Reapers. Patrick has staged his own work as well as the work of Paul Taylor on companies through out the United States and founded his own company CorbinDances in 2003. As well as choreographing for CorbinDances Patrick has worked with Company C Contemporary Ballet, UC Irvine, James Sewell Ballet, University of Kansas and American Repertory Ballet.




Sherry Kramer

Sherry Kramer's plays have been seen at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louiswille, InterAct Theatre, and Yale Repertory Theater just to name a few. She is a recipient of the N E A, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Playwriting Award and a New York Drama League Award, the LA Women in Theater New Play Award, The Jane Chambers Playwriting Award,  and was nominated for a Helen Hayes New Play Award. Sherry also received a commission from A.S.K for The Mad Master. She was the first national member of New Dramatists, and teaches playwriting at Bennington College, and often in the MFA programs of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin.


Ann Wrightson's recent lighting design recent work includes: The Diary of Anne Frank for Indiana Rep and the Pioneer Theatre, Crimes of the Heart for The McCarter and Fences for the Huntington Theatre. She designed the Broadway production of Souvenir, and she was a Tony nominee for her work on the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning August: Osage County, which she designed for Broadway, London, Sydney and the National Tour. Ann's favorite projects include Tracy Letts' The Man From Nebraska (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Intimate Apparel for both the Guthrie and Steppenwolf and 10 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival just to name a few. Her regional work has been seen at the Kennedy Center, the Long Wharf, Arena Stage, and the National Playwrights Conference Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Television work includes  Comedy Central and "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher". Ann also won the 2009 IRNE Award for Best Lighting forFENCES at the Huntington, a 2001 AUDELCO nomination and a 1998 Backstage Garland Award for Magic Fire at OSF.

Ann Wrightson


KT Nelson joined ODC in 1976 while attending Oberlin College and danced with the Company until 1997. Since 1976, Nelson has choreographed more than 60 works and composed and commissioned numerous sound scores. In 1986, she created and directed ODC's first full-length family production, The Velveteen Rabbit, which has since toured across the country reaching an audience of over 350,000. Nelson's awards include the 1987 Isadora Duncan award for Outstanding Performance, 1996 award for Outstanding Choreography and 2001 award for Sustained Achievement. Nelson has collaborated with many artists including Bobby McFerrin, Zap Mama and Linda Bouchard among others. She founded ODC's youth company, the ODC Dance Jam and is a critical player in the development of ODC's Educational Outreach Program. In 2002, Nelson received the California Dance Educators Association's Artist Award for outstanding artistry, creativity, outreach, and dedication to the field of dance. She currently sits on the Zellerbach Community Arts Board.

KT Nelson


Jorge Diaz


Jorge Diaz is a puppeteer and the artistic director of the street performance ensemble Papel Machete. Born and raised in Santurce, Puerto Rico and lived ten years in the US. A working class Boricua graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a bachelor of arts in Mass Communications. As a student hosted and produced a salsa show on WERS FM, founded Emerson's Latino organization and an antiracist coalition of student groups to respond to racist attacks in the institution. Studied popular education and theater through various community and intensive workshops and projects. Engaged in the praxis of community art and theater projects in underdeveloped and gentrified communities for the past 17 years. Founder and Program Director of AgitArte, a non-profit organization dedicated to initiating and supporting arts and artists for social change. Founder and Artistic Director of The worker's theater collective of puppetry and masks Papel Machete. Puppeteer, DJ, cultural worker and community organizer committed to social justice and creating alternative spaces and projects for the marginalized in resistance and struggle.

Octavio Solis



Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in San Francisco. His works are numerous and include Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, and Dreamlandia just to name a few. These works and many of his other projects have been mounted across the country at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Summer Play Festival, the Dallas Theater Center, and Teatro Vista in Chicago among others. His collaborative works include Burning Dreams, co-written with Julie Hebert and Gina Leishman; Shiner, written with Erik Ehn, and Great Highway, written with Wendy Weiner. Solis has received many awards and fellowships including an NEA 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Roger L Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, a production grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, and the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis just to mention a few. His new anthology, Plays By Octavio Solis is issued by Broadway Play Publishing. He has also completed Prospect, an independent feature film which he wrote and directed. Solis is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a New Dramatists alum.


Kristin Marting is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of HERE in New York which she established in 1993; she also co-founded Tiny Mythic Theatre Company in 1988. She has constructed 24 hybrid works for the stage. Most recently, she premiered Sounding, a live cinema performance loosely inspired by Ibsen's Lady from the Sea and directed James Scrugg's solo work Disposable Men (winner of an NY Innovative Theatre Award) and his recent new play (RUS)H. For the last 15 years, she has been developing a unique hybrid directorial/choreographic form that features a "gestural vocabulary" used both as an emotional signifier and as a choreographic element and though it is specific to each project the vocabulary is in a state of constant development with an ever-growing set of permanent gestures being added to the repertoire. 

