Carissa Atallah is an emerging playwright from sunny Southern California. Her work has been championed by organizations including The Kennedy Center and Concord Theatricals and performed in cities across the U.S.
Her play BROWN FACE is the 2022 recipient of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and also The David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, Distinguished Achievement. BROWN FACE received Honorable Mention Status in The 45th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival established by the Playwrights Foundation. In 2021, BROWN FACE was staged by the Department of Theater and Film at the University of California, Riverside—a production that went on to present at the Region 8 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. BROWN FACE also received a professional, developmental reading in 2021 as a part of Playwright Arena’s Ghost Light Zoom Series.
Her play VOIR DIRE, winner of the 45th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, is published and available for licensing through Concord Theatricals as a part of the Off Off Broadway Festival Plays, 45th Series. In 2019, VOIR DIRE was performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in the Gary Garrison National 10 Minute Play Award category. VOIR DIRE received a seven-show run at the Dorie Theater in Hollywood, California as a part of the Los Angeles Collegiate Playwrights Festival that same year.
Carissa was selected in 2019 to participate in The Rogue Lab New Play Incubator with Rogue Artists Ensemble, a hyper-theater group based in Los Angeles. She’s a two-time semi-finalist for 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 500K TikTok and Youtube followers. When not writing plays, she also enjoys writing young adult fiction.