LYNEA DIAZ-HAGAN is a playwright-director, composer, vocalist, and installation artist whose work combines traditional dramatic storytelling with innovative sound design and electroacoustic composition.
Her current play, The Paymaster’s Dream, is in development with the support of a 2019 Literary Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission and a 2019 Zellerbach Family Foundation grant. The play had its initial reading at SAFEHouse Arts in October 2019 and will have a fully-realized developmental reading for three performances at the EXIT Theatre in March 2020.
Other projects in development include a musical satire, American Ghosts, for voice/actor and piano. She performed a workshop version of this show in June 2019 with long-time collaborator John Steiner. For the past two years, Lynea and John have also been developing and performing Pure Improvisation, an hour long evening of improvised song using poetry and themes selected by the live audience.
Recent theatrical credits include assisting directing on Groundhog Day, The Musical, currently running at San Francisco Playhouse, and writing and directing The Education of Addy Jimenez—a play about American identity, systemic and domestic violence, and the quest for the American dream—which was independently produced at CounterPulse in December 2018 with the support of a CA$H | Theatre Grant from Theatre Bay Area.
In February 2018, she performed her original musical theater work, Ocean, about a woman adrift at sea after a catastrophic storm. Developed and directed by Katie Rubin and performed with pianist Dan Zemelman, drummer Wally Schnalle, and narrator Vicki Victoria, at SAFEhouse Arts.
Previous projects include Coulterville, a multimedia installation exhibited at Live Worms Gallery, about an outpost of survivors after cataclysmic climate change events, and Dendrochronology: A Work in Progress, a soundscape exploring the sonic dance between nature, people, and industrialization in a California logging town. Both pieces were developed with artist grants from North Street Collective.
As a vocalist, Lynea has had a long-term collaboration with pianist-composer Ramin Zoufonoun on projects combining the jazz and Persian classical traditions; Baharaneh, a sixty-minute celebration of the Iranian festival of spring, was sponsored by the Iranian Studies department of San Jose State University, and Paradox of Balance was curated by Jon Raskin for the Center for New Music.
Beyond her work as a writer and performing artist, Lynea loves helping people honor the truth of who they are through education, healing work, and spiritual practice. She teaches writing through her consulting company, Windhorse Writing, and is a certified Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) practitioner, specializing in helping artists and writers work through creative blocks and professional difficulties. Over the past year, she has facilitated a series of contemplative workshops for the artists-in-residence at North Street Collective in Mendocino County.
Lynea began her arts career working on the Broadway productions of Chicago—The Musical and Annie Get Your Gun, first as the assistant to veteran producer Barry Weissler and then as a general management associate for both productions. She later worked as the assistant to film producer Neda Armian and as a story analyst for the film director, Jonathan Demme.
Lynea earned her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, an MA in Jazz Studies/Vocal Performance from San Jose State University, and BA in English from Yale University. She is currently the Co-Founder and Director of ORO Arts Lab, an incubator for emerging Bay Area theater, film, and performing artists.