Reshaping the American Theatre

Saturday, June 1, 6pm
Pao Arts Center (99 Albany St, Boston)

Join us for a new work showcase featuring the Future Theatremakers of America! Our Season 25 Volt Lab cohort has been hard at work creating collaborative new plays in progress that reimagine and build bridges across civic issues, community, and the stage. After the performances, attendees are invited to stick around for a reception to meet the cohort and learn what’s next for these artists and Boston’s theatre scene as a whole.

About the Plays

Meet Me Here
written by Thomas Wark
directed by Jenny S. Lee
dramaturgy by Hannah Levinson

Where can you go when you don’t know where home is anymore? Three strangers find themself at the precipice of dreaming of what a new third place might look like.

Rawchayl Sahadeo
Thomas Wark
Schanaya Barrows
Jenny S. Lee
Schanaya Barrows
Hannah Levinson

duma-dara-ting, or The Arrival
written by Elijah Punzal
directed by Marc Hem Lee
dramaturgy by Sofia Lindgren Galloway

On the last day of Winter, the rescue team of Domestic Workers Thrive Network has 24 hours to successfully see through Case 225: a mission to retrieve an elderly Filipina domestic worker from her abusive employer’s residence. A fictional story inspired by true accounts of the conditions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) across the globe, duma-dara-ting, or The Arrival asks us: How do we care for those who have become invisibilized in our society?

Schanaya Barrows
Elijah Punzal
Schanaya Barrows
Marc Hem Lee
Schanaya Barrows
Sofia Lindgren Galloway

written by Erin Davis
directed by Cas Berta

Two ex-lovers drive from Arizona to Nevada to procure a legal abortion. The desert haze thickens, the blood moon rises, and their entangled past emerges as they confront a question: what would you actually do for a klondike bar?

Summer L. Williams
Erin Davis
Rawchayl Sahadeo
Cas Berta

written by Nick Baker & Angelique Dina
directed by Annalise Guidry

When you are at the end of your rope and fed up with the heaviness of the world today, where can you turn to for guidance? X-Roads is a performance piece devised in one part choreopoem, one part theatrical jazz, and one part healing ritual, where the ancestors come forward to help us all figure out how to survive in trying times.

Schanaya Barrows
Nick Baker
Schanaya Barrows
Angeilque Dina
Schanaya Barrows
Annalise Guidry

Actors: Michael J. Blunt, Emily Eldridge-Ingram, Janelle Grace, Jordan Palmer, Charlotte Snow, Joshua Lee Robinson
Produced by afrikah selah, C1’s National New Play Network Produer in Residence

Schanaya Barrows
Michael J. Blunt
Schanaya Barrows
Emily Eldridge-Ingram
Schanaya Barrows
Janelle Johnson
Schanaya Barrows
Jordan Palmer
Schanaya Barrows
Charlotte Snow
Schanaya Barrows
Joshua Lee Robinson
Schanaya Barrows
afrikah selah


Nick Baker (he/him)

Nick Baker is a playwright and theater artist based out of Worcester, MA. His art values community, accountability, and examining the uncomfortable above all else. He dreams of plays that revitalize the heavy spirits of working class people. Of plays that cross divides and show the power of building a coalition. Of plays that make us feel like everything is going to be okay, even when we must confront the darkest parts of our humanity. Nick has written two hip-hop theater plays: And Then a Fight Broke Out and Working On It: A Story of Struggle, Love, and Donuts, both of which were developed and workshopped at the New Africa House Experimental Lab at UMass Amherst, where Nick earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Theater. Nick is also an active member of the Worcester Writers’ Collective, where he goes weekly to share and develop new works.

Cas Berta (they/them)

Cas Berta is a gender nonconforming actor, writer, and hopeful director. They studied Film & TV Screenwriting and Gender Studies at Boston University and served as the first openly transgender president of BU’s only low-income cooperative house, The Harriet E. Richards House. They made their directorial debut in 2023 at Central Square Theater’s production of “ENOUGH! Plays to End Gun Violence,” centering on gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community. They are a second-year Youth Underground Ambassador with Central Square Theater, a cohort centering meaningful social change through theatre developed with local playwrights. Cas also plays Puck/Egeus and leads education workshops for Boston Theater Company’s educational tour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” You may have tossed tea and committed treason with Cas as Goody Hewes at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum or seen Cas during the 2 seconds they were in CODA (2021), for which they were gifted an Honorary Certificate from the Screen Actors Guild (signed by Jewish Icon Fran Drescher) for their work in the ensemble. They’re honored to work, grow, and collaborate with this special cohort in the C1 Volt Lab.

