Co-Founder / Managing Director
Christopher Moncayo-Torres (He/Him/His) is an Ecuadorian-American playwright, live storyteller and teaching artist, born and bred in Queens, NY.
He first practiced creative writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice while pretending to study for his forensic psychology degree. He’s an alumnus of Playwrights Horizons’ Perspectives on Playwriting (POP) Core Workshop as well as a docent for their POP Talks. He was a member of The Civilians 2018-2019 R&D Group. He's a current member of the NYC Latinx Playwright Circle and Mission to (dit)Mars 2018-2020 Propulsion Lab.
His plays include WE COME HERE (Astoria Performing Arts Center / New York Innovative Theater Award nomination for Original Short Script), HABLAS Y TE SALVAS (developed at Astoria Performing Arts Center), A SUNNYSIDE MIXTAPE (Working Title Theatre Co.) performed under the 7 train in Sunnyside, Queens, and DEAR DAVID, performed by the Teen Ensemble of The 52nd Street Project.
He performs at several live-storytelling shows throughout NYC, including The Moth. His solo shows include CLIFFORD AND THE BIG RED DAD (American AF Festival) and THE APPLE Y EL ARBOL (The Tank).
Alessandra Rodriguez-Majchrzyk (She/Her/Hers) is a Mexican-American screenwriter and native New Yorker. She started college as an aspiring philosopher, but soon realized she didn't like most philosophy majors. She left for London to study film and screenwriting at Queen Mary University. For her last three years of college, she worked as an instructor at Robofun where she taught stop motion animation, video game design and Lego robotics. After graduating from Hunter with a degree in Media Studies and Sociology, she worked as the production coordinator for The Brooklyn Film Festival. She currently works as the communications and recruitment coordinator for the Hunter College Theatre Department. She also works as a freelance script consultant at Asa Nisi Masa Films and a freelance web/graphic designer for The Hunter Theater Project.
Fail Better Storytime Coordinator
Laura Maltz (She/Her/Hers) has always been a storyteller. Her accolades include paying $39.99 to have a story about tree sap published in a book of children’s literature at the age of 9 and that same year winning her elementary school’s storytelling competition where she memorized “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and delivered it with great gusto to an auditorium of unimpressed 4th graders. You may have caught her stories at some of her favorite shows/mics/podcasts including Storyfest, NYC Story Exchange, Grackle, WORD, Come Over for Coffee, Love Hurts, Adam Wade’s Storytelling Series, as well as being a regular at Fail Better Storytime. She produced her first storytelling show called Tiny Tales at The Tank which featured micro-narratives. Laura spends her days helping students tell their stories as a college career counselor.
Social Media Story Coordinator
Murph Murphy (They/Them/Theirs) is a born and raised New Yorker with strong feelings about sandals on public transit. They're a nonfluent Puertoriqueñx and eagerly butchers the spanish language, but they're learning! When they're not getting their seratonin fix by walking dogs, they’re getting in as many free-writes as possible and recording covers to fulfill their goal of posting a cover a day for the entire year!
Murph is also currently working on an EP, which inspired the idea for their first event They/Them/Shares: Music Time, with the goal to provide a safe space for nonbinary and trans folx to present new works and get feedback from peers who have similar experiences.
As a queer, non-binary latinx working in the theatre industry for five years, Murph is passionate about making genderqueer and Latinx art more visible to the public by not only normalizing, but celebrating and valuing our presence in the world.
Esther Yumi Ko
Esther Yumi Ko (She/Her/Hers) studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and Hunter College. She co-wrote and co-directed her first full-length play, Clickbait: A Low-Tech, High-Tech Love Story about Sex, Suicide, and Cell Phones, which was produced at The Access Theater in 2014. She was a co-writer on A Sunnyside Mixtape, a “hip-hopera” set under the 7 train in Sunnyside, Queens. Her short works have been produced by/at: The Arctic Group, The Dirty Blondes, Fail Better Pop-Up Micro Theatre at The Tank, Primary Stages/ESPA Drills, DCTV, Canton One-Acts Festival, Project: Theater’s Our Bar. She is an alumna of the Playwrights Horizons’ Perspectives on Playwriting Core Workshop.
In addition to her work as a writer, she has performed in several politically-minded devised theater works including Theater in Asylum’s The Debates, Hekabe: A New Version, and The Factory NYC’s The Weiner Monologues. She is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Office of the Arts at Hunter College and the resident graphic/website designer for Creative Arts Lab. She is a co-founder of Fail Better NYC.
Louis Gaudio (He/Him/His) is a writer/producer living in Queens, NY, and he is one of the co-founders of Fail Better. Louis has received the Archer Craig Mathias Award for his screenplay, Paydays, and is a writer/producer/actor in Project Theater’s Our Bar. He has produced several works with High Stakes Theater Company, including his debut play The Hulk Can’t Perform CPR. Louis is a veteran of the United States Navy, and prior to New York his home was a nuclear submarine stationed in Guam. His favorite genres are sci-fi, horror, and adventure.