In 1992 Sean was one of the founding members of the Factory Theater in Chicago (celebrating its 16th anniversary as of this writing). While there, he adapted several films for the stage, wrote commissioned plays, contributed to numerous ensemble-created works, and wrote his own original plays as well. He now makes his home in Los Angeles. As a screenwriter for both TV and film, Sean has written for the shows "So Weird" (Disney Channel), "Sabrina" the Animated Series (ABC), "Digimon" (Fox Family) as well as several pilots. Three of his screenplays have been produced. He also wrote all the video material for Rip Torn in the "Men in Black: Alien Attack" park attraction at Universal Studios, Florida.
Jim Adolf is the Development Writer and Director of Stewardship at Bowdoin College. His play, "I Cannot Tell a Lie at George Washington School," has been performed at schools and theaters across the country, from Lakeland, Florida to Heartland, Michigan to Wahaiwa, Hawaii. Jim Lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, Michele, and daughters Josie and Maggie.
Robert Anderson capitalized on his 25-years experience in teaching writing to high school and college students by publishing some 22 plays with several publishers. His plays have also been anthologized in a variety of publications, and he sold nearly a thousand articles to hundreds of publications. In retirement he considered himself a professional part-time writer, and when not writing, traveled regularly and played tennis. He died in 2006.
Elliott Barry Baker changed directions from business to writing in 1992. While attending a performance of Gershwin’s “Crazy For You” in New York, he realized as the orchestra began the overture, that he was never as excited as when he was seated in a theatre with a play about to begin. Changing gears, Baker was accepted by the BMI Lehman Engle musical theatre workshop in New York where he would spend the next four years driving from New Hampshire to New York every Monday to study and perform with many talented writers. He now has several family musicals published as well as one dark musical based on Poe, more appropriate for adults than children. A member of the Dramatists Guild, Baker lives in Durham, New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann. Their three children, Jason, Stacy, and Eric, are out making their way in the world.
Rebekah Ball received her BA in Theatre from the College of Charleston. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband, 2 sons and 2 cats. She invented a time machine and used it to go into the future to find out what she wrote for this bio and to watch the new Star Wars movie. She then destroyed the time machine so no one else could ever use it. She is active in community theatre and is currently writing this bio... along with a few plays.
Regina M. Ballard is the author of five plays with Eldridge Publishing and a professional freelance writer. Prior to beginning her freelance career in 1994, Regina was the senior advertising copywriter at a full service advertising agency. In addition to feature writing for a number of magazines, newspapers and other publications, Regina has directed numerous plays but best enjoys acting and regularly performs in professional theatre productions.
T. James Belich is an author and playwright who has written more than two dozen plays, which have seen hundreds of productions across the United States and around the world. A longtime actor, his favorite roles include Father Flynn in "Doubt, a Parable" and Sergeant Trotter in "The Mousetrap." He premiered his one-man physics show "Schrödinger's Cat Must Die!" at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. In addition to his career as a writer, James has a background in the sciences, having studied physics at Bethel University and the University of Minnesota. Outside of writing, he loves a good cup of tea, reading, and traveling. His favorite destinations include Great Britain, Italy, and Costa Rica. Originally from Saint Paul, MN, James lives in Florida with his wife and son.
Linda Berry's published credits include short fiction for children and adults, craft articles, poetry, plays, a newspaper entertainment column, preschool curriculum, and six novels in the Trudy Roundtree mystery series. She's a member of the Denver Woman's Press Club, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Colorado Dramatists, and presents writing workshops at conferences and area schools. She lives in Aurora, Colorado, and tries to arrange her life around theatre tickets.
BRIAN BILLINGS is a professor of English and Creative Writing specializing in libretti. In addition to his numerous musicals and many children’s shows, he also writes for adults as demonstrated by his dramatic one-act adaptation, "Storm-Breeder," published by Eldridge. He has served as a reading editor for "Iron Horse Literary Review" and as a managing editor for "BordeRevolución." He has also performed freelance work as an actor, a composer, a librettist, a lyricist, a storyteller, and a transcriber. TAMMY K. FRAZIER is the artistic director for The Vexler Children’s Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. She also co-produces the Sheldon Vexler Theatre in San Antonio with her husband Ken Frazier. Together they were just awarded the Jasmina Wellinghoff Award for Artistic Contribution for Theatre. Tammy has also received numerous Globe Awards for excellence in direction and costuming design. Prior to her work at the Vexler Theatre, she was a speech and theatre teacher for fifteen years. She says her two wonderful teenage boys, Kailyr and Konnor, are her greatest accomplishments.
