Eric Hoff is a director, producer, writer and an artistic associate at About Face Theatre in Chicago. His New York directing credits include Hit the Wall (Off-Broadway, Barrow Street Theater), Lucas Hnath’s About a Woman Named Sarah (59E59 Theaters) and When We Met (CAP21 Theatre Company). Chicago directing credits include Hit the Wall (The Inconvenience, Steppenwolf Garage), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (Red Tape Theatre, with Bonnie Metzgar) and Shelley Duvall’s Women Under the Influence Theatre (produced by Salonathon) at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. He was a founding organizer, with co-creator Jesse Morgan Young, of REVIVAL, a performance art/night life/spectacle experience at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Bradley Center Masonic Temple. At Red Tape Theatre he directed The Skriker and The Life and Death of Madam Barker. He directed WHAT’S THE T? at About Face and also produced The Woyzeck Project, a citywide festival sponsored by About Face and The Hypocrites. With collaborators SK Kerastas and Will Davis, Hoff is creating/writing Color Guard. In 2017 he will direct the apprentice company for Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and an interactive theater piece by writer Eva Anderson and composer Michael Cassidy.
Monica Payne is a stage director and the founder of Theatre Lumina, a company devoted to cross-cultural collaboration and international exchange. She recently directed a production of Our Country’s Good for the undergraduate Theater Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. In Summer 2016, she co-directed a workshop production of Camino Real by Tennessee Williams for CSU Summer Arts/Steppenwolf Classes West in Monterey, Calif. She spent much of the previous year working on Trash Story, an award-winning Polish play by Magda Fertacz. She directed full productions in both New York (Kulture+ Productions) and Los Angeles (UCLA TFT), as well as a staged reading for the International Voices Project/Trap Door Theatre in Chicago. Other projects include a critically acclaimed production of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye for the Pittsburgh Playhouse; Ploughman from Bohemia for Theatre Lumina in a site-specific Los Angeles production; Racine’s Phedre for Point Park University; Euripides’ Hecuba and Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, adapted by Eric Coble, for the Pittsburgh Playhouse; her own adaptation of The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Euripides’ Elektra; William Inge’s Natural Affection; and Sam Shepard’s Savage Love. She also assisted Georges Bigot (formerly of Theatre du Soleil) on a production of Macbeth and assisted Department of Theater Chair Brian Kite on the La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts’ award-winning production of Miss Saigon, which subsequently toured in China.
A former actress, Payne worked for many years in Chicago with various companies, including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Artistic Home, The Hypocrites, The Journeymen Theater Company and The Famous Door Theatre Company, among others. She is a member of the 2008 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab in New York, as well as the 2012 Director’s Lab West in Los Angeles.
Payne has taught acting and directing at Carnegie Mellon University, and served as the head of graduate acting at Pittsburgh’s Point Park University. She has been a Meisner technique instructor for 16 years and has taught for School at Steppenwolf, The Artistic Home and The Audition Studio, as well as her own studio in Los Angeles. In addition to the CSU Summer Arts, she has taught with Steppenwolf Classes West in various intensive programs, including those in Toronto and Long Beach.
She earned her M.F.A. in directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Her research areas include literary adaptations, devised work and Polish theater.
Brynn Shiovitz’s research intersects at the crossroads between critical race studies and tap dance. She is primarily interested in the ability of Africanist performance to put into a narrative context diasporic identity by simultaneously attending to fields of vision, aurality and embodied practice. Her current work asks readers to consider multiple forms of masking at play in 20th century American tap dance performances of the stage, screen and sound cartoon. While her research historicizes tap’s relationship to minstrelsy and other means of masking, her current work in documentary film calls attention to the relevancy of this conversation today. Shiovitz is the sole creator of The Rhythm Project, a series of documentaries that take up questions regarding the relationship between rhythm, race and diaspora, as it exists for contemporary tap dancers living in Los Angeles and New York City.
Her writing on dance can be seen in the journals Dance Chronicle, Women and Performance, Jazz Perspectives and Dance Research; the magazines Dance, Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher; and a forthcoming anthology on African diaspora dance, edited by Thomas DeFrantz.
