Jewelle Gomez is a novelist, poet and cultural worker. She’s the author of eight books including the first Black Lesbian vampyre novel, The Gilda Stories, which has been in print more than 25 years. New Conservatory Theatre Center commissioned and produced two of her plays - Waiting for Giovanni and Leaving the Blues - and there is a third currently in the works.
Eric Reyes Loo is a television writer and playwright, having most recently written for Netflix’s A.J. and the Queen. His plays have been produced across the country and his play This is Only a Test will premiere in May 2021 at the Broken Nose Theatre in Chicago. He’s also the Artistic Producing Director of Chalk Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles.
Laurel Ollstein is an award winning playwright/director based in Los Angeles. Most recent production They Promised Her the Moon - its critically acclaimed west coast premier at the Old Globe theatre in San Diego, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. The Northern California premiere opened March 6 of this year at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and unfortunately had to close due to the virus on March 10. Laurel directs playwriting programs, writing and arts education in schools, and creates plays on social justice themes. An adjunct faculty member at Cal Arts, UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount, and Otis College of Art and Design.
Tim Pinckney’s plays include Message to Michael (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Still at Risk (world premiere at the New Conservatory Theatre, NYC premiere at Theater for the New City) and Ever So Humble (world premiere Hangar Theatre, recently featured in the Plays in the House series as a benefit for The Actors Fund starring Michael Urie and Andréa Burns). Other plays include A Prehistoric Ritual, Stir Until Smooth, A Perfect Blendship and First Refusal, as well as the stage adaptation for the world premiere of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Tim was a staff writer on Halston, an upcoming Netflix series starring Ewan McGregor. Represented by Charles Kopelman at Abrams Artists. www.timpinckney.com.
Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s plays include Gee's Bend, Fresh Kills, The Flagmaker of Market Street, The Furniture of Home, White Lightning, Provenance,Everything That’s Beautiful, and Looks Like Pretty. Her plays have been produced at the Royal Court (London), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, Cleveland Playhouse, KC Rep, Northlight, the Arden, B Street Theatre, and Hartford Stage, among others. She is the recipient of the Osborn Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association, a Sloan Commission, and has been featured on The Kilroy’s. Elyzabeth is the current Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at Sewanee: The University of the South. www.wilderwriting.net
Ed Decker is the Founding Artistic Director of New Conservatory Theatre Center which opened its doors in 1981. NCTC is a San Francisco cornerstone institution leading in the fields of arts education as well as Queer and Allied theatre production. A graduate of the SFSU Theatre Department, he is extremely honored to continue his work with a wide array of artisans, administrators, activists, as well as his husband and writing partner Robert Leone with whom he collaborated on the world premiere of Rights of Passage – a love story set against the backdrop of the struggle for international human rights. Ed is looking forward to keeping the word “new” in the company’s namesake emblematic of fresh, vital, and transformative theatre.
Toni Lynn Guidry is jazzed to return, virtually, to NCTC having stage managed The Book of Mountains and Seas, Head Over Heels, The Gentleman Caller, and many other favorites over the past five seasons. She's worked with Cutting Ball Theater, Custom Made Theatre, EXIT Theatre, Merola Opera Program, and as a resident actor and teacher with California Theatre Center. Toni originally hails from South Louisiana and holds a BA in Music.
James Arthur M. is grateful to be home working with NCTC in these times when our stories must be told. Actor, Podcaster, Dancer, Comedian, and former co-host for Marvel Entertainment. TV: Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC), Tell Me A Story (CBS All Access). NYC: BENT (TOSOS), The Shakespeare Conspiracy (42nd Street Theater), 48 Hours In Harlem (National Black Theater). SF: Band Fags!, Shakespeare’s R&J (NCTC), Shit & Champagne, Facts of Life, Baloney, Mr. Irresistible (Club Oasis), Cinderella (African-American Shakespeare Company). www.mjamesarthur.com
Chris Morrell is extremely grateful to work with this talented cast and crew as we bring theatre into a brave new world. A veteran of the NCTC stage, Chris has acted in 15 productions, been Asst. Director and Puppetry Director for several productions of Avenue Q, and is thrilled to be directing his first full length production, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in NCTC's upcoming season.
James Aaron Oh is stoked to be back with NCTC, in a project where his voiceover skills can be put to good use. Previous credits include The Book of Mountains and Seas at NCTC and understudying The Great Wave with Berkeley Rep. Due to quarantine, James has found himself being the best student he has ever been, studying and practicing acting as well as learning the Japanese language. More on James @jamesaaronoh or www.jamesaaronoh.com
Desiree Rogers loves to do work that entertains & educates. She got that opportunity playing Victoria Dryer in Karani Leslie-Johnsons' The Trial (African American Shakespeare Company), Deborah in Jordan Tannahill's Late Company, Susan in Tim Pinkeny's Still At Risk (New Conservatory Theater Center), Deborah Lacks in Lauren Gunderson & Geetha Reedy's Hela (TheatreFIRST), Alberta Hunter in Jewelle Gomez's Leaving The Blues & three characters in Waiting For Giovanni (NCTC), Siara in Patricia Milton's Enemies Foreign & Domestic (CentralWorks), understudying three roles in Naomi Wallace's The Liquid Plain at OSF Ashland & playing six characters in Ed Decker & Robert Leone's Rights Of Passage (NCTC).
Elena Ruggiero is so grateful to be performing in her first production with NCTC! She is a Bay Area native, who has performed in dramas, comedies and musicals for the past 20 years. She has been fortunate to perform at multiple theatres including Custom Made, City Lights, Douglas Morrison, and Dragon Theatre. Elena currently works as a teaching artist at various elementary schools and theatre arts organizations.
Chris Steele (they/them) is a queer trans nonbinary performance artist, writer, and activist. Their work centers on highlighting queer narratives throughout history and combating bigotry and white supremacy. They have performed with NCTC in Daniel’s Husband and You’ll Catch Flies. They are a co-founder of Poltergeist Theatre Project: a new queer theater collective, on instagram @poltergeist_theatre_project, and their award-winning drag personas Polly Amber Ross and Peter Pansexual can be found on instagram @pollyandpeter.
Vaho is the Founder of Lose Face Productions, his credits include You’ll Catch Flies by Ryan Fogarty, directed by Tom Bruett at NCTC, Danny and The Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Michael Grais (Poltergeist, 1984), Steve by Mark Gerrard, directed by Becca Wolff at NCTC, and Dance Nation at SF Playhouse, also directed by Becca Wolff, as an understudy. Trained by Rachael Adler at the Waterfront Playhouse and Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. Pre-COVID, he studied movement at the Actor's Space under Patrick Russell. Shout-out to my wife, my mom, my mother-in-law, my friends and all of you beautiful people listening in!