America In Play

Bios: Workshop 2013-2016 Participants

Nora Sørena Casey came to New York after a year as the Literary & Dramaturgy Fellow at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Other current projects involve working as a researcher and interviewer for the Civilians, and as a dramaturg with The Universe is a Small Hat, a participatory electronic music theater piece created by Cesar Alvarez with director Sarah Benson. She has worked in literary and dramaturgical capacities for the Portland Stage Company, Playwrights Foundation, Just Theater, Luna Stage, and PowerOut Productions. You can read more about Nora Sørena Casey at or on Facebook at or follow her on Twitter at

Stephen Cedars is a writer, director, and teacher originally from southern Louisiana. A 2013 recipient of the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award, his writing, producing, and directing work has been seen at the New York International Fringe Festival, Theater Masters, Incubator Arts Project, Brick Theatre, the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, chashama, and in several years of community programming in South Williamsburg, produced through Brooklyn Arts Council funding. Additionally, his plays have been produced by Grain of Sand Theatre (Washington, D.C.); Renaissance Guild (San Antonio); Valley Repertory Theatre (Enfield, CT); and the Working Theatre Collective (Portland, OR), and have been published by Original Works and IndieTheatreNow. He has taught myriad subjects to students of all ages and is a creative writing instructor with Writopia Labs. He earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, which he attended on the Goldberg Fellowship and where he won the John Golden Playwriting Prize.

Robin Rice Lichtig is the author of more than 50 plays (18 full length). She has been produced worldwide. Most recent productions: The Power of Birds (3Graces, NYC), Play Nice! (Ego Actus, 59E59), Alice in Black and White (Looking for Lilith, Louisville), Listen! The River (NYC/Edinburgh Fringe/London/So. Africa), Secrets on a Chinese Bed (Seoul, So. Korea), The Breast Monologues (Brazen-Faced Varlets, Buffalo). Upcoming New York reading: Lust & Lies. Publishers include French, Smith + Kraus, and Dramatists. Honors include: O’Neill (finalist), Mazumdar, Chambers, Perishable, Goshen, Karamu, Smith, Shiner, and Great Plains. Member: DG, LPTW, WAM Coalition (board), ICWP, and the Articulate Theatre Company. Affiliations: New Georges, the Lark. Robin also writes for and creates designs for fabric and wallpaper. Synopses and upcoming gigs:

Jesse Longman is a writer, currently based in the New York metropolitan area. She has received awards and fellowships from the Edward Albee Foundation, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, Summer Literary Seminars, and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Her plays have been performed and developed at 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York, the Working Theatre Collective, and Columbia University’s Schapiro Studio and Riverside Studio. Her work has also premiered in France at Art 276, the Avignon Theatre Festival, and Le Cent Quatre, and in Scotland at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. She is currently under commission by the Parisian theatre company Les Trois Amis. After receiving her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia, where she studied under Charles Mee and Anne Bogart, Jesse spent the following year (2011-2012) in Northern France, learning the French language while working on her novel Absent in Villers.

Jonathan Payne lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and a polydactyl cat named Petey, and is a proud cohort of the AIP Project. His previous play, The Briar Patch, recently received the Holland New Voices Award from the Great Plains Theatre Conference where it received a MainStage reading. He is a Season 5 playwright with The Fire This Time Festival in 2014, and a recipient of the Rosa Parks Award for Borne to the Ocean (2011) and the John Cauble Short Play Award for Slavery (2002) from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. He received a BA from the GSA Conservatoire (UK) and an MFA in Playwriting from Tisch School of the Arts. He is thankful to Anne Hamilton who introduced him to AIP, and is excited and honored to be working with Lynn Thompson and Dominic Taylor.

Lynde Rosario is currently working as the Assistant Dramaturg and Director of Social Media for America-in-Play. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She works as a freelance Dramaturg; dividing her time between new play development off-Broadway, a theatre youth group on Long Island, and producing a podcast dedicated to plays by female playwrights.

Heather Jeanne Violanti is a playwright and dramaturg. Plays include An Apple a Day (New Perspectives Theatre Women’s Work Lab Festival, New York) and the books for the original musicals Victory and Rainbow Journey (Buffalo’s MusicalFare Theatre).