ESU National Shakespeare Competition

Meet Our Judges

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Jenay Naima

Jenay (she/her) first came to Traveling Players in her youth as part of the Thespian Ensemble in Moliere’s The Learned Ladies. Most recently she has assistant directed alongside Jeanne Harrison for Shakespeare Troupe’s productions of Taming of the Shrew and Cymbeline and the Dramatists' productions of Hamlet and Dust by Sarah Daniels. Holding a B.A. in Theatre, Jenay is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland Honors College and a Creative & Performing Arts Scholar.  She is a vocal coach and has spent time as an assistant director to Caroline Clay at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. S he has also held roles as a vocal coach and teaching assistant for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies students at UMD. Jenay considers herself a seafarer through her time on Disney Cruise Line as a vocal captain and MainStage performer.  She most recently was seen as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard Musical (Theatre by the Sea). Other credits include The Color Purple (Nat’l Tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (Signature Theatre), Avenue Q (Constellation Theatre Company), Caroline or Change (Creative Cauldron), and Hairspray (Mill Mountain Theatre).

Judith Walsh White

Traveling Players commissions original plays for the Mythology Ensemble from renowned DC-based educator and playwright Judith Walsh White (she/her). A student of ancient myth, she has written eleven plays based in world mythology, including ten commissioned by Traveling Players: Pandora’s Fire, Perseus and the Rock StarMonkey KingAtum’s EyeAriadne’s Thread: the Adventures of Theseus and the Minotaur, Persephone, Atalanta, Heracles, Eros & Psyche, and Orpheus & Eurydice. Two of these were subsequently published by Theaterfolk, listing our first Mythology Ensemble as Original Cast, and have since received performances in Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, Canada, the UK, and Gibraltar, as well as throughout the US, including The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.

Judith is an award-winning teacher, playwright, poet, director, and actor specializing in ensemble-guided playwriting and work with young artists. Profiled in The Washingtonian in 1987 as one of DC’s ten best teachers, Judith taught drama and speech for over 20 years at the Holton-Arms School, where she trained Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  She taught drama to Jeanne Harrison, Traveling Players’ Producing Artistic Director, starting at age 4, and served six years on Traveling Players’ board of directors. She mentored teachers through the Center for Inspired Teaching (run by Aleta Margolis, another of her former students). As an actor, her range has included Off-Broadway to dinner theatre. She did graduate work at Oberlin, American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), and as a Northwestern University Fellow. She was most recently directing at St. Patrick’s School.

Daniel Stroeh

Daniel Stroeh (he/him) is an award-winning writer, educator, and storyteller. His plays include it is no desert (which won the Kennedy Center’s Michael Kanin National Playwriting Award), 10 a.m. Signing (which was commissioned by Boston’s Alarm Clock Theatre Company), and The Chess Club (which was commissioned by The Kennedy Center’s Education Department). He has been a visiting artist at the Sundance Theatre Lab, the John F. Kennedy Center, and the Mark Taper Forum. Daniel’s work has been published by Samuel French Inc., Heinemann Press, Smith & Kraus, and Back Stage Books. He’s taught workshops and master classes at numerous high schools and universities and has also spoken at many spiritual conferences for youth and young adults. Most recently, he served as a judge for the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award and mentored young writer-performers for the Kennedy Center’s VSA Program. In December 2009 Daniel became the first-ever recipient of the Carpe Diem Award presented by the Boomerang Fund for Artists. He lives with his wife in Northern Virginia and is currently working on his first book.

Learn More & Sign Up to Compete

P.O. Box 1315
Great Falls, VA 22066


Traveling Players Studio
Tysons Corner Center – DL01
1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons, VA 22102

Traveling Players Ensemble is funded in part by ArtsFairfax and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
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