Entry Point 2019 Creators

Click here to go to the main Entry Point 2019 page.

Tania Benites of Teatro Público de Cleveland

Tania Benites is a Cleveland-based Theatre Artist. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts. Tania is a newcomer to the world of playwriting. She has also written La Gringuita and House of Cards, both featured in the ¡OBRAS EN EVOLUCIÓN! A Festival of New Play Readings in 2017 at CPT. Tania’s most recent performing credits include Viola in Twelfth Night at Rubber City Theatre in Akron; Lelio and La Briganda in Golden at Talespinner Children’s Theatre; and Johanna in Johanna: Facing Forward at Cleveland Public Theatre.

Milta Ortiz of Borderlands Theater

Milta Ortiz is a Bay Area playwright currently residing in Tucson, with an MFA from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a Creative Writing BA from San Francisco State University. Recently, Milta collaborated with Rising Youth Theater to write Disengaged, which premiered at Phoenix Center for the Arts in December 2014. Milta was an NNPN playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater for the 2013/14 season, where she wrote the 18th Annual Tucson Pastorela and wrote and developed Más, which will premiere at Borderlands in the 2015/16 season. Más is part of the inaugural Latino Theater Commons Carnaval, 2015 play festival. Her play, You, Me and Tuno was a finalist in Downtown Urban Theater Festival 2013 in NYC. Fleeing Blue won the 2012 Wichita State playwriting contest with a university production in November 2012. Last of the Lilac Roses was a runner finalist at NYC’s Repertorio Español, Nuestra’s Voces play contest 2011. She received two City of Oakland Cultural Arts grants and one by the Zellerbach Family Foundation to write and perform her solo work while in the Bay Area. Milta’s day job is Marketing & Outreach Director at Borderlands Theater. She’s worked as a teaching artist for over 6 years and occasionally moonlights as such.

Marc David Pinate of Borderlands Theater

Marc David Pinate is a theatre artist, musician, and educator. His acting career includes work with Teatro Visión, Shadowlight Productions, Su Teatro, Campo Santo, and the Magic Theatre where he played the role of Tiresias in the world premiere of Luis Alfaro’s award winning play, Oedipus El Rey. As a director he has worked with El Teatro Campesino and Stanford University in California; Steppenwolf and American Theatre Company in Chicago; and Arizona Theatre Company to name a few. His directorial aesthetic merges performance and the sacred to create liminal spaces where experiments with form and physicality engender affective moments of beauty and healing. Marc was the recipient of a three-year directing residency funded by the Doris Duke Foundation at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California. During his residency he founded the Hybrid Performance Experiment (The HyPE) known for their guerrilla theatre performances on Bay Area Rapid Transit trains and mall food courts. Marc was a member of the spoken word troupe Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, for which he received a National Performance Network commission in 2004 to co-author Fear of a Brown Planet. He is a National Slam Poetry Champion and fronted the band Grito Serpentino, a spoken word and music ensemble that toured throughout the country and produced two albums. Marc was a program director at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a Latino arts center in San Jose, California, and at the historic Galería de la Raza in San Francisco. He’s taught acting at San Jose State University’s department of Television, Radio, Film, and Theatre. In June 2013, he completed an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago where he directed Terell Alvin McCraney’s In The Red and Brown Water as his thesis project.

Tim Collingwood

Tim Collingwood is an actor, playwright, and stage manager in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked with WordStage Literary Concerts, The Manhattan Project-Cleveland Lab, Playwrights Local, Ensemble Theatre, the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and Cleveland Public Theatre. He recently adapted The Ugly Duckling that appeared in the PLAYground series at Talespinner Children’s Theatre this past summer.

Raymond Bobgan, Fire on the Water artistic Team

This is Raymond Bobgan’s 13th season as the Executive Artistic Director at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT). Raymond specializes in working through an ensemble process to create new performances that are bold, multilayered, and highly physical. Raymond’s work has been seen in Romania, Brazil, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Canada and has been featured in American Theatre magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal, and in Lisa Wolford’s book Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research. Raymond has created many works for CPT including: Red Ash Mosaic; Feefer Rising, with Faye Hargate; Rusted Heart Broadcast; Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves, with Holly Holsinger and Chris Seibert; Cut to Pieces, with Chris Seibert; and Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead, co-produced by CPT and La MaMa ETC (NY).

Raymond initiated the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) in 1994, a job-training theatre program for teens, co-created the Y-Haven Theatre Project with James Levin which engages formerly homeless men in writing and performing theatre, and initiated Teatro Público de Cleveland, CPT’s resident Latino theatre company, and Station Hope, a community arts festival honoring Cleveland’s social justice heritage and exploring contemporary issues of social justice. Raymond and Cleveland Core Ensemble’s production of Red Ash Mosaic recently toured nationally to New Orleans and Columbus.

In 2017, Raymond received the Cisgender Ally Award at Cleveland’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, and in 2015, received Equality Ohio’s Ally Award. He received the 2017 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio and in 2014 became the first recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize in the discipline of Theatre. He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the National New Play Network, serves on the Theatre Communications Group Board of Directors, and is the Chair of the Board of the Gordon Square Arts District. Raymond is a two-time recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship (2010 for theatre, 2014 for music composition), a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (now Arts Cleveland).

India Nicole Burton*, Fire on the Water Artistic Team

India Nicole Burton is an actress, director, playwright, and producer. She is a native of Akron, OH and graduated from The University of Akron in 2011 with a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on performance. Upon graduating, India founded Ma’Sue Productions, an African American theatre company located in Akron. She has directed, produced, and performed in several of Ma’Sue’s plays and acted as artistic director until 2015. India has worked with many prominent Akron, Cleveland, New York, Atlanta, and L.A. actors, directors, and playwrights. Some of India’s acting credits include Julius Caesar (Portia), Bootycandy (Actor 1), and An Octoroon (Dido). India’s directing credits include for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (Heads Up Productions), The Laramie Project (Heads Up Productions), Daybreak’s Children (Ma’Sue Productions), A Happening on Imperial (Ma’Sue Productions), O Patria Mia (Ma’Sue Productions), Little Women (Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute), and two short plays produced at Cleveland Public Theatre’s Station Hope: What we could have been and Maya: The Poet. India’s assistant directing credits include the 2014 production of The Color Purple at Karamu House, brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Dobama Theatre, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s Barbecue. She is the director of drama at Dike School of the Arts where she trains students in acting and performance, grades pre-K through 8th. India is currently working on developing and devising an original play about women in the Black Panther Party.

*2018/2019 NNPN Producer in Residence.

Lauren Joy Fraley**

Lauren Joy Fraley is CPT’s 2018/2019 Joan Yellen Horvitz Directing Fellow. She has trained and performed at CPT since 2011, and has pursued additional physical theatre and movement training at LaMama Umbria, NaCl Theater, and Earthdance. Lauren co-created and composed original music for Noonday as part of CPT’s Test Flight Series, and has contributed to creation of artistic projects at Maelstrom Collaborative Arts (formerly Theater Ninjas), including Who We Used to Be (for which she was Assistant Director and co-composer), Don’t Wander Off, The Last Day, and the 2016 multimedia showcase, Broken Codes (which featured her original short solo work, Auxiliary). Lauren spent nearly 6 years as Outreach Program Coordinator with Playhouse Square, where she led school & family arts programming, including the “Classroom Connections” teaching artist ensemble. She has also performed in various world-premiere performances at CPT including: Ancestra, Airwaves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle), Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle), and The Secret Social, in collaboration with Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant.

**2018/2019 Joan Yellen Horvitz Directing Fellow.

Merit Glover

Merit Glover is a playwright, theatre artist, and costume technician. Since graduating from Case Western Reserve University in January with a BA in Theatre Arts and Spanish, they have lived in Massachusetts, Ohio, Utah, Oregon, and Virginia. Past experience with CPT includes working as assistant stage manager for American Dreams and one of the stage managers for Entry Point 2018. This is Merit’s public playwriting debut, although works in progress include a play about gender roles and the whaling industry, and a play about amusement parks and climate change.

Cat Kenney

Cat Kenney is a Cleveland-area playwright/director/actor/cartoonist and speech pathologist. She attends CPT’s The Dark Room and Ensemble Theatre’s Stagewrites group, bartends at Dobama, and has been seen in most NE Ohio theatres at one time or another. Recent roles have included Sir Hugh Evans, Lady Macbeth, Lady Bracknell, an evil sorceress, a Martian monster, and a dog.

