Foundry Alumni

Jonathan Edmondson

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Foundry (2022)

Jonathan Edmondson (he/him/his) is a playwright and director from the Greater Philadelphia Area. His work examines queer relationships by shattering stereotypes and emphasizing universal truths in our shared humanity. His queer two-hander, Whirlpool, premiered at the 2019 Jersey Fringe Festival before playing at The Iron Factory during 2020 Philly Theatre Week. His other work includes Strides, Expressed // Suppressed, Drowning, and Framed. As a director, he has led both small plays and large musicals at theatres throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Currently, he serves as the Development Manager at Arden Theatre Company. He holds a BA in Journalism and Professional Writing from The College of New Jersey and is a proud alumnus of the Arden Professional Apprentice Program (Class 25).

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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PlayPenn 2022, Foundry Alumnus (2017)

Mr. August’s plays include: Zero (Winner, 2020 Ashland New Plays Festival; Semi-Finalist 2020 BAPF), Everything You Can Do (to Make the World a Better Place) (Selection, Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank 2020; Semi-Finalist Blue Ink Playwriting Prize), The Excavation of Mary Anning (Selection, 2019 Powerhouse Theater with NYSAF / Vassar; 2018 Ashland New Plays Festival; 2018 DVRF New Playwright Program), Brisé (Selection, 2019 Great Plains Theatre Conference; Finalist, 2019 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference; Finalist, 2020 Lark Playwrights Week), Donna Orbits the Moon (Scripps Ranch Theatre; Tiny Dynamite Productions; NJ Repertory Company; Utah Contemporary Theatre), Interviewese (Winner, Garry Marshall Theatre New Works; Finalist, B Street Theatre New Comedy Fest), The Goldilocks Zone, (Passage Theatre Company; Semi-Finalist, 2015 O’Neill Conference), Missing Celia Rose (NYC Summer Play Festival; Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s “Playfest 2009″; Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society), and All the Emilies in All the Universes. Mr. August’s newest YA play, Stay Safe!, will premiere at the 75th Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, 2022. He is a founding member of the American Theatre Group’s Playwrights Lab, and a graduated member of PlayPenn’s playwriting lab, The Foundry. Several of Mr. August’s plays have been published by Sam French Inc., Smith and Kraus, and Pipeline / Applause Books. He was a 2019 Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence, Kansas, and a recipient of a 2021 Independent Artist Fellowship from the NJ Council for the Arts. Mr. August lives at a boarding school with one husband and three cats.

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 Lead Artist, Foundry Alumnus (2017)

R. Eric Thomas (he/him) 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 and two 2020 Lambda Literary Awards. He is the recipient of a 2017/2018 National New Play Network Commission and has also been commissioned or produced by Baltimore Center Stage, Arden Theater Company, Azuka Theater, Single Carrot Theater, About Face Theater, City Theater Miami and more. His debut memoir-in-essays, Here For It, or How to Save Your Soul in America was a national bestseller and a Read with Jenna book club pick featured on Today. On screen, he has written for the Peabody Award-winning series Dickinson (AppleTV+) and Better Things (FX) and is currently developing multiple television projects. 2021-22 Productions include The Ever Present (Theatre Exile), Backing Track (Arden), The Folks at Home (Baltimore Center Stage), and Crying on Television (Everyman 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

Robynne Graffam

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Foundry Member

Robynne Graffam is a Philadelphia-based teacher and writer. Her plays have been read or developed through The Bechdel Group, The Storefront Theater, ETC Theater Company and the Inkubator New Works Development Lab.  Her play A Rising Tide (Lifts All Boats)  was named as a finalist for the B Street Theater New Comedies Festival, and her short play The Penis Play was produced as part of the Academy of Art University’s One Act Festival. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and The Foundry.  Her work is available on NPX.