Briandaniel is an award-winning playwright, dramaturg, writing coach, and teaching artist. He writes plays for teens and plays for mature audiences.
While his work for mature audiences comes from a singular artistic vision, his Theatre-for-Teens frequently uses an ensemble-based script-building process.
He’s half Latino and queer and from Northern California. He has an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to that, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside. He lives in Austin, Texas.
“I want the work to live a bit to the left of the familiar, to mix prose fiction with theatre, to bend or break form, but still be rooted in a character-driven story; I write plays that move easily and quickly but with a bit of a limp.
“Sometimes the plays require a bare stage — a few chairs and a few actors making the world out of language. Sometimes the plays are canvas on which a design and director team create something I can’t imagine.”
Briandaniel grew up in Davis, California, a Farmers’ Market-loving city surrounded by the fields of Yolo County near Sacramento. His mother immigrated from Mexico, and his father was born in Sacramento, making him both first generation and deeply rooted in the history of northern California. In 2004, he co-founded Barnyard Theatre, a company dedicated to elaborate productions of new work housed in a 120-year-old barn. For ten years, he helped manage the company. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from UC-Riverside, and a second MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas, Austin. He has taught creative writing and playwriting, and works independently as a writing coach and new play dramaturg. He is now the Director of Theatre Arts at Skybridge Academy in Austin, Texas, where he makes new work with and for teens, focusing on applying devising techniques to the script-making process and building experimental classes.
His short stories have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Indiana Review, Arroyo, New California Writing, and other literary magazines. He has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. As for his playwriting, in 2014, he received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Latinidad Award for his play She Gets Naked in the End. Prior to that, his short plays were three-time National Finalists for KCACTF, and three-time finalists for the Humana Festival’s Heideman Award. His full-length Halfway, Nebraska was part of the 2012 Playwrights’ Week at The Lark Play, and premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival, winning an award for Outstanding Playwriting. He recently developed his play Small Steps at the JAW Festival and at Playwrights’ Week at the Lark. He can also be contacted at BriandanielOglesby