Who We Are

 
 
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Jennifer Welch (Artistic Director) is the founder and creator of StoryWorks, a groundbreaking documentary theater project that transforms investigative journalism into theater. Since launching the project in 2013, Welch has developed 12 new plays with Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting, HuffPost, The Kansas City Star, NJTV, KCPT, The Arizona Daily Star and Mississippi Today. Each play has reached a different region of the country and helped to drive social change by exposing America’s structural inequality and the costs of human injustice. In doing so, her work reveals not only the factual truths, which are verified by deep investigative reporting but the emotional revelations that theater conveys. Dedicated to the development of new work as a director, dramaturge and producer, Welch has directed over 20 new plays and collaborated with visionary playwrights such as Octavio Solis, Eugenie Chan, Jon Bernson, Donte Clark and Rehana Lew Mirza. She is also a contributing producer for “Reveal,” the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast from CIR and PRX. Welch is a 2017 recipient of the Midwest Innocence Project’s Sean O’Brien Freedom Award for bringing the story of Bryan Sheppard, who was unjustly imprisoned for 22 years, to a national audience. She is based in San Francisco, California.

 
 
 
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Aallyah Wright (StoryWorks Fellow) is a Clarksdale native and a graduate of Delta State University, where she earned a degree in journalism and minors in communications and theater. After being hired for Mississippi Today in 2017 as a Delta-based reporter, Wright researched, co-wrote, and produced an original play "Beautiful Agitators,"based on the lives and historical events of civil rights activist from the Mississippi Delta in collaboration with StoryWorks. Wright helped launched a multimedia project called “Behind The Headlines: Cleveland Central,” which received an award at the 68th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards. Wright was awarded a fellowship from The Hechinger Report to report on the teacher shortage and its effects in critical needs districts of the Mississippi Delta. Wright has worked with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Delta Arts Alliance. She currently covers education and local government throughout the Mississippi Delta.

 
 
 
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Lacey Pacheco (Company Manager) is a Kansas City native and jill-of-all-trades. She graduated from Missouri State University with a BFA in Technical Theater with an Emphasis in Technical Direction. Lacey has worked around Kansas City in the past as a lighting designer, scenic designer, and technical director. She spends her time now working at The Living Room Theatre as production and stage manager. Recent accolades include serving as production stage manager for Friend Dog Studios’ The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe at the 2018 Chicago Musical Theater Festival, which was awarded Best Direction, Best Book, Best Ensemble, and Best of Fest. She also served as production manager of The William Inge Theater Festival’s productions of Down in Mississippi and Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been..., in tribute to playwright Carlyle Brown. She also managed the New Works Play Lab at the same festival. She has worked with Storyworks twice in the past, recently as the stage manager for the production of Tomorrow Inshallah and formerly for Justice In The Embers, both produced in Kansas City. She also served as the touring production manager of Justice in the Embers to San Francisco. She is thrilled for the opportunity to be joining Storyworks again and continuing to work with artists bringing relevant new works to local communities.

 
 
 
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Jon Bernson (Resident Artist) is a playwright, musician and interdisciplinary artist from San Francisco. He is a former artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum and member of the Resident Playwrights Initiative at Playwrights Foundation. He has written four plays for StoryWorks, each based on extensively researched investigations: A Guide to the Aftermath (2013), North by Inferno (2015), Overnighters is Over (2016), and When Lighting The Voids (2018-19). Bernson has released more than twenty albums under several names, including Exray’s, whose music was featured in David Fincher’s Academy-Award winning film, The Social Network. Recent art installations include Sound Affects, a large-scale multimedia collaboration at the Sonos Studio in Los Angeles and Beautification Machine, his sound-sculpture with Andy Diaz Hope, which was collected by the Nevada Museum of Art and Third Eye Moonwalk, an interdisciplinary work that has been exhibited at Minnesota Street Project and Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

 
 
 
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Charles Coleman (Education and Engagement Coordinator) was raised in Cleveland, MS, where he graduated from high school in 2009. Charles then took his studies to Mississippi Delta Community College and transferred to Delta State University in 2011. He graduated from DSU in 2014 with a BA degree in Communications and later in 2016 with a BA degree in Journalism. During the summer of 2016, Charles helped brainstorm and co-develop a community project - supported by Reveal and Delta Arts Alliance, called the Cleveland Yearbook. The Yearbook was created for the city of Cleveland - aiming to capture a snapshot of the people that live Cleveland through a year of change. The following summer, Charles along with a team journalists and researchers co-wrote and produced a play called Beautiful Agitators - focusing on the life of Vera Mae Pigee and the Civil Rights Movement in the Mississippi Delta, in collaboration with StoryWorks. Charles is currently a teaching artist in residence for Delta Arts Alliance (non-profit organization in Cleveland that promotes visual and performing arts) and Project Manager for the Cleveland Yearbook. Charles is also a founding member and community engagement director of a nonprofit organization called Coahoma Collective that catalyzes arts-driven, community-inclusive revitalization in downtown Clarksdale, MS.

