* denotes founding member of WPC
Mayah Lourdes Burke (2022) Mayah is a multi-hyphenate creative based in NYC. She is the writer, director, and producer of 4SZNS, which had its theatrical debut in Harlem in 2022 at El Barrio’s Artspace. She is so happy to be here and working with WPC!
Amanda DeLalla (2021-2023) is a NY-based writer and actress who currently works at Broadway Licensing. She holds a B.S. in Comm. Arts from St. John’s University and is also a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Onstage roles include Mother (The Oldest Boy), Gilmer (Godspell), and Kiki (Significant Other). As a writer, she is the lyricist and librettist for a musical as well as four full-length dramas and two solo shows. Her work has been presented in a variety of venues, including Lincoln Center, The Tank, Dixon Place, All for One Theater, Snug Harbor, and the Chain Theatre. As a rule, Amanda uses her experiences with living on the autism spectrum to craft stories about emotion and resilience.
Courtney Emerson (2022 & Jury Pick - New Worlds Fest.) is a Staten Island based actress and visual artist, who began writing in 2020. This is her first year writing with The Collective, after previously having directed the short play “It’s Genetic” by Ariana Nicoletta for 2021’s Not Forgotten Play Festival. Her most recent acting roles include Ann Deever (All My Sons) and Patty (Blackout) both at Seaview Playwright’s Theatre, as well as Fortinbras (Hamlet) with the Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company.
Toni-Ann Fischetti (2019)
Nikki Dos Santos (2022), a graduate of William Esper Studio, is a tough, tried, and true New Yorker with a strong moral compass. She brings with her a one-of-a-kind balance of true grit and vulnerability that can make you shed a tear or two, laugh til ur jaw hurts, or even crap ur pants a little.
KLeyko (2023) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and community advocate. Focused on her hometown of Staten Island, KLeyko’s writing, audio, and visual work often centers on the people, places, and animals native to the island and illuminating their inspiration and beauty. Kleyko has performed in Staten Island Shakespeare productions of Lysistrata, Much Ado About Nothing, and Antigone and participated in WPC for several years in a non-official capacity. You can hear her audio project, Animal Bones V.1, on streaming services.
Kseniya Ignatova-Yates * (2018-current) is a poet and playwright living and working in New York City. She has been an active member of the WPC since its inception in 2018. Her work with the collective includes one-act plays Yaffa (2018), Orbit (2019), as well as her first video piece, Perpetuum Mobile (2020), 7.05 (2021) and Beso (2022).
Ariel Marcus-Hollenbeck (2018-2021) * is currently the WPC Festival Director. A Staten Island native with a flair for whimsy and the zest for the spoken word. She is honored to be surrounded by creative artists within the WPC. As a director, actor, playwright, and Artistic Director of the Educational Theatre Company IlluminArt Productions, Ariel is always ready to collaborate with others.
Miranda Mortensen (2020) is a Music Education Major studying at Wagner College. This is her second year in the Women's Playwright Collective and loves to write in her free time as well as performing in the Staten Island Theatre Community. Miranda also spends her days educating students on music and theatre.
Esmé Maria Ng (2021, 2022) (they/she) is an early-career, NYC-based playwright, actor, and dramaturg whose work focuses on the complexities of Asian American identity, femininity, and queerness through a decolonial framework. Their plays include A Milk Kind of Play (2020), First Day (2020), I You and We(s): A Collection of Skits (2021), and F***ing Harold (2021). Their work has been independently produced on virtual platforms and presented by the Snug Harbor Inaugural Porch Plays Festival, the Women’s Playwrights Collective of Staten Island, and Wesleyan University. Awards include the Léman Manhattan Excellence in Theater Award and the Wesleyan University Student Script Writers Award (2021). Memberships include: SHADES Student of Color Theater Collective, Ensemble Theater Collective, and the Women’s Playwright Collective of Staten Island. Esmé is currently pursuing a Bachelor of the Arts in Theater and American Studies at Wesleyan University.
Ariana Nicoletta (2018-2021)* is an artist and educator from Staten Island, New York. An avid playwright, she has had her works produced and published. Her original short play, “The Time Traveler’s Daughter,” was produced by the Sundog Theatre Company. Her one woman show “Joiamia” was published by Penguin Random House as a part of their Creative Writing anthology. She is also a member and co-founder of Women Playwright’s Collective, with which she produced, directed, and wrote her play “Over a Cup of Coffee” in June 2018, as well as her one-woman show “The Female Conundrum” in September 2019 and wrote/directed“Little Light in a Nimbus” August 2020.
Besides the arts, Ariana holds a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and a Master of Education in Adolescent Education. She teaches English and AP Literature and Composition to high school seniors and holds an Education Residency with the Roundabout Theatre Company, with which she assistant teaches the Roundabout Youth Ensemble (RYE) of Manhattan.
Sarah Sterling (2022) (she/her) was born and raised in Stittville, NY, about a fifteen-minute walk from nine-mile creek, past the big red farmhouse on Railroad Street. She is now a working multidisciplinary theatre artist in NYC.
Holly Pepe (2022 & Audience Pick - New Worlds Fest.) has been writing since she could hold a pencil. Her mother relishes telling anyone who will listen about the time she ran out of paper and caught four-year-old Holly writing a book on a stack of coffee filters. She uses a Mac now. Holly has written numerous short stories, poems and essays; additionally, she wrote the novella, “Cruise to Nowhere” and she wrote and directed the one act play, “Pumpkin Soup” with the help of her son Chris. The play was later performed at a Staten Island middle school to raise autism awareness. She is also the author of the novel, Lesson Plans. Since 2005, she has had the privilege of teaching English at Staten Island’s New Dorp High School. This past summer, she had the amaing experience of playing Lady Montague and The Apothecary in Staten Island Shakespeare’s production of Romeo and Juliet. She is honored and humbled to be a part of the Women’s Playwright Collective.
Amy Puleo (2018-2020)* has worked in the Staten Island arts scene for almost a decade. She began her theatrical career at CSI. While earning her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, she participated in several productions as a stage manager and actor. Post graduation, she was hired on as a stage hand and production manager for The Center for the Arts at The College of Staten Island. For the three years, she has been a company member with The Staten Island Shakespearean Theater Company. As one of the founding members, writing with the Women's Playwright Collective has been one of her most rewarding artistic experiences.
Kerry Robinson* (2018, 2019, 2022) is a Staten Island-born actor that began writing with the collective back in 2018 when it was founded. After graduating from CSI with a BS in Dramatic Arts, she has spent much time performing on the island, primarily with the Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company. Her works with the collective have been deeply based on her own inner struggles with anxiety and how she tries to relate to others around her.