Turron Kofi Alleyne, has worked with some of Hollywood’s most esteemed A-List directors, producers, and actors such as: Spike Lee, Jonathan Nolan, Mark Wahlberg, Zoe Saldana, Michael B. Jordan, Lawrence Fishburne, and others. He’s been featured in Independent Films that have premiered at various prestigious Film Festivals which include: Sundance, Tribeca, ABFF, LA Film Festival, Vails Film Festival and more. He’s currently featured as a Recurring Guest Star in the new ABC hit series “FOR LIFE” as Officer Calvin Newcombe. Mr. Alleyne is also a Writer, Director and Producer for the screen; as well as the stage.
Turron Kofi Alleyne
Jenny Lyn Bader
Jenny Lyn Bader is thrilled to be back at Luna Stage, which premiered her drama Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library and her short play My First Time (commissioned for Voting Writes). Her other plays include Equally Divine (Theatre at the 14th St. Y), In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions), and None of the Above (New Georges). One-acts include Worldness (Humana Festival), and Miss America (NY Int’l Fringe Festival/“Best of the Fringe selection). Honors include “Best Documentary One-Woman Show” Award (United Solo); Athena Playwriting Fellowship; and Edith Oliver Award (O’Neill Center). Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Vintage, Smith & Kraus, Applause, and Plays International + Europe magazine. For This Is Not a Theatre Company, she co-authored Café Play and Play in Your Bathtub and wrote The International Local ("Subway Plays") and Guru of Touch (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). A Harvard graduate, she has been a Lark Playwriting Fellow (nominated by Wendy Wasserstein) and a frequent contributor to the New York Times "Week in Review." She is a member of the Playwrights Gallery and The Dramatists Guild. For more, visit www.jennylynbader.com.
Melody Bates is a native Oregonian actor, writer, and creatrix based in Brooklyn. The NY Innovative Theatre Awards have recognized her work with eleven nominations and three awards, in categories including Lead Actress, Ensemble, Full-Length Play, and Original Music. She has performed at The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Classic Stage Company, Boston’s A.R.T, Maine’s Stonington Opera House, Theatre des Amandiers (Paris), Cankarjev Dom (Ljubljana), and the Metropolitan Opera, where she recently appeared as a solo dancer in Agrippina. TV and film includes NBC's Law & Order SVU, PBS Great Performances, and the independent feature Ask For Jane. Her plays include R & J & Z (forthcoming from Original Works Publishing), The Cabaret at the End of the World, and Avalon. She hosts the Virtual Costume Party online every Saturday. More at www.patreon.com/melodybates
Maggie Borgen is a senior at Montclair High School. She is the Founder and Director of In Harmony Montclair, a nonprofit run by teens that raises money for local charities through benefit concerts and other events. In 2018, Maggie directed, wrote for, and acted in Code Red, a series of short plays at Luna Stage about school shootings as well as for Not Just Another Statistic, short plays about gun violence staged at Theatre 167 in NYC. Maggie is President of the MHS Democrats Club. This past spring, Maggie coordinated and edited the MHS Democrats’ Youth & Politics video series about Montclair’s municipal election. In Harmony Montclair: inharmonymontclair.org
Rajesh is an actor based in New York City -- regional and Off-Broadway favorites include: The Crucible (Bedlam), Henry VI (NAATCO), Pygmalion (Bedlam Theatre), Against The Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Indian Ink (Roundabout), Oslo (St. Louis Rep), Mary Stuart (Folger Theatre), Guards at the Taj (Capital Stage), Disgraced (Playmakers Rep, Huntington Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre – Connecticut Critics Circle Award, IRNE Nomination), The Who & The What (Gulfshore Playhouse), and The Invisible Hand (Westport Country Playhouse, Hartford TheaterWorks). Film & Television: “Quantico”, “Blue Bloods”, "Elementary", “Damages”, "Nurse Jackie", "Madame Secretary", "The Good Wife", "Law & Order: SVU”, “Criminal Minds", the series finale of "The Sopranos", and the Acadamy Award nominated film Frozen River.