Erin Davis (she/they) — Playwright

Erin Davis is a playwright, dramaturg, hiker, fried green tomato enthusiast, and a riot grrrl at heart. Originally from Georgia and now a proud Allston resident, Erin has a passion for new work that centers queer joy through connectivity, honesty, and Camp. Erin appreciates collaboration, as community through conversations and creativity drives her art. Outside of their writing, they are working on developing the perfect whiskey sweet tea recipe.

Erin’s work, honeyhole, was produced as part of the 2023 Boston New Works Festival. Their co-written play with Julia Hertzberg, the chariot reversed, was produced at Boston University in 2022 and was semi-finalist for the 2023 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. They are a graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre and currently work at SpeakEasy Stage Company.

Angelique Dina (she/they)

Angelique Motunrayo Folasade Akiya C-Dina is a first-generation Afro-Indigenous embodied theatrical storyteller based in New England. They are a current CAMD PhD student at Northeastern University focusing on Black feminist narratives and embodied theatrical practices through research-based theatre. Her performance credits include: The Inferior Sex (Trinity Repertory Company), Soul Tapes (Brown/Trinity), An Octoroon (Gamm Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Gamm Theatre), and more. Their other accolades include: KCACTF finalist ‘21, National Young Playwright semi-finalist ‘21, Ronald McNair scholar ‘22, Lime Arts Twenty by Twenty Fringe Playwright ‘23 and Lin Manuel Miranda fellow ‘23. She thanks God, her ancestors, and her Black and Brown Indigenous community for guiding her journey. “Ashe.”

Sofia Lindgren Galloway (she/her)

Sofia Lindgren Galloway is a theatre-maker, educator, and scholar living in the Greater Boston Area, though she is a Mid-Westerner at heart. Sofia will complete her MFA in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre at Emerson College in May 2024. She approaches her work from a feminist and social justice lens, has a penchant for physical storytelling, and is obsessed with the intersections of STEM and the arts. Her research examines how media, cultural institutions, and education systems can work to develop a curious, collaborative, and critically engaged society. She uses arts-integration to explore how performance techniques can solve problems and reveal new truths about society, technology, and ourselves. Her work has been published in ArtsPraxis and on HowlRound. Sofia has worked as an educator/facilitator in urban and rural schools, theatres, museums, and ASD therapeutic programs teaching drama and science. She has also worked as a dramaturg, director, and producer of new works with Emerson Stage, Collective Unconscious Performance, Ten Thousand Things, and Theatre Pro Rata. Sofia is thrilled to join the Company One Volt Lab and learn from this cohort of incredible artists. Learn more about Sofia’s work at

Annalise Guidry (they/them)

Annalise Guidry is a Black and Puerto Rican nonbinary theater-anthropologist (playwright, director and recent dramaturg) from New Orleans based in Boston whose artistry focuses on the intersections between ancestral healing, lineage and theater as vehicles for social good and social change. They have seen to the direction and co-direction of seven works, five of which being original and personally devised work exploring ancestral lineage including: 3 Women, 3 Myths (Endinburgh Fringe Festival); Just a Thing (2021) and All Our Stories: From the Caribbean to Me (2023, Hyde Square Task Force Summer Ensemble). Annalise works as a teaching artist across Boston and is the resident artist for The Theater Offensive’s Emergent Artist Residency. 

Marc Hem Lee (he/him)

Marc A. Hem Lee, MFA, MAT, MS, MD is continually seeking the seamlessness between biography and identity. He contains multiverses, not multitudes, and explores each life through the multiverse of play. Dr. Hem Lee’s interests are: Work. Play. Science. Art. He expresses all these through storytelling.

Michael Chekhov stated that “[a]ll true artists bear within themselves a deeply rooted and often unconscious desire for transformation”. To Dr. Hem Lee, play is the medium of transformation. He is currently testing this perspective on play through the practice of Psychiatry, and is training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. More meaningful than the graduate degrees he holds, he also holds the stories of his patients on life’s journey.

