Meet the Mentors of New Voices 2020!
Players by the Sea’s annual new play development program, New Voices, returns — reimagined! Created in 2016 and inspired by new play development programs across the country, New Voices aims to develop the next wave of American voices right here in Jacksonville. In previous years, the program selects 1-2 established OR aspiring playwrights to embark on a yearlong developmental journey and pairs them with mentors who help guide the process from conception to final draft. The program culminates in a fully mounted production of their new play. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take center stage, we’re reimagining New Voices! To continue this program, we are pivoting to a virtual process. The first installment in this reimagined program is New Voices: Voices Unheard. We’ll select 3 established or aspiring playwrights through a blind submission process to begin a 12 week development and writing journey. Through mentorship, workshopping, and writing sessions, our selected playwrights will be ready to rehearse and showcase their 15-20 minute short play that uplifts and highlights the voices of the unheard — whatever that may look like.
We're thrilled to announce the 3 mentors that will guide the playwrights from page to stage!
Dr. Nadia Ramoutar, PhD
Nadia Ramoutar is a dynamic writer, director, social change agent and artist. Born in Ireland to a West Indian Father and Irish mother, her life has always been filled with colorful stories. She earned a PHD in Communications from the University of Florida. An actress and stage play writer from an early age, Nadia has also written and directed many films and television shows. She taught storytelling and creative courses in colleges for the past 20 years and mentored not one, but two Student Academy Award Winners. She loves to coach and mentor creative people and help them realize their potential.
Paul Oakley Stovall
Paul Oakley Stovall is a multi-hyphenate artist and activist based in Chicago. He is currently playing George Washington in the first national tour of HAMILTON: An American Musical by Lin Manuel-Miranda.
While performing on tour, his KernoForto Productions (KFP) has completed three projects. The first, a short film entitled BUFFALO, has been selected to L’Age D’Or Arthouse Film Festival, Kaleidoscope LGBTQ Film Festival, Cine-Maniacs in Germany, and is a nominee for the Pigeon D’Or in Kolkata. It has also recently been selected to Prague, Madrid, Montreal and aGLIFF, an LGBT festival in Austin, TX.
The second, a web series pilot called COLUMBUS, just won best web series at the Big Apple Film Festival in NYC, and scored five awards at the LA Independent Shorts, including Best Sci-Fi, Best Thriller and Best Original Story. It has also been selected to Montreal. Ep102 is in
Other projects in the hopper include FATHERS AND SONS, a messy dramedy about interracial intersectional LGBTQ parenting in a post Obama era; ADVANCE, a political thriller; THREE STORIES HIGH, where Twilight Zone and Black Mirror copulate with Dear White People; THE TRANSMANAUT CHRONICLES, four black teenage best friends on an epic road trip set in 1970s California; and two comedies, GOOD TIMES TALENT and INCOGNEGRO, about a black talent agency, and a black detective agency, respectively.
Mr. Stovall was also a staff writer for season 4 on the STARZ network hit comedy Survivor’s Remorse (Mike O’Malley - showrunner, Ali Leroi - EP) starring NAACP award recipient Tichina Arnold.
As a playwright he is a Steinberg, Jeff, and GLAAD award nominee for his play Immediate Family, which has been directed by Phylicia Rashad at Goodman and Mark Taper Forum. His musical CLEAR was chosen for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights/ Music Theatre Conference and subsequently his play THE HUNTED (co-written with Evan Linder) was a 2017 Finalist.
As an actor, he has appeared off-Broadway at Second Stage in Tony winner Mary Zimmerman’s Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and at Lincoln Center in the world premiere of Dessa Rose directed by Graciela Daniele. Other NYC work includes .22 Caliber Mouth at Ohio
Theatre directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, and assistant director to Phylicia Rashad for the Signature Theatre production of Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street. Regionally, Mr. Stovall has appeared in Chicago at Steppenwolf in the world premiere of The Qualms by Tony winner Bruce Norris and directed by Tony winner Pam McKinnon. More recently he has appeared as Belize in Tony winner David Cromer’s production of Angels in America at KC Rep.
National tours include RENT and Once On This Island, and he starred in the world premiere of Seito Ren-San’s political drama Otonari No Dasso Hei at Kunikuniya Hall in Tokyo.
Film credits include Robert Altman’s THE COMPANY, John Cameron Mitchell’s SHORTBUS, and a starring role in Danish film director Bjarke de Koning’s LGBT film RENOVERING (Renovation) which has been seen internationally in Durban, China, India, Uganda, Serbia,
Copenhagen and beyond. TV: Empire (Fox), Chicago Fire (NBC), Shameless and The Chi (Showtime).
Outside of entertainment, Paul served as an press advance associate for President Obama and subsequently served as a media logistics coordinator and advance staff lead for First Lady Michelle Obama, representing the Obama administration across the nation and overseas in Sweden, Turkey, Kosovo, South Korea, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Ukraine, Denmark, Chile and the UK among others.
Kelby Siddons was part of the inaugural class of New Voices at Players by the Sea after winning Theater Jacksonville’s 24-hour playwriting competition two years consecutively. She studied playwriting at Northwestern University under the tutelage pf Laura Schellhardt and her original work has since been seen in New York City (Manhattan Theater Club), Mikwaukee (the Rep), Houston (Express), and in print (Piper Plays) as well as in Northeast Florida (Phase Eight, Y-Not, Actors’ Collective). Kelby also directs, acts, designs, educates, and currently serves as the Managing Director of Phase Eight Theater. Full credits at kelbysiddons.com.