Meredith Packer

Meredtih Packer
Meredtih Packer

Neighborhood: Astoria

Meredith Packer is a New England transplant who graduated with a BA in Theater from Wagner College in 2005. In 2006, she co-founded Amsterdam Artists, LTD with whom she helped produce & direct two successful productions before parting ways in 2008. She has also produced and directed with the Effable Arts, LTD. She has had brief stints with NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and with the technical team at New World Stages and AML entertainment. While an artistic nomad, she has made a home in Astoria for the last 5 years.

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Laura Pestronk

Neighborhood: Sunnyside

Laura Pestronk is an actor and director born and raised in New York City. She has lived all over Manhattan and grew up on the Upper East Side. She has since enjoyed living in both Astoria and Long Island City, and now happily resides in beautiful Sunnyside, Queens.

 Laura’s directing credits include Feedback by Jane Miller (Squeaky Bicycle Productions), Booze In the Boroughs by Penny Jackson (FACT), 200 Mystical Fictions by Debra Siegel (NY Fringe), Opening Night by Zach Rothman-Hicks (Where Eagles Dare), Jump! by Josh Sohn (Strawberry Festival- Best Play),  Unblessed by Kari Bentley Quinn (Packawallop).  Assistant directing credits include Marea(Packawallop- dir. Scott Ebersold) and Cardboard Box (Looking Glass- dir. Toby Bercovici).

Acting credits include The Tupperware Convention by Anna Governali , The Women’s Project by Mariana Newhard, Retrospective by Chris Van Strander,  Notes Between Us by Samantha Lee Manas, Kicked by Eljon Wardally. Laura’s one woman show, Interesting Topics In Significant Similitude Starring Cindy Cinnamon performed at Downtown Art and NYU. 

For the past 3 years, Laura has directed Broadway charity concerts raising money for the Humane Society and the Canned Food Drive. Both the annual Broadway Meows and Broadway Can concerts are written and composed by Seth Bisen-Hersh and perform at Don’t Tell Mama.

Laura received her BFA in Drama and Psychology from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She studied at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, concentrating in directing and acting. Laura is coordinator and member of the Pack- a collaborative group of writers, directors and actors. She is a founding member of Mission to ditMARS, a theater and arts collective based in Queens.

Kari Bentley-Quinn


Kari3-2411Neighborhood: Astoria/Woodside

Website: 

www.karibentleyquinn.com

Kari Bentley-Quinn is a playwright based in New York City, originally from the little coast town of Stratford, CT. Her plays have been presented at or developed with Lark Play Development Center, The Brick Theater, The Secret Theatre, The One Minute Play Festival, Pace University, Lesser America, Caps Lock Theater, Effable Arts, Naked Angels, Packawallop Productions, The Barrow Street Theater, The Access Theater, FringeNYC, and the Play Development Collective.

Kari’s full length plays include The Permanent Night (2008 FringeNYC award winner), UnblessedTumbling AfterPaper Cranes (Packawallop Productions),The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens (The Secret Theatre New Voices Project) and The Ocean Thought Nothing (2014 O’Neill Conference Finalist). Kari is also a creator and writer of Lucy Knows Love, a web series starring Susan Louise O’Connor and directed by Sam Buggeln.

Kari is a board member of Packawallop Productions, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and a founding member of Mission to (dit)Mars, a theater and arts collective based in Astoria, Queens. Kari has been a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, The Playwrights Realm, and the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. Kari received her BA in Theater Arts from Pace University, and currently is studying with Tina Howe in the Hunter College MFA Playwriting Program (class of 2015).

Don Nguyen

Don Nguyen

Don Nguyen
Don Nguyen

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: thenuge.com and sadplaywright.com

Don Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and currently resides in Astoria, Queens. Don studied theatre at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he served as the Artistic Director of the Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha from 1999-2003.

As a writer, Don’s full-length plays include Red Flamboyant (Ojai Playwrights Conference 2011,  Cherry Lane Mentors Project nominee, nomination – L. Arnold Weissberger Award 2011, finalist O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and Bay Area Playwrights Festival), The Man From Saigon (Naked Angels 1st Mondays Reading, NYSAF Founders Award), Three To Beam Up (The Shelterbelt Theatre, Nebraska Arts Grant recipient). His one-act play The Harlequin Maneuvre was a finalist in the Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act Festival (2004) and was published in The Best of The Strawberry One-Act Festival, Volume 1. It has subsequently been produced in New York, Nebraska, and Canada.

Other one act plays include Fat Ugly Vampire (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY), The Imaginary Association of Flight Attendants (Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY),Love 160 (The Pack Lounge Series 3, Robert Moss Theater, NY),The Dragon Lord and the Fairy Queen (commissioned by The Lincoln Community Playhouse), A Decision of Extraordinary Magnitude, and a collection of eight Halloween plays: Bloodsucker, The Woman in the Blue Dress, Iron Chef: Battle of the Global Cuisine, Cooking with Julia, Soulmates, Torture, Survivor Down Under, and The Deadly Seduction, which were all produced by The Shelterbelt Theatre.

Other short plays and monologues include The Rocket Boys (52nd Street Project), Sexual Chocolate (The Secret Theatre, Long Island City), Girl Reflected and Look, A Lion (Emerging Writers Retreat, Public Theater).

Other writing credits include The Living Newspaper Workshop where he wrote several one acts and a webisode.  In July 2011, The Living Newspaper was invited by Liz Engelman and the Jerome Foundation to spend a weeklong residency at Tofte Lake Center in Minnesota to develop a play about overpopulation.

Don spent a week at a writers retreat at the Vineyard Arts Project in the summer of 2010, where he developed The Imaginary Association of Flight Attendants and The Man from Saigon.

Don is a member of the New York Public Theater’s 2008 Inaugural Emerging Writers GroupThe Civilians R & D Group and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.  He frequently volunteers at The 52nd Street Project.  Don is also the creator of sadplaywright.com, an online photo gallery of his sad playwright friends.

Training/Education

Master Classes

ADRIENNE KENNEDY
Private mentoring
New York

OSKAR EUSTIS
Public Theater, NY

DAVID HENRY HWANG & LEIGH SILVERMAN
Public Theater, NY

DIANA SON
Public Theater, NY

LISA KRON
Public Theater, NY

RICHARD NELSON
Public Theater, NY

HAL PRINCE
Cherry Lane Theatre, NY

DAVID HENRY HWANG
Cherry Lane Theatre, NY

TERRENCE MCNALLY
Cherry Lane Theatre, NY

DAVID LINDSAY-ABBAIRE
Cherry Lane Theatre, NY

KATHY FLETCHER
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Click here to view my list of plays.