Jessica Brater is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the BA and MA in Theatre Studies at Montclair State University, where she teaches theater for social change. With playwright and performer Sarah Badiyah Sakaan she created Anna Asli Suriyah (I come from Syria) about the experience of wartime Syrian diaspora and The Art of Hijab, Kohl Black, and the Right Way to Pray, which explores Islam and feminism, both in partnership with the Arab American Association of New York with supported from the Brooklyn Arts Council. Brater was happy to direct in Luna’s 2019 short play festival and is glad to be back.
Rachel Shapiro Cooper
Rachel Shapiro Cooper attended the High School of Performing Arts and Music and Art and then received her BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University, School of Drama which included study at the Moscow Art Theatre school (MXAT). She is a proud member of SAG, AEA and AFTRA- Rachel has worked as an actress and director in theatre and television. As a casting associate she worked on Broadway shows such as Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and City Center Encores. Through her graduate work at New York University, Rachel earned her MA in Educational Theatre. As an arts educator Rachel has worked from 2009-2017 developing curriculum and facilitating instruction in networks including North Star Academy and KIPP:NJ where she was the Department Chair for the Arts and the founding teacher at BOLD Academy. Most recently, Rachel joined the faculty at Newark Academy in 2017 as the Director of Theatre. Rachel is an artistic consultant for institutions such as Music theatre Philly, and most recently for Luna Stage and is thrilled to be working on Voting Writes with such a talented group of artists and activists.
Bernardo Cubría was recently nominated for best playwright at The Ovation Awards, Stage Raw Awards and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for his play The Giant Void In My Soul. The play is receiving its Regional Premiere at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas in 2021 and its International Premiere at Foro Shakespeare in Mexico City in 2021. The play received a reading at Circle in the Square on Broadway in 2019. He was the co-writer of the short Spanish Class that won Best Comedy at The NBC Universal Shorts Awards in 2018. He is currently working on a screenplay with Gina Rodriguez for her production company "I Can and I Will."
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin is a queer mixed Asian American writer, producer, and performer. Kaela’s a founding member of Undiscovered Countries, a Brooklyn-based incubator of new and developing interdisciplinary art. Kaela is a 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, a 2021 Alliance Theater/Kendeda Playwriting Award finalist, and the recipient of six Kennedy Center playwriting awards, including the Mark Twain Comic Playwriting Award and two Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Awards. Kaela’s plays have been developed with Montana Repertory Theater and Indiana University, and produced in New York at venues like Dixon Place, the New Ohio, and Ars Nova. MFA, Indiana University; BFA, NYU www.kaelameishinggarvin.com | @kaemeishing on IG, Twitter
Jim Knable’s plays have been produced (MCC Theater) and published (Samuel French), articles and reviews published (The Brooklyn Rail), and songs regularly featured across media platforms (Unorthodox Podcast). Since 2002, he has performed his songs with The Randy Bandits. His first album Miles, and The Randy Bandits albums Redbeard, Golden Arrow and Green Man are widely available. Jim Knable & The Randy Bandits' new album, Blue Reunion, will be released in the fall of 2020. Also a teacher, Jim’s online Gilder Lehrman History School course "American History through Song" ran in the summer of 2020. jimknable.com for more details.
Will Nolan hails from Atlanta, but has been in the New York City area since 1994. A performer, writer and director, Will spent several years as the male half of the sketch comedy duo Naked Dog Walking, performing all over NYC, where her first created his solo show persona, Leola.
Leola has performed to sold-out crowds in NYC, New Jersey, at the Greensboro Fringe Festival, and as part of the inaugural Atlanta Fringe Festival. Will has written numerous one-act plays and one full length play, When the Mayonnaise Goes Bad, with Stephen Kaplan. His plays have been produced throughout New York City as part of one act festivals. He is a husband and father living in Northern New Jersey, and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America. To find out more about Will & Leola, visit www.leolasladyland.com or @leolasladyland on all social media.
Alexander Oleksy is an NYC based director and teaching artist originally from The Woodlands, TX. He has a strong background in directing, production, and applied theatre, and possesses a passion for creating challenging art, especially for young audiences. Currently studying Educational Theatre at NYU Steinhardt, his goal is to help new audiences fall in love with exciting and accessible theatre like he did in middle and high school. Selected directing credits include: Seussical the Musical (Lamplighters NYU), Friendsgiving (Uproar Theatre Corps), and How to Own a Gun in America (College Park Theatre).