Voice Recognition, A Virtual Theatre Festival

voice-recognition-festival-poster-w800Six professional playwrights will each write a brand new 10-minute play. The catch? To translate their play from the page to digital text, they can use only voice recognition software. The plays, complete with the “choices” that voice recognition makes for the playwright, will be staged in concert reading format by student directors and student actors from Bloomsburg University and streamed live on the BU Players Facebook page in April 2017.

Conceived and led by artistic director David A. Miller, this festival was inspired by the unpredictable, often comic and regularly absurd ways in which voice recognition alters our words. David hopes that the experience will offer insight into how we communicate with one another in a digital age.

About the Playwrights

Eugenie Carabatsos is a New York based playwright and screenwriter. Her full-length plays have won the Kennedy Center Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award, BroadwayWorld Award for Best Play in South Carolina, the Trustus Theatre Playwrights Contest, the Mountain Playhouse Comedy Writing Competition, the Venus Theatre Festival, the University of Tulsa’s WomensWork Competition, and the Variations Theatre Group’s Unchained Festival. They have been produced by Trustus Theatre, iDiOM Theatre, and South Park Theatre, as well as in a number of festivals and development programs, including the Great Plains Theater Conference and Last Frontier Theater Conference. She graduated with her MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016, and received her BA from Wesleyan University in 2010. eugeniecarabatsos.com

Kevin R. Free is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been showcased many places, including the Where Project (2015), QED: A Place for Storytelling (2014); on the Moth Mainstage (“Heart of Darkness,” 2012), Dana Rossi’s The Soundtrack Series, Kathleen Warnock’s Drunken! Careening! Writers! (2012). His current project is as producer, co-writer, and star of the new Webseries Gemma & The Bear!, which was the only web series to receive an award of excellence by Best Shorts in 2015. kevinrfree.com

Dano Madden is a playwright and director, originally from Boise, Idaho. He is a 2015 MacDowell Fellow. Dano’s plays have been produced and/or received development by Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Source Festival, The Artful Conspirators, World At Large Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The National New Play Network, Mile Square Theatre, Burnt Studio Productions, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Idaho Theatre for Youth, Kitchen Theatre Company, Rutgers University, The University of Tulsa, Bloomsburg University, Lark Play Development Center, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Boise Contemporary Theater and Boston Theatre Works, among others. He is a five time Heideman Award finalist. He was the winner of the Kennedy Center’s 2007 National Student Playwriting Award and a finalist for the National New Play Network’s 2010 Smith Prize. Published works include: In the Sawtooths and Drop (Samuel French, Inc.), Beautiful American Soldier and Ella (Best American Short Plays 2005-2006 & 2009-2010), The Save (Playscripts, Inc.), The Soft Sand and Survival (Northwest Playwrights Alliance), The RaccoonLeaving IKEA and Third Ward Scandal (Indie Theater Now) and monologues in The Best Men’s Stage Monologues and Scenes 2010 (Smith & Kraus) and Exceptional Monologues 2 (Samuel French, Inc.) In 2007, Dano was named one of “50 Playwrights to Watch” by The Dramatist magazine. danomadden.com

Erin Mallon is a writer, actor and voice artist. Her plays have been presented with Urban Stages, The American National Theatre, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, New Georges, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Amios Theatre Company, The Collective, Cherry Picking, Mastodon Theater, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, Project Y Theater, InViolet Theater and The Brooklyn Generator. Erin’s play Branched directed by Robert Ross Parker and produced by InViolet Theater premiered at HERE Arts Center (February 2014) and is included in Indie Theater Now’s PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS 2015 and published by Original Works Publishing. Her new play, A Mind Out of the Gutter is an Honorable Mention on the 2016 Kilroys List. Other full-length plays include: Skin in the Game (a play with music), Hand Me Down (a commission for Fieldston School), Good Riddance and The Other White Meat. Recent work as an actor includes: Mac Wellman’s solo show Horrocks (and Toutatis too) (Sleeping Weazel), Eric John Meyer’s The Sister (Dutch Kills) and multiple shows with Buran Theater. Erin is also a devoted volunteer at The 52nd Street Project, the voice of many audiobooks and commercials and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator. erinmallon.net

Christopher G. Ulloth is a New York City based playwright, dramaturg and graphic designer.  He was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.  His plays have been presented at or received development with the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Project Y Theatre, the 92nd Street Y (different Y’s) and Bloomsburg University.  He is a founding member of Elephant Room Productions and an Associate Producer for Project Y Theatre.  Publication: Indie Theater Now.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from Bloomsburg University. christopher.ulloth.com

Catherine Weingarten is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University, studying under Charles Smith and Erik Ramsey.  She graduated from Bennington College in 2013 studying under Sherry Kramer.  She has taken workshops in playwriting with Samuel D. Hunter, Kara Lee Corthon and Branden Jacob-Jenkins. Catherine’s summer camp play “Are You Ready to Get PAMPERED!?” had a reading at 59E59 with Less than Rent and also was part of Dixon Place’s Bingo Lounge.  Some of her other plays include: Pineapple Upside Down Cake (KCACTF:national semi-finalist), Janis and the Big BAD World (Semi-finalist at Wide Eyed Productions), A Roller Rink Temptation (NOLA Fringe), This Car Trip Suckss ( Piper Theater Productions Emerging Artist Reading Series), Karate Hottie (OU Seabury Quinn Play Fest) Love Potion Number Slut (Tiny Rhino) and You Looked Hot When You Stole that Dress from Walmart (Fresh Fruit Festival.)  She has been involved with Abingdon Playwrights Group as well as New Perspective’s Women’s Work Short Play Lab.  She is the recipient of the Scott McPherson award given to a graduate playwright at Ohio University that is a kind and supportive collaborator in the program. catherine-weingarten.squarespace.com


The company of actors for Voice Recognition are enrolled in Theatre 312: Intermediate Acting: Kendall Baird, Carly Carmen, Toni Carosella, Johnathan Carpenter, Alicia Chamberlin, Kimberlin Chilenski, Shameriah Diggs-Washington, Brian Katzmaier, James Lee, Brandon Leiphart, Kayla McGarry, Aaron Mowery, Taylor Rouillard, Jonathan Schultz, Christopher Thorne, and Dianara Vazquez.


David A. Miller, Josué Nieves, Titus O’Neil, Nate Stosius


voice-recognition-tweetDavid A. Miller (Artistic Director) is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Bloomsburg University where he teaches all levels of acting, directing and playwriting, as well as specialty courses in devised theatre and creative drama as a teaching tool. As a professional director and artistic leader, David founded The Artful Conspirators, a Brooklyn-based theatre company dedicated to creating new theatrical work involving the audience in the theatre-making process. He is a resident director for Amphibian Stage Productions (Fort Worth, TX) and is a company member of Stillwater Writers (New York, NY). MFA, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Madeline Okuniewski (Assistant Producer) is a Senior at Bloomsburg University pursuing a BA in Theatre with a Performance Emphasis.