He continually explores the intersection and parallels of art and science. His interest lies in the human capacity for learning. His passion lies in creating brave spaces, creating the environment for others to own their stories. His prerogative lies in teaching people how to navigate both art and science in their own lives. His identity is a gradual awakening and rediscovery of what he loves – the workshop, the laboratory, the microcosm of worlds that are in theatre, and the concurrent sense of scientific inquiry that can be gained from this exploration.

Jenny S. Lee (she/her)

Jenny S. Lee is a Boston-based AAPI director, actress, and arts administrator. She is also a Boston College graduate, Northern Virginia native, and currently serves as the community engagement associate at CHUANG stage, Boston’s Asian American theatre company cultivating joyful and challenging AAPI stories that pioneer translingual activism in the arts. Recent regional directing credits include The Heart Sellers AD (Huntington), John Deserves to Die AD (Fresh Ink), and Mad Dash (Fresh Ink). Recent regional acting credits include Concrete Dreams (TC Squared), Troublemaker, and Takeover (Asian American Playwright’s Collective).

Hannah Levinson (she/her)

Hannah Levinson is a multi-hyphenate theatre artist, with a background in directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, and arts admin. She received her BA from Northeastern University in English, Theatre, and Writing. She’s previously held arts administration and creative roles with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the National Women’s Theatre Festival, and Boston-based creative writing nonprofit GrubStreet. She currently works both at Boston’s oldest LGBTQ+ theater, The Theater Offensive, and as the Co-Literary Director for Playwright Development and Dramaturgy at Fresh Ink Theatre. Recent projects include: Dramaturg, Sisterhood of the Survivors (Northeastern University); Dramaturg, John Deserves to Die (Fresh Ink Theatre); Assistant Director, Indecent (Concord Players); Stage Manager & Dramaturg, Strawberry Princess (Chelsea Theatre Works); Director, Acute Exposure (National Women’s Theatre Festival). Hannah strives to bring an ethic of consent, care, and justice into whatever project she’s working on. When she’s not at the theatre, you can find her foraging, watching drag, snuggling her cat Hazelnut Babka, or cooking up something tasty for her friends and chosen family at her cozy home in Jamaica Plain.

Elijah Punzal (they/he)

Elijah Punzal is a multidisciplinary artist (triple “P”: playwright, performer, and producer) from the California Bay Area now based in Somerville, MA. Elijah’s creative and community-oriented endeavors are influenced by their identity as a Queer, Generation 1.5 Pilipinx immigrant, and they recently presented a 15 min snippet of their new play-in-development through The Voices of America Writers Workshop titled Children of the Basement which is inspired by their childhood growing up in an elderly care facility. Elijah has worked alongside Berkeley Repertory Theatre as the 2022 Education & Community Engagement Fellow, the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies (now the Amado Khaya Initiative) as an Education and Retention Intern, and the UC Irvine Filipino American Alumni Chapter as the former Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee. He is currently a first year PhD student at Tufts University in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies where his research interests revolve around Filipino American performance, diasporic imagination, and cultural (re)memory. Elijah is incredibly proud of his recent conference presentation analyzing the affective relationship between the audience and the spectacle of Here Lies Love on Broadway.

Thomas Wark (he/him)

Thomas Wark is a playwright, dramaturg, and director. In 2017 he was a playwriting and dramaturgy fellow at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre, his undergraduate thesis, Daddy Issues, was chosen for entry into the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Michael J. Blunt (they/them)

Michael J. Blunt graduated Salem State University with a BFA in Theatre Performance in 2013. Past credits include; The Interrobangers (Company One Theatre), Break, Break (Legion Theatre/Artists’ Theater of Boston), Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Twelfth Night (Firehouse Center for the Arts), Othello: Moor of Venice, Hamlet, As You Like It (Third Citizen Theatre Co.), Mountain Language (Theatre on Fire) A Nut Cracker Panto, A Christmas Carol Panto, A Peter Pan Panto The Tempest (Theater in the Open), Love! Valour! Compassion! (Zeitgeist Stage Company),The Unexpected Guest, Nottingham: The Legend of Robinhood (Stage 284) A Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night Dream, King Lear, Radium Girls, A Christmas Carol, Macbeth (Shakesperience Productions, Inc) The Midnight Zoo (Puppet Showplace Theatre). Signed to Model Club, Inc., Michael participates in a variety of film and photo projects throughout the Massachusetts.


