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Matt Opatrny, Writing Fellow

Matt Opatrny smiling headshot

Matt Opatrny

Matt Opatrny is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, performer, and teacher. He wrote eight episodes of DreamWorks Animation’s preschool series “Not Quite Narwhal” soon to premiere on Netflix, and several episodes of Moonbug Entertainment’s “CoComelon Story Time” podcast series out on Spotify. He is currently head writer of “Daisy,” an independent, science-based, live-action preschool series.

Opatrny writes stories that celebrate differences and present kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness as aspirational qualities. He is visually impaired and is currently developing a preschool animated series with a low-vision protagonist that introduces kids to mindfulness meditation.

As a playwright, he has won multiple awards including the 2018 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Play for “The Snow Queen” (for children and family audiences, based on H.C. Andersen). His eleven full-length plays have been performed in New York City, across the country, and on international tours. He has taught numerous workshops to students from elementary school to university graduate level, earning a Special Commendation from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. As a performer, he has appeared extensively Off-Broadway, on international tours, and on stage at The Moth storytelling events. He is a graduate of Clemson University and owes much of who he is to the sea turtles of Costa Rica.

“Mole and Bug”

Mole, who doesn’t see well, and Bug, who is prone to anxiety, join a ragtag chosen family of animals in a New York City park whose adventures are grounded in teamwork and complicated by the ineptitude of meddling humans. This preschool series introduces kids to mindfulness meditation.

Actors: Lindz Amer, Colin Buckingham, Emilie Goodrich, Yale Langworthy, Victoria Narayan, Lizzy “Ultrasonic” Newell

Lindz Amer smiling headshotLindz Amer creates LGBTQ+ and intersectional social justice media for kids and families. They created their beloved LGBTQ+ family webseries Queer Kid Stuff in 2016 which now has 4M lifetime views and counting! Their debut book “Rainbow Parenting: Your Guide to Raising Queer Kid and Their Allies” publishes on May 30, 2023 with St. Martin’s Press. Currently, they host the Rainbow Parenting podcast, perform at schools and libraries across the country, while also writing and consulting for children’s television. They worked with Nick Jr on the Webby award-winning Blues Clues & You “Pride Parade” music video, The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy, Spin Master, and more! You can watch their TED Talk on why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality, now with more than 2.5 million views!

Colin Buckingham headshotColin Buckingham is a Writer, Actor, and Producer based in Brooklyn, NY. His goal as a storyteller and creator is to make projects that are equitable, intersectional and give a platform for historically excluded, disenfranchised and marginalized persons in order for them to be represented and seen. Originally from Washington, DC, he got his start in writing through choreographing action and stunt coordinating on multiple plays, indie films and webseries. His first short film he wrote, choreographed, produced and acted in is currently in post production. He was a disability and dwarfism consultant for Tomorrow’s Today and another project TBA. As a writer he is mostly self taught, but has taken occasional playwriting and screenwriting courses. He recently started his own production company, “Chromatic Lens”.

Emilie Goodrich smiling headshotEmilie Goodrich is a NYC-based actress who loves a lox bagel. Training includes the University of Michigan’s department of theatre & drama, and The Barrow Group’s Professional Acting Conservatory. Recent credits include: West End’s Workshop of “Mad Hatter” (Bailey), “Pinkalicious” (Pinkalicious) @ John W. Engeman Theatre at Northport, “Ellen Waits”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “The 25th Annual Putnam…” (Olive), and TYA tours of “James and the Giant Peach” (Ladybug) and “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure” (Gloria). Emilie is a proud actor with Tourette’s Syndrome and OCD. She’s passionate about equitable theatre education and community outreach. As an advocate, she’s volunteered for Tourette Association of America, Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop, correctional facilities across Michigan and worked for the Princess Grace Foundation-USA — a non profit supporting emerging artists.

Yale Longworthy smiling headshotYale Langworthy has been performing theater for more than 10 years. Some of his favorite experiences performing on stage have been Shrek, Newsies, and Jekyll & Hyde while in Idaho where he was born and raised. He was in the pre-Covid cast of the off-Broadway Trevor the Musical. Yale is now enrolled in the William Esper Studio and hopes to continue his acting career while in New York.

Victoria Narayan smiling headshotVictoria Narayan is an actor, singer, director, filmmaker and educator. You can find her performing in comedy shows, concerts, plays, and anywhere else she’s allowed in NYC. Up Next: Smee in The Gallery Player’s “Peter and the Starcatcher”. Victoria is a proud graduate of The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Circle in the Square Theater School, and The Second City. She’s on Instagram @be_the_victorious.

Lizzy Ultrasonic Newell headshotLizzy Ultrasonic Newell (they/them) is a 15-year-old actor/beatboxer who broke records in 2017as the youngest competitor in the history of the American Beatbox Championships. Lizzy has also performed as a headliner in the SingStrong International a cappella festival at Adelphi University, Blue Jupiter’s Aca-Party at The Green 42 in NYC, The Lupus Research Alliance’s Walk With Us to Cure Lupus at the Met Life Stadium and the Astra Kulture Haus in Berlin, Germany during the Beatbox Battle World Championships. As a beatbox educator, Lizzy has presented workshops for students and music educators for such organizations as the Princeton Girlchoir, the New Jersey Music Educators and Westminster Choir College of Rider University. As a recording artist, Lizzy has worked with the Grammy award winning producers behind Pentatonix.

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