Foundry

Chaz T. Martin

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Foundry Member

Chaz T. Martin is a playwright, screenwriter, actor, and teaching artist. They hail from the frosty lake country known to the Ho Chunk people as Dejope (known to the cheeseheads who live there now as Madison, Wisconsin). Chaz has written and co-written a number of films, including the award-winning Chemistry and Melissa (Tribeca Film Institute’s Through Her Lens finalist, 2019), and the forthcoming Jesus Would Have Loved Punk Rock, Honeywell, and Girls’ Night. Chaz is the Literary Manager at InterAct Theatre Company, the ‘22-‘23 Theater Management Fellow at Lantern Theater Company, and one of the co-founders of Rendezvous Theatre Co.

Lexi Thammavong

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Foundry Member

Lexi Thammavong (they/she) is an actor, singer, and playwright based in Philly, their hometown. She obtained her BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing from The University of the Arts, where they were a Student Valedictory Speaker. Having performed in productions with companies like Delaware Shakespeare and EgoPo, Lex has a passion for revitalizing and deconstructing “classical” works through an anti-colonial lens. As a playwright and poet, they also love collaborating on new work, whether she’s devising in workshops, writing sketches for 1812 Productions’ upcoming production of This is the Week that Is, or developing plays for her writing Residency with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists. As a child of first and second generation immigrants and a proud Cuban, Lao-Thai, and queer artist, Lex strives to tell stories that are genuinely rooted in (and accessible to) the communities who inspire them.

Zahra Patterson

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Foundry Member

Zahra Patterson is the author of Chronology (Ugly Duckling Presse) and creator of Raw Fiction, a youth publishing project. Their performance work has aired on Montez Press Radio and been staged at WOW Café Theatre. Her prose has appeared in The Yale Review, Wasafiri, The Felt, and elsewhere. She is a member of The Foundry at PlayPenn, a 2019 recipient of a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography, and a former CLMP Face Out Fellow. Their work has been supported by Mount Tremper Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, The Pratt Center, and many wonderful individuals. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute.

Eppchez!

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Foundry (2022)

Eppchez! is a Quaker, gender expansive, Cuban & Jewish theatre maker, musician, and designer. Ey has lived in Philadelphia since 2014 writing plays, performing, and championing self-determination for all trans people. In 2012, while still an undergrad at Wesleyan University (CT) ey started up the production company Alma’s Engine, which develops new work across a variety of genres and media. This process- focused creative ministry seeks to spread whimsical and earnest dis-ease with our status quo. Eppchez’s work is sometimes bilingual, often musical, and always leaves the audience with a party-size bag of food for thought. Eppchez has self-produced 7 original works of theatre through Alma’s Engine and has collaborated with many other local companies. Among them: Pig Iron, Simpatico, Applied Mechanics, Swimpony, and Bearded Ladies Cabaret. Eppchez studied at Headlong Performance Institute in 2017. In addition to theater Eppchez works as an independent designer making affirming undergarments and wearable art for gender expansive people. Apart from art Eppchez is deeply engaged with Quaker organizations. In several capacities Eppchez pushes Quakerism (White Liberal Friends) towards fully embracing the work of becoming an anti-racist faith community. The anti-racist work of unlearning toxic aspects of eir socialization and illuminating patterns of the settler colonialist mindset informs all aspects of Eppchez’s life.

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).

Nimisha Ladva

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PlayPenn 2022, Foundry Member

Nimisha Ladva (she/her) is a South Asian writer, storyteller, playwright and screenwriter. Her storytelling has been nationally broadcast on NPR: THEMOTH RADIO HOUR and PBS: STORIES FROM THE STAGE. She is currently a member of The Foundry, a three-year playwright development program sponsored by PlayPenn. An excerpt of her play GODDESS AT THE LUCKY LADY MOTEL was selected by The Bechdel Group in New York for the Sunday Shorts Program in March 2022. She is a 2022 finalist in the Red Bull Short Play Festival. In 2019, she was selected for the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive and was a finalist at SPACE at Ryder Farm in 2020. Her solo play, UNINVITED GIRLfirst staged in Philadelphia at the First Person Arts Festival in 2016, premiered in New York at the Women in Theater Festival in 2018. Her work has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Leeway Foundation. She teaches writing and public speaking at Haverford College.

Keenya Jackson

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Foundry (2022)

Keenya Jackson is an emerging playwright co-founder of Jouska PlayWorks at Simpatico Theatre. Her play Botanicals or Giving it to God, was the recipient of PlayPenn’s professional public reading in 2019. The ten minute version of Botanicals also received a production with Mojaaa Theatre in 2018. Frankie and Johnny – The Play was a finalist in the Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest in 2018. Additional plays have been produced and workshop/developed by Revamp Collective and Philadelphia Dramatist Center. A graduate of Arcadia University, she continues to grow as a playwright and in theatre by studying at such places as PlayPenn in Philadelphia and the National Playwright Symposium in Cape May, NJ.

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.

 

Megan Schumacher

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Foundry Member

Megan Schumacher is a Philadelphia based playwright, director, and dramaturg. She is a member of The Foundry at PlayPenn and Simpatico Theatre’s Jouska PlayWorks. Her play, Lowndes debuted at the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival in the fall of 2020, and her adaptation of Euripides’ The Bakkhai, titled Dionté and Khai Do Dinner, premiered virtually as part of Villanova Theatre’s 2020-21 season. Her play Superlosers was produced for the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and Monster Mash was performed as part of the Going Viral Festival on Facebook during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic of 2020, she served as a production dramaturg for Quintessence Theatre’s beautiful performance of Angelina Weld Grimké’s Rachel directed by Alexandra Espinoza. She directed Marissa Kennedy’s solo piece Out of the Shadows for the 2019 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and has directed several readings, including Daf James’s On the Other Hand, We’re Happy and Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children at Inis Nua Theatre and Alexandra Espinoza’s Homeridae during the 2019 Philadelphia Theatre Week. She holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University.

Griffin Horn

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Foundry Member, Program Associate

Griffin Horn’s full-length plays include Our Hopeful Anxious Hearts, Trade, and The Lotus-Eaters, all presented in readings at Temple University, where he received his Playwriting MFA. His short plays include Crossfade, and The Safeword is “Pilates,” produced by Hot Metal Arts Collective at the People’s Improv Theatre in New York. He has taught playwriting through McCarter Theatre Center, Arena Stage, The Young Playwrights’ Theatre, and Temple University.

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