Matt Greenberg is an actor, director, and devisor. He has appeared alongside Tony, Oscar, and Emmy Award-Winning actors in opera, musicals, plays, TV, and film. As a co-devisor of this project, he works as a collaborative partner alongside the MFA Theatre Cohort of 2021 to find creative and empathetic solutions to bring awareness to the opioid crisis facing fellow Ohioans. His research on the Ohio opiate epidemic is based on the transportation of drugs in and out of Ohio and how they integrate into our communities. Moreover, he looks to see how transportation hubs in Ohio play an impact on the economic and social climates that lead to drug addiction of both synthetic and manufactured opioids. At Ohio State, he has been involved with the department of theatre MainStage shows, The Lab Series, and most recently, his piece Tappyness, had its world premiere at Urban Arts Space as part of the Hybrid Arts Lab partnership between OSU and the Ohio Arts Council. He has completed a directing fellowship at The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and has directed operas and plays from coast to coast. An avid researcher, he has presented his work on musical theatre ensembles, the interaction of disability and movement classes, and acting through song at SETC, MATC, ATHE, ATSR, and The Hayes Forum at OSU. In August, he will serve as an associate conference planner for ATHE, for the VASTA focus group, in Austin, Texas. His favorite color is yellow.
Jess Hughes is a creator of new work. She has directed, assistant directed, and devised film and live performance pieces in Texas, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Bulgaria, and Romania. She’s a member of Actors’ Equity Association and has performed with Austin Playhouse, Hyde Park Theatre, Penfold Theatre, Doctuh Mistuh Productions, Austin Shakespeare, Pollyanna Theatre Company, Present Company, Magnificent Bastards, Collaboraction, and Whirligig Productions. Some of her favorite roles include Judy in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Claire in This Random World, Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, Player in Nevermore (Winner of B. Iden Payne Award), and Jenny in The Christians (Winner of Austin Critics’ Table Award). She‘s worked professionally in commercials and film, recently appearing in The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (CNN).
Jess worked as a Marketing Director and Publicity Manager for multiple arts and cultural organizations in Austin, Texas. She completed a year-long internship at Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, participated in the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory, and attended the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Theatre Institute. She’s currently pursuing her MFA in acting at The Ohio State University.
Sean Naughton attended high school in Olympia, Washington, and earned his BFA in Theatre from Chapman University. He has worked professionally in the theatre for the past two decades. Among the companies he performed with are Shakespeare Orange County, Harlequin Productions, Capital Playhouse, Cruthaigh Productions, and Rude Guerilla Theater. Some of his favorite roles include Benedick in Much Ado, Yvan in Art, the title role in Tartuffe, Georg in She Loves Me, John Hinkley in Assassins, Laertes in Hamlet, and Eddie in Fool For Love, Ed in The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time and Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream at Ohio State.
In addition to acting, Sean has directed productions of Oedipus: The King, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and Dark Lady of the Sonnets and most recently the premiere of his original play Violent. Beautiful. Things. At Chapman University, Sean founded the student-led Guerrilla Shakespeare Ensemble, focusing on found-space Shakespeare production.
In Los Angeles, Sean’s community-engaged theatre work with East Los Angeles Classic Theater saw him devising extensively with students in underserved communities. His work with ELACT focused on engaging with elementary and middle school students to write, produce, and perform original pieces of theatre. In Los Angeles, Naughton worked professionally in commercials and film. Additionally, he was heavily involved in the study and performance of improv, graduating from Improv Olympic West Los Angeles and performing with multiple groups at the Hollywood theater.
Kylie Anna Logan is an MFA candidate in Acting and the Creation of New Works and a Graduate Teaching Associate at The Ohio State University. She serves as Secretary and a principal devisor of Cohort Theatre Company based in Columbus, Ohio.
A playwright and producer, Kylie Anna is developing a script written for Zoom called Three Women Who Are Currently Alive with three company actors. She is also producing a festival at the intersection of scientific research and artistic work called Free Flow, designed to raise awareness and resources for menstrual equity and reproductive research.
As a performer, she most recently portrayed Lady Celia Cain in Her Naked Skin and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Ohio State University. Kylie Anna is also an editorial content writer and recently worked for Parlia, a London-based web start-up.
She is grateful to her MFA cohort, with whom she is developing this piece, for the endless inspiration and support they provide. B.A: Creative Writing and International Studies, Franklin & Marshall College 2018
Connor Graham received a BFA in Theatre (Performance) from the University at Buffalo. His regional performance credits include The Full Monty and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Subversive Theatre; ARTIE Award nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play), Design for Living and The Yeats Project (Irish Classical Theatre Co.), Over the Tavern (Kavinoky Theatre), Free Fred Brown! (Ujima Theatre Co. Inc.), Stupid Fucking Bird (ART/WNY; Broadway World Award, Best Actor in a Play), Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (Theatre of Youth), and Tuesday Night Magic (P3 Magic Theatre). His acting credits at Ohio State include Are You Now or Have You Ever Been…, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His directorial credits include Votes for Women! (Kingfisher Theatre; Best of Rochester nomination, Best Production) and The Glass Menagerie (University at Buffalo; KCACTF nomination).
As a creator of new work, in 2017-18, Connor collaborated with a fellow Buffalo native and magician to create, produce, and perform the interactive magic and mentalism play For What It’s Worth, the proceeds of which were donated to Puerto Rican relief following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. In 2019-20, he devised a new Mime and Foley duet with his fellow MFA Theatre colleague, Erin Alys. They toured the piece to SETC before adapting the stage play to film during the summer of 2020. The film premiered at the International Boulder Fringe Festival, and the proceeds were donated to the Okra Project.
Connor is a Certified Hypnotist through the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), a member of the Gene Gordon – Karl Norman International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) Ring 12, a founding member of the Association of Regional Theater Artists (ARTA), as well as the founding president of the Cohort Theatre Company at Ohio State. He is also a member of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Association for Theatre Movement Educators (ATME), and Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA).
Erin Alys is an actor and divisor in the Opioid Outreach & Engagement project. She has gathered many tools for devising theatre while studying at Ohio State, where the MFA Acting program emphasizes the creation of new work. Recently, Erin discovered an interest in utilizing diegetic sound in live performance. This investigation manifested in the devised show, ‘Hear We Go’, co-created with a fellow MFA Actor, Connor Graham. The show premiered at the 2019 South Eastern Theatre Conference Fringe and was recently adapted into a short film for the Boulder Fringe Festival’s socially distanced 2020 format.
Erin is also a professional Fight Director and is learning to become an Intimacy Choreographer through assisting her mentor, Jeanine Thompson. The two practices have much common, and she is eager to develop a class that explores both stage intimacy and combat side-by-side.
At the SETC, Erin presented a workshop called Transforming the Face: Crafting Characters from the Neck Up. In the same way that each person has a unique way of walking, each face has a unique way of communicating. Erin is developing a practice to transform movements in the service of crafting unique characters. She currently teaches workshops online for physical performers and continues to research independently. erinalys.com
Jacob Oommen Athyal* is excited to work on this important and timely project with his cohort. Jacob’s previous credits include Guards at the Taj (Underground Railway, Best Actor Elliot Norton), A Disappearing Number (Central Sq., American Premiere), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Perseverance Theater, AK & Company One), Rhinoceros (Boston Playwrights/The Modern Theatre). He is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association and the Co-Founder of the South Asian Theatre Alliance.