The Ignite Project is an 8 week lab for artists to create brand new plays
written for or inspired by our company.
COHORT #4 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.
COHORT #4 WRITERS
Jessica Jade Andres
Born and raised in Minnesota, Jessica Jade Andres is a Filipina-American actor and creator. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and continued her work in theatre in New York City and then Los Angeles. She is a member of The Road theatre company and Filipinx Actors Barkada. She is thrilled to be a part of EST/LA’s Ignite Project, as her first professional theatre gig was for EST’s Marathon in New York. She lives in Chatsworth with her husband and their children: Juliet (2) and Comet (5 in cat years).
Jacqueline Castañeda is an actor, writer, and filmmaker who has worked with companies such as Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble, Towne Street Theatre, and Casa 0101. She studied writing for stage/film through Center Theatre Group's community partnership programming. She created her first short and penned her first play, all in the span of a few weeks. Jacqueline has produced award-winning shorts with her friends at Venture Works Film for YouTube and the streaming platform Vyre Network. She affirms art is essential to promote a sense of growth, community, and activism. Keep up with her on Instagram, @post_moderngirl
Reginald Edmund is the Co-Founder and Managing Curating Producer for Black Lives, Black Words International Project. Inspired by #blacklivesmatter, this project gives voice to some of the most contemporary political black writers from both the US, Canada and the UK, asking them to explore the question, “Do black lives matter today?” In addition, to being a part of the Playwrights Group at EST/LA, he is a company member at Towne Street Theatre, he was a Resident Playwright at Tamasha Theatre in London, England and an Alumni Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Pegasus Theatre-Chicago and an Artistic Patriot at Merrimack Repertory Theatre; the Founder of the Unit Collective, and he was also a 2010-11 Many Voice Fellow with the Playwrights’ Center. His play Southbridge was runner up for the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry and Rosa Parks National Playwriting Awards, and most recently named winner of the Southern Playwrights’ Competition, the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best New Play and the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. His nine-play series titled The City of the Bayou Collection, include Southbridge, Juneteenth Street, The Last Cadillac and All the Dying Voices were developed at esteemed theaters including Pegasus Theatre-Chicago, Deluxe Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Bush Theatre (UK), Theatre @ Boston Court, The Landing Theatre, Playwrights’ Center and The National Theatre (UK). Reginald Edmund received his BFA in Theatre-Performance from Texas Southern University and his MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University. (Playwrights Unit Member)
J. Kwang Lee
Technically a Seoulite, J.Kwang Lee left Korea long before it became the vibe. Gen-X certified, he’s old enough to remember the Reagan ‘80s, but real talk, the ‘90s were his jam. Former latchkey kid, with Basic Cable Nanny & FM Radio Spiritual Guide, he’s been wrestling with his place in the American experiment “since the days of underoos.” Mashing-up Midwestern self-deprecation, Cali swag, and Korean spice, J. Kwang’s narratives speak from the very specific, ethno-religious, and pop-culture infused place that has informed (or misinformed) his current worldview. J.Kwang has had plays developed/performed at East West Players, Playwrights’ Arena and EST/LA. (Playwrights Unit Member)
Daria Miyeko Marinelli
Daria Miyeko Marinelli (they/she) is a Japanese-Italian playwright who writes about the impossible long-con, outcasts and underdogs trying to honor the wildness of their hearts, and our dangerously invisible cultural mythology. Their plays include Ravenous, Beautiful Blessed Child, and This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic. Mx. Marinelli has developed work with Roundabout Theatre Company, The Playwrights Realm, The New Harmony Project, La Jolla Playhouse’s WOW Festival, Fault Line Theatre, and Cirque du Soleil. Mx. Marinelli is currently developing a TV series with Hill District Media and serves on the Board for The New Harmony Project. BA: Brown University. MFA: University of Texas at Austin.
Schaeffer Nelson is a Kansan playwright, screenwriter, and multi-disciplinary horror writer living in Oakland. His plays include Mice (EST/LA 2017), Kings of Israel, and Hottest Church Dads (Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2023). Audio adaptations of his creepypastas appear on podcasts such as Creepy and Mr. Creepypasta and can be heard on YouTube and most major streaming platforms. He is a member of Oakland Theater Project, and an alum of EST/LA's New West Playwrights. By day, he works in the paperwork side of construction. (EST/LA Member)
I am a theatre director and arts administrator currently based in Los Angeles on Tongva land. I use she/her pronouns and identify as mixed-race (Japanese-American and European-American). I am passionate about theatrical, non-naturalistic, poetic storytelling that builds community, bridges difference, and imagines a hopeful future. I am currently the Associate Artistic Director at Boston Court Pasadena where I lead community engagement and partnership initiatives. My recent directing projects include the world premiere of Unrivaled by Rosie Narasaki with Boston Court and Playwrights' Arena; the world premiere Frankel & Bloom chamber musical We Three Sisters and Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with Method & Madness Theater Co., a classical theater company I co-founded; as well as workshops and staged readings of new plays for Playwrights Union, EST/LA, the Road Theatre, Occidental College's New Play Festival, SkyPilot, and Actor's Circle Ensemble. I have assistant directed on shows at Pasadena Playhouse, The Geffen Playhouse, and the Getty Villa among others. In my previous life I was a scenic designer for theatre and worked as an Art Dept PA for Blumhouse's horror anthology Into the Dark.
Jacqueline Wright (Jax) CalArts graduate, their plays have been produced/developed/ commissioned with Fusion Theatre Company, Theatre of NOTE, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Occidental College, CalArts, The Echo, Cypress College and Northridge State. A recipient and/or nominee of LA Weekly, Stage Raw, Ovations, and Drama Critic’s Circle awards. A Jerome Fellowship alternate for their play Love Water, a finalist for Sundance Screenwriter's Lab, and a semifinalist for the Sherwood Award. The feature film adaptation of their critically acclaimed play Eat Me (Sundance lab finalist, Best Film: Cult Film & Peephole Festival) now streaming on all platforms including Fandor. (EST/LA Member)