LATEST PROJECTS

3.1.21

UPDATE: Audie Award Nomination for 

When No One Is Watching !

I have to say I was completely shocked when I learned from co-narrator Jay Aaseng that our work on When No One is Watching was nominated for an Audie Award!

It's very exciting to have our work recognized by Audio Publishers Association.

It was truly an honor to narrate this exciting thriller by Alyssa Cole last year at a time when I was looking for a place to put my voice in response to the racial unrest that was swirling around me. Ms. Cole's words provided a space for me to let it all out. And this book...is a must read...or listen!

Awards Ceremony happens online this year March 22nd Red Carpet 8:30pmEST,

Event 9pmEST. 

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Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

2.28.21 

UPDATE: Iseult et Tristan at LA Mama Experimental,

Villains at LA Writers Center & 

Audiobook Narration-

Requiem Moon (Scarlet Odyssey Book 2)  by C.T Rwizi 

This February I managed to pack in work for everyone of those twenty-eight days of our shortest month of the year. And just in time, as a ray of hope is on the horizon from the past year of COVID lockdown and more and more people are receiving vaccinations.

I was thrilled to have another chance to direct a staged reading with the same cast of Pia Wilson's beautiful play Iseult et Tristan at La Mama Experimental's, EXPERIMENTS PLAY READING SERIES. This play is ready for a production and working with Pia and this cast has been a joy. Fingers crossed. Check out Richard Sanford's review.

I also directed Marquis Ewing's new play Villains with LA Writers Center. This is a powerful play about three New York actors (two black and one white), who become disillusioned by Hollywood's lack of racial diversity. When they plan to make their own production, they find themselves becoming victims of their very own destructive biases and interests. Another play that's ready for production as Marquis Ewing knows how to pack a powerful punch with the beauty and strength of his writing.

And finally, I could not wait for the follow up to C.T Rwizi's Scarlet Odyssey to come out. I needed to find out what happened to all of the wonderful characters and storylines that he created in that exciting first book.

I didn't have to wait long because I was asked to come back and do the audio narration for the sequel Requiem Moon, reading the "Ilapara" character chapters. Ilapara is a fierce and protective warrior searching for her purpose in the world she inhabits- Umadiland- a mythical African landscape.

If your looking for that next sweeping, fantasy, quest novel to get caught up in, read Scarlet Odyssey and pre order Requiem Moon Coming March 23.

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Experiments: Iseult et Tristan

Top Left to Right: Sarah Hollis,Chris Gardner, Naïma Hebrail Kidjo 

Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

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Top Left to Right: Dresden, Bree, Gregorio,

Kyle Mattocks,Marquis Ewing, Graham Sibley

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Top Left to Right: Dresden, Gregorio,

Vera Cherny,Marquis Ewing

11.12.20 

UPDATE: Audiobook Narration- Confessions of  Curious Bookstore  by Elizabeth Greene

Audiobook narration has been a true blessing during the past year while living under stay at home orders. My home recording booth as been a haven that's provided me with a feeling of "going to work" every time I open the door and step inside to record another book. 

The year ended with me narrating this wonderful, funny and touching book by Elizabeth Greene, Confessions of Curious Bookseller.

Click here to purchase the audio narration and to hear a sample of my work!

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Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

10.26.20 

UPDATE: New Works Festival- IAMA Theatre Company- Iseult et Tristan 

In early October Stefanie Black, co-artistic director at IAMA reached out to me with an offer to direct a reading for IAMA's New Works Festival. After I read this script I immediately got back out to her with an emphatic YES!

 

Pia Wilson has written a beautiful retelling of the Tristan and Iseult tale through the lens of a young African American boxer as she struggles with addiction, comes to terms with the fierce and deep connection to her sister and the man whose love they both share. 

The cast included Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, Sarah Hollis, Chris Gardner and Alyse Marie.

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Top Left to Right: Sarah Hollis, Alyse Marie, Chris Gardner, Naïma Hebrail Kidjo 

Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

10.4.20 

UPDATE: Together LA Virtual Stage Festival- AMMO Theatre Company- The Token 

"While the doors to our theaters may be shut, our artists continue to innovate and utilize new technology to serve Los Angeles and promote the importance of theatre." 

The above quote is from the mission statement for Together LA Virtual Stage Festival  where I directed The Token by Bernardo Cubria starring Malcolm Barrett and Malorie Felt.