Kristin Marting


Arthur Lewis is a highly sought after stage manager and producer who has worked around the world in theatre, TV, film, and special events. He has carved out a very interesting niche stage managing large, high profile events including the Oscars, the CMA awards, the halftime at the Super Bowl, the Obama inaugural ball and the Beijing Olympics. 

Henry Godinez


Henry Godinez is the resident artistic associate at the Goodman and curator of the Goodman's Latino Theatre Festival. At the Goodman he has directed the world premieres of Karen Zacarias' Mariela in the Desert, Regina Taylor's Millennium Mambo and Luis Alfaro's Straight As A Line. Henry also directed a variety of other shows at the Goodman including Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez, Sam Shepard's Red Cross (one of the five short plays in Regina Taylor's Transformations) and the Goodman's production of A Christmas Carol from 1996-2001. Godinez worked on other productions around Chicago at Apple Tree Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater and Chicago Children's Theatre to name a few. Mr. Godinez is the co-founder of Teatro Vista and served as artistic director for its first five years while there he directed Broken Eggs, El Paso Blue and many other productions.

James Still

James Still's award-winning plays have been produced at theatres throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. He is the playwright-in-residence at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a winner of the William Inge Festival's Otis Guernsey New Voices in American Theatre Award, the Medallion for Sustained Achievement from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America, and the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award for Distinguished Body of Work. He is an elected member of the National Theatre Conference and a Fellow in the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. Three of Still's plays have received the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and his work has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His plays have been developed and workshopped at Sundance, the New Harmony Project, the O'Neill, the Bonderman, and New Visions/New Voices at the Kennedy Center. In addition to his work in the theatre, Still also works in television and film, has been nominated for five Emmys and was twice a finalist for the Humanitas Prize and a Television Critics Association Award. He is a producer and head writer for the series Paz, head writer for a new series Frog & Friends and writer for Miffy. For Nickelodeon, he was a writer and story editor for Maurice Sendak's Little Bear and the Bill Cosby series Little Bill. He wrote The Little Bear Movie and the feature film The Velocity of Gary.

Lana Lesley

Lana Lesley is a Co-Producing Artistic Director of the Rude Mechanicals in Austin. She has worked as a collaborator, producer, and actor on nearly thirty original Rude Mechs productions, including, most recently, Get Your War On and Match-Play. With Rude Mechs, Lana has performed at Humana Festival 2010, Galway Arts Festival, Kiasma Festival, Szene Salzburg, Edinburgh Fringe (Winner - Total Theatre Award for Best New Play by an Ensemble), Philadelphia Live Arts, UCLA Live!, Bumbershoot, the Walker Art Center, Wolly Mammoth Theatre, Wexner Center for the Arts, On The Boards, and DiverseWorks. With SITI Company, Lana toured their piece systems/layers to the Krannert Center and Utah State University. With the TEAM, she has tourded the pice, Architecting, to BITE Festival, Culturgest, The Arches, and to Calgary. Lana is currently co-directing, with Thomas Graves, Rude Mech's new western operetta, I've Never Been So Happy (to premiere April '11) by Kirk Lynn and Peter Stopschinski. She is an award winning actress and director.



Previous Guest Artists

Ruben Polendo - Artistic Director Theatre MITU  

David Conte - Broadway Theatre Manager/Author

Ed Raymond - IATSE #16 Former President                       

Richard Berentsen - Art Director 

Megan Monaghan - Lark Theatre                                      

Sarah Benson - SoHo Rep Artistic Director

Bruce Ostler - Top Level Agent                                          

Gary Garrison - Dramatists Guild

Amy Greenfield - Dance Film Producer

Morgan Jeness - Agent/ Dramaturg

Linda Hartzell - SCT Artistic Director

Billy Seago - Actor/ Responder

Mac Wellman - Playwright

Wendy Goldberg - O'Neill Center

Marlina Gonzalez - DTY Devising Work

David Bjurstrom - Photographer

Kelly Hargraves - Dance Critic

Sherry Kramer - Playwright

Maria Elena Fernandez - Actor, Director, and Solo Performer

Joan Schirle - Director, Performer, Artistic Director at D'ell Arte

Emily Morse - Dramaturg 

Naomi Wallace - Playwright and Screenwriter

Charles Otte - Director and Musician

Cornerstone Theatre

Theatre of Yugen

Todd Rosenthal - Set and Lighting Designer

Rachel Healy - Costume Designer

Nancy Schiesari - Director of Photography

Darden Smith - Musician

Kristie Simpson - Dancer and Choreographer

Dan Fields - Director and Producer



Ruben Polando

Ruben Polendo