Aly Gonzalez

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Foundry Member

ALY GONZALEZ is a playwright, dramaturg, and magic-maker. Aly’s recent work plumbs the  nuanced depths of postpartum loneliness and depression. Additionally, her work explores the  intersection of religion, ethnomusicology, and the theatre of ritual performance. Aly believes  that humanitarianism is a key that opens the door to heart-centered experiences; Art, as a  muse in all her forms, has the power the change the world; and that environmental protection is  everyone’s business. MA, Theatre, Villanova University; BA, Art History, Temple University.

August Hakvaag

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Foundry Member

August Hakvaag (they/them) is a butch theatre artist. They have worked internationally as an actor, director, and playwright, and hold a BA from Temple University. Their piece As I Was, Not As I Am is a Princess Grace Fellowship Award semi-finalist, was nominated for a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and recently made its Off-Broadway debut with Moxie Arts NY. Most recently, their immersive piece A Seance For Mae West enjoyed a sold-out run during Philly Theater Week with Aporia Artists Collective, of which they are a founding member and currently serve as Co-Artistic Director. August started in realism (through a queer lense) and now enjoys writing whimsical abstractions (through a queer lense) (obviously).

Lulu Duffy-Tumasz

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Foundry Member

Lulu Duffy-Tumasz (they/them) is a queer playwright raised and based in Philly. They like to write kinda weird, hopefully funny dark comedies. Lulu grew up acting and writing, studied playwriting at Bard College, and was a 2021 Lambda Literary fellow. By day (and evenings) they work as a therapist, and have helped coordinate mutual aid-based harm reduction efforts for almost a decade. Otherwise, Lulu can be found watching a 76ers game while contemplating going to a queer dance party.

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 yo-si yes

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Foundry (2022)

eppchez yo-si yes 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.

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.