She has taught movement and theory across the country at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and Brooklyn College, and is currently on faculty in the Department of Dance at Chapman University. In addition to dance, Shiovitz is a certified Mat Pilates and Hatha yoga instructor.
Shiovitz received her Ph.D. in culture and performance from UCLA. She also holds an M.A. in performance studies from NYU and a B.A. in philosophy and dance from Mills College.
“Masks in Disguise: Exposing Minstrelsy and Racial Representation within American Tap Dance”
Performances of the Stage, Screen, and Sound Cartoon, 1900-1950. Dissertation. Published online by ProQuest 2016. All Rights Reserved.
“Exchanging ‘Coon’ for Cork: George M. Cohan and Sonic Minstrelsy at the Fin de Siècle”
Essay in Dancing the African Diaspora., Ed. Thomas DeFrantz (Forthcoming, Winter 2016)
Media review of “Jazz Tap Originals: A Collection of Live Performances (1979-2012)”
Jazz Perspectives (Forthcoming, Winter 2016)
Review of “Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire”
Dance Research Journal, 46, pp. 120-123. doi:10.1017/S0149767714000369
Review of “Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy”
Dance Research Journal, 45, pp. 131-134. doi:10.1017/S0149767712000411
“Gotta Move: Women in Tap”
Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 22:1, 161-163. Summer 2012
“Tapping into Race, Women, and Rhythm”
Dance Chronicle: Studies in Dance and Related Arts, Vol. 34, No. 2; 2011
“An Evening with Fluxus Women”
Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, Fluxus Vol. 19, Issue 2; Winter 2009
Dance Magazine, Vol. 83, No. 8; Aug. 2009
“Improving Your Improv”
Dance Spirit, Vol. 13, No. 8; Oct. 2009
Jeff Maynard has been an active member of the Los Angeles theater community for more than 20 years. Recent directing work includes Good People at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (L.A. Times Critic’s Choice) and Musical Theatre West’s The Music Man, starring Davis Gaines, at The Carpenter Center in Long Beach. Other La Mirada credits include Broadway Bound; Boeing Boeing; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, starring Marilu Henner; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Tales of Tinseltown at the Actor’s Co-op; and Dave Rossmer & Dan Lipton’s musical Shoot! Cut! Print! Kill! Die!
Maynard collaborated with Jason Robert Brown on a new, revised version of 13, and directed a musical half-hour pilot presentation, Rated P for Parenthood, for ABC. He is most proud to be a founding member of UCLA Alumni’s Buffalo Nights Theatre Company, for which he has directed, produced or acted in more than 15 productions.
Maynard’s other acting credits include appearing in the first national tour of Lost in Yonkers; and on episodes of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Diagnosis Murder.
He previously taught musical theater at USC School of Dramatic Arts and directed the university’s 2015 production of Grease. He currently runs the theater program at Los Angeles’ Mirman School and teaches private acting classes throughout the city.
Maynard is the recipient of a Drama-Logue Award for The Firebugs; a Backstage West Award for The Apollo of Bellac; and LA Weekly’s Revival Production of the Year award for Modigliani.
He earned his B.A. in theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
Roxanne Steinberg has worked within a strong tradition of modern dance, and has studied Graham, Horton, Limon, Cunningham and Lewitsky techniques from some of the first-generation modern dance pioneers. At a young age, she began developing a practice of creative dance and improvisation. A graduate of Bennington College, she studied post-modern dance and worked in the Black Music Division. From performing in abandoned factories with Zig Zag dans la Savane in Paris to choreographing a Mandala for 32 Shingon Buddhist acolytes in Koyasan, Japan, Steinberg has worked internationally with musicians and composers including Alex Cline, Yas Kaz, Paul Chavez with Feltlike, Yuval Ron, Steve Lockwood, Pheeroan Aklaf, Adam Rudolph, Leon Mobley and Myra Melford. She has participated in the work of interdisciplinary artists Carol Kim and Bill Viola. In Japan, she danced with dancers/choreographers Amagatsu of Sankai Juku and Min Tanaka, with whom she performed in Carmina Burana conducted by Seiji Ozawa, and in Salome (solo) conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama.
