Meet the players and playwrights of the games we play at Dungeons + Drama Nerds. Below you’ll find headshots and bios for the players from our three games in Season One.
Dungeons & Dragons
Christopher Diercksen (Chadrick Bosley) is the Artistic Director of Team Awesome Robot, a New York City based theater company focusing on the dramaturgical development of new plays and advocacy of the people who make them. Credits include: Rush by Callie Kimball, That True Phoenix by Daniel John Kelley, Let's Do That Hockey by Madhuri Shekar, and Break by Samantha Fairfield Walsh. He is also one of the lunatics behind Drinking & Dragons, a live-play tabletop RPG event that empowers the audience to affect the story... and also encouraging a rowdy fun time. He is an alumnus of the National Theater Institute, and returns annually as a Guest Playwright Mentor for their Young Playwrights Festival.
Kevin R. Free (Sriracha) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work as an actor, writer, director, and producer has been showcased and developed in many places, including FringeNYC; National Black Theater; The New Black Fest; The Moth Radio Hour; Project Y Theater; Flux Theater Ensemble; the Queerly Festival (of which he is now the curator), and The Fire This Time Festival, where he served as Producing Artistic Director for 5 years, winning an Obie for his work in 2015. He is also an accomplished voice actor, having voiced over 300 audiobooks and creating the voice of Kevin from Desert Bluffs on the popular podcast Welcome To Night Vale. Recent Directing Credits include Pipeline at Mile Square Theatre (named one of New Jersey’s top ten productions of 2019 by NJ.com); The Last Five Years and Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill both at Portland Stage in Maine; Topdog/Underdog at University of Arkansas; GLORY! at Dixon Place; Wendy and the Neckbeards at Colby College, and Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet at Nevada Conservatory Theater. More info - www.kevinrfree.com and on Twitter @kevinrfree.
René Goddess Johnson (Nokuzola) is a queer, black, South African, woman, who has been navigating assimilation, white terrorism, and a temporary loss of self pride since arriving in Maine in 1991. Her areas of interest include the intersection of the arts in movements for social justice and racial equity. As an embodied equity consultant, she works closely with the public, with artists of many genres, with minority communities, youth, and nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Maine, to develop creative opportunities focused on inter organizational collaboration. These moments of coming together and creating art, is the common denominator that connects all of her work. Find her on IG @renegoddess, @geelshow + geelshow.com, and @embodiedequityconsulting + embodiedequityconsulting.com.
Nicholas Orvis (Gavin the Glorious) is a dramaturg, director, literary manager, and tabletop roleplaying game enthusiast who’s dedicated to fostering new stories in media of all kinds. As the Literary Associate for Premiere Stages at Kean University, Nick served as the dramaturg on over a dozen workshops, readings, and productions, and grew the company’s annual submission pool by hundreds of playwrights. He’s also worked at Portland Stage Company, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Luna Stage, and the Tank, and his short (fan) fiction has appeared in Wayfinder magazine. He has over a decade of experience in tabletop roleplaying games (mostly as a GM). After completing a three-year run of Paizo Publishing’s Skull and Shackles Adventure Path, he’s enjoying a well-deserved break from GMing as a 15th-level druid named Kermit, who is a toad.
Matthew Minnicino (Playwright) is a playwright, adaptor, actor, educator, and storyteller based in Manhattan. He has written frequently for theatre, and has managed to earn a Helen Hayes nomination, the Arts & Letters Prize, a Jeffrey Melnick New American Playwright Nomination, and has been a several-time O'Neill New Play Conference semifinalist. He has created text for dance theatre, web series, short film, immersive theatre, installation art, and more; his essays have been published by HowlRound and The Dramatist (for which he was Literary Associate at one point). He is an alumnus/current member of a decent number of fancy residencies, writers' groups, labs, and things. He is also a perennial teacher, working with organizations in New York and Virginia. He also DMs two D&D games in his minimal spare time. Find out more about him at www.mattminnicino.com, which is sorely in need of an update.
Percy Hornak (Vance Holliday) is a dramaturg, playwright, dungeon master, and community organizer who loves theatricality, ghost stories, and plays about lesbians. He proudly serves as literary manager of Team Awesome Robot, an indie play development collaborative based in NYC. During Percy's two-year tenure as Literary Fellow at Arena Stage, he worked on several world premieres as script supervisor and production dramaturg, including Aaron Posner's JQA and Tom Kitt, Nell Benjamin, and Thomas Meehan's DAVE. Other companies Percy has worked with include Luna Stage and Andy’s Summer Playhouse and he is a proud alum of Albright College, where he studied English and Theatre. In addition to his work in dramaturgy, he has been a dungeon master for several years in various editions of Dungeons & Dragons as well as various Powered by the Apocalypse games. Find him on Twitter @techxni, on Instagram @percy.hornak, or at percivalhornak.com.
T.P. Huth (Vector) is a freelance director, dramaturg, and new play developer in the DC area and the Artistic Director of Inkubator New Works Development Laboratory. Directing: Proxy (Rapid Lemon Productions), Variations on Myth (Rapid Lemon Productions), The Peacock Lady (Maryland Ensemble Theatre), Pilate’s Wife (Inkubator... Laboratory), Twelfth Night (National Players - assistant director), Aubergine (Olney Theatre Center and Everyman Theatre - assistant director). Dramaturgical work has been seen at Olney Theatre Center, Rainbow Theatre, Rapid Lemon Productions, and Everyman Theatre. T. is also the co-producer of Moon Harbor Heroes, a Masks: A New Generation Actual Play podcast, and Season Only, an upcoming recap podcast of television shows canceled after one season. She can be found @thuthplaywright on Twitter or @tphuth94 on Instagram. Pronouns: she/her or they/them.
