The Ignite Project is an 8 week lab for artists to create brand new plays
written for or inspired by our company.
COHORT #1 FACILITATORS
David Johann Kim
David’s plays Pang Spa and Two Stop were both awarded the 2022 Los Angeles New Play Project Award and Grant. Two Stop was recently workshopped at The Inkwell Theater. Pang Spa was a semifinalist for the 2018 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Ashland New Play Festival and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He holds and MFA from UC San Diego and is a member of The Dramatists Guild, EST/LA’s Playwrights Unit, The Playwrights Union, Playwrights ThinkTank and cofounder of EST/LA’s Ignite Project. David spent the first half of his career in the theatre primarily as an actor. He performed at theatres on both coasts including: The Public Theatre, NY Theatre Workshop, The Lark, Mabou Mines, Repertorio Espanol, La Mama ETC in NYC and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Asian American Theatre Co. and El Teatro Campesino in California.
ROSIE NARASAKI is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actor. Her acting highlights include IN LOVE AND WARCRAFT and TWO MILE HOLLOW with Artists at Play, as well as a pre-Greta Gerwig turn as Amy in a multicultural transposition of LITTLE WOMEN. Her play UNRIVALED is to be produced by Playwright’s Arena in 2023 and her play WHEN YURI MET MALCOLM is currently touring schools across Los Angeles with East West Players’ Theatre for Youth Program.
Makeda Declet is a Guyanese-American playwright, actress, and producer with a proclivity to mention her Brooklyn upbringing (and her unwavering love of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) at least twice, per conversation! A co-founder of The Ignite Project, she graduated from New York University, with a BFA in Theater. Her passion lies in telling stories about Black family dynamics, self-discovery, and addiction through the lens of Black, Queer protagonists. Based in Los Angeles, Makeda is also a co-founder of Circle of Writers LA (sponsored by Final Draft and Coverfly). She developed her play HAMMER at Moving Art’s MADLab development program and is developing her television pilot, Putting On, with Story 27’s Writers’ Colony. She is an HBO All-Access Fellowship and Sundance Uprise Grant finalist, as well as a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is currently attending Northwestern’s MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage program.
COHORT #1 WRITERS
Angela Bullock is an award-winning Actor/Writer who has appeared on LA and regional stages such as EST/LA, The Guthrie and Yale Rep. Guest star/co-star appearances include Shameless and The Sopranos. MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University LA; member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA and EST/LA.
Lauren Campedelli is an award-winning actor and director, including Los Angeles, Chicago and regional stages as well as film. An EST/LA member, Lauren has acted in and directed productions and staged readings for its play development programs. She was a longtime member of Evidence Room, appearing in more than a dozen of its productions. As a writer, her original performance work has been produced at LA's Glaxa Studios and Chicago's Live Bait Theater and Society For New Things. Ignite was her first foray into playwriting. Lauren also works with TheatreWorkers Project's reentry workshops with formerly incarcerated individuals.
Katie Styliani Grant is an early career writer, director, and dramaturg. Her most recent work includes Mud-Caked Validation & Salt Air, Upheave into a Slidecase, Perishable Skills on Window Sills, and …my arms are open, open, open, but where are you? As a writer/director, her work has been seen and developed with/at the Dramatist Guild Foundation, Ensemble Studio Theatre (Los Angeles), LAFPI (Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative), the Ignite Project, Atwater Village Theatre, [re]group, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation/New York University partnership, and more.
Harrison Harvey is a playwright and actor from Houston, Texas and based in Los Angeles. He studied acting and playwriting at University of Texas at Austin and the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. An alum of Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA's New West Playwrights, his play Jack Craddock is Having a Party received a staged reading in EST/LA’s Winterfest 2022, and premiered at Moving Arts in 2023.
Michael B. Kaplan
Michael B. Kaplan had his first play produced in the One-Act Marathon at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. Since then he has worked primarily as a TV writer and producer on a dozen different prime time shows for ABC, NBC, FOX and the CW, including stints on such seminal shows as “Roseanne” and “Frasier.” He created "I'm in the Band" on Disney XD and "Dog with a Blog" on Disney Channel, serving as showrunner for both. He has been nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning one, and received a BET Comedy Award for his work as a writer on “Girlfriends.” He is the author of the “Betty Bunny” series of children’s books. Recently, he has been writing plays for EST/LA and PlaygroundLA. ( Playwrights Unit member).
Jude Lutz writes plays, TV/film, and fictional podcasts. She believes the most powerful way to speak to audiences is through emotion and humor. Her sweet spot is the convergence of darkly comedic drama, social issues, and flawed family relationships. Growing up in New Jersey, she was inspired by New York theater. She still is. She can be found writing around town accompanied by her rock star labradoodle. (Playwrights Unit member)
Leilani Squire is an award-winning playwright, published writer, certified creativity coach. She’s CEO of Returning Soldiers Speak, 501(c)(3), whose mission is to empower veterans, and their families to tell their stories. She’s a member of EST/LA, Playwrights Unit, The Dramatist Guild, and alumna of Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive and EST/LA’s The Ignite Project. 15 DEAD SOULS won Veterans Repertory Theater’s inaugural 10-minute playwriting contest, and is forthcoming in Smith & Krauss’ 2023 BEST 10-MINUTE PLAYS.
Jacob Surovsky is a playwright, game designer, and puppeteer from Southern California. He is currently a member of EST/LA's New West Playwrights, and a past participant of the first cohort of EST/LA's Ignite Project. He likes writing plays that are highly theatrical, sometimes about Judaism, and often featuring puppets. As a playwright, past favorite projects include Mira and the Whale, Christmastown, Happy Puppet Hour 2, and Emma and Richie's Big Viking Funeral! See more at jacobsurovsky.com or on Instagram @coolthingsbyjacob.