Meet our Semi-Finalists: Sedona Edition!

Who hasn’t daydreamed about visiting the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, AZ?  I grew up just an hour away from the famous desert landscape, and spent many a day-trip wandering through this beautiful artist retreat – so I was absolutely ecstatic when Kate Hawkes with Red Earth Theatre signed on to produce a reading of our ONSTAGE Project plays at the Sedona Arts Center.

Kate has been an avid supporter of Little Black Dress INK, directing for both of our previous festivals and sharing her work in our From the Mouths of Babes festival in 2012.  We’re super excited to have her at the helm in Sedona!  The reading will take place at 5:00 on May 4th – mark your calendars!

Red Rocks rehearsal

In Sedona:  Dev Ross (director), Jess Masters carrying Shondra Jepperson and Kate Hawkes (playwright)

And now, let’s meet our Sedona semi-finalists:


allie_costa_pink8Allie Costa is a writer, actress, and director based in Los Angeles. Who She Could Have Been was inspired by a photograph. Allie’s original plays and screenplays include Prodigal Daughter, Testimony,Resurrecting Big Bird, and Can You Keep a Secret? Her play Little Swan, a Pas de Deux, inspired by the life of Anna Pavlova, recently had a reading at the Zephyr Theatre. Allie is currently playing Sam in Wake at the SeaGlass Theatre. Additional theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Martha/Ilse), Hamlet (Guildenstern), Gypsy (Baby Louise), Pope Joan (Young Joan), Before a Fall (Darla), and What the Moon Saw (Matchgirl). Film/TV credits include 90210, Unusual Suspects, You Me & Her, and Unintentionally Awesome. She’s a proud member of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative and PlayGround-LA. She always has energy to burn and a song to sing. Occasionally, she sleeps.

YOU TOUCH ME, by Gail Mangham

Gail Image frontGail Mangham is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Artist’s Path, an arts organization that explores the premise that art and artists have the capacity to shape individuals and societies.  She holds an MFA in Drama with an emphasis in acting.  While she considers herself an actress first, most of her time is spent producing and directing.  At this writing she is completing an 18 month project, The Changing Landscape of Journalism and Ethics through Theatre, Film, and Photography.  Gail is particularly pleased to be creating the role of fellow Houstonian Molly Ivins in the play, RED HOT PATRIOT-THE KICK-ASS WIT OF MOLLY IVINS by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel.  April 3-12, Details at  “Thanks to Little Black Dress Inc. for the opportunity to test my wings as a playwright.”

REBECCA ON THE BUS, by Jennie Webb

JennieWebb-LA FPIJennie Webb is an independent Los Angeles playwright, currently in residence at Rogue Machine (where her dark retail comedy Yard Sale Signs premiered) and Theatricum Botanicum (where she runs workshops and “Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights”). Her plays, including Remodeling Plans, Unclaimed Assets, GreenHouse, On Tuesday, It’s Not About Race  and Buying a House, have been produced in LA (most recently at Theatre of NOTE and Santa Monica Rep.), on stages across the country and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s been part of The Playwright Center’s PlayLabs, past Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festivals and the Virginia Avenue Project, and is published by Heinemann Press and ICWP. Her play Crazy Bitch will be developed at the 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference. She is a member of The Playwrights Union, EST/LA’s Playwrights Unit, Fell Swoop Playwrights and co-founder of the LA Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI). + @jenniewebbsite

AFTER DARK, by Lavinia Roberts

Lavinia Roberts Photo (956x1280)Lavinia Roberts is an activist, performance artist, and playwright. She is published with Heuer Publishing, Meriwether Publishing, Brooklyn Publishers, One Act Play Depot, and others.  Her work has been produced with the Subversive Theatre Collective in Buffalo, NY, Stone Soup Theatre in Seattle, Washington, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project, and the Bloomington Playwrights Project, in Bloomington, Indiana, and others. Her full length play, Counting Skunks, won the 2011 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Playwriting Award at the Castillo Theatre in New York City.  She is a member of the 2012 Women’s Work Lab at the New Perspective Theatre and Sanctuary Playwrights. Her work has been featured in NYC at the Secret Theatre, the Metropolitan Playhouse,  Dixon Place, with the Sparrow Tree Theatre Company, the Manhatten Repertory Theatre, in the John Chatterley Short Play Lab, and in the Thespis Fringe Festival.  This Spring she will be doing applied theatre work in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand, and an artist residency at Vyt Art’s Students League.

THE REPLICA, by Katelyn Tustin

Headshot 2Katelyn Tustin is originally from Boston, MA and just recently relocated to Santa Barbara, CA. She has been very active in the theatre community since high school as an actress, director, producer, playwright, stage manager and more. Katelyn received her BA in Business from Saint Anselm College of Manchester, NH in 2009. While there she spent countless hours onstage and backstage for 20 productions with the Anselmian Abbey Players and three years on their board of directors. After graduating she has worked with The Boston Opera Collaborative, Be True Theatre Co, The Hovey Players of Waltham and most recently with The Elements Theatre Collective in Santa Barbara. While not in the theatre or at her day job, Katelyn enjoys spending most of her time with her amazing boyfriend Derek. She would also like to thank her incredible family and friends for their support and love.


Ewbank HeadshotMelanie Ewbank is an award winning actress and playwright with numerous Los Angeles and regional theater credits as well as film and television credits. A staged reading of her full-length play I Found Baby Jesus in the Cat Box was produced by Pasadena Playhouse, and her one-act play Platitudes of Perfect-ness took first place in Knoxville Writer’s Guild’s 2012 writing contest. She has worked as a voiceover artist in Los Angeles, and is the audiobook co-narrator for Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series.


1-2-3 JUMP, by Kate Hawkes

bigkate(1)Originally from Australia, Kate Hawkes holds degrees in Education and Counseling, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Portland. She is a freelance theatre professional, arts in healthcare consultant and long time educator. She created Performing Wellness ™ an arts in healthcare writing/performance process and has worked professionally in all aspects of theatre, from acting, directing, producing, writing and management for over 25 years. Kate is a co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of the new Northern Arizona theatre company, Red Earth Theatre. (to contact Kate go to:

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