Alma Creative

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Director
AZ Espinoza
is a transmasculine feminist who makes magic through theater. Directing credits include Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness (Philadelphia Artists Collective and theBlackBestFriend), the world premiere of R. Eric Thomas’s Backing Track at the Arden Theatre (associate director) and the Philadelphia premiere of Angelina Weld Grimke’s 1915 anti-lynching play Rachel at Quintessence Theatre Company. Their play All My Mothers Dream in Spanish will have its world premiere at Azuka Theatre in 2023, and their play Homeridae has been developed nationally and was an Honorable Mention finalist for the Terrance McNally Award. They are the co-founder of theBlackBestFriend, a producing collective that uplifts Black multiplicities. They have been a theater educator at the Wilma Theater, Temple University, Haverford College, and the University of the Arts, and they are a student of liberation everywhere, and for everyone.
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Playwright
Benjamin Benne
(he/him) was named part of "LA Vanguardia: The Latino innovators, instigators and power players breaking through barriers" by the Los Angeles Times. His plays have been developed by the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, The Public Theater NYC, Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Realm, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Old Globe, Two River Theater, New Harmony Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, among many others, and his produced plays include Alma (Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre, American Blues Theater, ArtsWest Playhouse, Curious Theatre Company, Central Square Theater, The Spot), In His Hands (Mosaic Theater Company), and What / Washed Ashore / Astray (Pillsbury House Theatre). His work explores intimate, realistic relationships mixed with surreal, supernatural, and numinous elements that spur expansive, existential questions about grief and loss, death and the afterlife, faith and the divine. Ben is a recipient of Ojai Playwrights Conference's Dr. Kerry English Artist Award, Portland Stage's Clauder Competition Grand Prize, the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting, Arizona Theatre Company's National Latinx Playwriting Award, Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award, American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Playwriting Award, Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award, Playwrights' Center's McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting and Many Voices Fellowship. He is a Playwrights' Center '23-26 Core Writer, a Primary Stage's Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group alum, and has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the David Geffen/Yale School of Drama, where his teachers included Anne Erbe, Amy Herzog, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Sarah Ruhl. ​ He is represented by Luminosity Management and Paradigm Talent Agency. Select works available to read in full at New Play Exchange.