Photos by Tommy Butler
We are thrilled + grateful to welcome this year’s (DG) JAM Partners + Co-Curators, Briyana D. Clarel and Katrina Shobe, and (DG) JAM Directors Cohort,(pictured clockwise from top left corner)
(Briyana D. Clarel)
This year’s virtual (DG) JAM,
curated by Briyana D. Clarel and Katrina Shobe,
highlights Black directors.
Participating directors will get to kick it with other Black directors, connect with Black mentors in the field, and create art to share with the world.
The (DG) JAM 2020 Directors will be in virtual residence with Briyana and Katrina and (DG) throughout Winter 2020-2021.
On Saturday, February 27th, 2021, the (DG) JAM 2020 Directors will share their artistry and process with (DG)’s membership and extended community via a virtual celebration of their work.
More on Briyana + Katrina
Briyana D. Clarel – is a Black queer theatre artist, writer, and educator passionate about musical theatre, mangoes, and memoirs. Briyana is the founder of The Starfruit Project, a platform supporting radical healing and brilliant growth through creativity. They are the Creative Nonfiction Editor for Homology Lit, a member of the sketch comedy teams The Rhubarbs and Mural Outrage, and a member of Ring of Keys. Briyana’s writing is published in TAYO Literary Magazine, cavity, Black Youth Project, MELANINzine, and print anthologies. As a director, performer, and playwright, they have brought stories to life with the Painted Bride Art Center, OUTsider Festival, Shoe Box Theatre Collective, Cohen New Works Festival, Philly Improv Theater, Theatre Evolve, Dixon Place, Broad Views on Broadway, The Bridge PHL, Cabernet Cabaret ATX, Philly Free Fringe, Aroma Theatre Collective, and more. They are a 2016 recipient of the Acts of Greatness LGBTQ Youth Community Award, a 2018 ASTEP Artist as Citizen Fellow, and a 2020-2021 Core Playwright with InterAct Theatre Company. Born and raised in South Jersey, they hold a BA in Sociology from Princeton University. Keep up with their adventures at briyanaclarel.com and @briyanaclarel.
Katrina Shobe – is a Philly based theatre artist and teacher. Most recently she directed Egoli at EgoPo co-produced by Theatre in the X. Katrina has directed in the BridgePHL festival (AGAIN; Don’t Wanna Dance With Ghost) and has been the AD for Theatre Exile(Buzzer; Really) Theatre in the X (Running Numbers) and AMH Production (Cotton and Gold). Katrina is passionate about telling stories that are often untold or overlooked. She finds joy in teaching and learning whether it be through theatre or in the classroom. There is always room to learn more and share more.
More on the (DG) JAM 2020 Directors
Ang Bey (they/them) is a Black, queer storyteller from Southwest Philadelphia. They are the co-artistic director of Shoe Box Theatre Collective and the co-creative director of Wings of Paper Theatre Company. “I am committed to the transformative power of storytelling. I create to ignite decolonization, radical healing, and compassion. We must strive for the Utopia we will not live to see.” Instagram: @theangbee angbey.com Directing: Little Dancer (Ursinus College), 154 Revisited: Sonnet 43 (Revolution Shakespeare), The Medusa Play (co-director; Shoe Box Theatre Collective) Upcoming: The Utopia Project (Friends Select School), Mt. Vernon Park Play (assistant-director; Shakespeare in Clark Park), Walk the Line (playwright; self-produced) Playwriting: Walk the Line (reading; Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival), 154 Revisited: Dandelion (Revolution Shakespeare), The Medusa Play (Shoe Box Theatre Collective; Barrymore Recommended). Ang is in the inaugural cohort of Jouska PlayWorks (Simpatico Theatre) Upcoming: Every Everyman (Lead Writer; Shakespeare in Clark Park); Twenty-Six (reading; Jouska PlayWorks) Acting: Days of (Re)Creation (“AX-OE”, “Annika”, and “Rez”; Philadelphia Theatre Company), 154 Revisited: Sonnet 43 (Revolution Shakespeare), Paul (“Jaz”; Shoe Box Theatre Collective), Field Calls (“Alex”; Lupine Performance Cooperative), Candles (“Amara”; Philadelphia Young Playwrights), Our Ouija Board… (“Saph”; On the Rocks), Twelfth Night (“Orsino”; Shakespeare in Clark Park), LP (AE Film), & Actors Ensemble (Sundance Directors Lab) Upcoming: Code BlackPlanet (The Wilma Theatre), No Tricks, Just Treats (“Sonja”; commercial; Angry Orchard/Draulhaus), exx….statis, exxx…hale (“Dion”; Villanova Theatre), The American Revolution (Theatre Unspeakable), & The Niceties (“Zoe”; InterAct).
