UC4 New Play SlamFest

May 6th - June 11th
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Under Construction 4 SLAM FEST

MAY 6, 2024. 7:30PM

Scenes from the Life of the Family Stuck
By Oana Hodade.

Translated by Amanda L. Andrei & Codin Andrei

Directed by Lee Hannah Conrads
Photo Graphic by Laura Fuhrman


Jessica Andres, Bruce Katzman, Iulia Brezeanu, Diane Renee’ and Sherrick O’Quinn                   

Scenes from the Life of the Family Stuck  is a haunting, tender experimental drama about a semifictional family based on the playwright’s discovery of undeveloped photographs in a flea market in Cluj, Romania. When imagination and family albums mingle together, what new forms of longing and love emerge?



Oana Hodade (b. 1985, Târgu-Mureș, Romania) is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, author, and composer, working mostly in the performing arts. She has a BA in Acting and an MA in Theatre Directing from the University of Arts, Târgu-Mureș. In her works, she explores fragility, intimacy, personal space, urbanism, rituals and routines of everyday life, with the help of performance, text, and sound. She focuses on memory, subjectivity, interior and exterior landscapes, and often creates while walking by employing elements of psychogeography. Her research crosses with philosophy and anthropology, in the larger perspective of the stage as a multidisciplinary playground. As an author, she is interested in mixing reality and fiction to create new narratives, at the intersection of literature, poetry, and dramaturgy, with a somewhat cinematic point of view. Her play, Scenes From the Life of the Family Stuck, was awarded the UNITER for Best Romanian Play of 2021. She works with sound, creating music for theatre.


Amanda L. Andrei is a playwright, literary translator, theater critic, and community archivist residing in Los Angeles by way of Virginia/Washington DC. She writes epic, irreverent plays that center the concealed, wounded places of history and societies from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she co-translates from Romanian to English with her father. Her plays have been produced/developed with Relative Theatrics, Boston Court Pasadena, NY Classical Theater, La MaMa, IAMA, Echo Theatre, Artists at Play, and more. Her play MAMA, I WISH I WERE SILVER won the 2022 Jane Chambers Award for Feminist Playwriting, and an excerpt of her translation of Brancusi v. United States by Tatiana Niculescu has been published in Asymptote Journal. Her reviews of theater, poetry, and translated literature have appeared in American Theatre Magazine, Rappler, Stage Raw, Hopscotch Translation, Barrelhouse Magazine, and more. www.amandalandrei.com 


Lee Hannah Conrads is a LA-based theater director, raised and trained in the Midwest, whose productions ask big questions, wrestle with paradox, and stage impossible things. Previous directing credits include Sibling Sperm (International Human Rights Festival), Indecent (Carleton College), Roots, an evening of one-acts (Theater of Note), Vinegar Tom, Three Sisters, and The Burial at Thebes (Northwestern University), If We Were Birds and The Naked I: Insides Out (20% Theatre Company Twin Cities), Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Carleton College), No Exit, Medea and Winter House (The Amber Bastards), as well as assistant directing credits in Chicago at Steppenwolf and Northlight, in Minneapolis at Ten Thousand Things, Mixed Blood, and the Playwright’s Center, and in New York at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Lee is the Producer of Circle X Theatre’s Evolving Playwrights Group and she holds a BA from Carleton College and an MFA from Northwestern University. leehannahconrads.com

MAY 7, 2024 7:30

By John Guerra
Directed by Rachel Park

Carl Johnson
Jonathan Nichols-Navarro
Lauren Schaffel
Avery Clyde
Julian Armaya
Prescilliana Esparolina

