Tennessee Playwrights Studio Announces 2022 Fellows and Associates

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Tennessee Playwrights Studio, a Nashville-based new play development lab and theater production company, has announced its 2022 Fellows and Associates. Five TPS Fellows, chosen from a competitive application process, will work under Kenley Smith to develop new long-form scripts to be presented at public readings (virtually or in-person at the Darkhorse Theater) in late 2022/early 2023, and two associates will also contribute to monthly workshops in 2022. TPS will continue to recruit actors from the Community of Nashville for workshops and readings.

The biographies of the 2022 Fellows and Associates are as follows:

Jaclynn Jutting (Fellow) is an award-winning independent filmmaker and teaching artist, working in Nashville and Chicago. His work as a director focuses on contemporary acting and contemporary adaptations of classics. She recently directed the American premiere of Lucy Kirkwood‘s MOSQUITOES with the Steep Theater in Chicago and was artist-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, directing Annie BoulangerIt’s UNCLE VANIA. She has performed with Steppenwolf, Raven, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Actors Bridge Ensemble, Verge Theater and Oz Arts Nashville. She has worked at MTSU, the Nashville Public Library, and served as director of the BFA-Directing program at Belmont University. She earned her BA from Knox College and a Masters in Directing from Northwestern University. She is currently an adjunct professor at Lipscomb University, teaching a solo performance class at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center.
Emmalee Manes (Fellow) is a playwright with a passion for sharing stories across cultures. After earning a dual degree in creative writing and journalism at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, she moved to rural Japan, where she taught English in Japanese public schools for three years, before returning. in the United States and settling in Nashville. His 10-minute pieces have been produced at Lee University and The Art Thing in Toyama, Japan. Outside of theatre, Emmalee enjoys film, non-fiction and poetry. She served as Director of the Toyama International Film Festival for three years and as Content Manager for the 2021 Nashville Film Festival. She also enjoyed working to deepen US-Japan relations as Social Media Coordinator at the Japanese Consulate in Nashville . Most recently, Emmalee received the 2020 Young Alumni Grant from Lee University to complete her first full-length play, FOLDING, which was the subject of a workshop at the Pipeline-Collective in Nashville.
Kate McGunagle (Fellow) is a writer, artist, and queer Montana native whose creative work centers on gender, identity, and the body, particularly in the context of violence, media, and community. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Passages North, Five Points, The North American Review, and The Whitefish Review, and her essay “Passive Voice” received the 2021 Terry Tempest Williams Award for Creative Nonfiction. A graduate of Princeton University and Boston University’s MFA program in creative writing, Kate has over fifteen years of performance experience and is currently an active member of the Nashville Pipeline Collective. Her first play, Woman Bird Man, examines a Montana-based religious cult whose members grapple with identity, truth, and redemption in the span of one fateful weekend. She currently lives in Nashville.
Amina S. McIntyre (Fellow) is an Atlanta-based playwright whose productions and readings include: Actor’s Express, Atlanta History Museum, job title Playwrights, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Out of Hand Theater and The Blue Series (nominated for the 2019 Taurean Award for Excellence in Theatre) and Vanguard Repertory Theater (Suzi Bass Award winner). She holds a BA in Anthropology from Colby College, an MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University, an MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting) from the Spalding University and a Masters in Theological Studies from Emory University. She was a Playwright Apprentice at Horizon Theater Company, Executive Director of Karibu Performing Arts, 2014-2016 Atlanta Area Youth Ambassador for the Playwrights Guild, Co-Producer of WeReckon: A Southern Chronicle and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs from Atlanta 2014-2015 Emerging Theater Artist. McIntyre is currently a co-founder of the Hush Harbor Lab and is a doctoral student in religion at Vanderbilt University.

Melissa McKnight (aka Graceful Honeybee) (associate) is one of those bohemians looking for multiple creative outlets you may have heard of. His performing and visual arts foundation was established in his hometown of Miami, Florida, and his immediate family’s move to Tulsa, Oklahoma at age 9 cemented his sense of irony! Since graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2010, she has worked as a backing vocalist, sang in the award-winning Sweet Adelines Show Chorus, and worked as an organizer on barack obamain 2012. She began performing as a stand-up comedian six years ago and hosted The Moth storySLAM in Nashville from May 2019 to December 2020. Her work highlights the absurdity and wonder of meta-modernist life. In addition to inspiring others to think critically about their existence in a society where few benefit from the suffering of many, she hopes to see the stories she writes come to life on stage.

René Millán (scholar) The son of Mexican immigrants, René Millán was born and raised in San Diego, California, the youngest of five boys. Millán attended the prestigious Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington in Seattle where he designed two plays dealing with immigration, ethnic identity and social justice. The basis of his studies and his inspiration for the plays designed is the Suzuki method of acting training; a physical mode used to build a bridge between mind, body and spirit – a method he teaches and developed. René has lived and worked in New York and Los Angeles where he has performed on Broadway, Off Broadway, in film and on television. He has also performed in plays at major regional theaters across the country, including the Guthrie, Forum Mark Taper, La Jolla Playhouse, and Yale Rep where he also received a Beinecke Visiting Scholar Fellowship to teach Suzuki-inspired movement and play. He was a core member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s acting company for seven seasons. Throughout his career, he has designed and collaborated on theatrical works combining movement, text and multimedia platforms. He teaches acting at Millán Acting Studio and is based in Nashville, TN, where he also directs and performs. He has a performance and film based on artist Martín Ramírez in the works. He lives with his wife and three children.

Christan Riley (Partner) was born and raised in Nashville, TN. She attended Fisk University where she performed as a Jubilee singer and enjoyed her enrollment at HBCU as a Spanish major. From painting and playing the piano to writing sketches, dancing and acting, Christan has loved all things arts since she was a child. She has been affiliated with Dream 7 Theater Productions for 20 years and operates as Youth Director and Board Secretary. She has written several plays and is currently co-writing a musical on The Original Fisk Jubilee singers courtesy of a Metro Arts Thrive Partnership Grant with Dream 7/ARTS “Acting and writing are really part of my passion. I know I walk with a purpose, because I LOVE doing the work!” She is a loving wife and mother of 4 children. She feels blessed to be able to pursue her passions from home.Tennessee Playwrights Studio Announces 2022 Fellows and Associates


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