By Brian Robin
Meet the Creative Team of "avaaz"
One of the most talented directors in the country, Moritz von Stuelpnagel, heads up an accomplished creative team for avaaz by Michael Shayan. The one-person play one of the cornerstone productions in this year’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs April 29-May 27 on the Segerstrom Stage.
A Tony Award-nominated director for his work on Robert Askins’ Hand to God, von Stuelpnagel has three Broadway credits: Hand to God, Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet and Noël Coward’s Present Laughter (which earned three Tony nominations). He directed the West End productions of Rebeck’s Madhouse and Hand to God, which received an Olivier Award nomination. His off-Broadway credits took him to MCC Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi Theater Company/The Public Theater), Manhattan Theatre Club, Studio 42 (where he’s the former Artistic Director), Lincoln Center and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally, von Stuelpnagel directed at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Alliance Theatre and Geffen Playhouse, among others. von Stuelpnagel directed Ava: The Secret Conversations by Elizabeth McGovern, currently running at the Geffen Playhouse.
Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design) is a Tony Award-winning designer for Act One, one of four Tony nominations he earned among his 29 Broadway set designs. His 100 off-Broadway credits include Shakespeare in the Park’s Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Last Five Years, an all-Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof, Sleepwalk With Me and Miss Julie. Boritt has designed for the NYC Ballet and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The winner of the 2007 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, Boritt wrote Transforming Space Over Time, a book about Broadway set design.
Joshua “Domino” Schwartz (Costume Design) makes his SCR debut with avaaz. He won an Emmy Award for the HBO Max show “We’re Here.”
Also making his SCR debut is Amith Chandrashaker (Lighting Design), a Drama Desk Award winner for his work on Prayer for the French Republic by Joshua Harman. His work was featured at The Public Theater, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkeley Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, Houston Grande Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Colorado and The Glimmerglass Festival, among others. Chandrashaker is currently an assistant professor of lighting design at the University of Maryland’s school for Theatre Dance and Performance Studies.
Noel Nichols, UptownWorks (Sound Design) heads a team of dynamic sound designers that creates collaboratively for theatre, film, podcasts, music production and other media. UptownWorks’ credits include Clean/Espejos (Hartford Stage/Syracuse Stage), Which Way To The Stage (Signature Theatre), the ripple, the wave… (Berkeley Repertory/Goodman Theatre), Choir Boy and Today is my Birthday (Yale Repertory), Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long Wharf Theatre) and Queen (Long Wharf Theatre), among others. Assisting Nichols on avaaz are Bailey Trierweiler and Daniela Hart.
A visual artist and media designer for live performances, Yee Eun Nam (Projection Design) returns to SCR after creating projection design for Clean/Espejos, The Canadians and Aubergine. A multiple-Ovation Award nominee. Nam won a 2020 LA Drama Critics Circle Theatrical Excellence Award for CGI/Video. Nam’s work could be seen at Audible Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, San Francisco Symphony, L.A. Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Goodman Theatre, Kansas City Repertory, Center Theatre Group, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Pasadena Playhouse, among others. Nam holds an MFA in Theater Design from UCLA and a BFA in Design and Metal Craft at SNU in Seoul, Korea.
Lauren Lovett (Vocal Coach) is a dialect, voice and character coach and former actor with credits at Berkeley Repertory, Indiana Repertory, The Alley Theatre, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum and Geffen Playhouse, among others. She is also an intimacy and consent-based practices consultant for television, film and theatre production. Her credits there include productions at The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, IAMA Theater Company, The Antaeus Company and Broadway Asia, among others. A Juilliard graduate, Lovett is certified in Hypnotherapy, Integrative Health Coaching and Jungian Studies.
Abigail Katz (Dramaturg) is the current Associate Producer for Atlantic Theater Company, where she expanded the play development program by creating the Amplified Reading Series and the Launch Commission for early career writers. Her dramaturg credits include plays at Atlantic, Native Voices at the Autry, The Kennedy Center, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and The Civilians, where Katz was the Literary Associate and Dramaturg from 2007-09. She teaches at Atlantic’s conservatory and the College of Performing Arts at the New School in New York.