An in-depth conversation about the process of creating new work, from the idea to the finished product. This panel of playwrights, directors, and producers will discuss how new work gets created and eventually produced independently or by theatre companies.
Led by Erik Rodriguez
Panelists: France-Luce Benson, Victoria Collado, Jennifer Rumberger
Erik J. Rodriguez is very excited to be moderating this panel on New Work for the FIU Theatre Alumni Conference. Erik was the Director of New Work at Miami New Drama from 2018 – 2020. He was also the Literary Manager at New Theatre from 2014-2016. Some of his production credits include Body Awareness (Actor, Island City Stage), One Night In Miami (Associate Director, Miami New Drama) and Not Ready for Primetime (Playwright, New Theatre). Erik has produced One Act Festivals in South Florida and Line Produced the National New Play Network 2015 Showcase at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center. In 2019, Erik was selected by the Theatre Communications Group as one of its Rising Leaders of Color nationally.
As a playwright and arts educator, France-Luce Benson was named “Someone to Watch ” in 2019 by American Theatre magazine, and was just named a finalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival for her play, Tigress of San Domingue. She is a recipient of a Miranda Foundation grant for her play Detained, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Play Commission for her play The Devil’s Salt, and a Princess Grace Award runner up for Boat People. Additional honors include: Zoetrope Grand Prize for her screenplay Caroline’s Wedding; Dramatists Guild Fellow 2016-17, Sam French OOB Festival Winner, and NNPN Award for Best Play, and three time Kilroy List Honorable Mention. Residencies include Djerassi, the Camargo Foundation in France, and Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. Her plays have had productions, workshops, and readings at Crossroads Theatre New Jersey, City Theatre of Miami, The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, City Theatre of Miami, Loyola Marymount University, Global Black Voices in London, and in New York: New Black Fest at The Lark, The Billy Holiday Theatre, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre New York, where she is a company member. She’s been published by Sam French and Routledge Press. After graduating from FIU, she went on to earn an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Teaching appointments have included UCLA Extension, St. Johns University, Columbia University, Dramatists Guild Traveling Masters, and P.S. Arts/Inside Out in L.A. She is currently based in Los Angeles, California where she serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator at The Fountain Theatre.
Victoria Collado is a Cuban-American director currently living and working in New York City and Miami. She has an interest in merging the movement world with naturalist plays in order to create exciting theatrical experiences. She recently directed the immersive theatre piece, AMPARO, written by Vanessa Garcia in partnership with Havana Club by Bacardi and Michael Leon’s The Cubans at Miami New Drama. Victoria has directed for Repertorio Español, MCC Youth Company, Sheen Center, IATI theatre, Juggerknot Theatre Co., Microteatro Miami, Columbia University, FIU, and others. Her production El Burlador de Sevilla received various nominations from the ACE awards, and won for Outstanding Ensemble. She was a Van Lier Directing Fellow with Repertorio Español, part of the Directing Corps in the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and a recipient of the SDCF Observership. Victoria was the assistant director to Tony Taccone in John Leguizamo’s Latin History For Morons on Broadway. She received her BFA from Florida International University. She is a fellow of the WP Theater’s 2018-2020 Lab and is an Associate Member of SDC. She is also the co-founder of Abre Camino Collective. www.victoriacollado.com
Jennifer Rumberger is a Chicago-based playwright. Recent productions include Night in Alachua County with Wildclaw Theater, Open Blue Sky at Stella Adler/ Tisch School of the Arts, and The Bride with the Living Room Playmakers and Chicago Fringe Festival. She has been commissioned by the Gift Theatre Company and the world premiere of her play, The Locusts, was slated for Fall 2020 (postponed due to Covid-19). Jennifer’s work has been developed or presented in New York, Houston, Chicago, and Florida by The Lark Playwrights Center, id Theatre Company, The Gift Theatre Company, Black Box Acting Studio, The Living Room Playmakers, Commission Theatre Company, Wordsmyth Theatre Company, White Rose Miami, Northwestern University, The Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and Chicago Dramatists. She also writes nonfiction prose and has performed at live storytelling events in Chicago. She was a 2015 nominee for the PoNY Fellowship and a 2015 semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship, and a 2016 finalist for the Ingram New Works Playwrights Lab. She is a founding member and associate playwright with the Living Room Playmakers in Chicago. MFA: Northwestern University.