The B-Side is authored by a range of Arena staff and artists, showcasing the diversity that has been an Arena hallmark since its founding in 1950. We occasionally publish guest posts, and welcome inquiries from theater professionals who’d like to write for us. Find out more about the writers behind the B-Side.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Manager, Digital and Social Media)
Juliana is a life-long arts and culture vulture from the D.C. area. Working at Arena has been a homecoming of sorts for her. She began her theatrical career as a high school playwright in the Arena Stage Young Playwrights competition in 2002. In the ensuing decades, she has graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, married an actor she met while assistant directing at the Capital Fringe Festival, and worked at Forum Theatre and Ford’s Theatre before coming back to Arena. She loves expanding the world of the theater by sharing it with others across digital and social media.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Voices of Now Mentor Artist (2019-2023)
An actor, writer, and playwright, Reyna Berry has loved storytelling from a very young age. She is currently a high school senior in Virginia planning to study theater and literature in college. Her play The Lioness Builds a Sand Castle was recognized at the 2023 Scholastic Writing awards, and she has work published in Reveille literary magazine, The Closed Eye Open, and ARTEMISpoetry. Arena Stage has been Reyna’s second home for the last five years, from her first Voices of Now (VON) play in 8th grade to her current work in the Mentor ensemble. VON cultivated in her a love for questioning the world. Creative movement, devised theatre, written work… whatever the medium, Reyna aims to explore expressions of empathy through art.
Pronouns: he/him | Department: Marketing
Jordan hails from Fort Washington, MD, and is on the road to self-actualization. With a degree in Theatre & Media Performance from Stevenson University, Jordan took the initiative to learn social media and marketing of his own accord. He is looking to Arena Stage to teach him the nuances of marketing and communications, make connections, and to bolster his wits and skill. Jordan moonlights as a competitive gamer, an actor, and a style-icon.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Chief Marketing Officer)
Serving as Editorial Director for The B-Side, Shonali hails from the “City of Joy,” aka Kolkata, India, and has lived in the U.S. since 2000 (the DMV has been “home” since 2003). A former actress with a penchant for numbers (her degrees are in Economics, Theater and Business Analytics), she loves telling stories that make people tick. Shonali is an avid home chef, voracious reader, diehard dancer (East Coast Swing), and unabashed Cracker Barrel devotee. She is owned by Pickles the Corgi who pays her rent in lickies and snuggles.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Development (Foundation Relations Manager)
Abigail “Abby” Cady is the Foundation Relations Manager at Arena Stage and a new play and production dramaturg in the Baltimore/DC area. She leads the Horticulture Playwrights Workshop at Sisters Freehold in Baltimore and has served as production dramaturg at many Baltimore theaters including Single Carrot Theatre, Iron Crow Theatre, Cohesion Theatre, and Interrobang Theatre Company. Abby was an Education Apprentice at Everyman Theatre and she has interned in the literary departments of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. She holds a Master’s Degree in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Associate Director, Content & Creative Services)
Elizabeth is a native Texan who began a nomadic lifestyle after marrying a Navy sailor. A lifelong writer and voracious reader, she particularly enjoys stories of unseen heroes. She is also a mixed media artist, graphic designer, and former high school English teacher. Those skills led to her current position leading a talented team of content creators. Beyond her profession, she is a mother of three, lover of football, and an outdoorsman.
