Photo courtesy John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS’ plays include Everybody (Signature Theater), Neighbors (Public Theater), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, OBIE Award for Best New Play), Appropriate (Signature Theater, OBIE Award for Best New Play, Outer Critics Circle nominee), Gloria (Vineyard Theater, 2015), and War (Yale Rep, forthcoming). His plays have been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, Soho Rep, the Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, Victory Gardens Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theater, The Matrix Theater, CompanyOne, Theater Bielefeld in Germany and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is currently a Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and master-artist-in-residence in the Playwriting MFA program of Hunter College, City University of New York. Other honors include a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Award, a Fulbright Arts Grant, a Helen Merrill Award, the Dorothy Strelsin playwriting fellowship, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. He is a Princeton alum from the Class of 2006, holds an MFA in Performance Studies from NYU, and is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard.
Photo courtesy Lileana Blain-Cruz
LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ is a director from New York City and Miami. She is a recent recipient of a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship and a 2017 Obie Award for directing The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre. Recent projects include Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots which premiered this past January in the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater and A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with choreographer Isabel Lewis and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Dance New Amsterdam. She is the co-founder and director of the ensemble company Overhead Projector, which devises new work. She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama, where she directed Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, The Taming of the Shrew, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys, Buffalo Maine, Cavity and Fox Play as part of the Carlotta Festival of New Plays. She was one of the co-artistic directors of the 2011-2012 Yale Cabaret, where she directed Funnyhouse of a Negro, Vaska Vaska Glöm, and SALOME. She received both the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize and the Pierre-Andre Salim Prize for her leadership and directing. She was an Artistic Associate of The Exchange and The Orchard Project, a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and an Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. She is a graduate of Princeton University. Lileana recently directed a new translation of The Bakkhai at the Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College and is currently working on an adaptation of the Alejandro Jodorowsky film, EL TOPO.