About

Briandaniel is a 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.

Brian with hawk

“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 can create something I cannot imagine.”

Biography

in a flipping barn, yo!
An older photo in the barn.
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 creating elaborate productions of new work 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. There he studied fiction with Susan Straight, Goldberry Long, Andrew Winer, and Michael Jaime-Becerra. He also took playwriting classes from Robin Russin, Charles Evered, and Rickerby Hinds.
He has a second MFA, this one in Playwriting, from the University of Texas, Austin. There he studied with playwrights Steven Dietz, Kirk Lynn, Suzan Zeder, and Sheri Kramer, as well as dramaturg Liz Engelman. His cohort consisted of Katie Bender, Reina Hardy, Abe Koogler, David Turkel, and director Steven Wilson.
Regarding his fiction: Stories from his collection have been published by ZYZZYVA, Indiana Review, and Arroyo, New California Writing, among others. He has been twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

Regarding 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 a finalist for the Humana Festival’s Heideman Award. His full-length Halfway, Nebraska was part of the 2012 Playwrights’ Week at The Lark Play Development Center, and premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival, winning an award for playwriting.

He’s committed to supporting other writers and artists. As Barnyard Theatre’s Literary Manager, he focused Barnyard’s programing on new plays and new work development. While working on his undergraduate degree in English at UC Irvine, he restarted the then-defunct creative journal NAR, and led its transformation into an arts organization for the Campuswise Honors Program. At UC Riverside, he helped found The Coming Out Monologues. At the University of Texas at Austin, he created The Bridge Festival, a ten-minute play festival where undergraduates are mentored by graduate playwrights in the development of their work.

He has taught creative writing and playwriting. He also works independently as a writing coach and new play dramaturg, often consulting with writers at different stages in their projects.

He is now the Director of Theatre Arts at Skybridge Academy in Austin, Texas. Skybridge is a private middle and high school with a liberal arts college environment. He writes with and for his students.

He can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/brian.oglesby and emailed at Briandanieloglesby(at)gmail.com

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