“Henry Silva believes in the American Dream. And why shouldn’t he? He’s spent the better part of his career as a real estate developer in Los Angeles, forging himself into a poster child for its promise of plenty and opportunity. The youngest son of Mexican immigrants, he clawed his way to the top of his field by transforming decrepit properties into flashy shopping centers that evoke Americana. And he managed to do it all despite the twin specters of racism and poverty. Rumor has it that this paragon of the “right” kind of immigrant may even be gearing up for a mayoral campaign. That is, until a woman from his past shows up with plans of her own. Plans that threaten to unravel every facet of his carefully crafted life. Plans that just may offer Henry a chance at redemption. “

John Guerra is a Latinx writer who left his home in Carpenteria, CA to make his fortune in the theatre. He never found his fortune, but he did become a 2019 Sundance Theatre fellow and a member of The Ghost Road Company. When he’s not creating with Ghost Road, he’s writing about class, California, and minotaurs. He has worked with organizations and institutions across LA, including: Ghost Road Theatre Company (2023 Season), The Blank Theatre (2019 Living Room Series), Coin & Ghost Theatre Company (A Noise Within Theater Company’s Noise now Program), The Fountain Theatre (Rapid Dev Series), Rogue Artists Ensemble (Rogue Lab), Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum (2019 Season), the Vagrancy Theatre Company (2017 Blossoming Program),  Pomona College (2022 Season), and Cal Poly Pomona (2024 Season). His work has also been developed and produced by the T. Schreiber Studio in New York City (2019 + 2020 New Works Initiative – Workshop production). He holds his BA in Theatre from UC Irvine and an MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts. John is a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild. Read more of his work on New Play Exchange.


Rachel Park is a Los Angeles-based director for live performance interested in interdisciplinary theatrical experiences and collaborative new play development. Her work has been performed at: MOCA Los Angeles, REDCAT, Walker Art Center, École de la Comédie de Saint-Étienne, Edinburgh International Festival, Center for the Arts at Kayenta, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, The Vagrancy, The Blank, Under St. Marks, Stella Adler, and The New American Theatre. Additional collaborations of note include production work with: Apple, Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Los Angeles Performance Practice, The Getty Villa, Page 73, and CalArts Center for New Performance. She holds an MFA in Directing from CalArts, a BFA from Boston University, and is an alumna of Directors Lab West. www.rsvpark.com

MAY 13, 2024 7:30PM


By M.J. Kang
Directed by Doug Kaback


Elsha Kim

Katherine Ko

Kahyun Kim


“Told with humor, grace, and biting honesty, “James and Eddie” is a memory play about two Korean families in the 1980s in Toronto, Canada. While trying to support each other and make a new life in a country that’s not welcoming, friendship ties them together, but it can’t stop destructive forces and violence that permeate their world. “


M.J. Kang is a playwright, actor, and director. Her first full-length play was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play at Toronto’s Professional Theater Awards. She was born in Korea, raised in Toronto, and currently resides in Los Angeles and Toronto.

James and Eddie Awarded – Walter E. Dakin Fellowship via Tennessee Williams Foundation
Finalist – Seven Devils Playwrights Conference ’24, Sparkfest, Amphibian Stage ’24
Semi-Finalist – O’Neill Festival ’24


Doug Kaback (MFA – USC) has worked in the theatre as a director (Old Globe, NEA – 2 project awards, Cornerstone, Odyssey, Electric Lodge, Edgemar); as a playwright (Kennedy Center, LATC, Getty Center); and as an actor (title roles in Hamlet for director Charles Marowitz, The Immigrant, Elephant Man, Talley’s Folly). As a professor in the Department of Theatre at Cal State Northridge since 1994, he teaches acting and served as Executive Director for the award-winning Teenage Drama Workshop.   He is a member of Company of Angels Theatre and recently directed Peril!, part of LA Unmasked, and acted in the world premiere of RISE.  Doug is a co-founder of the L.A. Center for Theatre of the Oppressed, working with Brazilian director Augusto Boal to create interactive theatre in diverse settings (juvenile detention facilities, immigrant and refugee community centers, veterans’ groups, and many others).

