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 www.amandalandrei.com!

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.

Daria Miyeko Marinelli

Daria Miyeko Marinelli (they/she) is a Japanese-Italian playwright who writes about the nearly impossible long-con, outcasts and underdogs trying to honor the wildness of their hearts, and the things we take for fact that are really just cultural mythology. Their plays include Ravenous, A Departure, Beautiful Blessed Child, and This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic. Mx. Marinelli has developed work with SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Playwright’s Realm, The New Harmony Project, Fault Line Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, and has been a finalist for The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Daria has helped develop work with Cirque du Soleil and was a showcased writer at the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists. Based in LA, Daria is a forever New Yorker at heart. BA: Brown University. MFA: University of Texas at Austin.

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.