2015 National Directors Fellowships
Five Fellows were selected from a nationwide pool of more than 360 applicants, ranging broadly across all levels of experience and backgrounds.
> For more information on the National Directors Fellowships, click here.
Jadhwani is a freelance Chicago-based director; she was recently named Time Out Chicago’s “Best Next Generation Stage Director.” She is an Artistic Associate at Silk Road Rising (Ching Chong Chinaman, Gold Boy/Emerald Girl) and Oak Park Festival Theatre (Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona). She also served as the Artistic Director of Rasaka Theatre Company from 2007-2013, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, the Chicago premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries and directed and curated the Chicago premiere of Yoni Ki Baat and culture/clash: the nation’s first fully-produced South Asian short play festival. Her work has also been seen at Apple Tree, Bailiwick, Chicago Dramatists, Raven Theatre, Remy Bumppo, the side project, Stage Left, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens, and others.
She is a recipient of the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship, an SDCF Observership, an Illinois Board of Higher Education Fellowship, and an LMDA Residency Award.
As an educator, Lavina has worked with CCPA@Roosevelt University, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, NHSI at Northwestern University, Shakespeare & Company, and The Viola Project. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (BFA, Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management) and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy; currently pursuing an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Krieger is a New York-based theater director who works on new plays and musicals. Portia loves to work both uptown and down, and seeks to create productions that are warm, human, and recognizable even as they stretch the boundaries of what the audience can absorb and imagine.
Upcoming projects include serving as associate director on FUN HOME in its transfer to Circle in the Square this spring. In early summer, 2015, she will direct Gabrielle Reisman's STORM, STILL, which will inaugurate a brand-new backyard space in Bushwick called Brooklyn Yard. She is currently collaborating with Caitlin Saylor Stephens on her music-theater-video mashup TWO MEN MISSING ON THE HUDSON RIVER, and with Dipika Guha on her play I ENTER THE VALLEY. Recent productions include Peggy Stafford's 16 WORDS OR LESS and Clare Barron's BABY SCREAMS MIRACLE for Clubbed Thumb, Caroline V. McGraw's THE VAULTS for New Georges, and EAGER TO LOSE, a burlesque farce Portia co-created with writer Matthew-Lee Erlbach, director Wes Grantom, and burlesque starlet Tansy for Ars Nova. Portia directed her first-ever Shakespeare play in the fall of 2014, bringing THE TAMING OF THE SHREW to singing, dancing, swaggering life with an all-female cast of 17 at Smith College.
Portia has workshopped new plays and musicals with Second Stage, Roundabout Underground, New York Stage & Film, Rattlestick, Page 73, Ars Nova, the Lark, and many others. She is a member of the Actors Studio Playwright Directors Unit, an alumna of the Drama League Directors Project and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, and a co-founder of the New Georges Jam. Education: BA in Theater, Smith College, National Theater Institute, Fall '01.
Lury is a freelance director, an assistant professor at New Mexico State University, and an acrobat. She has directed and workshopped plays for companies including Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Keen Company’s Keen Teens, New Georges, McCarter Theatre’s Youth Ink!, American Southwest Theatre Company, Passage Theatre, Abingdon/Small Pond, Leviathan Lab, Dog Run Rep, Prospect Theatre, Six Figures, and The Loft. She received an AREA award for project development from chashama for the site specific Porch Plays. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, an Affiliated Artist with New Georges, a Volunteer Director with the 52nd Street Project, and was a Resident Director at EST from 2008-09.
Her focus is primarily on the development of new work, both traditionally scripted and devised, and the reinvention of lesser-known works. Her background in acrobatics often filters into the physical life of her productions. Some favorite recent projects include: Flip Turn (Madeleine George); Something Fine (Eric Dufault); West Highland Way (Meridith Friedman); Hookman (by Lauren Yee); Kasimir and Karoline (by Odön von Horváth); Small Prophecies (by David Myers, San Diego Critics Circle Best Play Nomination, 2011), and Oyster (by Ronald McCants, SD Critic’s Circle: Best Play, 2010). She’s also recently enjoyed being a part of the development process for plays by Jiehae Park and Emily Dendinger.
Current collaborations include a play with music sprung from the Persephone myth with playwright Lauren Yee and composer Pearl Rhein, as well as a part-factual, part fantastical devised play about Yuri Gagarin and the first human spaceflight.
Odcikin is a San Francisco-based director, and serves as the Director of New Plays and Marketing at Golden Thread Productions. Directing credits include the West Coast premiere of Yussef El Guindi's Language Rooms, which moved to the Los Angeles Theater Center after a San Francisco run (critic's pick for Los Angeles Times), and the West Coast premiere of Mona Mansour's Urge For Going (Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle nomination for best new play) for Golden Thread; the world premiere of Christopher Chen's Mutt for Impact Theatre and Ferocious Lotus; the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s 410[GONE] (featured in American Theatre Magazine's Production Notebook) and the West Coast premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's Invasion! for Crowded Fire Theater; The Oldest Profession (two BATCC nominations) and Machinal (three BATCC nominations, including best director and best production) for Brava; and RHINO for Boxcar Theatre ("Most Inventive Staging of 2010" from SF Weekly, "Best Play of 2010" from SF Bay Times).
He has developed new plays at South Coast Repertory, the Lark Play Development Center, National New Plays Network Showcase, American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
A graduate of Princeton University, Evren was awarded the 2013 TITAN Award for Directors by Theatre Bay Area and was selected as an Emerging Theatre Leader by Theatre Communications Group for their American Express Leadership Bootcamp. odcikin.com
MARTIN DAMIEN WILKINS
Wilkins serves as the National New Play Network’s Producer-In-Residence at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte where he directed Lydia R. Diamond’s STICK FLY this February. His directing credits include Idris Goodwin’s HOW WE GOT ON (The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference), STEP, conceived by Maxine Lyle, Artistic Director of the NYC-based dance company, Soul Steps (Ars Nova’s A.N.T. Fest and the New York Musical Theatre Festival), Darren Canady’s MUDDY THE WATER (The BE Company), Clifton Duncan’s The uniVERSE PROJECT (NYU’s Tisch Freeplay Festival) and Lisa B. Thompson’s SINGLE BLACK FEMALE (Toronto Centre for the Arts).
Martin has developed new work with emerging playwrights such as Jocelyn Bioh, Darren Canady and Katori Hall, including Ms. Hall’s 2010 Olivier Award winning play, THE MOUNTAINTOP, at institutions such as the Alliance Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Hip Hop Theater Festival, the Lark Play Development Center, and Primary Stages. Martin served as the Assistant to director Charles Randolph-Wright on workshops of the Broadway musical, MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL. He also served as the Associate Director to Colman Domingo on productions of Lisa Ramirez’s EXIT CUCKOO (Working Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and INTAR) and SINGLE BLACK FEMALE (New Professional Theatre).
He has assisted some of the theater’s most prominent directors including Mr. Randolph-Wright, Wendy C. Goldberg, Molly Smith, Tazewell Thompson, and Kate Whoriskey at theaters such as Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre, and the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference. Martin has been the recipient of Arena Stage’s Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellowship and a Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) Observership. He has also been a finalist for SDCF’s Mike Ockrent Fellowship. A native of Charlotte, NC, Martin is a graduate of Duke University.