Mark Costello

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Foundry Alumnus (2015)

Mark Costello is a professional playwright and teacher based in Philadelphia. He holds an MFA in playwriting from Temple University and is a proud graduate of the Foundry. Nationally, his plays have been presented by theatres in Texas, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland, and he has developed work with Write Now! and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Closer to home, he has had a number of plays produced through different groups and festivals, such as PTC@Play, Juniper Productions, the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the White Mountains Project, and Villanova Theatre.


Bill D’Agostino

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Foundry Alumnus (2017)

Bill D’Agostino is a playwright, educator, dramaturg, and arts administrator. Bill’s plays for kids include the Murray the Elf series, Rosie the Reindeer and the Case of the Stolen Snow Globe, Sleeping Handsome, My Very Own Polar Bearand Zuzz the Alien Needs Your Help! at Act II Playhouse; Imaginary, Teen Sherlock, Robin Hoodand Fairy Tale High School at Montgomery Theater; and Making Gnocchi with Grandma, which was a semifinalist in the Write Now competition. His short plays Disclosure and Out of Time were produced by Juniper Productions in their popular Cocktail Plays fringe shows. Juniper also produced a night of his short plays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, part of The New ROI Experience. Bill was the producer of The White Mountainsa theatre project based on the industrial legacy of Ambler, Pennsylvania, which received a 2015 Philadelphia Geek Award. He received his MA in theatre from Villanova University, and his bachelor’s degree in theatre from Brown University. He lives in Bryn Mawr with his wife, Carrie and his daughters, Celia and Anya.

Ian August

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumnus (2017)

Ian August is a NJ-based playwright and lyricist whose works have been performed across the U.S. Full-length plays include: Brisé (Great Plains Theatre Conference, Finalist Seven Devils Playwrights Conference), The Excavation of Mary Anning (Powerhouse Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival, DVRF New Playwright Program), Interviewese (Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Fest, Finalist New Comedy Fest B Street Theatre), The Goldilocks Zone (Passage Theatre Company, Semi-Finalist O’Neill Conference), Donna Orbits the Moon (NJ Repertory Company, Utah Contemporary Theatre; Barbour Memorial Playwright Award), Missing Celia Rose (NYC Summer Play Festival; Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s “Playfest″; Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society), Submitted by C. Randall McCloskey (NY Intl. Fringe Festival), and Cobbler (Finalist New Comedy Fest B Street Theatre).  Mr. August’s YA play, Parker and the City in the Sea, debuted at the 71st Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in the summer of 2018.  Other works have been published by Samuel French, Inc., The Pitkin Review, Smith and Kraus Publishing and the One-Act Play Depot.  Mr. August is a founding member of the Princeton-based playwriting collective, the Witherspoon Circle, and is a graduated member of the PlayPenn’s playwriting workshop, The Foundry.

Lena Barnard

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumnus (2016)

Lena Barnard is a playwriting M.F.A candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she spent six years making theater in Philadelphia before landing in Austin. Her work has been presented in the SoLow Festival, Azuka Theatre’s Spotlight Series and PlayPenn New Play Development Conference. She was a member of the second class of the Philadelphia playwright’s lab, the Foundry @ PlayPenn. For the past three years she was an administrator of the SoLow Festival, an annual DIY experimental theater festival for new solo work in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.

R. Eric Thomas

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumnus (2017)

R. Eric Thomas won the 2016 Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the 2018 Dramatist Guild Lanford Wilson Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. He is the recipient of a 2017/2018 National New Play Network Commission and has also been commissioned or produced by Arden Theater Company, Simpatico Theater, Azuka Theater, Single Carrot Theater, About Face Theater, City Theater Miami, Act II Playhouse and more. He is also the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia and D.C. and a Senior Staff Writer for where he writes “Eric Reads the News,” a daily current events and culture column with hundreds of thousands of monthly readers.  His debut memoir-in-essays, Here For It will be published by Ballantine Books in February 2020 and Reclaiming Her Time, a biography of Rep. Maxine Waters co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer, will be published in November 2020. Recent productions include Safe Space (Single Carrot Theater), Mrs Harrison (Azuka Theater, Barrymore nomination – Best New Play), Miriam1234 (City Theater Miami) and Time Is On Our Side (About Face Theater & Simpatico Theater). He is an alumnus of The Foundry, the Lambda Literary Fellowship, and the Ingram New Works Project.

Bruce Walsh

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumnus (2014)

Bruce Walsh graduated from Indiana University with an MFA in playwriting in 2017. Since then his plays have been presented by Azuka Theatre, Outpost Repertory Theatre, Fat Turtle Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he won the 2017 Heideman Award, and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he won the Gary Garrison National Ten Minute Play Award. Before attending IU, he lived in Philadelphia for over a decade, working as an arts journalist, site-specific theater maker, UPS package sorter, bike messenger, disastrously confused fine dining waiter, substitute teacher, and playwright. He is currently a proud member of the Azuka Theatre New Pages Program. He lives in Elizabethtown, PA, where his wife, Jennie, is a mental health counselor at Elizabethtown College, and his son, Henry, enjoys cupcakes, Robocar Poli, and waving at fire trucks.


Douglas Williams

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumnus

Douglas Williams‘ plays have been produced and developed at PlayPenn, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Azuka Theatre, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, The Foundry & The Painted Bride, among others.

He is the Playwright-In-Residence at Azuka Theatre who has produced three of his plays, including the upcoming SHIP.

His play Shitheads was recommended for the Harold & Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and was the winner of 4 Philadelphia Critics’ Awards including Best New Play & Best Overall Production.

Cheril N. Clarke

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Foundry Member, Foundry Alumna (2012)

Cheril N. Clarke is a multi-faceted writer whose body of work encompasses a unique blend of creative and business writing. Beginning her career 20 years ago as a creative writer, she has since written five novels, several e-books, multiple children’s books, and award-winning stage plays. Cheril has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including: The Philadelphia Women’s Journal, Curve Magazine,, National Public Radio, The Princeton Packet, Philadelphia Gay News, Out IN Jersey, Burlington County Times, and

Alexandra Espinoza

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Foundry Member, Dramaturg (2018 Conference)

Alexandra Espinoza is a Philadelphia based theatre artist whose work aims to connect creative power to community voices. As a playwright, she is a first-year member of the Foundry at PlayPenn and her work has been produced by Power Street Theatre Company and Juniper Productions, and has been developed at Great Plains Theatre Conference and Seven Devils. She has worked as an actor, dramaturg, and director with Orbiter 3, Inis Nua Theatre, Azuka Theatre, and PlayPenn. She practices community engaged dramaturgy with Simpatico Theatre and has facilitated the creative expression of people aged 7 to 70 in her work as a teaching artist. She recently completed her Masters in Theatre at Villanova University, where she was the 2018 recipient of the Barbara Wall Award for Feminist Praxis for her performance as research work on introducing Brechtian aesthetics to Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel.

Specialties: new work development; production and workshop dramaturgy; research processes; culturally specific dramaturgy, with particular interest in consulting with playwrights of color and members of other marginalized groups; projects that blend research and aesthetics

Val Dunn

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Foundry Member

Val Dunn is a writer/deviser who creates plays, performance art, and rituals. Her work possesses a strong sense of place and tackles issues of feminism and queerness while pushing against the limitations of form. Plays and theatrical texts: DOWN IN THE HOLLER (PlayPenn, semi-finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival), A SHOCK OF WHEAT (Philly Plays @ the Drake), NOW MORE THAN EVER (Philadelphia Fringe Festival), JOHNNY DEPP: A RETROSPECTIVE ON LATE-STAGE CAPITALISM (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Philly SoLow Fest, Philly Theatre Week), THE BEAUTEOUS MAJESTY OF DENMARK (Washington College), and tiny works such as 100 WAYS THE WORLD COULD END and FUCK ME BE ME BETTE PORTER. She is a member playwright of Azuka’s New Pages, Writers on the Rocks, and an alumna of the Foundry @ PlayPenn. She has received developmental support from the Orchard Project (Core Company), Signal Fire, Centrum, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and SANDBOX. Val holds a B.A. with honors in drama and English from Washington College where she received the Stewart Award for Drama, The Mary Martin Prize, The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize, The William W. Warner Prize for Writing on the Environment, The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize, and was a finalist for the Sophie Kerr prize in Literature. Val has also created zines about depression, the border crisis, and late-stage capitalism.