MAY 14, 2024 7:30 PM


 By Jonathan Caren

Directed by Jaime Castaneda


Johnny Rey Diaz,

Brandon Gill

Wade Allain-Marcus

Liz Herron


“Wes is a music mogul trying to launch a rising hip-hop artist. His brother Alex a struggling musician who can’t catch a break.  But do they each have what the other needs to make something epic?  An inside look at what it takes to make a hit, from a family that does not pull their punches.”



Jonathan was born and raised in Los Angeles. His plays include Canyon (Center Theater Group/IAMA 2020 Block Party, directed by Whitney White) The Recommendation (IAMA, The Flea, The Old Globe, Windy City Playhouse, Craig Noel Award for Best New Play, Ovation Best Play, NAACP nomination), Need to Know (Colt Coeur Play Hotel, Rogue Machine) and Catch the Fish (Most Outstanding Play NY Fringe).  Four Woke Baes was one of The Guardian’s top shows to see in the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

His work has been developed at theaters such as Ensemble Studio Theater, Williamstown, Ars Nova, The Manhattan Theater Club, The Roundabout, The Rattlestick, The New Group, Colt Coeur, New York Stage and Film, The Jewish Plays Project and Partial Comfort. Short plays have been showcased in The Samuel French OOB Festival, The Old Vic in London and Keen Teens.

Former member of Center Theater Group’s L.A. Writer’s Workshop, The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group member at Primary Stages, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, The New York Stage and Film Founder’s Award Winner, a two-time recipient of a fellowship to SPACE @ Ryder Farm, a two-time Lecomte du Nouy award winner and a recipient of the Theater Publicus Prize for Dramatic Fiction. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Laurents/Hatcher Award, and a nominee for the Otis Guerney New American Playwright’s Award. He is under commission with The Geffen Playhouse.

Jonathan graduated from The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright’s Program at The Juilliard School and Vassar College, where he studied mythology and religion.  In TV, Jonathan is a CO-EP for Hulu’s We Were The Lucky Ones and Netflix’s The Corps. Past credits: USA’s The Sinner, ABC’s a million little things, NBC’s Rise and Netflix’s Gypsy. He lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. 


The Luckiest by Melissa Ross, Seize the King by Will Power, At the Old Place by Rachel Bonds, Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph (La Jolla Playhouse), Black Beans Project by Melinda Lopez & Joel Perez (Huntington), The Canadians by Adam Bock (South Coast Repertory), Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (American Conservatory Theater), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz (Dallas Theater Center), The Royale by Marco Ramirez (American Theater Company), Chimichangas and Zoloft by Fernanda Coppel (Atlantic Theater Company), The Motherfucker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Kitchen Dog Theater), Tiger Style! by Mike Lew (O’Neill), How We Got On by Idris Goodwin (Cleveland Playhouse), Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz (The Old Globe), Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp (Perseverance Theatre), The Royal Society of Antarctica by Mat Smart (Portland Center Stage, JAW). As a theatre producer Jaime developed over a dozen projects that transferred to Broadway and toured internationally. G.O.A.T., a pilot he wrote in 2021, was a finalist for the Sundance Episodic Program and Alejandro, his first short film, recently screened at the New York Latino Film Festival. Princess Grace Award, Drama League fellowship, MFA in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.

MAY 20,2024 7:30PM


By Maxine Dillon
Directed by Destinee Stewart
Graphic Design:  Ruvini Wijesekera

Featuring:  Noelle Mercer, Bex Taylor-Klaus and   Nikyla Boxley

“At a sleepover the night before their first middle school dance, Sawyer declares she will kiss a Boy while the chaperones aren’t looking. A pinky promise leaves Carolina with no other choice but to help. Meanwhile, a 19th century Necromancer unearths a Corpse and her last secret as she digs up the truth of what they were to each other. Historians will say They Were Really Good Friends. Sweet and silly and sad, unbury your gays is a coming of age comedy that captures the tragedies of girlhood, friendship, and growing up—and the ways a desire for more can haunt us.”


