Playwrights Enrichment Series

One way Goddard is unique among MFA writing programs is the Playwrights’ Enrichment Series. Once a year, we welcome a visiting luminary from theatre or film. He or she leads a professional development workshop and discusses career opportunities with our dramatic writing students. The Playwrights’ Enrichment Series began in Fall 2008 and was made possible by an anonymous gift from a program alumnus. It continues to be supported by our loyal alums who relish this opportunity to “pay it forward.”


Jesse Cameron Alick headshot

Jesse Cameron Alick, Literary Manager, The Public Theatre

Jesse Cameron Alick is a poet, playwright, producer, and Zen Master. In addition to being the Literary Manager at the Public, he also runs their Emerging Writers Group and manages such programs as New Work Now and Public Studio, while also providing dramaturgical support and serving as an artist liaison. Outside the Public, Jesse is also a freelance journalist and essayist. Jesse studied writing with playwright Adrienne Kennedy and has taught for the theater department at Lewis and Clark College.

Jane AndersonJane Anderson, Playwright and Director

Jane Anderson is an American actress-turned-award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. She has written and directed one feature film, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio and wrote the script for the Nicolas Cage film It Could Happen to You. She won an Emmy Award for writing the screenplay for the miniseries Olive Kitteridge.

P. Carl, founder of HowlRound, and Artistic Director of the
Theatre Commons, Emerson College

P. Carl is the Director and co-founder of HowlRound–a think tank and knowledge commons actively making community among theatremakers worldwide through online resource sharing and in-person gatherings. Carl is also the co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson at Emerson College where he develops, dramaturgs, and presents an eclectic array of theatre from diverse artists from around the globe.

John Eisner, Lark Theatre

John Eisner is the director of the Lark Theatre in New York. He has directed plays by Calderon, Yeats, Wilder, Shakespeare, John Patrick Shanley, Elizabeth Logun, Ian Rowlands and Lloyd Suh, among others, and worked with hundreds of writers on new plays at The Lark, including Kristoffer Diaz, Katori Hall, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, and Arthur Kopit. He has served as advisor for the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Theatre Development Fund.

Gary Garrison, Artistic Director, Dramatists Guild

Gary Garrison was the Executive Director of Creative Affairs of the Dramatist Guild of America. Prior to his work at the Guild, Garrison filled the posts of Artistic Director, Producer and fulltime faculty member in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Garrison’s own plays include The Unexpected Light On Azadeh Medusa, Too Quick to Pick, and Ties That Bind. He is on the Tony Administration Committee for the Tony Awards and the program director for the Summer Playwriting Intensive for the Kennedy Center.

Graeme Gillis, Ensemble Project — Commissioning Program for Playwrights

Graeme Gillis’s plays have been produced at EST by Youngblood and in the Marathon. He has worked as a playwright with theatres throughout the US and Canada, including Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Cherry Lane, Vampire Cowboys, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Source Theatre (DC); Mulgrave Road Theatre (Nova Scotia), Summerworks, and Theatre Smash at the Tarragon Theatre (Toronto). Published by Dramatists Play Service and Applause Books. As a Canadian he proudly bears a US visa for playwriting, sponsored by Ensemble Studio Theatre. Member of the Actors Studio and EST.

Wendy C. Goldberg, Eugene O’Neill Theater

Wendy C. Goldberg is an award-winning theatre director and the current Artistic Director of the National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. At the O’Neill, Goldberg has developed more than forty projects for the stage and many have gone on to great acclaim in New York and around the country. Included in that group is the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Winner (Julia Cho’s The Language Archive), two American Theatre Critics Association Citation Award Winning Plays (Lee Blessing’s Great Falls and Deborah Zoe Laufer’s End Days) and 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama (Lynn Nottage’s Ruined), written in part during Lynn’s residency at the O’Neill in the summer of 2006.

Phillip HimbergPhilip Himberg, Artistic Director, Sundance Institute Theater Program

Philip Himberg is the producing artistic director of Sundance Institute Theatre Program where he has created and overseen the developmental theatre laboratories since 1997. Under Mr. Himberg’s aegis, this nationally recognized program has successfully developed over 150 new works for the stage, including the Tony Award-winning The Light in the Piazza, Grey Gardens, 33 Variations, Passing Strange, Spring Awakening, and I Am My Own Wife, among many others. For Sundance Summer Theatre, he directed Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, and Dear World. He is also an author; his essay “Family Albums” appears in the Dutton anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. He is a trustee of Theatre Communications Group.

Susan Jonas, Dramaturg

Susan Jonas has held leadership positions as a dramaturg, curator and producer, and has worked as a director, adapter, playwright and educator. She was Producing Director at Classical Theatre of Harlem, Managing Director at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Director of Humanities and Education at Classic Stage Company and Resident Dramaturg, Director of Educational Outreach at The Acting Company. A Theatre Arts Analyst at the New York State Council on the Arts for a decade, she has also taught at Princeton, Brooklyn College, S.U.N.Y.-Stonybrook, and, most recently, New York University.

Greg Kotis, Librettist

Greg Kotis is best known for writing the book and co-writing the lyrics of Urinetown, the Musical. He got the idea for Urinetown when, on an ill-budgeted visit to Paris in 1995, he had to limit his trips to the pay toilets that are ubiquitous in that city. Urinetown received ten Tony Award nominations: Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, two nominations for Best Actress in a Musical (Nancy Opel and Jennifer Laura Thompson), Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestration. Urinetown has been performed around the world and in hundreds of American cities.

Todd LondonTodd Nolan, Artistic Director, Arden Theatre

Todd Nolan is an American theater director and the producing artistic director of the Arden Theatre Company. In 1988 Nolen co-founded the Arden Theatre Company with Amy Murphy and Aaron Posner. He has helped the Arden garner 182 Barrymore Award nominations and 35 awards. He has won the 2006 Barrymore for best director for Opus and Winesberg, Ohio, the Harold Prince Award For Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2005, and the Harold Prince Award For Outstanding Direction of a Musical for The Baker’s Wife in 2001.

Christian ParkerChristian Parker, Literary Manager, Atlantic Theatre

Christian Parker directed The Hiding Place by Jeff Whitty, Arrangements by Ken Weitzman, Birth and After Birth by Tina Howe and Make Me by Leslie Ayvazian, as well as several short plays in 10×20 and 10×25. He is Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Theatre Program at Columbia University, where he oversees the concentration in Dramaturgy. He began his career as the Literary Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, and holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. from Columbia.

Marisa Smith Marisa Smith, Smith & Kraus Publishers

Marisa Smith is the co-owner and Publisher of Smith and Kraus Publishers, the leading publisher in the US of theater books for the trade with over 600 titles in print. She is an award winning playwright, an associate artist with the Lark Play Development Center and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays include Saving Kitty, winner of Best Play from NH in Portland Stages’ (Maine) Clauder Competition.

Caridad Svich, Publisher, No Passport Press

Caridad Svich received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and NNPN rolling world premiere for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based Isabel Allende’s novel. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice, including in the year 2013 for her play Spark. She has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times, including in the year 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste.