Artistic Team of Summer Partnership in the Arts 2020
Daniel Carlton headshot


Daniel Carlton is an actor, storyteller, playwright, poet, director, and award-winning teacher/artist who has appeared on New York, national, and international stages. His work has also been presented in schools, jails, homeless shelters.... everywhere but space.
Most recently: playwright/performer Check Your Invite (commission-Harlem Stage) and co-playwright with Nambi Kelley So Journey To The Truth (commission-Syracuse Stage education). Also with Nambi, director Jabari Dreams Of Freedom (New Victory Theater LabWorks), director Night Train 57 (workshop-Kennedy Center), and director While Are Still Here (Miller Theater, Columbia University). Playwright: March On (The Apollo Theater, director National Black Theater Festival).

Nambi E. Kelley headshot

NAMBI E. KELLEY | Master Playwright

Award-winning playwright Nambi E. Kelley recently adapted Toni Morrison’s Jazz for the stage (Marin Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage). Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native
Son has been seen across the country and premiered off-Broadway in 2019 at The Duke on 42nd Street (The Acting Company; AUDELCO Award for “Best Play”). Nambi is a former playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and New Victory Theatre. She is the winner of the Prince Prize 2019 and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant 2018-19.

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JAREK PASTOR | Graduate Playwright

Jarek Pastor is a multi-lingual/ethnic/national person who writes works for performance. They immigrated to Miami, FL, where they grew up, before going on to get their BA in playwriting from Columbia College Chicago. They are entering their second year as an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa's Playwrights Workshop.

Jivani Rodriguez headshot

JIVANI RODRIGUEZ | Undergraduate Playwright

Playwright/actor Jivani Rodriguez is a senior theatre arts major at the University of Iowa. Most recently, her play SCOUTS ran during the 2020 Ten Minute Play Festival, while this past summer she was accepted to The Orchard Project’s transformative Core Company. Jivani is on the writing team for Summer Partnership, and she's very excited to be working with artists who aren't afraid of getting vulnerable (or are, and do it anyway).

Sarah Lacy Hamilton headshot

SARAH LACY HAMILTON | Associate Director

Sarah Lacy Hamilton graduated with her MFA in directing from the University of Iowa this May. Originally from South Carolina, she relocated to Dallas in 2010, where she graduated with a BFA from Southern Methodist University. Past directing credits include PALANQUIN, Sweat, Blackberry: A Burial, HIR, and Nothing But Days at UI; Dry Land at Upstart Productions; and Gruesome Playground Injuries, Julius Caesar, and True West with her Dallas company, House Party Theatre.

Erica Vannon headshot

ERICA VANNON | Associate Director

Erica Vannon is a new play director and holds a certificate in Laban Movement Analysis and is currently seeking certification for Intimacy Direction. She uses aspects of these movement modalities to create work that is highly kinetic, physically expressive, and makes the impossible possible. Directing projects at UI: Virginia Woolf's Orlando by Sarah Ruhl, Marat's Dead by Leigh M. Marshall, and Polaris (a tragedy expansion pack) by Charles Green. MFA in directing: University of Iowa 2020.

Luke Daniel White headshot

LUKE DANIEL WHITE | Dramaturg/Playwright

Luke Daniel White recently completed his MFA in dramaturgy at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop. His most recent credits include Ike Holter’s Hit the Wall at the University of Iowa; Eric Marlin’s What a World! What a World! presented in Ars Nova’s ANT Fest; Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, Part 1 at Riverside Theatre; and University of Iowa 2019 Summer Partnership in the Arts workshop presentation of Sam Chanse’s Monument (4 Sisters).

Courtney Gaston headshot


Courtney Gaston is a recent graduate of the MFA design program at the University of Iowa with focuses in lighting, scenic, and media design. Her work was recently seen at the University in Hit the Wall, Sweat, and Sunday in the Park with George, and at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial performance of Media Clown. She will be joining the faculty at Wesleyan University in the fall as the Assistant Professor of the Practice in Lighting Design.

Bethany Kasperek headshot


Bethany Kasperek is about to enter her second year as an MFA student here at the University of Iowa. Bethany is a costume designer and scenic designer/painter. At Iowa, Bethany has designed the set and costumes for Bonnets (How Ladies of Good Breeding are Induced to Murder) and the set for Three Sisters. She is excited to be working on this project and can't wait for you to see it!

Nick Coso headshot

NICK COSO | Video Editor/Broadcast Director

Nick Coso is excited to be working on this project as a video editor/broadcast director. His previous work at Iowa includes the lighting design on Sweat, Polaris, and Laterality, as well as media design on Hit the Wall and Seven Sports on the Sun. Nick would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support.

Chelsea June headshot

CHELSEA JUNE | Video Editor/Broadcast Director

Chelsea June is a recent graduate from UI’s MFA design program. Chelsea has focuses in media and costume design. She is working on broadcasting and liveness solutions for theatre in the time of COVID-19, working on independent projects and a research group for USITT. Most recently she was the costume designer for the UI’s production of Hit the Wall and in the summer of 2019 she debuted her work on Media Clown at the Prague Quadrennial.

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HARRY DALEY-YOUNG | Sound Designer

Harry Daley-Young is a recent graduate of the UI theatre arts program. Previously he has designed sound for many shows, including his favorites Sweat, Love Bird, and Lingering in the 2018 Iowa New Play Festival. He has also designed scenery for Magic! The Play and Blackberry in the 2019 Iowa New Play Festival. He'd like to thank his family, friends, and cats.

Mady Davis headshot

MADY DAVIS | Stage Manager

Mady Davis is a second-year MFA stage manager and GCTC student from the Twin Cities. Her recent University of Iowa work includes MERRILY (SM) and *half of* The Light in the Piazza (ASM) (thanks COVID-19). Recent stage management work regionally includes: Razia’s Shadow: A Puppet Rock Opera, Little Woman, Postmortem, and Voysey Inheritance. She would like to thank her family and friends for all the love and support over the years.

Olivia Leslie headshot

OLIVIA LESLIE | Stage Manager

Olivia Leslie is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with a theatre arts major and a GWSS minor. Recent credits include UI: Orlando (SM), Blackberry: A Burial (SM), Found (SM), Agnes in Green (SM), Sunday in the Park with George (ASM), The Age of Innocence (ASM). Riverside Theatre: Stages (SM), Straight White Men (SM), Henry IV (ASM). Thank you to her incredibly supportive friends and family, and to this incredible team of collaborators.