Meet The Artists of Dear Auntie D

Skylight Live Artists


Michele Willens, playwright

Michele Willens: is a journalist and published playwright, currently an Arts commentator for NPR-owned Robinhoodradio. She has written about culture, politics, and aging, for Huffington Post, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The New York Times, The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. She co-writes a column for The Wrap called “Now..and Then,” which was nominated for two California Press Club awards. She is co-author of the book, “FACE IT: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change,” (Hay House) and was a contributor to “Sister/Writers/Eaters.” She lives in New York with her husband, NBC News Executive David Corvo, and their two children.


Risa Brainin, Director

Risa Brainen: (she/her/hers) is pleased to return to the Skylight Theatre where she directed the first workshop/reading of Wendy Kout’s Survivors. Risa is the Founder/Artistic Director of UC Santa Barbara’s new play development program LAUNCH PAD. She served as Resident Director at the Guthrie Theater, Associate Artistic Director at Indiana Repertory Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theater, Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and has directed at dozens of regional theaters across the country. Risa is a graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon Drama Program. More at:


Anne Gee Byrd

Anne Gee Byrd: has been active in indie films recently, notably in And Then There Was Eve, Zero Charisma and A Good Thing, for which she received the Best Actress award from the Wild Rose film festival. She has performed in the three LORT theatres in the Los Angeles area The Center Theatre Group at The Mark Taper Forum, The Geffen and the Pasadena Playhouse as well as across the country including ACT in San Francisco, The American Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut, The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Great Lakes Theater Festival, Indiana Repertory, The La Jolla Playhouse, The McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe in San Diego, Seattle Repertory, and South Coast Repertory. She is very active in the waiver theatre world most recently in West coast premieres of two Samuel D. Hunter plays at the Rogue Machine. She is a staunch member of the Antaeus Theatre Company. She has received four Drama Critics Circle Awards and numerous Ovation nominations, one in a Matrix Theatre production of All My Sons. Her recent television credits include How to Get Away with Murder, The Colony, Shameless, Murder in the First, and Rake.


Karole Foreman

Karole Foreman: is happy to be a part of Skylight’s Live reading series. She recently finished a run at Ebony Rep and International City Theatre as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emmerson’s Bar and Grill. Theatre credits include: Shooting Star (Hudson Theatre); A Little Night Music, Stupid Fucking Bird (Cygnet Theatre); Haunted House Party (Getty Villa); Porgy & Bess, Sweeney Todd, Intimate Apparel (Ensemble Theatre), Fences (PCPA & ICT), Wedding Band (Antaeus), Next to Normal (Cal Rep), Difficulty of Crossing A Field & Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera), Caroline or Change (PCPA), Parade, Jelly’s Last Jam (Mark Taper & Alliance Theatre, Atlanta), and Mama Mia! (Vegas). Other credits: L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Co., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and numerous regional theaters.  Awards:  2014 OC Weekly, Next to Normal; Suzi Bass Award, Jelly’s Last Jam (Atlanta); Garland, As Bees in Honey Drown; Drama Logue Awards, Minamata and The Illusion. Nominations: San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, A Little Night Music; NAACP, Fences; Stage Raw, Wedding Band.  TV: Magnum PI, The Resident, Broke, The Black Lady Sketch Show, Good Trouble, NCIS, Brooklyn 99, HTGAWM, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebel, GLOW, Kingdom, Training Day, The Young & the Restless, Jane the Virgin, Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order, and more. Film: The Banality, I'll Be Next Door for Christmas, 42, Rebirth, and Buddy Solitaire.  As a writer her plays include “Rule My World, an Urban Opera”, which premiered this year at Long Beach Playhouse. Her production is invited to be a part of  a residency with NOISES OFF at A Noise Within, Spring/Summer of 2021; “Buddy’s Big Day Out” a musical about pet welfare with The Children’s Theatre of Long Beach, and “The Princess & the Black Eyed Pea” produced at San Diego Rep. Karole is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild.


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