Maxine Dillon (she/her) is an Austin-based playwright, stage manager, and performer. Her plays includes unbury your gays and Strange Flesh. Maxine’s work has been produced and/or developed by The Road Theatre, Ground Floor Theatre, 24 Hour Plays, and the Yale Dramatic Association. She graduated with a B.A. from Yale University, where she was a Eugene O’Neill Fellow. She is also a proud alumna of Under Construction and 24 Plays: Nationals and is currently a member of GFT Writes. She has worked as a stage manager for Penfold Theatre, Different Stages, and Ground Floor Theatre. As a performer, Maxine is part of the improv comedy community at Fallout Theater, most recently as a member of Barf Gang..


Destinee Stewart is a performer and filmmaker. As a self taught filmmaker, her short films THE TRUTH OF US and BAGELS & COFFEE have enjoyed festival screenings worldwide. In 2021, Destinee was the recipient of the Cucalorus Writing Residency. Most recently, Destinee expanded her directing skills to dubbing as the creative lead on NETFLIX shows CHRISTMAS FLOW, IRON CHEF: BRAZIL, IRON CHEF: MEXICO, SUMMER JOB, REPRESENT, and the film IN HIS SHADOW.

May 28, 2024 7:30PM

i wish i was her(s)

Directed by Ru Kazi

Alison Ormsby,
Lilli Passero, Jordan Moore,Rachel Morgan Singer

“Alison & Marina are childhood best friends who love music. Alison is a country singer turned mega pop star, while Marina is a fledging indie pop musician and Taylor’s co-writer. After working together for 17 years, Alison’s career is under intense scrutiny after a popular podcast makes some accusations about her private life. As midnights become Alison & Marina’s afternoons, a concert of Alison’s Eras dissects parasocial relationships, queerbaiting, AI/deepfakes, and the impact of financial success on friendships.” 

SMJ (they/them) is an NYC-based, mixed-Latiné, and Trans non-binary playwright, musical theater writer, educator, & theatermaker originally from Mount Vernon, OH. They are a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow. Currently, SMJ is creating work with Ars Nova, Latiné Musical Theatre Lab, The Orchard Project, The Road Theatre Company, American Theater Group, and The Uptown Collective. Their work has been seen in various forms throughout the US including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, Lincoln Center, National Queer Theater, Carnegie Mellon University, Otterbein University, Wright State University, Art House Productions, University of Texas-El Paso, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, The Workshop Theater, The 24 Hour Plays, The Fled Collective, Live Arts, CRY HAVOC, The Tank, and DR2 Theatre. SMJ also writes for the serial podcast, University Radio. SMJ has been a semifinalist for the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference, Princess Grace Award at New Dramatists, Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, and The Civilians R & D Group as well as a Finalist for the 2023 Parity Development Award, Write Out Loud Contest, 5th Avenue Theater’s First Draft Commission, and the Doric Wilson Playwright Award. SMJ is a graduate of Otterbein University and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. They’re a member of the Dramatists Guild and Ring of Keys. www.smjwrites.com 


Ru Kazi (pronouns: Ru/Ru’s/They/Them) is a disabled non-binary director of South Asian descent. Ru has directed award-winning short films for the 48 Hour Film Festival and a critically acclaimed production of Stephen Adly-Guirgis’ OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET at the Victory Theatre in Burbank, CA. They have also co-written a feature film called AUNTIE HAS THE PERFECT GIRL a dram-com about two thirty-something South Asians navigating a relationship where they both want different things. Prior to writing and directing, Ru was classically trained as an actor at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting Professional Conservatory (NYC)/Art of Acting Studio (LA). Ru is currently part of the Class of 2021 of the Director’s Guild of America Assistant Director Training Program and works to destigmatize mental health and disability in storytelling. Ru is also a mainstage improvisor at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Second City Hollywood, and was a fellow of the 2019 RespectAbility Lab.