 

For over three weekends in October, thirty-four of LA's intimate theater companies gathered online to present new 10 minute works written by various local and national playwrights. The festival was presented by Alternative Theatre Los Angeles (ATLA) in association with LA Stage Alliance (LASA). Hundreds of people tuned in on Twitch.tv and thousands of dollars were raised for Color of Change, a non-profit online racial justice organization.

 

It was fun to gather virtually, "chat" in between pieces with colleagues from LA local theater, enjoy the banter and games with the evening's various hosts and enjoy a diverse collection of storytelling while raising money for this important organization.

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Top Left to Bottom Right: Malorie Felt & Malcolm Barrett

8.24.20 

UPDATE: Haku Returns?! Shhhh!

I'm sure this is top secret info so, just in case, all I can say is that fan favorite "Haku" from the Naruto anime series may or may not be making an appearance in a yet to be released video game. I love doing the voice for this character! But I know nothing about it at all. Shhhhhhh!

The Voice of Haku-Naruto

Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

7.1.20 

UPDATE: Undiscovered Shakespeare, The Wars of the Roses with

Santa Cruz Shakespeare &

UC Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA 

Henry VI Parts 1, 2, 3 &

Richard III

I never thought I'd be directing plays with rehearsals and performances happening while sitting at my desk at home. But artists find a way to thrive even under the trying of times.

Don't get me wrong at all. Seeing a show at Santa Cruz Shakespeare in the beautiful outdoor Grove at DeLaveaga Park is wonderful.. And I miss the process of being in a rehearsal hall with actors and production teams as we prepare to put up a show. But I've been surprised at the welcome challenge that directing "Zoom Theater" has been.

 

Directors, stage manager, actors, dramaturgs, scholars and professors meet in a Zoom meeting to rehearse for three days and present episodic readings of Shakespeare's history plays that make up the Wars of the Roses. Coming up with ways to make the experience engaging for the actors and the viewers has me choreographing fights with swords on Zoom, people! And it kind of works!

This is a tag team director event with director Paul Mullins taking on Part 1 & 3 Henry VI, and me taking on Part 2 Henry VI and Richard III. 

Several episodes still to come

July 1, 2020 - Sept 2, 2020

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER 

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Top Left to Right: Mike Ryan, Laurie Strawn, Maeve Martinez, Jerry Lloyd, Allen Gilmore

6.24.20 

UPDATE: Amplifying the Voices

of Black Writers

Virtual Playwright's Night,

The Inkwell Theater Company

&

Hers and His Guests on the Podcast 

What The Fockery

hosted by Nadège August 

Since moving back to the Los Angeles area over a year and a half ago, I've had the pleasure of working several times with The Inkwell Theater Company. Inkwell has amazing programs including The Inkwell Theater Development Lab, and Playwright's Night which has now become a virtual experience while we're all at home and theaters are still closed for gatherings.

The Inkwell Theater Company has always had diverse programming and in light of the times that we are currently living in, producers Rosie Glen-Lambert and Daniel Schoenman wanted Playwright's Night to reflect that. 

I was honored and welcomed at the chance to host the event.

It was a wonderful night with actors cold reading 10 minute pieces of full length scripts by Nickclette Izuegbu, Schereeya Reed, Matthew Robinson, Amanda Black, Khari Wyatt,

Quintin Humphrey, and Aja Houston.

Playwright's Night is a great way to see new works and great actors making the scripts come to life.

Next Virtual Playwright's night is

July 29th at 6pm PST.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

When Nadège August asked me to be a guest on her podcast What The Fockery?  I said, "Fock, yes!"

 

I joined Mona Holmes, Shirley Jordon and Shawn Richardz for Episode 46-Interracial Love HER, where we talked about what conversations where like in our country's current racially charged times while being a black woman married to a white man.
 

It was a conversation I don't get to have often with women who are living a parallel life. Sharing and listening to our "how did you two meet" stories was a highlight within all of the deep and thoughtful talk that turned up. I can't wait to meet these amazing women in person. It went so well that I suggested Nadège report the other side of the story by interviewing all of our husbands in another episode. 

You can hear Episode 47-Interracial Love HIM along with Episode 46 at What The Fockery podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or Radio Public App.

Oh, and I also have a brief appearance in Episode 49- MicroAggression. 

Check it out!

