From left, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Topher Payne, Dan O’Brien, and Ike Holter.
DEBORAH ZOE LAUFER (Informed Consent, playwright) plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage, and eighty other theaters around the country, in Germany, Russia and Canada. End Days was awarded The ATCA Steinberg citation and appeared at Ensemble Studio Theatre through an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant. Informed Consent, which was a Sloan commission will be produced in 2015 by Primary Stages and EST at the Duke Theatre in NYC. Other plays include Leveling Up, Sirens, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Meta, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, Fortune, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, and Random Acts. Deb is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and the Lilly Award and grants and commissions from The Edgerton Foundation, the NEA and NNPN. Her plays have been developed at PlayPenn, The Eugene O’Neill NPC, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ojai, The Missoula Colony, The Cherry Lane Alternative, The Dramatists Guild, New Georges, The Lark, Asolo Rep. and the Baltic Playwrights Conference. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and The Dramatists Guild. DeborahZoeLaufer.com.
TOPHER PAYNE (Perfect Arrangement, playwright) is an unapologetic eavesdropper and collector of stories who makes his home in Atlanta. His works for the stage include Swell Party, The Only Light in Reno, Above the Fold (Metro Atlanta Theatre Award, Best Original Work & Best Play of the Year), Angry Fags (Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award), Evelyn in Purgatory (Essential Theatre Playwriting Award), and Perfect Arrangement (American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award). He has been named Atlanta’s Best Playwright by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing, and The Sunday Paper, and was featured as one of “Ten Playwrights You Should Know” by Southern Theatre Magazine. His column for The Georgia Voice, Domestically Disturbed, won the 2012 National Newspaper Association award for Best Humor Column. He is an artistic associate with Flying Carpet Theatre in New York, and The Process Theatre in Atlanta. His audiobook, Funny Story: The Incomplete Works of Topher Payne, is available on iTunes, Audible, and Amazon. Topher and his beagle, Daisy, were both born in Mississippi, but they didn’t fit in there.
DAN O’BRIEN (The Body of an American, playwright) Dan O’Brien’s The Body of an American premiered at Portland Center Stage, directed by Bill Rauch, and received the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for Drama, and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. In 2014 The Body of an American received a European premiere at the Gate Theatre in London and Royal & Derngate in Northampton, directed by James Dacre, and was shortlisted for an Evening Standard Drama Award. O’Brien’s debut poetry collection War Reporter was published in 2013 in the US and the UK, where it received the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. O’Brien lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress and writer Jessica St. Clair, and their daughter Isobel. Dan has also written An Irish Play, The Last Supper Restoration, and The Voyage of the Carcass.
IKE HOLTER (Exit Strategy, playwright) Ike Holter’s work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, LiveWire Chicago, Theater 7, The Greenhouse Theater, Theater on The Lake and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer. He’s received fellowships and commissions from The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center, Writers Theater and Teatro Vista. His show Hit The Wall played at Steppenwolf Garage and Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York. Jackalope Theater produced his new play Exit Strategy, which played to sold-out houses and transferred to Michigan. He was recently named Playwright of the Year by the Chicago Reader and Chicagoan of the Year for Theater by The Chicago Tribune. His monologues have been published in The New Yorker and several editions of Applause Books. He was also a writer on the series “b-side studio.”