Carissa Atallah is an emerging playwright from sunny Southern California. Her work has been championed by organizations including The Kennedy Center, Samuel French, and The Playwrights Foundation—and performed throughout major cities in the US.

In 2019, her play “Voir Dire” garnered national recognition as a finalists in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in the National 10 Minute Play Award category. “Voir Dire” was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC that same year.

“Voir Dire” was then produced for a seven-show run at the Dorie Theater in Hollywood, CA.

“Voir Dire” won the 45th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival in 2020. The play will be published and licensed by Concord Theatricals.

In 2019, Carissa’s full-length play “Brown Face” received a staged reading in collaboration with The Latinx Play Project. It was performed at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts in Downtown Riverside, California. In 2020, “Brown Face” was a semifinalist in The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, established by the Playwrights Foundation. 

Carissa was also selected in 2019 to participate in The Rogue Lab new play incubator with Rogue Artists Ensemble, a hyper-theater group based in Los Angeles.

In 2017, Carissa was awarded a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship to study playwriting with the University of California Riverside’s Creative Writing for the Performing Arts MFA program. She also holds a BA in English with a minor in Art from the University of California Merced. In 2016, she was awarded a Gilman International Scholarship and a Global Citizenship Award to study the humanities abroad in England, Argentina, and Chile.

Carissa has been an educator with the University of California system for the last five years. Carissa has taught alongside full-time faculty in the Theater, Film, & Digital Productions Department at UC Riverside and served as a writing consultant at the Graduate Writing Center.

Carissa also writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenplays, and has performed spoken word poetry in slams and jams across California.