 

Episode 46 Interracial Love HER

open.spotify.com/episode/

Episode 46 Interracial Love HIM

open.spotify.com/episode/

Episode 49 MicroAgression

open.spotify.com/episode/

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5.25.20 

UPDATE: Audiobook Narration with Deyan Audio 

When No One Is Watching

by Alyssa Cole

The revamped home recording studio closet is up and running! And there's a new audiobook narration job.

I LOVED reading the "Sydney" chapters in award winning author Alyssa Cole's latest novel- a thriller set in modern day Brooklyn New York. I won't give too much away but this book is so very NOW!

“An intense psychological thriller that doesn’t let go until the final page. This is a terrific read.”
-Alafair Burke

When No One Is Watching goes on sale

Sept 15, 2020. (That's my birthday, ya'll!)

PRE-ORDER BOOK HERE 

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Author, Alyssa Cole

4.18.20 

UPDATE: Audiobook Narration with Deyan Audio

Scarlett Odyssey

By C.T. Rwizi

The stay at home orders that the state of California imposed for all residents found me wondering what my work would look like while at home. I'm now working with Deyan Audio narrating audiobooks and recorded my first novel this month, Scarlett Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi and it's FANTASTIC!

I couldn't put this book down. The story follows the quest of eighteen-year-old "Salo" as he journeys to a far away city searching for answers that could save not only him but his people too. This book is Afro Futurism meets, Tolkien, meets George R.R Martin. 

“Thrillingly refreshing, a propulsive story built around a fascinating cast of characters…brutal and beautiful and bold and Black in every way.” —Tor.com

Scarlet Odyssey is now on sale in hardcover and audiobook HERE

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Author, C.T. Rwizi

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3.11.20 

UPDATE: The Inkwell Theater

Staged Reading of Waiting

by Aja Houston

When I first got the script for Aja Houston's new play Waiting, it blew me away. 

 

While rehearsing we had to stop and take lots of deep breathes and check in with each other as we worked.  Several times I thought I might need to take a break in the alleyway behind the theater and cry. And we laughed a lot too - Aja has a knack for inserting just the right amount of absurd humor in when you need it.

Aja Houston has crafted a power packed, thought provoking, original piece about an after life world where characters Bland, Till, Grey, Martin and Proctor must navigate even more of their fate in order to find "freedom". March 13th was the reading's first and only performance as the next day the world stopped due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and a country that was unprepared and on the verge of shutting down.

I stood at the back of the house watching the actors give there all knowing that this might be the last time I would be in a theater for a very long time.

And here we ALL are nearly five months later and the names of the characters in this play are chanted at protests as the world wakes up to what WE and so many others have known for all too long.

 

Police brutality must end.

Reforms must be made.

Enough is enough.

We will get back to this play. It was important on March 11, 2020 and it'll be important in our future as artists continue to "hold up the mirror", make some NOISE and accomplish real CHANGE.

If you've landed here, and you want something to do, click on one of the links below:

DONATE A FEW OR LOTTA DOLLARS: #Justice4Saraya 

LEARN ABOUT: 

Black Girls Code 

SIGN A PETITION: 

Justice for Breonna Taylor

WRITE or CALL YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE

READ A BOOK WITH ME:

Stamped from the Beginning

by Ibram X. Kendi

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

https://africanastudies.rutgers.edu/

LISTEN TO THIS: 1619, a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones

 

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Left to Right: Mihara India, Brandon Rachal, David McClain Jr.,

Carlis Shane Clark, Xan Churchwell

Left to Right: Mihara India, Inger Tudor, Brandon Rachal, Kari Nicole

Seated: Carlis Shane Clark,

Left to Right: David McClain Jr., Carlis Shane Clark, Kari Nicole, Aja Houston,

Cherish Duke, Brandon Rachal, Annie McVey, Inger Tudor, 

Mihara India, Susan Dalian

Left to Right: Mihara India, Brandon Rachal, Carlis Shane Clark, 

David McClain Jr., Susan Dalian,Aja Houston,  

Justice for Saraya

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2.29.20 

UPDATE: AMMO Theatre Company

Staged Reading of

The Honeycomb Theory 

by Garrett Mercer

For four days we workshopped a staged reading of Garrett Mercer's new play The Honeycomb Theory with AMMO Theatre at The Pico (formerly Pico Playhouse 10508 W Pico Blvd).

 

Garrett and I worked together closely during the weeks leading up to the first rehearsal with me asking lots of questions and Garrett skillfully coming back the next day with brave and bold rewrites. His work is honest and he shared personal details on the genesis of his play. He had such strong work to begin with, and I was eager to get it up on its feet.

 

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect cast which included the talents of Roland Ruiz, Claudia Doumit, Jon Chaffin, Blake Young-Fountain, Dylan Jones, Lexi Sloane and Julie Bersani with Stage Manager Camella Cooper.

 

Playwright Garrett Mercer has written a raw, emotional, funny play based partly in magical realism while examining the life of a young man living with bipolar disorder. The actors lit up the stage at The Pico with an all out performance that received a glorious standing ovation for their work.

What a night! 

More to come from Garrett Mercer!

 

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Left to Right: Susan Dalian, Blake Young-Fountain, Garrett Mercer, Jon Chaffin, Claudia Doumit,

Camella Copper

In Front: Dylan Jones, Lexi Sloane

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Left to Right: Jon Chaffin,

Claudia Doumit, Roland Ruiz

2.17.20 

UPDATE: Happy New Year!

Directing 4 New Plays in LA

2020 has started off with a bang! After finally battling a several weeks long flu that started on a New Year's Eve ski trip. I'm healthy now finally and ready to  get back to work.  

First up...I'm directing a staged reading of Garrett Mercer's play The Honeycomb Theory with AMMO Theatre at The Pico (formerly Pico Playhouse 10508 W Pico Blvd) on Feb 29th 8pm. 

Next, is a new play by Aja Houston called Waiting that I'll be directing a staged reading of at The Inkwell Theater with performances on 3/11, 3/13, 3/15 and 3/16 at

VS. Theater 5453 W Pico Blvd  

Then, I'm happy to be back directing for a second time with Pasadena Playhouse and Cal Tech's MACH 33 Festival of New Science-Driven Plays on April 2 at 2pm at The Pasadena Playhouse. I'll be directing a staged reading of playwright Hannah Manikowski's latest work called The Sunrise From the Moon.

And last, I'm thrilled to be working with Amanda Black again directing her new play Switches in a performance reading as part of the USC MFA Playwrights program on April 11 and 12 at 6pm at Cammilleri Hall at USC.

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11.20.19

UPDATE: AMMO Theatre Company,  Los Angeles- One In The Chamber: Things You Thought You Knew 4Plays/2 Nights

In the fall of each year, AMMO Theatre Company presents an evening of 10 minute plays written by local playwrights. A great part of AMMO's mission was on display on these two nights: "...celebrate unique stories that hopefully inspires our Los Angeles community to do the same."

I got to direct a haunting and emotionally charged piece by Dionna M. DanielA Bagfull of Stars, with a wonderful cast including Juanita Jenkins, Lyndie Greenwood and Jason Ryan Lovett. Can't wait to see what's next from Dionna.

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Left to right: Dionna M. Daniel, Juanita Jenkins, Susan Dalian, Jason Ryan Lovett

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Left to right: Jason Ryan Lovett, Susan Dalian, Juanita Jenkins

9.15.19 

UPDATE: The Inkwell Theater, Los Angeles- staged reading of

Broken a new play 

written by Aaron Braxton 

For the past 8 seasons The Inkwell Theater Development Lab at VS. Theatre has brought a host of diverse voices from the playwriting community of Los Angeles as it "aims to bring the writer out of their office, or coffee shop, and into the rehearsal room."

It was such a pleasure being able to direct the first staged reading of their 9th Season with Aaron Braxton's play Broken about family, loss and healing. I had a wonderful cast who all jumped on board for a super quick three day rehearsal. And they brought it!

 

A special congrats and thank you to the production staff of The Inkwell Theater- Annie McVey, Daniel Shoenman, Rosie Glen-Lambert and Jeffree Davis! 

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Left to right: Mihara India, Aaron Braxton, Susan Dalian

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Left to right: Jeffree Davis, Yvans Jourdain, Aaron Braxton, Eddie Goines, Celestial, Pamela Shaddock, Derek Shaun, James T. Lawson II, Patricia Belcher, Mihara India, Susan Dalian, Annie McVey

Seated Front: Elisa Perry, Brandon Rachal

8.19.19 

UPDATE: Meet Cute- matchmaking for theater people! -

Los Angeles, CA

Catch A Fly

written by Amanda Black 

Meet Cute is the brainchild of directors Hannah Wolf and Katie Lindsay . "We introduce playwrights and directors and bring them together to stage a short play. All of our writer and director pairs work together for the first time. We create connections that last and celebrate our growing Los Angeles theater community."

