Carissa Atallah is an emerging playwright from sunny Southern California. Her work has been championed by organizations including Samuel French and the Kennedy Center and performed in cities throughout the US.
In 2019, her play “Voir Dire” garnered national recognition as a finalist 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 and produced for a seven-show run at the Dorie Theater in Hollywood, California as a part of the Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festival that same year. “Voir Dire” went on to win the 45th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival in 2020. The play is published and available for licensing through Concord Theatricals as a part of the Off Off Broadway Festival Plays, 45th Series.
In 2019, Carissa’s full-length play “Brown Face” received a staged reading in collaboration with The Latinx Play Project at the University of California, Riverside. “Brown Face” 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. “Brown Face” also received a professional staged reading in 2021 as a part of Playwright Arena’s Ghost Light Zoom Series. In the Fall of 2021, “Brown Face” will be produced as a main stage production by the Department for Theater, Film, & Digital Production at the University of California Riverside.
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 2021, she was a semi-finalist in the The Future of Playwriting Prize presented by Ucross + The Blank Theatre. 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.
Currently, Carissa is a writer for the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, the foremost theatre company for young audiences in California, and Pixel Playhouse, a multimedia theatre troupe bringing musicals to its over 214.1K TikTok followers.
Carissa has worked professionally as a writing consultant at universities in the United States and Europe. When not writing plays, she also enjoys writing young adult fiction.