Lisa Langford***

Lisa Langford, a graduate of Harvard University, is an actress and playwright. In addition to television and film, Lisa has acted Off-Broadway (Playwrights Horizons), regionally (LaJolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and locally (Cleveland Play House, Dobama, and Mamaí). Her plays have appeared at Cleveland Public Theatre (InCogNegro [Big Box 2009], The Negro Perkins [Big Box 2012], The Bomb [Station Hope 2016], and most recently, The Art of Longing) and convergence-continuum (Outside/In: The Fattening House and The Split Show). Lisa has also been a copywriter, a journalist, and a member of the creative team that launched the late Dr. Maya Angelou’s greeting card line. She received her MFA from Cleveland State and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

***2018/2019 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow.

Mara Layne (Of Mara Layne & the Gold Men Ensemble)

Mara Layne is an actor, playwright, and director who studied at Kent State University and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute. Most recently she co-wrote, directed, and starred in the short film Basement and is currently involved in developing a serial fiction podcast with the same team. She is most excited about the prospect of helping to facilitate conversations through feminine storytelling in collaboration with the new ensemble, the Gold Men Ensemble.

Hannah Rae Leach

Hannah Rae Leach is a Cleveland-based writer and musician. She is a 2017 graduate of NYU Tisch, where she majored in Dramatic Writing. She is the founder and coordinator of the Young Playwrights Collective at Playwrights Local, half of the sister filmmaking duo Too Pink Pictures, and one third of the Cleveland-based band, The Prom Queens. She is a voice teacher at School of Rock and co-host of the syndicated radio show, The Jim Brickman Show.

Molly McFadden

Molly formerly lived in New York with her husband for 22 years, where she performed at a variety of Manhattan theatres and clubs, and sang with Margaret Whiting and Nancy Wilson, both of whom encouraged her as a song stylist. The New York Times was quoted as saying, “She is a stylist of note and one to continue with her divine phrasing and warm voice.” Since arriving in Cleveland Molly has performed in a film at BluJazz, Cleveland Public Theatre, Karamu House, and Ensemble Theatre.

Nikkole Salter

Hailed by Variety as “thoroughly convincing”, Los Angeles-born, OBIE Award-winning actress and writer Nikkole Salter arrived onto the professional scene with her co-authorship and co-performance (with Danai Gurira) of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, In the Continuum (ITC) for which Ms. Salter received an OBIE Award (2006), and the NY Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for Best New American Play (2006), the Seldes-Kanin fellowship from the TheatreHall of Fame, and the Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations. Since then, Ms. Salter has written 8 full-length plays, been produced on 3 continents in 5 countries, and been published in 12 international publications. Her work has appeared in over 20 Off-Broadway, regional, and international theatres, and the Crossroads Theatre production of her play REPAIRING A NATION (Kilroy’s Honorable Mention) was aired on the second season of the WNET program “Theatre Close-Up.” Ms. Salter is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, a two time Playwright’s of New York (PoNY) Fellowship nominee, is currently working on commissions from Woolly Mammoth, NJPAC/Luna Stage, and developed the adaptation of Claude Brown’s New York Times Bestselling novel, Manchild in the Promised Land for television.

Ms. Salter is an active member of the Actors Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Dramatists Guild, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Theatre Communications Group. She received her BFA in theatre from Howard University and her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program under the tutelage of Zelda Fichandler and Ron Van Lieu.

Twelve Literary Arts

Twelve Literary Arts is an inter-generational teaching, learning, and professional development incubator for poets, writers, and performance artists who seek a safe space to write in the middle of Cleveland’s inner city. Their 501(c)(3) organization supports, develops, and creates a community of writers and performers who share the desire to create literary works with an emphasis on imagination and social justice. The youth and adults of Twelve Literary Arts are inspired to bring poetry and writing to the people. The mission of Twelve Literary Arts is to bring performance poetry to public spaces, while supporting poets and writers of all ages with programming, professional development, and brave spaces to dream, write, and teach into reality a world of social justice and equity.

Click here to go to the main Entry Point 2019 page.