In 1988, she founded Body Weather Laboratory in Los Angeles with Melinda Ring and has been teaching and performing with dancer Oguri since 1990. Morleigh Steinberg’s award winning film Traveling Light featured Steinberg and Oguri. Her work has been presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles, and at The Flea (Dance Conversations) and Basilica Hudson in New York. Part of the Arcane Collective, she danced in Cold Dream Colour — Homage to Louis Le Broquy, choreographed by Morleigh Steinberg and Oguri, which premiered in Dublin and was presented at REDCAT, in Portland, Oregon, and at The Guggenheim in New York. Her most recent project, Caddy! Caddy! Caddy! William Faulkner Dance Project, toured nationally and will be presented at the Hammer Museum in November 2016 by Lightning Shadow, the dance company she shares with Oguri.
Steinberg has choreographed for Portland’s BodyVox, and artist Lauren Bon’s Not a Cornfield, Farmlab and Strawberry Flag. She works at Bon’s Metabolic Studio where dance is her language for organizing community. She participated in Bon’s 2013 commemorative action, 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Steinberg has been an artist-in-residence at Electric Lodge in Venice, Calif., since 1997. She has taught master classes at UCLA, Art Center College of Design, Pomona College, Cal Arts, Evergreen College and Bennington College; she also taught and choreographed at Cal State L.A.
She maintains a close creative relationship with Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, REDCAT, and Grand Performances, where she has choreographed and performed with Oguri. She has received grants from the Durfee Foundation, L.A. County Arts Commission and Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles for her own work and with Oguri and Body Weather Laboratory.
AJ Meijer is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. He is excited and humbled to share his post-collegiate experience with those currently attending his alma mater. He has been teaching actors inside and out of the university setting for more than six years.
Meijer recently made his New York theatrical debut in the original cast of the smash hit Heathers: The Musical, after being a part of the Los Angeles workshop. On film, Meijer has shared the screen with Adam Brody and Leighton Meester in the romantic comedy Life Partners and with Vincent D’Onofrio and Anton Yelchin in the suspense thriller Broken Horses.
He co-founded the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and was seen in their productions of The War Cycle: Wounded, The War Cycle: Nation of Two, and The War Cycle: Gospel According to First Squad, for which he received an Ovation Award nomination. Regionally, he last appeared as Lennie in Of Mice and Men at TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley. He has performed at the Ahmanson Theatre and spent four seasons performing at the Getty, where he worked with the National Theatre of Greece in Swallow Song, and created the role of Bigbuxo in the hilarious original musical Tug of War. Meijer co-hosts the weekly, industry-focused podcast Inside Acting, affording him the opportunity to interview actors such as Neal McDonough, Kerry Bishé and Academy Award winner JK Simmons.
Meijer also boasts eight years of experience working for the most innovative company in the world, Apple Inc., in various capacities, including being tapped to voiceover several product videos featured on Apple.com. It was this experience, combined with the pragmatic knowledge gained from the podcast that inspired the Digital Actor Workshop. For the past six years, this workshop has been presented to the graduate and undergraduate students at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as well as the University of Southern California.
Gina DeDomenico Flanagan
Gina DeDomenico Flanagan teaches Graphic Representation of Design: Life Drawing in the Department of Theater. She has more than 25 years experience working as a costume illustrator, artist, muralist and cartoonist. In the past two decades her work has spanned more than 50 films including Loving (2016), Fences (2016), The 5th Wave (2016), The Hateful Eight (2016), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Ridiculous Six (2015), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), Godzilla (2014), Get on Up (2014), Grown Ups 2 (2013), Django Unchained (2012), Looper (2012), The Help (2011), The Book of Eli (2010), Rush Hour 2 (2001), Galaxy Quest (1999), Amistad (1997), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Nutty Professor (1996), Batman Forever (1995) and Malcolm X (1992). Her work will be seen in a number of upcoming films including The Solutrean (2017), Godless (2017), Jumanji (2017), Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) and A Wrinkle in Time (2018).