Emily Eldridge-Ingram (she/her)

Emily Eldridge-Ingram has been acting around the Boston area since she was five years old. She earned her BFA in Acting and holds a music theatre concentration from Boston University. While there she spent her junior year abroad studying Commedia dell’arte and physical theatre at Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Emily has worked with Shakespeare and Company, Wheelock Family Theatre, New Rep BCAP, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Central Square Theatre, The Asian American Playwright Collective, Open Theatre Project, Fresh Ink Theatre, Collective Hysteria, Boston Conservatory, Creative Arts, and Theatre Espresso. When not acting Emily works as a teaching artist and outdoor educator.


Janelle Grace (she/her)

Janelle Grace is a St. Louis-born, Boston-based actor, singer, and dancer. As recent graduate of Boston University she has been able to work and collaborate with some incredible, award-winning, and award-deserving actors and directors. Her favorite credits include Agatha in The Moors, Aaron in Titus Andronicus, and Shaunta Iyun in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, and Nurse in the Ain Gordon Project. Recently she had the wonderous joy of being in Regional Premiere of Stew at Gloucester Stage Company. Janelle is a firm believer in therapy, MUNA, and the magic of mushrooms. @j_gracej


Jordan Palmer (she/they)

Jordan’s artistic practice combines performance, dramaturgy, facilitation, musicianship, and story crafting. Projects-in-development include Better, a gender-anxious clown show and The Honkening, a death-anxious clown horror film. (Did we mention that Jordan is also a clown? The profound kind, not the scary kind.) Jordan has acted with The Huntington, Brown/Trinity Rep, Fresh Ink Theater Co., Legion Theater Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., and Actors Shakespeare Project. As a musician, she most recently joined composer-performer Jay Eddy in the world premiere of their solo musical Driving In Circles (Boston Playwrights’ Theater) as keyboardist and backup vocalist. In addition to her performance work, Jordan is currently pursuing Linklater Voice designation after many years of concentrated study. Jordan holds a BFA in Contemporary Theater from Boston Conservatory at Berklee (2019) and is a proud member of AEA. Instagram: @lordylordyherecomesjordy


Charlotte Snow (she/her)

Charlotte Snow is a Boston-based playwright, director, costume designer, stand up, and ACTOR! She has worked with Fresh Ink Theatre, Watertown Children’s Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Moonbox Productions, and TC Squared. Her previous Boston acting credits include O, Possum as Cactus at What If? Queer Creative Collaborative, Magic Girl! … And Her Demons as Nox at What If? Queer Creative Collaborative, Eat Your Young as Jelly at Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Deadword Theatre’s Trinkets as Cat and Persephone. At the end of the summer she will be returning to Deadword Theatre to play Kostya in The Seagull.


Joshua Lee Robinson (he/him)

Joshua Lee Robinson is a Black actor with a Masters from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. He was last seen as Claudio in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Warren in Albatross by Isley Lynn, Tramarion in Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Gyaibo in The Wolf Prince by June Jiang, John Peters in Faces of Philis by Ade Solanke, and Gratiano in Shakespeare’s Othello.

afrikah selah (they/them)

afrikah selah is a Boston-based cultural worker specializing in dramaturgy, new play development, and arts journalism. With a passion for dialogue and a desire to explore new ideas in innovative ways, they value creative collaboration that strives to build community towards a more equitable world. Currently, they hold the position of NNPN New Work Producer in Residence at Company One Theatre, and are also a 2023-24 TCG Rising Leader of Color. You can find out more at

About Volt Lab

The Volt Lab provides mentorship opportunities for pre-professional theater creatives to practice and enhance their craft while actively engaging with our productions and community engagement programming. This year’s Volt Lab is designed to help early career playwrights, dramaturgs, and directors hone their craft. Participants will join a cohort of civically-engaged, antiracist peers led by C1’s Resident Playwright Kirsten Greenidge. The cohort will meet monthly in-person from January to May 2024 to dream, write, devise, rewrite, and develop pieces created both collaboratively and individually, culminating in an in-person showcase in June.