Cover of The Dramatist Jan/Feb 2022: The Motivation Issue
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Image of writers
S.M. Shephard-Massat, Carson Grace Becker, MJ Kaufman, Guadalís Del Carmen, Ben Krywosz, Amrita Ramanan, and Chisa Hutchinson

Chisa Hutchinson:  Hello! I don’t know some folks here, so I’m excited to be able to sit down and talk with you, even if it’s digitally. You’re all here because you are basically fairy godmothers to playwrights. You light magical fires under our butts, and with tools and space and resources you enable us to do what we do and to focus on the creation of new work. Like, not the production, not the dog and pony show, or backer’s audition—just pure creation. So, we’re here to talk about how you do that.

To kick this off, please each of you introduce yourselves, let us know what organization you work with and what that organization does. 

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Guadalís Del Carmen
Guadalís Del Carmen

(she/her/ella) is a playwright and screenwriter from Chicago, currently living in NYC. She’s an Ars Nova Resident Artist, Co-Artistic Director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle NYC, and a 2020 Steinberg Playwriting Award recipient. Her plays include Not For Sale, My Father’s Keeper, Bees and Honey, and Daughters of the Rebellion. She was a Co-Producer of Atlantic Theater Company’s African Caribbean MixFest 2021.

Carson Grace Becker
Carson Grace Becker

is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and arts educator. She earned her MFA in Playwriting from The University of Iowa, and her BA in English Literature and Women’s Studies from UCLA. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists and adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago. She has served as Literary Manager & Dramaturg at Honolulu Theatre for Youth and is the founder of the The Root & The Bloom Collective, a Humanities & Arts non-profit, housed at The Historic Clark Chateau in Butte, MT.  

MJ Kaufman
MJ Kaufman

’s work has been seen at the Public Theater, WP Theater, the New Museum, InterAct, Colt Coeur, NAATCO, and around the country as well as in Russia and Australia. They co-founded Trans Lab, a fellowship for TGNC artists. They like to bike, cook, and play with their dog Milkshake.

Ben Krywosz
Ben Krywosz

serves as artistic director of Nautilus Music-Theater in St Paul, MN. Serving as producer-director-dramaturg, his work includes curating their works-in-progress reading series, directing fully staged productions of new operas and musicals, teaching classes in performance skills, and facilitating Composer-Librettist Studios.

Amrita Ramanan
Amrita Ramanan

is a dramaturg and creative consultant who holds the values of anti-racism, anti-colonialism, equity, access, diversity, and inclusion at the core of her practice. She is currently the Core Apprentice Dramaturg at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, MN, providing mentorship and support to three incredible playwrights.

S.M. Shephard-Massat
S.M. Shephard-Massat

holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she was the Dean’s Fellow from 2007 to 2009, and an MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She has won numerous awards for her playwriting, including a Helen Hayes Award and an American Theater Critic’s Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center, been published, produced, and featured in both American Theatre magazine and The New York Times. She is the founder of TERTULIA, a new Black playwright’s initiative located in Atlanta, GA.

Chisa Hutchinson
Chisa Hutchinson

has written a bunch of plays, most recently a revenge-horror play called Whitelisted. She’s won a bunch of awards and all that’s cool and good, but mostly she just wants to figure out how to cure racism with words.