Instructors and Mentors

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Owen Robertson (Lead Instructor) is the executive producer and founder of LAB Theater Project. He has over thirty years experience working in regional theater from Washington D.C. to Central Florida. He is a true theater generalist and has spent those thirty years as an actor, director, designer, playwright, and producer. He has written several full length plays which have had productions with LAB Theater Project (TOBY'S GAME and SO LONG LIFE). He received his training as an actor and director at George Mason University and The Washington Shakespeare Theatre. He has a BA in English from Saint Leo University with a focus in Dramaturgy. His MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen is from The New Hampshire Institute of Art. Currently, he is a doctoral student at the University of South Florida pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Innovation. 

Ben Bartolone (Mentor) is the Artistic Director of KEF Theater Productions in New York City.  Through KEF he has created and curated THE BLUESTONE PROJECT, a reading series on a mission to bring more empathy to a divided nation by producing new work from across the actual nation, written and directed by people who strive to reflect the fabric of our actual nation.  He is also an accomplished playwright, actor, director, and producer. 
 

Wendy Graf (Mentor) is an award winning playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and internationally. Recent plays include: EXIT WOUNDS (Gold Medallion 1st place winner Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle New Play Initiative); UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS - A LOVE STORY (Stage Raw Recommended Top Ten; L.A. Times Pick of the Week, multiple Critics Choice) PLEASE DON’T ASK ABOUT BECKET (prod 7-9/16 "Graf’s emotionally astute drama peels away layers of pathology with surgical skill”-Los Angeles Times); ALL AMERICAN GIRL (Stage Raw Recommended Top Ten/2015 nom Playwriting and Solo performance; LA Times Pick of the Week; LA Weekly “GO!” StageSceneLA 2015 Outstanding Solo Performance Production; Bitter Lemons 2015 Ten Best); CLOSELY RELATED KEYS (dir by Shirley Jo Finney; NAACP win/nominations); NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME (2012 GLAAD Award Outstanding L.A. Theater, HELEN HAYES AWARDS Recommended); BEHIND THE GATES; LESSONS (L.A. production dir by Gordon Davidson); LEIPZIG (LADCC nomination; Garland award/Playwriting; Dorothy Silver finalist); THE BOOK OF ESTHER (San Fernando Valley Artistic Directors nominations including Best Play; ASK Theater Projects Grant Award); BETHANY/BAKOL (Attic Theater One Act Winner, produced September 2009)and her newest, A SHONDA and WEDNESDAY’S CHILD

 

Recent Honors

 “Playwright Wendy Graf Named Gold Medallion Winner by The Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative." The first recipient of the Gold Medallion is EXIT WOUNDS, selected out of 1,243 submissions from 44 states and 5 countries.​

 

Now available in paperback from Original Works  Publishing (www.originalworksonline.com): Unemployed Elephants - A Love Story

Recent Award Winning short plays 

SOPHIE/ALEXANDER/LISBOA; ASHES TO ASHES; A HOLLYWOOD FABLE; LESTER AND SCHLOSS; REPORTS OF MY DEATH HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED; A SHONDA; RED AND BLUE.