MEET THE PLAYWRIGHTS
Asha McAllister: is a playwright, potter, costume designer, and theatre critic. She works in Sales at Groupon. Hailing from the northeast suburbs outside of Chicago; she graduated from Proviso East High School in 2011 and later Kenyon College in 2015 with a BA in Drama.
After graduating from Kenyon, Asha moved to the city and dove right into the Chicago Theater community working in costuming with 20% Theater Co and eventually became the first playwright in residence and a company member. While she loves costuming her first love is writing and she is more than excited to be focusing on producing her own work. She has had two readings of her full-length Crabs in a Barrel and readings for her shorts It’s About A Sandwich, Me, You, and the Cat, Aiding and Abetting, and Some Day.
She currently resides, in East Albany Park. In her spare time, she visits the comic book shop, is an avid podcast listener, television binger, knits, crochets, paints, and dabbles in other arts and crafts, especially clay. Peace and long life. Live long and prosper.
Lou Johnson: In June ’14, his play “The Lepers of Orchard Park” was produced in the Fade to Black Play Festival in Houston, Tx. Also in June ’14, “Remember This: Words from an Angry Young Man” had a staged reading in the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s Gun Violence Awareness play reading at N.A.N headquarters in New York. In August ’14, his play “Papa” was produced in the Stage Black Play Festival in New York City and Dallas, Tx. In December ’14, “The Nag” premeired in the “6’10 Festival of African- American Plays” in Louisville, Ky. In August ’15, Colors of Community presented a staged reading of “A
Bullet for Jenny King” at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY.
In October ’16, “Old Man Cleans His Gun” had a staged reading in the Shades of Black Theatre Festival held at the Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville, Tn. He has written for The Rhythmic Lounge magazine and is the lead writer/co-creator of the web-series, “The Thrill of the Kill”@ likemindscreative.com. “T.O.T.K” was an official selection of Phoenix Comicon Film Festival 2017 in Phoenix, Az., May 25-28, 2017. In February ’18, Louis was selected to be a Fellow at the Tennessee Playwright’s Studio in Nashville, Tn. In November ’18, his play “NEC Compuncti: (No
Remorse)” had a staged reading in the Tennessee Playwright’s Studio’s Fall Festival of Plays at the Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville, Tn. In May/June ’19, he directed his one-act play, “A Bullet for Jenny
King” in ACT ONE Theatre Company’s One Act Wednesdays at the Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville, Tn. In January ’20, his new play, “Makin’ Bond” will have its’ first staged reading in The Fade-to-Black Reading
Series in Houston, Tx. In February ’20, he will direct his play, “Oh, the LIES we’ve told” In ACT ONE Theatre Company’s One-Act Play Festival at the Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville, Tn.
Kirsten Baity: (they/them) is a playwright, lyricist, performer, director, and teaching artist.
Their work includes Minstrelsy 2.0, Forest Friends, This Is Normal, What We See, Rage Isn’t Free: A participatory play, From Camp with Love, and Tonin Town.
Kirsten’s work has been produced at the Columbia 12-hour Play festival, Columbia College Musical Theater Festival, Theater Between Addresses, Quaranstream Play Festival, The Youth Empowerment, and Performance Project, and Aboutface Theater.
They have devised plays with Goodman Theater's Playbuild Ensemble, About Face Youth Theater, For Youth Inquiry, and Free Street. Kirsten recently graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in theater and is training to be an Intimacy Director/Coordinator with Intimacy Coordinators of Color.
Antwon Funches: is a Chicago based theatre, music, and visual artist who centers Black, urban narratives and experiences. Antwon Funches entertains and educates from a humanistic, Nichiren Buddhist perspective.
André Richardson Hogan II: is a playwright, screenwriter, poet, essayist, visual artist, and theater critic. His plays have received stage readings and productions in numerous theaters which include the American Theater Company, Blackboard Reading Series, Black Diamond Productions, Black Ensemble Theater, Black Lives/Black Words International Project, Chicago Dramatists, Dramatists Personae, Echo Theater Collective, the Field Museum of Natural History, MPAACT, Magnified Gift Theater and Dance Company, Negro Ensemble Company, Nommo PlayLab, Prop Thtr, The Reading Series, Red Harlem Readers, 2nd Act Players, and Three Cat Productions.
The Chicago Chronicles, Volume 1, a docudrama of Logan Square residents, was produced as a commissioned work for American Theater Company. An Ode to the Washermen, a short work in one act, was produced by Negro Ensemble Company in association with the Midwest International Theater Festival (NYC) in the summer of 2010. It was also nominated for Outstanding Production of a Short Subject. Line of Duties, a play in one-act, was one of the winners of the Echo Theater Collective’s Submit One-Act competition. Several poems have been published such as in The Art of Monteque, Many Mountains Moving, and Segue. Strangers, a collection of poetry, was published by Xlibris in 2009. Sugar for Coffee, a full length drama, was produced and presented by Blue Collar Theater Company in June of 2012. My Love for Words, a one-act, one-man autobiographical drama, was written and performed by Hogan, and produced by MPAACT, in 2013.
In 2001, Hogan received a B.F.A. in Liberal Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. He was a resident playwright at Magnified Gift Theater and Dance Company and Timber Lake Playhouse Playwrights Colony in Mt. Carroll, IL., a Literary Manager for Sankofa Theater Company, and is currently an Artistic Associate of the Black Lives/Black Lives International Project. He resides at Englewood, on Da Southside of Chicago.