Lori is a Professor of English Literature at Essex County College in Newark, NJ. Her new play, The Sisters Grey, co-written with Gab Cody, recently received a complete page to stage development and production through the August Wilson Center for African American Culture’s “New Theatre Initiative.” An excerpt from The Sisters Grey was also featured in Luna Stage’s first annual short play festival. Lori has served as a faculty member of Words and Music, sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. During the 2010 Words and Music Festival, she launched the panel discussion about the relationship between race and literature by presenting a reading of her essay, Making War to Create Love, which placed as a finalist in the William Wisdom creative writing competition. Lori was awarded admission to the inaugural Yale Writers’ Conference and upon conclusion of the conference, was described as a “valued participant.” She currently serves as an advisor to the conference chair and plays an integral role in the expansion of the conference’s programming. Throughout her teaching career she has directed students, most notably, in a production of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor for which she and her students were awarded “Best Overall Performance” at the New Jersey Folger Shakespeare Festival. Lori is a theater adjudicator and workshop instructor for the New Jersey, Somerset County Teen Arts Festival. As a ten-year teaching veteran, her experiences as an award-winning educator fuel her dedication to powerful storytelling. In that vein, Lori Roper created Atticus Theater Workshop, a writing lab for aspiring playwrights. Her work as a playwright, essayist and poet casts illumination upon complex subjects such as education, race, gender, religion and class. She is a recipient of the prestigious ING Unsung Heroes Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education. Lori is a graduate of The College of William and Mary where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She obtained her MA in English Education from New York University from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is the Writer-In-Residence at the Ethical Cultural Society of Essex County, NJ. Lori is currently developing a new play set during the Newark riots of 1967. She is pleased to make her latest New Jersey performance with the Berkeley Light Opera’s production of Love, Loss and What I Wore.