JUNE 3, 2024 7:30PM

By Madi Goff
Directed by Laura Stribling

Tom Knickerbocker
Michelle Gillette
Karrie King
Chase Cargill
Mary Chieffo, Alison M. Keating, Puck Inconstanti and Judith Scarpone.

“It’s 1997 in the Texas Hill Country and Laurel and Colt are hosting a dinner party. The guest list includes the lesbian minister of their new church, their gay daughter, and Tuck and Tami, who – as you know – are okay with gay people. Better plaster on a mandatory smile aSouthern etiquette, sickening secrets, and an unnatural visitor threaten to destroy this evening, the home, and all our lives.”


Madi Goff (they/them) is an LA-based actor, improviser, and writer. They are a company member at The Road Theatre, an alumna of Groundlings Sunday Company, a performer in The Groundlings “Crazy Uncle Joe Show”, and a member of Impro Theatre where they perform fully-improvised plays in theaters across the globe from Los Angeles to Dubai. Goff is a founder and company member of Ripley Improv, an all-female and genderqueer collective that produces improvised films, plays, and streaming content. In 2022, two of Goff’s plays, Lady Face and Systems, were produced as Equity staged readings by the bicoastal Bespoke Plays. Most recently, Madi wrote, produced, and starred in the award-winning short film Every Morning, produced by LGBTQ+ owned Spacetime Productions. @msmadig


Laura Stribling, has directed more than seventy-five productions, workshops, and readings.  Some selected titles include Henry IV, Part 1,Girl under Grain, Clownfish, and Footprints.  She was also a member of Under Construction 3, where she developed her play Singularities or the Computers of Venus which is currently running on the Road Mainstage.  She has an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.

JUNE 10, 2024 7:30

By Elise Wien
Directed by Liz Herron


Allan Wasserman, Carole Goldman,

Naomi Rubin, Brian Graves and Michelle Gillette

“Week after week, Nana, Papa, and their 11-year-old grandkid Ches wait for pickup in the rec room of the local JCC. There, Papa takes a class called Exploring World Cultures Through Dance and Ches goes to swim practice. In the glow of the vending machine, Ches lusts after stuck bags of Bugles, Papa falls in love with his dance instructor Tamir, and Nana struggles to fit into the morphing world around her.”


Elise Wien is a writer who likes to make her plays like cakes – with a frosting of slapstick comedy, a moist inner layer of complex emotional landscape, and a molten core of ethical dilemma (OPEN WIDE). Her plays include Osher & the Infinite Curtain (Jewish Plays Project), OTP (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), [cowboy face] (Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting), and Craters, or the making of the making of the moon landing (Production, Smith College; Reading, Corkscrew Theater Festival). She’s currently under commission from EST/Sloan to write a musical about the guano trade alongside Billy Recce. MFA, Boston University.