Monday night's sold out crowd brought out some of the best in the LA theater community. I had a wonderful time directing an amazing cast that featured Christian A. Henley, Jalen Stewart, Yolanda Snowball and Karl Calhoun. We were all truly blessed to work with playwright Amanda Black's edgy, laugh filled piece that packed a power punch surprise ending.

It was the third Meet Cute, and a ticket everyone will want a seat at as word continues to spread about this exciting new event.

MeetCute 2019
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Left to right: Yolanda Snowball, Karl Calhoun, Jalen Stewart, Susan Dalian, (center) Christian A. Henley

7.18.19 

UPDATE: BITE ME accepted into Festival Angaelica Film Festival-

Duluth, MN October 9-13, 2019

BITE ME has been selected to be screened at Festival Angaelica Film Festival this year in Duluth, MN. This year Festival Angaelica partners with Catalyst for five days of film programming from all over the world. We are so excited to be a part of this and can't wait to see what Duluth has in store for us.

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6.30.19 

UPDATE: The Narcissist Next Door SOLD OUT audiences for all shows and awards at

Hollywood Fringe 2019-

Los Angeles, CA

Ellen Buckley's new play The Narcissist Next Door had a great run during Hollywood Fringe 2019. Shows started with a sold out preview and remained sold out during the 6 show run. To top it all off the play was awarded a Fringe ENCORE as well as a Better Lemons DoubleSWEET Award where critics and audiences agree that the show is SWEET! 

The cast included Luca Malacrino reprising his role as "Tony" the narcissist from the 11.19 staged reading at The Matrix, along with Kincaid Walker, Michael Nardelli, Réchard François, Dawn Joyal, Maggie Miguel, Bryce Harrow and Rob Harrow. 

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5.6.19 

UPDATE: BITE ME - the short film will have its World Premiere screening at Mammoth Lakes

Film Festival 2019 - 

Mammoth Lakes, CA

I am thrilled to announce that the dark comedy short film I co-wrote and co-directed with Marcus Nobreus will be screened at MLFF 2019 as part of their popular Saturday Morning Kids Block. The screening is at 10am at the US Forest Service Theater and includes live action and animated films from Europe being translated live by the funny and talented Flula Borg . 

MLLF was recently named for the 5th year in a row one of the TOP 50 FILM FESTIVALS WORTH THE ENRTY FEE by Movie Maker Magazine.

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4.1.19 

UPDATE: The Narcissist Next Door to have full production mounted as part of Hollywood Fringe 2019-

Los Angeles, CA 

I'll be directing a full production of the hilarious comedy The Narcissist Next Door written by Ellen Buckley as part of Hollywood Fringe 2019 at the Dorie Theater-The Complex Hollywood. The show will preview June 8th with shows June 15, 19, 23, & 29 at Dorie Theater-The Complex Hollywood. Actor Luca Malacrino reprises the role of "Tony" the narcissistic neighbor who descends into the lives of best friends Sebastian and Kate, played by the actress Kincaid Walker. The rest of the cast will be announced soon, but in the meantime if you'd like to learn more about the show, and where to purchase tickets visit https://susandalian.wixsite.com/narcissistnextdoor

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11.12.18 

UPDATE: The Narcissist Next Door staged reading at

The Matrix Theater-

Los Angeles, CA

On Monday night we had performance of a staged reading that I directed of Ellen Buckley's new play The Narcissist Next Door. We had great energy, feedback and laughter from the audience and Ellen is eager to get the play mounted in a full production.

Stay tuned for more to come from Ellen Buckley and forThe Narcissist Next Door. 

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Left to right: Front row- Rob Gill, Lizzie Peet, Gianluca Malacrino, Tony Williams
Back row-Jessica Corbett, Luke Shanahan,
Philly Wenderoth
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Left to right: Gianluca Malacrino as Tony, Kalan Lyle as Sebastian, Lizzie Peet as Kate, Philly Wenderoth as Bandito 2, Luke Shanahan as Bandito 1 & Javier,
Rob Gill as Robert