Leo Mock (AZ Honey) lives in Portland, ME (Abenaki land, Wabanaki Confederacy), where they make theater happen. They are an Associate Artist and Education Artist with Portland Stage Company, where they explore new works and teach Shakespeare. Ella is a consent educator with Speak About It, and is currently training with Theatrical Intimacy Education to become an intimacy coordinator, have trained in Forum Theatre with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, and studied clown performance and Shakespeare performance with the incomparable Carmen-maria Mandley. They are also pursuing a belated BFA in Socially Engaged Arts from Goddard College with a concentration in Sexuality Studies. Ella is a member of 2 Sheets Theater Company, where they make weird physical comedy about humanity in humans and non-humans. They want you to look up whose land you live on at https://native-land.ca/.
Dex Phan (Sydney Thorpe) is an American-born, Vietnamese, gay man looking to inspire others to be their best selves. A former marine mammal trainer and park ranger, he now works within a QA team at a global water and soil research laboratory in Pennsylvania. But in his free time, he enjoys writing and reading about unabashedly queer characters, designing Vietnam-inspired fantasy settings, and subverting expectations of what Asian Americans should be. He hopes to one day be able to put books on shelves that he wishes he had had when he was younger. Keep up with him on Twitter @rexarino.
Jon Jon Johnson (Playwright/GM) works as an actor, director, playwright, and violinist in the DC Theatre Community. A self-proclaimed Pokémon Master and tabletop GM, Jon Jon delights in building fantasy worlds for his friends to be heroes in, and in the arts of collaborative storytelling. He is an outspoken advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in the arts. Love to ET, KH, RT, SWA and DM.
Todd Brian Backus (Squick-R-BDE-002) is a co-producer of Dungeons + Drama Nerds and a lifelong RPG enthusiast. Although relatively new to TTRPGs (a mere three years into his first campaign) he is a level nine warlock and is enjoying his current role as DM for his close friends’ ongoing game. When he’s away from his D20s Todd is a literary manager, dramaturg, and director of new work. Some of his favorite directing projects include Let’s Play Play by Ben Ferber (Brick Theater/GamePlay Festival), Sparks Fly Upward by Eleanor Burgess (Everyday Inferno/Developmental Lab), The Nature Room by Nora Sørena Casey (Portland Stage/Studio Series), and The Absentee by Julia Doolittle (Portland Stage/Little Festival of the Unexpected). Todd also writes plays from time to time like Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator. Keep up with him at toddbrianbacks.com or just about everywhere as @tbbackus
Kory Flores (A111iiE111Eee-R-V1olence-3) Kory is a jack of all trades. From acting to directing, she's run the New York gamut in the pursuit of happiness. She has found it in a dark cyber hole in Paranioa, where her love of improv and spending time with distant friends can come together as one. Kory currently works for Rumble as a fitness trainer in Manhattan and lives with her beloved rescue cat, Garbage.
Mieko Gavia (QWERTY-R-ABC-3) is a writer, actor, producer, and all-around oddball from Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating from Oberlin College with a degree in Theater, Mieko followed the classic scenario of a small-town girl with big-city dreams and hightailed it to NYC. Her acting credits include Joan of Arc in the forthcoming La Pucelle at The Tank, Lou Salome in Lou at the Paradise Factory, the webseries Quarter Century (Imani), Afterswarm at JACK (Gigi), Gardener of Stars at Detroit’s Light Box (Gardener), The Reenactors at Abrams Arts Center (Actress 2), and Creative Time’s installations: Private Moment (Alice) and The Privilege of Escape (Dr. Crenshaw). Mieko’s play Dog has been performed at the Gene Frankel Theatre, her play Afterswarm (co-written with Heather Harvey) has been performed at JACK, and her non-theatrical writing has been featured in Bustle, Buzzfeed, Oxygen, and Efniks. She is also a producing ensemble member for Black Revolutionary Theater Workshop, a Brooklyn based, social justice focused theater company. On her off hours Mieko can be spotted foraging in used bookstores or wherever cheap food abounds. You can also catch her at www.miekogavia.org
Romana Isabella (Edward-R-NRV-02) is a playwright, performer and producer with roots in Ukraine and Argentina. Their plays include HYENA!, which they performed at La MaMa, the International Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the United Solo Festival (winner of “Best Experimental Show”) and Martyrs, which premiered in La MaMa’s Spring 2018 Season. Romana is also a 2017 Fellow of the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.
Ben Ferber (Playwright) is a theater artist who creates pieces about technology and the Internet. He writes, directs, and designs sound and projections; he often fills more than one of these roles in his work. Full-length work includes I’m Very Online (Neukom Award semifinalist, Dirty Blondes/Beta Reading Series), For the Lulz (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Portland Stage), and Let’s Play Play (Brick Theater/GamePlay Festival). He co-runs the Maxamoo podcast and co-created Hot Pepper Theater. He has worked in the artistic departments of Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Lark. This is Ben's first time DMing/GMing a tabletop game, but he's played in 4 D&D campaigns of varying editions, a campaign of Monsterhearts, and some one-shots he's forgetting.