Elizabeth Herron: SAG-AFTRA / EQUITY is an Ovation and LA Weekly Award winning actress,
director and producer. At the Road, February 2024, she directed The Zone of Death for the UC4
SlamFest, this past September 2023, was Assistant Director to Carlyle King for the Fall
Production of “Bisexual Sadness” and in July, directed “ Let Me See Your Beauty” for SPF 14.
She was Executive Producer and Assistant Director to Ken Sawyer: A Woman In Black- at both
The Road + Coronet Theatres: (Ovation and LADCC Awards.) Assistant Director: Backwards in
HighHeels and A Mislaid Heaven. Also, Assistant Director: to Paris Barclay and Ken Sawyer-
One Red Flower at the Rubicon and the Brentwood Theatre. Director at The Summer Playwright
Festival: Stephen Metcalfe’s A World of Their Own and at the Topanga Acting Company, she
has directed multiple One Act Festivals.
As an actor, she has performed in Ovation and LA Weekly Awards productions and has been an
active member of the Road Theatre (25 yrs), The Interact Theatre (22 yrs + served as Board
member for 4), The Rogue Machine (9yrs), two seasons of the Circle X Theatre’s Writer’s
Reading Group and performed in multiple productions at the Valentin Theatre at the Los
Angeles LGBTQ Center. At the Road, SPF festivals, Through the Eye of the Needle (US), The
Lyons, Homefree (NoHo Fringe Festival- Best Play), Pursued by Happiness, A Christmas Carol,
Shove (LA Weekly Nom-ADA Nom -Best Actress) and Angels of Lemnos. At the Actor’s Co-Op
in Rope, The LA LGBTQ: Search for Signs of Intelligent Life- Revisited, The Laramie Project- 10
Years Later, Deathtrap (LA Weekly- Best Revival) at the Interact: The State of the Union, The
Matchmaker, Urinetown ( LA Weekly Award- Best Ensemble), Our Town ( ADA Best Ensemble)
and Marvin’s Room. Films: WILSON with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, produced and
acted in AMERICAN CHRISTMAS with Robert Carradine, Tara Reid and John Ashton, TRUE
ADOLESCENTS with Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo, the Short Film ENOUGH ROOM + USC
and AFI student films. She holds her D.D.S from the University of Washington and her MFA from Cal Arts & the FSU Asolo Conservatory. She is ever grateful to and for her husband, Chris, &
daughter, Katie.

JUNE 11, 2024 7:30

By Jen Jarnagin
Directed by Carly DW Bones

Featuring:  Mary Chieffo, Madi Goff, Hazel Lozano and     Zach Bones

“Rosie surprises Steph with a cute couple’s getaway in the Appalachian mountains, where Steph was raised, but plans change when Steph’s estranged mother dies unexpectedly. Steph’s brother, Dan, crashes the trip to fulfill their mother’s last wish: She wants her two children to spread her ashes. Their tour guide, Goatman, offers Steph and Dan an unusual method for coping with their grief. They can leave all of their problems and sorrow behind for an idyllic life in the mountains. All they have to do is turn into goats”.


Jen Jarnagin (they/them) is a writer, actor, and everything you’ve ever heard about Scorpios. They regularly perform and write for a bimonthly play competition called Serials, volunteer for Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice in their efforts to close Rikers Island, and spend their days adapting werewolf fan fiction into audio dramas. They’re a former member of the Road Theater’s UC4 Writers Group, Primary Stages’ Echoes Writers Group, and Actors Theatre of Louisville’s acting apprenticeship. Select playwriting credits include “Popular Vote” (SERIALS @ the Tank, 2024), “Party in the Breakroom” (7×7, the Tank, 2023), demolition extreme (developmental reading, the Fled Collective, 2022), “Medusa” (Solo Mios, Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2019). They are a graduate of Stella Adler Studio of Acting.


Carly DW Bones (she/they) is a theatre director, intimacy director/coordinator, sex educator, community facilitator and thespomancer (theatre witch). She works at the intersections of performance, ritual, sexuality, gender, community and trauma-sensitivity. Carly created and directed at the feminist theatre ensemble, The Illyrian Players, from 2011-2019. They have also directed at: Coin & Ghost, The Echo, EST LA, Inkwell Theater, The Road, Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Vagrancy. Carly works as a freelance intimacy director and educator in the Los Angeles area for theatre companies (A Noise Within, Antaeus, Boston Court, Coeurage, Coin & Ghost, East West Players, EST LA, Ghost Road, Greenway Court, Hero Theatre, IAMA, Moving Arts,The Road, Skylight, Son of Semele, StarKid, Theatre 40) and university theatre programs (UCLA, CSULA, USC, Pomona College, CSULB, Occidental College, Emerson LA, Cal Lutheran University, UCRiverside). Connect with Carly: carlydwbones@gmail.com andwww.thespomancer.com