Meet the 2021—2022 Season Cohort
Posted on: July 21, 2021
Launched in 2019 to provide career assistance to emerging directors, the Leon Levy Foundation Roundabout Directors Group adds to Roundabout’s myriad artistic and career mentorship programs. Roundabout’s Associate Artistic Director Jill Rafson and Associate Artist Cristina Angeles lead the group with the mission to create an artistic community for directors at similar stages of their careers. Participants connect with established theater artists to offer mentorship and workshops on topics ranging from networking with playwrights, meeting with artistic administrators, and directing for TV/Film, to resident directing for commercial productions, working with casting directors, and finding representation.
UPCOMING WORK BY PARTICIPATING DIRECTORS
Stay up to date on upcoming outside projects directed by members of each cohort.
MEET COHORT 2
Cohort 2: Galia Backal, Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Sivan Battat, é boylan, Miranda Cornell, Ryan Dobrin, Danilo Gambini, Raz Golden, Cara Hinh, Carsen Joenk, Lamar Perry, Jenna Rossman, Julia Rufo
Galia Backal is a first generation Mexican-American director, choreographer, and collaborator. She is drawn to work that supports themes of diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality, specifically pieces that center women and Latinx stories. She loves collaborating with playwrights and composers on new works that include interactive and immersive elements.
Abigail Jean-Baptiste (she/her/any) is a theater maker, director, writer and native New Yorker, creating inside marginal spaces. Her art aims to disrupt conditioned routines of behavior and redefine our futures. Her theatrical projects abstract our understanding of the past, intersect with critical race theory, and hope to move us toward Black feminist liberation.
Sivan Battat (she/they) is a theatre director & community organizer, and Associate Artistic Director of Noor Theatre. Sivan creates performance at the intersection of justice and cultural work, across the theatre, community, ritual celebration, and beyond. Fellowships: Roundabout Directing Fellow, TCG Rising Leaders of Color, Drama League Musical Directing Fellow.
é boylan (they/them) is a director, creator, and composer developing new work towards trans liberation. Building anti-theatrical rituals from theatrical materials, é asks their audiences: How might we consecrate a space by choosing to leave? Currently: Resident Artist at Musical Theater Factory and Lincoln Center Theater.
Miranda Cornell (she/her) is a mixed, yonsei theatre director, generative artist, and educator. She makes work grounded in mixed identities of all sorts and is particularly interested in grief, illness, sincerity, cycles, and the intersection of utopia and dystopia. She is a big fan of on-stage dance parties.
Ryan Dobrin is a queer, biracial director and producer interested in the exploration of emotional growth, spectacle, otherness, human connection, and morality. He believes in leading with openness and honesty and in the building of community, a leadership style originating from a Quaker education and an Ethical Humanist upbringing. ryandobrin.com.
Danilo Gambini is a New York-based director. Upcoming: Ni Mi Madre at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; the new musical Thebes at Quinnipiac University. Directing Credits: An Iliad, The Tempest, Bakkhai, Rock Egg Spoon. Musicals: Fun Home, The Swallow and the Tomcat, TOMMY. Opera: Don Giovanni, Ariadne Auf Naxos, Eugene Onegin. M.F.A: Yale School of Drama.
Raz Golden is a director of theatre, film, and audio. He focuses on new plays and classical texts, as well as narratives that explore shared cultural histories/myths, and that center people of color. His directorial work, no matter the medium, embraces collage and juxtaposition, speculative genres, and multiple modes of storytelling.
Cara Hinh (she/they+) is a queer, fat, mixed Vietnamese Director originally from Indiana. They are currently a Hangar Theatre Directing Fellow with the Drama League. Prior they have been a Directing Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Learning and Social Accountability Fellow at Baltimore Center Stage and SDC Observer on Hadestown. carahinh.com
Carsen Joenk is a director, sound designer, and Brooklyn-based Chicagoan. She is interested in work that uses non-hierarchical methods of collaboration to create equitable, ensemble-driven, devised processes that question American history and morality. A staunch supporter of trash, glitter, and dance-pop, Carsen embraces stylized theatricality as a means of entertainment, conversation, and dissidence.
Lamar Perry is a Queer Black director, creative producer, and writer whose work centers on new play development as a form of restorative justice and classical plays as a vehicle to subvert the erasure of Black queer folx in the Western canon. He currently serves as the Associate Producer at The Old Globe. www.lamarperry.com
Jenna Rossman is a theatre and film director based in NYC and LA. Jenna makes work to help people feel less alone. She's most interested in stories of women, friendship, and sex.
Julia Rufo is a director and theatermaker currently based in NYC, originally from Massachusetts. Julia creates theatrical experiences that allow us to reflect on and process our realities. They work to share queer stories of all kinds and to dismantle the gender binary. www.juliarufo.com
MEET COHORT 3
Cohort 3: Alex Keegan, Andrés López-Alicea, Borna Barzin, Daniella Caggiano, Emilia Lirman, Jason Aguirre, Kevaughn Harvey, Mack Brown, Nicholas Polonio
Alex Keegan is a director of new work, adaptations, and devised theatre foregrounding women and LGBTQ+ stories. She often explores narratives of mental illness in her work, and is committed to creating investigative, collaborative processes. MFA Candidate: Yale Drama, where she's co-adapting Affinity by Sarah Waters as her directing thesis.
Andrés López-Alicea looks forward to exploring, expanding, and physicalizing the essence of the text to highlight the character’s states of mind. López-Alicea’s work provokes the audience to submerge into the darkest and purest places of the psyches of each character and the play.
Borna Barzin’s work uses satire and multimedia to expose and reveal injustice and intimacy. His work centers immigrants, people of color, and queer people. It appeals to the outsider spirit, rejecting heterosexuality and whiteness as the norm. It is unapologetically queer and postmodern, challenging convention in every sense of the word.
Daniella Caggiano is a director and intimacy director committed to radically centering queer voices and women’s voices on stage. Her work challenges traditional power structures and explores taboo topics, inviting audiences to sit with discomfort and welcome empathetic vulnerability.
Emilia Lirman is a bilingual, first generation Argentinian American director. She believes that creating art is an optimistic impulse and thus is dedicated to creating theatre with compassion and joy at its core, because what’s one without the other? Her work engages with our contemporary cultural landscape and is deeply rooted in collaboration and conversation.
Jason Aguirre (he/him/el) is a New York-based Mexican-American director, bookwriter, and choreographer, specializing in new musical development and reinvestigating the traditional American book musical. He strives to be radically inclusive in his practices while delivering a theatrical Flintstone vitamin to audiences—a socio-political message served through candy-coated entertainment. @jasona57; www.j-aguirre.com
Kevaughn Harvey (he/him) is a first-generation Caribbean-American director and actor. The collision of cultures is the origination of his artistic joys, traumas, and idiosyncrasies. A central question in his art is “What is lost (and gained) from the mashup of ideas, cultures, and identities?” His work explores this through poetic language and rugged spectacle.
Mack Brown is a big-hearted Brooklyn-based butch. Prioritizing the new work of their contemporaries, Mack builds vibrant worlds that center lesbians and trans people. They wield structure and safety to unlock rehearsal rooms that glow with mutual ownership, and love to develop bright new musicals.
Nicholas Polonio is a theater director based in Brooklyn, NY. Adapting satires and histories, he has developed productions including The Police, pov: u run joe biden’s tiktok, and Late Fame. Driven by a curiosity in theater as cultural criticism, Nicholas’s work investigates American entertainment and Gen Z mythologies.