Nikki Brake-Sillá is a filmmaker and playwright. She is the Founder of DrAW (Dramatists At War) and an inaugural member of Jouska Play Works. Nikki’s full-length plays include Trouble of the World, Finalist (Space on Ryder – Family Residency), Semi-Finalist (O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), Dear Ann, Residency (The Mitten Lab), Semi-Finalist (Premiere Stages), In Defense of Ourselves, Commission (Philadelphia Women’s Theater), and GTFOH. Her full-length narrative, A Weathering was a Semi-Finalist (Middlebury Scriptlab) and Second Round Selection (Sundance Narrative Lab). Nikki’s film credits include Fast Times at West Philly High (director, Debbie Morton; Frontline), for which she was the Associate Producer, Run Granny Run (director, Marlo Poras; HBO Films), for which she was the Assistant Editor. She was the production manager for UNFever (director, Andrea Weiss), and a segment producer for Emmy-winning director Greta Schiller’s No Dinosaurs in Heaven. Nikki is currently in post-production for her documentary feature The Continent of Light. She has received funding from The Princess Grace Foundation, the Leeway Foundation and the Regional Center for Women Artists. Nikki received her M.F.A. in writing and directing documentary, from the City College of New York. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Directors Gathering. ginifilms.com
Vanessa Ogbuehi is a Philadelphia-based artist making original, devised theatre. Whether performing crooning melodies in tulle gowns or directing other artists through their own creative process, Vanessa’s interdisciplinary work invites audiences to celebrate the stories of extraordinary people whose lessons of defiance have been forgotten. She most recently directed “The Bodice Ripper Project” for Philly Fringe Festival 2020, a digital opera-cabaret with mezzo-soprano Maren Montalbano. Vanessa received her Graduate Certificate in Devised Performance from the Pig Iron School, and is eager to continue work on challenging projects.
Alexandra Espinoza (she/her) makes plays as a playwright, performer, director, dramaturg, and more. Playwriting credits include exxx…stasis, exxx…hale… (Villanova Theatre), HOMERIDAE (Theatre Exile Studio X-hibition 2020), and PERIL’s ISLAND, commissioned by Shakespeare in Clark Park in residence at Harrowgate Park in North Kensington. As a director, she was at the helm of the 2020 Philadelphia premiere of Angelina Grimké’s 1915 anti-lynching play Rachel at Quintessence Theatre. Virtual directing credits include work with Jouska Playworks at Simpatico Theatre and with Directors Gathering, and she served as dramaturg for the Wilma Theater’s radio play production of Is God Is by Aleshea Harris. Alexandra is a Barrymore nominated performer, a 2020 National Black Theatre playwriting residency finalist, and a Bartol teaching artist grant recipient. She is a committed teaching artist and activist, and a lifelong student for the liberation of Black/Queer/Immigrant/Feminist folx. Watch this space for upcoming news on self-produced work: AlexandraEspinozaPlay.com
Briana Gause (she/her) is blessed to be a Philadelphia based Filmmaker, Theatre Maker, Painter, And Teaching Artist, Briana’s mission in life is to create opportunities for love and education to thrive through art. Recently Briana directed YOUNG MONEY by Erlina Ortiz and had her play DISCOVERING BLACKNESS: A SHORT FILM produced in the Digirep Festival. She was last seen in the short film, IT’S TIME TO GET LOST, and is currently co-directing a documentary entitled 23: THE TALE ON AN EXONEREE. Through her production company, OMG! Studios, Briana has produced and featured work in Fade to Black: Issa a Black Phillly FilmFest, and premiered her play THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF AMELIA FRANCHESCA AMADOR: THE SPACE COWBOY. For more about Briana, you can visit her website, Ohmygause.com or follow her on Instagram @OMG_Presents
Brett Ashley Robinson is a Barrymore Award winning devisor and a two time nominee for the Golden Tassel Jawn, Philadelphia ’s Drag and Burlesque awards, for best comedy act as Patricia! She was a collaborator and performer in Lightning Rod Specials The Appointment at New York Theatre Workshop, which was a New York Times Critics Pick and voted best play of 2019 in The New York Times, Vulture Magazine, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine. As an actor and devisor she has worked at, The Public, Ars Nova Ant Fest, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Wilma, Lightning Rod Special, Pig Iron Theater Company, The Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Flea Theatre, Theatre Horizon, and Geva Theatre. As Patrica! She has worked with 1812 Productions, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Lightning Rod Special, and Agitated! She teaches acting at the University of the Arts, she is a company member of Applied Mechanics and a member of the HotHouse–the Wilma Theater’s resident acting company. She loves buck a shuck oysters and Vino Verde.
In 2016, (DG) JAM was launched as daylong workshop, performance, and celebration of early career director-driven work that was first conceived by theatre director Pirronne Yousefzadeh with the company, Rising Circle Theatre Collective in NYC.