Line up for the October 3, 2018 Lit Up at Town Hall with The Revolutionists!
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Lecturer, Literary Consultant, Town Hall Theatre
Katie M Zeigler is a writer and professor living in Walnut Creek, CA. Zeigler holds a BA and MA in English from Stanford University and completed coursework at Oxford University in British Literature. She has had short fiction and non-fiction published in a variety of outlets, including A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Wilson Quarterly, Fish Anthology and Stanford Magazine. Zeigler won the Stanford Magazine Fiction Contest, was a finalist in Glimmer Train's short fiction contest and placed second in Fish Anthology's international flash fiction contest. She has also performed readings of her short fiction for Why There Are Words and the Peninsula Literary Society. She is currently working on a young adult novel and teaches writing at Diablo Valley College.
Susan E. Evans
Artistic Director, Town Hall Theatre
As Artistic Director of Town Hall Theatre, Susan will serve as the dramaturg for our Lit Up at Town Hall community literary series. Most recently, Susan directed Lisa Kron’s Well at Contra Costa Civic Theatre. From April 2011 to June 2016, Susan served as the Artistic Director of the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, where she directed Private Lives, Dividing the Estate, All My Sons, Eurydice, An Ideal Husband (Scott Munson adaptation), The Skin of Our Teeth and Mrs. Warren's Profession. She continues as an Artistic Consultant at DMT. Previously, Susan served for 11 years as the Artistic Director of Eastenders Repertory Company where her directing work included We Won't Pay, We Won't Pay; Frozen; and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, co-directed with Founder Charles E. Polly; and Parts II and III of Mr. Polly’s acclaimed Twyla Trilogy. She enjoys ongoing directing projects with Actors Reading Writers in Berkeley, and is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. www.susaneevansdirector.com
Danielle DeFoe’s passions have always been reading and writing, which grew into, as fate would have it, teaching. She has spent over ten years teaching English Composition and Literature at numerous California colleges, and in 2012 she found a permanent home at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, a place she dearly loves. There she continues to teach a broad spectrum of courses to a diverse student population—learning new things every day, consistently inspired by her students and colleagues. In 2017, Danielle decided it was time to be a student herself again and to pursue a degree in creative writing, a somewhat unexpected (to herself, at least) departure from her studies in literature. She is currently working toward completion of her MFA in creative nonfiction, prose poetry, and flash memoir in The Red Earth Program at Oklahoma City University.
MICHELLE ELAINE IANIRO can add Playwright to her plethora of talents. Known primarily as an actor, singer, cabaret artist, producer and director, in the SF Bay Area, her most recent accomplishment, being accepted into the 2018-19 Writers Pool with Monday Night Playground, is a dream come true. Michelle’s first full length play, ABIGAIL DREARY, was produced under Ianiro Productions at the Boxcar Theatre in San Francisco. Her thriller was met with critical acclaim- “Abigail Dreary is a haunting hoot with an authentic emotional core…” –Charles Kruger/Sf Examiner. Bitten by the writing bug, Michelle was inspired to form Ianiro Productions to further promote and produce new works from Bay Area Playwrights and to this end, she followed up her first production of Abigail Dreary, with Eric Inman’s play, BOUND BY BLOOD –produced in 2012, also at the Boxcar Theatre. Since 2012, Michelle has completed and had produced various short plays, including: SISTERS, SEX WITH ERIC, PLANET MARS and ELEANOR AND ME. Michelle has participated as a playwright with Butterfield 8’s New Works Festival, Calaveras Rep’s Playwrights Master Class, Playwrights Center of SF and SF Olympians. Michelle can be found any weekend, binge watching her favorite horror flicks, HGTV, hanging with the hubby and their furry children, Kodiak and Bailey, writing, performing on stage or at some venue, depending on the gig.
Ella Jensen is 16 years old and a junior at Las Lomas High School. She is taking AP Art this year and is co-president of the Art Club. Ella is currently planning on attending art school after graduation. She is also a dancer and is currently a dance captain at Ace Dance Academy. Through these and many other leadership roles that Ella has taken on, she has been able to develop and share her voice in her community and take after many strong female influences and inspirations in her life.
Keeping a vow, she made to herself— as an eighteen-year-old emancipated foster youth— to ‘one day graduate from college’, at 48 years-old, Regina Louise walked across the stage Magna Cum Laude from California Institute of Integral Studies, and two weeks later, she was chosen as a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow to attend graduate school. Three years later, Ms. Louise conferred her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the University of California, Riverside, in Creative Writing, and Writing for the Performing Arts. During her tenure as a graduate student, Regina was the recipient of numerous awards: Third-year Dissertation Fellow; University of California Institute of Research in the Arts Fellow; Culver Arts Resident Fellow, and the Marsha McQwern Journalist Award for Literary Non-fiction. Regina is a member of The Squaw Valley community of Writers where she’s been a panelist, and presenter. Author of the memoir Somebody’s Someone, her story has been featured on The BBC World Service, Narrative.ly Literary Magazine and the Epoch Times; NPR’s All Things Considered, The Christian Journal, and Reader’s Digest, the CBS Early Show, PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show and NBC11. Somebody’s Someone has also been adapted into a one-woman-show and is the subject of an Emmy-nominated PBS documentary. The NAACP nominated my one-woman show for two Theatre Awards.
Cheryl Dumesnil's books include two collection of poems, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes and In Praise of Falling (winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and the Golden Crown Literary Society Prize for Poetry); a memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood; and the anthology Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, co-edited with Kim Addonizio. A regular contributor to Huffington Post and ESME.com, for over twenty years Cheryl has taught writers of all ages, at universities (grad and undergrad), creative writing festivals, blogging conferences, community centers, high schools, and elementary schools. Cheryl ghost writes and edits blog posts, articles, op ed pieces, books, and more for businesses leaders, artists, designers, healers, and anyone else who needs help launching their words into the world.
Hannah Claire Becker (commonly known as HC) is a student at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville. HC also participates in the relatively new College Connect Program at Diablo Valley College, San Ramon campus. For years, HC has enjoyed creatively expressing her interests and passions through her original poems and short stories and has been fortunate to have been able to publish a collection of her poetry in her first book, “Drops of Rain to an Era: A Hundred Poems of My Youth.” Recently, she has extended her creative expressions to fashion and cosmetic design. Interested in theater from a young age, HC loves Shakespeare, singing and acting. Her extended family is filled with musical entertainers and lovers of the arts. HC has traveled extensively and lived in South Africa for several years in her youth, which set in her a love for new adventures and all people.
Chrissa Harley Ventrelle
Chrissa Harley Ventrelle is the author of May It Be: Growing a Genuine Life (2017), a book of spiritual blessings. As a writer and nonprofit executive, she has written about topics as diverse as international affairs, philanthropic initiatives, and the San Francisco Bay Area’s best bakeries. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Chrissa lives in Lafayette with her husband and three kids.
Deema K Shehabi is a poet, writer, and editor. Deema is the author of Thirteen Departures From the Moon and co-editor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (PM Press), for which she received the Northern California Book Award's NCBR Recognition Award. During 2009 – 2013 she worked with Marilyn Hacker on the renga poem sequence Diaspo/Renga. Her two plays “Light not Touched by Fire” and “A Handful of White Petals” were performed by the Arabian Shakespeare Company’s New Works Festival, and she is the winner of the Nazim Hikmet poetry competition in 2018.