 
 
 
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Liz Pavlovic (Graphic Designer) is a designer/illustrator based in West Virginia. A graduate of WVU with a BFA in graphic design and minor in poetry, she has worked with various clients through her freelance design business, including The West Virginia University Press, Tom Tom Magazine, Reverb, Looking at Appalachia, The Mine Wars Museum, and StoryWorks Director Jennifer Welch for many years. Liz also works with numerous local businesses in Morgantown, WV, while producing her own line of West Virginia-themed pins, stickers, prints, shirts, and more. She also co-runs Crash Symbols, an experimental tape and record label established in 2010.

 
 
 

COLLABORATORS

JUSTICE IN THE EMBERS
Amy Attaway
Tim Ahlenius
Moses Brings Plenty
Frank Oakley III
Chris Roady
Nancy Marcy
Rusty Sneary
Shawnna Journagan
Michelle T. Johnson
Chip Miller
Lacey Pacheco
David Kiehl
Brain Paulette
Shane Rose
Reginia Weller
Mike McGraw
Janet Saidi
Liz Pavlovic

HEADLOCK
Paris Hunter Paul
William Bivins
Sean Marbry
Ryan Gabrielson
Sarah Moser
Alicia Griffiths
Clarie Kendrick
Deborah Cichocki
Sally Dana
Brian Trybom
Julia Chan

NORTH BY INFERNO
Jennifer Gollan
Jon Bernson
Alicia Griffiths
Fernando Diaz
Robert Rosenthal
Annie Chabel
Liz Pavlovic
Cole Goins
Christian Phillips
Michael Carlisi
Jeff Graham
John Terrell
Claire Kendrick
Meghann Farnsworth

A GUIDE TO THE AFTERMATH
Mimi Chakarova
Jon Bernson
Sarah Moser
Paris Hunter Paul
Sally Dana
Brian Trybom
Alicia Griffiths
Claire Kendrick
Deborah Cichocki
Michelle Inario
Joaquin Alvarado
Robert Rosenthal
Phil Bronstein

OVERNIGHTERS IS OVER
Jesse Moss
Jon Bernson
Alicia Griffiths
International Documentary Association
the Academy of Motion Pictures
Sally Dana
Chris Phillips
John Terrell
Johnny Flannagan
Brandon Mears

ALICIA’S MIRACLE
Sarita Oćon
Octavio Solis
Brandon Mears
Hilary Hesse
Florentino Gonzalez
Rogelio Landaverde
Jon Bernson
Alicia Griffiths
Claire Kendrick
Bernice Yeung
Andrew Donohue
Cole Goins
Liz Pavlovic
Sally Dana

TERRA INCOGNITA
Frances Pu
Di Shawn Gandy
Kym Gomes
David Seamon
Matt Baguth
Diana Gundacker
Frank J. Giamella
Tommy Williamson
Ted Crimy
Jim Jack
Erica Lee
R.N. Sandberg
Brenda Flanagan
Megan Cherry
Helen Tewksbury

BEAUTIFUL AGITATORS
Allayah Wright
Jessica James
Charles Coleman
Nick Houston
Tarra Rhymes Slack
Ruby Jackson
Layla Young
Kerry Lee
Don Allen Mitchell
Brian James
Tyler Slack Rhymes
Miles Bernson
James “J” Griffin
Ann Williams
Chuck Rutledge
Chandra Williams

THIS IS HOME
Tassina Willis
José Vadi
Donte Clark
Deandre Evans
Will Houston
Jon Bernson
Amy Julia Harris
Alicia Griffiths
Jon Bernson
Sally Dana
Deborah Cichocki
Julia Chan

JOURNEY TO EMERALDVILLE
Eugenie Chan
Shoshana Walter
Jessica Lynn Carroll
Sarita Ocón
John Terrell
Chris Phillips
Hilary Hesse
Aaron Wilton
Juan Amador
Michael Carlisi
Sophia LaPaglia
Alicia Griffiths