Zoë Elizabeth Lillis*
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Development
Zoë is a director and producer from Boston, MA, who now finds herself based in New York City and D.C. She recently graduated from NYU Gallatin with a B.A. in Directing and Dramatizing History, with a focus on the relationship between narrative and the process of production. Zoë is most driven by opportunities to develop an engaging and equitable process of theater creation for all involved – from the very first stages of a project to how it will ultimately live each night in performance. When she is not dreaming up a new show, Zoë loves knitting, skiing, and playing guitar. Zoë is thrilled to join Arena Stage as their 2022/23 Artistic Fellow and is so excited to learn from their incredible team.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Manager, Email & Digital Content)
Clare grew up in DC, performing and watching theater since she knew how to speak. Fun Fact: Clare played a small role in Arena Stage’s Damn Yankees in 2005. A graduate from Emerson college, Clare studied Theatre Management and Political Science. While these studies may seem disparate they combine a want to communicate with people and tell untold stories. Born in London, Clare is a lover of travel, drinking tea, and most of all — dogs.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Development (Membership Coordinator)
Lauren Lopaty has been with Arena Stage since 2019. She grew up in northern New Jersey where proximity to Broadway led to a lifelong appreciation for all things theater. A classical pianist, Lauren had the opportunity to play in several pit orchestras in her small hometown, often filling in for different instruments on the keys (notably the cello in Sweet Charity and the accordion in Fiddler on the Roof). She studied International Affairs and Russian Language and Literature at George Washington University, and has fallen in love with Washington, D.C. since moving here in 2014. She is an avid reader, and can usually be found with her nose stuck in a book while drinking a cup of earl grey tea.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Community Engagement
Anita is the director of community engagement and senior artistic advisor at Arena Stage, where she leads the theater’s education and outreach programs and serves on the artistic team. Now in her 19th season at Arena Stage, Anita has been involved in an artistic capacity on 45 Arena Stage productions. Anita trained and taught at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, was on the faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, headed the theater department at the University of Alaska Southeast, and was the associate artistic director of Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, where she directed 21 mainstage productions. She has coached dialects for the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, and the Broadway revival of Ragtime. Anita has traveled with Arena Stage’s devised theater program, Voices of Now, to India, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina to collaborate with communities in devising original plays addressing social justice issues.
Paige is a freelance scenic designer based in the Washington, D.C. area. Previously at Arena, Paige designed the set for Right to Be Forgotten. In the D.C. area, Paige has recently designed at Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Theater J, Mosaic Theater, Woolly Mammoth, the Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Solas Nua, Imagination Stage, Everyman Theatre, and Studio Theatre. Regionally, Paige has recently designed at The Muny, Cleveland Play House, Arden Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, People’s Light, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Asolo Rep. Paige received her MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Maryland and her BFA in Scenic Design from the University of Oklahoma. She is a proud member of USA 829.
Pronouns: she/her/ella | Department: Media Relations
Bianca is a first generation Mexican-American artist from San Antonio, Texas, now based in the DMV area. She is a recent graduate from George Mason University where she received her B.F.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Performance for the Stage and Screen. She loves binge watching Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends during her free time as well as playing with her cat, Toothless. Bianca is very excited to be working with such a talented and passionate team and can’t wait to get started!
Kayla A. Warren*
Pronouns: she/her/ella | Department: Education
Kayla A. Warren is a Philadelphia native and graduate of Howard University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Her first experience with Arena Stage was in 2021 when she served as Assistant Director on Toni Stone. She is currently the 2022-23 School Programs fellow in Arena’s Allen Lees Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program. Kayla has a passion for youth empowerment and believes that one of the best pathways for this initiative is through theatre. She is a strong advocate for accessibility and inclusion within theatre education. In addition to being an arts advocate and educator, Kayla is also a performer and choreographer.
Pronouns: he/him | Department: Artistic Development
Otis Ramsey-Zöe is a care worker, dramaturg, director, theatre arts educator, Literary Manager at Arena Stage, and Lecturer in Dramaturgy at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. He has developed new works at such institutions as Sundance Institute, Kennedy Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Center, and National New Play Network. He has held posts in Theatre at Northeastern University, Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon University, Women’s Studies and Honors Humanities at University of Maryland, Performing Arts at American University, and Theatre Arts at Howard University. He was Associate Artistic Director at banished? productions, Future Classics Program Coordinator at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Literary Manager at Center Stage, and an Allen Lee Hughes Senior Fellow at Arena Stage.
*Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellow. The mission of Arena Stage’s Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship is to cultivate the next generation of BIPOC theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater.