LABFest 2022

LABFest 2022 sees public readings of seven new plays developed in Echo Playwrights Lab

February 15th-20th, 2022

Tuesday Feb. 15th at 7:30 pm: Mother of God by Ricardo Perez Gonzalez
directed by Susan Dalian

Raising a teenage Jesus is hard enough, but when Holy Mary, Mother of God, decides to divorce the big G himself, all hell breaks loose.

Wednesday, February 16th at 7:30 pm: Hurt People by LaDarrion Williams
directed by Ignoisco Miles

A coming-of-age- story that takes on the art of Black masculinity, Black manhood, and how true the saying “hurt people hurt people” really is.

Thursday, February 17th at 7:30 pm: Helicopter Typhoon Carabao! Or, To Survive an Apocalypse Now by Amanda Andrei
directed by Rebecca Wear

It’s 1976, and the Philippines is a mess! Some crazy filmmaker named Francis Ford Coppola is shooting an epic action-adventure movie called “Apocalypse Now,” and he and his crew are treating the homeland like it’s a neocolonial playground.

Friday, February 18th at 7:30 pm: Beheading Columbus by Diana Burbano
directed by Celia Mandela Rivera

Lana looks white; her sister Susi doesn’t. Through love and a massive sense of humor, the sisters work at decolonizing themselves from the inside out.

Saturday, February 19th at 3pm: Lucky by Liza Powel O’Brien
directed by Kate Sullivan

What harms are being done in the effort to do good? In this super-realistic, sometimes absurdist exploration into the nature and practice of philanthropy, a committee of do-gooders gathers to decide which “underprivileged teen” should get a scholarship to college.

Saturday, February 19th at 7:30pm: Proud Boy by June Carryl
directed by Michael Matthews

A Black officer investigating the murder of a Black motorist by a White police officer is faced with a dilemma when the officer under investigation threatens to reveal incriminating evidence about her husband.

Sunday, February 20th at 4pm: Grief World by Hannah Kenah
directed by Hannah Wolf

A dark-comedy deep-dive into misogyny that derides the notion of healing- especially via equestrian therapy.

2021 Echo Playwrights Lab

Amanda Andrei

With roots in the Philippines and Romania, Amanda L. Andrei hails from Virginia/ Washington D.C. and currently resides in Los Angeles. Her plays include Black Sky, Lena Passes By, Crocodile (The Last Escape), and Every Night I Die. Her work has been read and/or developed by Playwrights Arena, La MaMa, Son of Semele, Madison New Works Lab, Relative Theatrics, Bucharest Inside the Beltway, La-Ti-Do, Georgetown University, College of William and Mary, and others. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Playground LA’s Writers Pool (2018 – present), and a proud alum of VONA and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She has taught playwriting and creative writing to students, artists, and engineers across the country and online. She has a BA from the College of William & Mary, an MA from Georgetown University, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Dramatic Writing at the University of Southern California. Say hello at!

Diane Burbano

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists and social issues. Written work includes Policarpa (Living Room at the Blank 2018, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017), Fabulous Monsters (Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017), Caliban’s Island (2017 Headwaters New Play Festival), Enemy|Flint which premiered in April at Rio Hondo College, and Linda, (in English and in Spanish), which has been seen all over the world.She was a writer on “Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta” which is currently wowing audiences in West Hollywood.

June Carryl

June Carryl grew up in Montbello in northeast Denver and studied Political Science as an undergraduate before transitioning to the English Literature Master’s program at Brown University. Her plays include CONSORTIUM (Lower Depths Theatre Ensemble BIPOC Vote Plays), TOW (Coeurage Theatre’s NOMAD PROJECT), THE LIFE AND DEATH OF (Vagrancy Theatre), COLOSSUS (Semi-Finalist, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference) BOOM (Semi-Finalist O’Neill National Playwrights Conference), THE GOOD MINISTER FROM HARARE (Playwrights Arena Summer Series, Saroyan/Paul Award), and STONE ANGELS (Finalist, the Killroys). She is currently collaborating on an opera with composer Jason Barabba about Aunt Jemima, and developing a new play, N*GGA B*TCH for Vagrancy Theatre’s Blossoming Project. Having directed theatre for various companies in Los Angeles including Ensemble Studio LA and the Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series, BORN THAT WAY marks June’s feature film directing debut. Her most recent directing credits include Chandra Thomas’ UNTITLED, CIRCUS PLAY and Phanesia Pharel’s BLACK GIRL JOY (Echo Theatre Young Playwrights), ROAD HOME (Sky Pilot Theatre), and WHEN WE BREATHE (Blossoming Festival, Vagrancy Theatre). June’s favorite theater roles include Fraulein Schneider in CABARET (Celebration Theatre) and Gerty Fail in FAILURE: A LOVE STORY (Coeurage Theatre). She can currently be seen in Netflix’ MINDHUNTER and Hulu’s HELSTROM.

