Laila Abdo, a first-generation Lebanese-American, grew up in southern Illinois. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has co-founded the diversity-focused, storytelling production company Free Pizza Productions. After meeting Ashley Woods, a Long Beach local, while auditioning for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this Hermia seems to have found her Helena in height and in life. Frustrated with the roles available to women, these two decided to take on something they are both passionate about: representation on screen. Along with writing shenanigans with Ashley, Laila is writing her second novel, Adrift. Selected credits: Echoes (Sameera u/s- West Coast Premiere), The Understudies (writer, director, actor), Exes (director), The Theory of Relativity (Mira), Sister Act (ensemble), International House (recurring actor – USC sitcom thesis). Degrees in biology and music from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where she was a Presidential Scholar.
Ashley J. Woods is an actor, director, writer, and activist. In 2017, she started Free Pizza Productions with her writing partner, Laila Abdo. Free Pizza Productions (or FPP) aims to green light the stories of women, POC, and the LGBTQ+ community. Ashley also actively supports many social justice causes and has protested for Immigrant Rights, Standing Rock, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter. She was famously photographed in the LA Times holding a sign that said “ACTORS AGAINST RAPE CULTURE”. Believing societal change starts in our living rooms, Ashley hopes to use the humble sitcom to enact social change. Selected credits: The Understudies (writer, director, actor), Exes (writer, actor), Nativity on the Overground (director, Jerusalem Award Best Director Under 25), A Christmas Carol (Belle), Much Ado About Nothing (Hero). BA Acting University of Wales TSD.