The Young Playwrights Collective serves emerging writers approximately 30 and under. The group meets regularly to workshop new material, provide support, and otherwise keep each other’s writing on track. YPC members are asked to make a firm commitment to the process and to seeing their work and that of the others develop.

Playwrights in the YPC enjoy free tickets to events and other benefits as members of the Playwrights Local community.

Immediate plans for the YPC involve helping its playwrights prepare their primary one-acts and full-lengths for production. Future plans involve staged readings and other presentations. 

Coordinator: Hannah Rae Leach

Luke Brett is a Cleveland-based actor and playwright. For the last four years, he has been a teaching artist for Great Lakes Theater while also acting for Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. His play Sad Martha was produced as a reading at Playwrights Local for their 2nd Annual Cleveland Playwrights Festival. Aside from acting and writing, he is an active participant in theater education, working closely in several capacities with the English Speaking Union and the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival. He adores Cleveland and life.


EJ Dahl is a theatre artist based near Cleveland. Their dramatic writing work has been featured at Baldwin Wallace University and Playwrights Local. They also can be found on the stage or off it or across from it making suggestions to those who are on it. They care deeply about making people laugh.


Julia Fisher is a playwright, actor, teacher, and director in Cleveland. She teaches theater and co-directs the Drama Club at Saint Martin de Porres High School, and eight of her students in the past three years have been honored at the Marilyn Bianchi Kids Playwriting Festival. As an actor, Julia recently appeared in Talespinner Children Theatre’s production of The Princess and the Nightingale, as well as a few staged readings through various companies. 


Arien Hodges is a graduate of Cleveland State University where she majored in Dramatic Arts with a concentration in Stage Directing. At CSU, she was involved in plays including The Laramie Project and Double Nickel Blues. She was also involved in numerous Karamu House productions, including performing the lead role in Steal Away, stage managing Foot Soldiers for Freedom and The Fire Inside: The Story and Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, and directing Babies Having Babies. She has written and produced her own works including the play Paper Figs and the film short I Ain’t Drinking That Sh*t. Currently, she stars in and has written episodes for the webseries The Trap on YouTube. She aspires to write and produce both film and plays and enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and songs as well.


Hannah Rae Leach (she/hers) is a playwright, screenwriter, producer, and musician from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School, the producer and co-host of The Jim Brickman Show, and half of the sister duo behind the NYC/CLE-based Too Pink Pictures. Her plays have been seen onstage in New York, Cleveland, and London. She also loves giving makeovers, participating in discourse around pop stars, and going to Coney Island. Info at | | @hannahraeleach.


Kevin Latimer (he/him) is a poet and playwright from Cleveland, Ohio. He attends Cleveland State University where he is the president of the Creative Writing Club and recipient of the Neal Chandler Creative Writing Award.




Angelo Maneage is a 22-year-old grocery clerk and comic working in the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. The 2017 recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Alberta Turner Poetry Prize, some of his work can be found on or in Hobart, Sprung Formal, and the garbage. He has had several staged readings of his plays through the Manhattan Project – Cleveland Lab, one of which was featured at the Mac Wellman Homecoming Festival. He lives in Bedford, Ohio.


Shaun O’Neill is an actor, playwright, and stage manager proudly serving the Cleveland area. He is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, where he studied acting, directing, and creative writing. He has appeared on and off the stage at Dobama Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and others across the city. As a teaching artist, he has helped to bring a taste of classical theatre to thousands of K-12 students around the Northeast Ohio area. He is hoping to revamp and expand his love for writing in the coming months, and cannot wait to share the outcome.


Sam Sommer is a BFA in Acting ‘21 student at Baldwin Wallace University. He is the youngest playwright produced in Western New York for his play, SuperZeroes, which premiered at Grand Island Senior High School on March 30th, 2017. Currently, Sam is prepping for a public reading of his new play, Lies & Love, in the Fall of 2018. Acting credits include Rock’n’Roll, Rock of Ages, A Chorus Line, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Mary Poppins, and more. Sam completed eleven years of training at the Academy of Theatre Arts in Western New York. With a love of theatre in general, he is ready to keep working on his craft and passion.


As a writer, choreographer, and performing artist, Maribeth Van Hecke is interested in trans-disciplinary work, collaboration, and the process of creating. Native to the Midwest, Van Hecke calls the Great Lakes home. Her fiction has been featured in Scarlet Leaf Review and Dog’s Breakfast; her devised work and choreography has been placed on Strike Time Dance Company and set on other collaborative performances; and her creative nonfiction can be found on her blog,, and on the online magazine The Odyssey. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Hope College, where she studied writing, dance, and French. She lives Cleveland Heights, where she is writing and dancing with Inlet Dance Theatre.


London Vayavong is a graduate of Ohio State Universality where he majored in Comparative Studies and Creative Writing. Upon learning the various theories on religion, culture, literature, and film, he decided to incorporate these ideas into fiction. London is currently a staff writer for where he writes entertainment articles focused on “geek” culture. He also on occasion contributes to The Script Lab which is a screenplay analysis themed site. In the past, he has acted as the Herald in the Cinderella Musical and as a dancer in the The Stuck Pot. He has also worked backstage as a stage manager for The Importance of Being Earnest and Sweeney Todd. While writing will always be his main passion, London enjoys acting, stand-up comedy, directing, and coding.