Hannah Kenah

Hannah Kenah is a playwright, performer, director, and devised theatre artist. Her plays have been seen in Austin, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, New Haven, New Orleans, Cape Cod, Vancouver, Bulgaria, and soon-to-be St. Louis and Montecito. A Midwesterner by way of Texas now living in Los Angeles, Hannah has been developing original theatrical performance for two decades, primarily with the Rude Mechs and with Salvage Vanguard Theater. Her work with the Rude Mechs includes writing Field Guide, which was commissioned by and premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre, writing Now Now Oh Now, and touring nationally with The Method Gun. Additionally Hannah has developed work with Paper Chairs, Physical Plant, Sibyl Kempson & New Dramatists, Jennifer Kidwell, Harbor Stage Company, and Underbelly. Her theatrical education includes an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, a BA from Dartmouth College, and a certificate of physical theatre from Dell’Arte International.

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez splits his writing time between his stoop garden in NYC and his window garden in LA. Writing credits include the drag ball musical Neon Baby (book writer/co-lyricist, Pregones 2013), Inside Out (commissioned by Pregones to address anti-gay bullying), Ashé, his Puerto Rican style two brothers myth (UP Theater, 2013; Repertorio, 2016; Labyrinth, 2017), his transgender family drama La casa de Ocaso (Asunción Playwriting Competition, 2010), his BDSM drama R.A.C.K., and his short film Losses and Gains about gay male body image. Works in progress include his comedic play about cultural scapegoating, Name & Blame, Inc., and his play about the cutthroat world of women in academia, The Judgment of Athena.

Liza Powel O’Brien

Liza Powel O’Brien is a playwright whose work has been seen and developed at The Geffen Playhouse, The Blank Theatre, Unscreened LA, Naked Angels LA, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Hedgebrook, and The Lark. She was an inaugural member of the Writer’s Room at the Geffen, and holds an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

LaDarrion Williams

LaDarrion Williams is a Los Angeles based-playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter. His first play, Concrete Rose, a Hurricane Katrina drama, won first place at the Alabama State Thespian Conference. It was also apart of A Noise Within Theatre for their Noise Now Reading Series and is set for a West Coast/ East Coast premiere in the Summer of 2020.. His play, Broken Memories, was performed several times nationwide, acquiring several awards and recognition. His adaptation of the best-selling memoir, Feeding A Monster, was directed by award-winning actor and director, Art Evans at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, CA. He was a guest writer for Center Theatre Groups’ August Wilson Monologue Competition and his play Black Creek Risin’ was a part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. In September 2019, his play, Coco Queens, was apart of the Sundance Institute’s Playwriting Intensive. And the play is currently a semi-finalist for the 2020 Eugene O’Neill National Playwriting Conference. LaDarrion is also a current member of LA’s Towne Street Theatre Company and a resident playwright/co-creator of The Black Creators Collective.

Lab Directors 

Hannah Wolf (she/her/hers) is a Los Angeles based director originally from Juneau Alaska. She makes “subversively shiny” plays and musicals that experiment with form, content, and the role of the audience. She directs new plays and subverts old ones. Recent projects include: Ride Sally Ride by Tara Sissom and Katerina Pruitt (B Street Theatre), She Buried the Pistol by Lydia Blaisdell (La Jolla’s WOW Festival), Instructions for a Séance by Katie Bender (MoHA), Franklin by Samantha Noble (Perseverance Theatre), TITLE LOADING (Fusebox Festival), The Bigot by William Glick, Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spigel, ENRON by Lucy Prebble (UT Austin), and The Sky Game by Kimberly Belflower (Peppercorn Theatre).  She’s directed and developed new plays and musicals with the Geffen Playhouse, Perseverance Theatre, Chance Theater, Boston Court Pasadena, Echo Theater Company, and IAMA Theatre Company, amongst others. She co-founded the community-building organization Meet Cute in LA and is an SDC Associate. She’s a 2018 National Directors Fellow, a 2013 Fulbright Research Fellow (Bucharest Romania), and an alumna of Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. MFA: UT Austin.

Brian Otaño is an LA-based playwright and TV writer. Brian recently signed an overall development deal with Amazon Studios and was a staff writer on the upcoming TV drama Cruel Summer, airing on Freeform and Hulu. Full-length plays include Under Normal Circumstances, The Dust, Dolores Slayborne, Tara, Zero Feet Away and The Dooley Street Trilogy. He also co-wrote You Across From Me, the 42nd Annual Humana Festival Professional Training Company show. Brian is an alumnus of Echo Theater Company Playwright Lab, Center Theatre Group LA Writers Workshop, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room, Ars Nova Playgroup and Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group. He is the recipient of the New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship and the New York Theater Workshop 2050 Fellowship. Workshops/Commissions: Roundabout Theatre Company, UCSB Launchpad, Atlantic Theater Company, Echo Theater Company, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Celebration Theatre and SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a proud lifetime member of IAMA Theater Company and WGA West.