DeDomenico Flanagan has been featured in several books including The Star Trek Sketch Book, Madonna: The Girlie Show, Hollywood Sketchbook and FilmCraft: Costume Design. She has also been a guest panelist at Comic-Con International in San Diego as an expert in digital media costume illustration. An active member of the Costume Designers Guild, she serves on numerous committees promoting the profession of Costume Concept Artists.
DeDomenico Flanagan received her bachelor of arts degree in fashion design and illustrating from Parson’s School of Design.
Ben Whitehair teaches acting in the Department of Theater. His recent credits include a recurring role on the second season of WGN America’s Manhattan, ABC’s Nashville, AMC’s Better Call Saul and the upcoming feature film Gold starring Matthew McConaughey.
He is a Colorado native who spent time there as a homeschooled cowboy, web designer and entrepreneur. (His company, Tuition Specialists, saved college students $30 million over the course of seven years.)
Whitehair is also a social media guru, blogger, co-founder of the L.A. Actors Tweetup, and chair of SAG-AFTRA’s NextGen Performers Committee.
He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with degrees in theatre, political science and leadership.
Sylvan Oswald is a trans interdisciplinary artist who creates plays, texts, publications and video. Currently, he is working on Season Two of Outtakes, a lo-fi mock doc semi-improvised web series. Culturebot’s Andy Horwitz says of the series, “This is the kind of vital, vibrant, important work that mainstream media never makes…but pushes the whole thing forward.” The Dallas Morning News called Oswald’s world premiere of Profanity, at Dallas’ Undermain Theatre, “brilliantly good.” Other plays include Sex Play (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb Superlab), Sun Ra (Joe’s Pub), Nightlands (New Georges), Pony (About Face Theater, Chicago) and Vendetta Chrome (Clubbed Thumb Summerworks).
Collaborations include text for Dan Hurlin’s Disfarmer, which premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and Zoetrope, a music-theater work created with composer/director Alec Duffy designer Mimi Lien and developed through the Princeton Atelier. Awards include a Jerome Fellowship, a Six Points Fellowship, and the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship at Soho Rep.
Prior to teaching at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Oswald helmed the Playwriting/Screenwriting program at Purchase College/ SUNY and taught playwriting at Barnard, Mt. Holyoke, Princeton, and Eugene Lang College.
With Jordan Harrison he published four issues of Play A Journal of Plays. His micro-play, Little Thing, is forthcoming in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2014 and his writings about new plays have appeared in PAJ and The Brooklyn Rail.
Oswald is an affiliated artist at Clubbed Thumb and a resident playwright at New Dramatists. sylvanoswald.com.
Farhang Pernoon is a lecturer in the Department of Theater at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he teaches the class “Play Reading and Analysis.”
He was born in Iran in 1975. In 2013, he earned a Ph.D. in Theater and performance studies from the Department of Theater and Critical Studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His dissertation, “Performing Persianicity,” focused on diasporic masculinities in the United States. In 2007, Pernoon earned his master of arts degree from San Diego State University, where he produced the thesis “The Performance of Technique/ Performing Other(s),” a PAR-based analysis of two performance texts. He received his bachelor of arts degree in theater from San Francisco State University in 1997 and a California Lifetime Teaching Credential in English from CSUN that same year. He is the recipient of the 2013 Koppleson Fund Award, the 2012 Executive Board Award, and the 2010 Aaron Curtis Award from UCLA. Performance awards include a KPBS Outstanding Male Performance Award (2004); two Backstage West “Best of” Critics List awards (2003/2004) for performances as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency and Lord Edgar/Jane in The Mystery of Irma Vep; a 2003 San Diego Playbill Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Gross Indecency), a 2003 Marion Ross Scholarship/Award, and a 1996 Jules Irving Award for Performance.
Pernoon’s current interests include treatments of speed/ acceleration/space; ongoing examinations of Iranian diaspora; and masculinized performances within U.S. prisons.