Current Students

M.F.A. in Playwriting


Lydia Blaisdell

A woman with short hair and a sleeveless dress

Lydia Blaisdell is an M.F.A. candidate at the Michener Center for Writers with a focus on playwriting and screenwriting. She’s a proud member playwright of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater and the Brooklyn-based writers’ collective, Krïstïanïa. In 2013, she received a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant to travel to Vienna and Berlin to research her play, The Silent Woman. Her short plays have been seen at Youngblood brunches, the Cherry Pit, and in a resort on Lake George. Lydia received her B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University in 2009.


Joanna Garner

A woman with long dark hair and glasses

Joanna Garner is an M.F.A. Playwriting candidate in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Joanna comes to Austin by way of Seattle where she made plays as a writer, actor, and country singer with companies including Seattle Repertory Theatre, On the Boards, Annex Theatre, Balagan Theatre, 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival, Macha Monkey, Capitol Hill Arts Center, and Live Girls! Theater. Her country musical, 100 Heartbreaks, was workshopped in Seattle Rep's New Play Program, with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, and was presented at the country’s largest arts and culture festival, Bumbershoot. An avid cook and eater, Joanna was an original member of the Seattle collective Playwrights Kitchen. Joanna spent nine years as a music writer for the Seattle Times.


Brian Kettler

Brian Kettler

Brian Kettler is a second year M.F.A. Playwriting candidate in the Department of Theatre and Dance. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and The National Theater Institute. His full-length plays, Personal and In School Suspension, were workshopped at Portland Center Stage as part of the JAW: Made in Oregon Festival. He is a recipient of the 2012 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama. Brian is also a theater educator, and has worked at several elementary schools throughout the Portland area.


Patrick Shaw

Patrick Shaw

Patrick Shaw writes plays, acts, dances, and makes music.  His scripts have been produced at The Flea, the Drilling Company, Galapagos Art Space, Cherry Pit, Hudson River Guild, Flushnik Art Space, Bradley University (Peoria), Gorilla Tango (Chicago), and the Frontera Fest (Austin).  A Miracle Study and Autobiography of a Sparrow, and Lushly have all been semifinalists for the National Playwrights Conference, and his play, HAMLETTES, was a finalist for the Lark Workshop and was later published by Playscripts, Inc.  A graduate of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute, Patrick has regularly performed with Spessard Dance, Bakerloo Theatre Project, and the Duplicates.  He was a founding member of FullStop Collective in NYC. Learn more about Patrick Shaw and his work.


Diana Lynn Small

A woman with short dark hair and a blue top

Diana Lynn Small is an M.F.A. candidate in the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin focusing on playwriting and poetry. She writes, acts, and directs for the stage. She is a songwriter and singer. Diana’s made theatre with Westmont College (Muéveme Muévete, Beauty Bomb, They Must Be WingsJupiter I Love You, Songs for Girls), UT Austin (Suspicious Dinner, Be Still and Know Nothing), Theatre Masters (Dogfight), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (We’re Still Kids), Ratatat Theater Group (Nina in the Morning), FronteraFest (Mad & a Goat) and ZACH Theatre (Dream: A Midsummer Forrest Tour). She’s a member of the Lit Moon Theatre Company. She co-formed the music collective, Patience, which premiered its rock-narrative Water Will Rise in 2010. She fronted the Santa Barbara girl-pop band Sheanderthal. Diana returns to stories about the American West, past and present. She grew up in Martinez, California.


Eva Suter

Eva Suter

Eva Suter is a Northwest based playwright and poet and current M.F.A. candidate through the Michener Center at UT Austin. As a founding member of Portland, OR's The Working Theatre Collective, she worked with the company as a writer, director, and the occasional bicycle-riding-mustached villain. Among other things the WTC produced her trilogy of plays about unfortunate Greek women of myth. In Austin, Eva's work has ranged from haunted shopping malls to action movies for the stage to plays about science, sisters, and rethinks on OthelloMedusa, A Perfectly Normal Girl was awarded the Portland Drammy for best new play in Spring 2011. In January 2013 she was awarded the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Drama. And in Spring of 2014 she will be a participant in the Theater Masters short play conference. Her work has appeared throughout the Northwest, at one East Coast bible college, and as far flung as the UK and Japan. Eva is the host of the Beer and Cookies occasional Cabaret, rides a bike, bakes bread, and probably thinks too much about the comparative merit of different grocery stores.


Megan Tabaque

Woman in tanktop

Megan Tabaque is an M.F.A. candidate at the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin studying playwriting and fiction. She comes to Austin by way of Chicago, where she spent many years working as an actor and writer. Her plays have been developed and produced by InFusion Theatre Company, Tympanic Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, and the Courier 12 Collective. She has played a matador, small child, grown woman, teenage Inuit, vampire killer and other roles for the following Chicago theatre companies: InFusion, Tympanic, The Side Project, Stage Left, Premier, Red Tape, The Waltzing Mechanics, Mortar Theatre, Courier 12, and Northlight. She grew up in Palm Harbor, Florida and earned her B.A. in Theatre and Literature from Florida State University.