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Billy Aronson(Bleep this bleep) is an American playwright and writer most well known for coming up with the original concept of the rock opera Rent (which was based on Puccini’s opera La bohème). He also came up with additional lyrics for Rent, and he almost completely wrote “Santa Fe”. In addition to Rent he has written many one act plays such as Of Two Minds, Guilt, and Night Rules. He also helped create musicals, such as No Dogs Allowed, and Flurry. He has written for many popular children shows, including Postcards from Buster, Code Name: Kids Next Door, The Upside Down Show, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. He currently lives in New York with his wife Lisa and kids Anna and Jake.

Robert Blumenstein (The Art of Zen at the Lunch Counter) earned his MFA in playwriting from Virginia Commonwealth University. His plays have been produced throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. While serving as artistic director of the New Dominion Theatre of the Deaf, he adapted selections from The Canterbury Tales for the company. His second novel, Snapping the String, will be released in late October 2007.

Peter Coy (Saturday Morning/Friday Night) is the co-artistic director of the Hamner Theater. He has written more than thirty full-length plays and adaptations. Productions include: A House in the Country( Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA & Charter Theatre, DC – winner of Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play 2000), An Island of No Land at All (Keegan Theatre, DC), THE Wildman( Theatre at Limekiln, Lexington, VA), Carrie Rose (Hamner Theater), A Shadow of Honor( Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival) among others. His play Poe & All That Jazz, will open at the Hamner October 25.

Doug Grissom(Scratchy Glass)is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia and the co-founder of Offstage Theatre in Charlottesville. He is delighted to have work produced again at the Hamner; last spring the Hamner produced his adaptation of Uncle Vanya. In November his play Undress Me Clarence will be performed at Stageworks in New York and in the spring So Careless will be produced by the UVA Department of Drama.

Clinton A. Johnston (Representin’) is a new playwright who was part of the Hamner’s 2006 Summer Playwright’s Conference. His piece tonight is part of a larger work developed at that conference titled Am I Black Enough Yet? Look for it to be performed in full this spring in a joint production between the Hamner and Charter Theatre in DC.

Joel Jones (Regatta Club Freud)is from the Charlottesville area and began writing plays for Offstage Theater in 1991. He currently lives in New York, but has found many of his happiest moments in the last two years back in Virginia at The Hamner Theater’s summer playwrights retreat. (Two of his plays, Floating Girl and Miraculus, were work-shopped at the Earl Hamner Playwrights Conference, in 2006 & 2007.)

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