Wade Bradford says... I grew up in Washington state, but I moved to California in the early '90s. That's when I got the opportunity to write my first children's play, "Sahara Nights." After writing and directing my own show, I was hooked on theater. Today, I write plays, children's books, and the occasional graphic novel. My first picture book, "Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?" was published by Tricycle Press / Random House. My next book "Around the World in a Bathtub" comes out June 2017. I currently teach literature and writing classes at Moorpark College. I am currently a board member at my local playhouse, the Canyon Theatre Guild.
Wade and Christopher met on stage acting in plays together. They chose to transition their onstage chemistry into play form. Wade and Christopher co-wrote "Change the Station," published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals. Wade, already an accomplished children’s book author from Washington, has several published plays, many of which he has directed himself. Christopher, a trained SAG actor originally from Chicagoland, has spent almost two decades in audio description with WGBH. Currently, when they are not huddled over their next script, Wade teaches at the college level and Christopher works as a voice actor. They hope to produce at least half a dozen plays together and combine them into one hefty volume.
James Brady is the author of numerous plays which have been produced Off-Broadway and around the country. He has a M.A. in mathematics from the University of Alabama and a MFA in playwriting from Rutgers University. In 1999 Mr. Brady was a recipient of a State of Florida playwriting fellowship. Originally from Mississippi, he now lives in upstate New York and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Monique L. Brown began writing plays her sophomore year in high school, one of which received an honorable mention at district thespian competition. Later she received a superior rating for another play,"Break," at state thespian competition and went on to be featured in the Ruth Eckerd Hall Florida Playwrights Process. She currently attends the University of Miami in Florida, where she is majoring in criminology in hopes of one day becoming a criminal profiler or doing social work. When home, she enjoys working at a center for the disabled. She continues to write and attend plays in her free time.
Con Chapman is a lawyer and writer in Boston. He is a former news and sports reporter and is the author of "The Year of the Gerbil," a history of the 1978 Red Sox-Yankee pennant race. He has also written a novel and other plays in addition to "The Little Theatre." Like one of the characters in the play, he stuttered as a youth.
Richard Chiarappa (book, lyrics & music) has been involved writing musical theatre projects for twenty years. For his "day job," Richard has been on the faculty of the Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, Connecticut, for twenty-three years where he is director of choral music, director of the jazz band and has served as adjunct instructor in the English and computer departments. For ten years he served as Music Director/Conductor of the Bristol (CT) Symphony Orchestra, and more recently founded the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. During summers, he has been the musical director/pianist for the Madison (CT) Beach Club's annual "Follies" for twenty years. Richard is a member of ASCAP, the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Conductors Guild and the Dramatists Guild. Martha Chiarappa (book & lyricist) is a former high school English teacher who left teaching to raise their two daughters. She is now sole proprietor of her own business in Connecticut. She decided "on a bet" to work with her husband to create her first and only musical, "Hoop!" She won.
Mindy Starnes Clark made her stage debut in the first grade, in the starring musical role of Little Red Riding Hood. As she grew up, she found that she preferred writing plays to acting in them, though she still performs in church and community theater now and then, as a fun family activity. Mindy met her husband at the auditions for a musical in college, and now they enjoy performing in shows with their two daughters. Besides writing several plays and musicals for Eldridge, Mindy is the author of a Christian mystery novel series, more than 50 computer software manuals, two textbooks, and numerous articles and fillers.
A working education professional and administrator with over twenty years of experience in Fine Arts including: Theater, Public Speaking, English, and Technical and Artistic Design. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Old Dominion University, Regent University, and Tidewater Community College, as well as being the theater teacher at Great Bridge High School. He held the position of Administrative Director at the Barry Robinson Fine Arts Center over a decade. As a graduate of both James Madison University and Regent University, he was conferred degrees in English, Theater, and Secondary Education. He has completed a postgraduate Master’s degree in Theater, Philosophy, and Film. As an advocate for theater and because of his appreciation for the proliferation of the arts, he is also a local director, an actor, and a published playwright.
Jon Cohn is a 1996 graduate of Ferrum College with a major in Theatrical Arts. He and Rex Stephenson have collaborated on musicals and he has held the position of musical director of the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre for several years. He recently completed his first play, a one-man show about the life of Ricky Nelson. Jon is presently employed as an actor at Theatre IV in Richmond, Virginia.
Pat Cook got his first taste of seeing his work in print while still in high school in Frankston, Texas, writing for the school paper. Then, during the summers, he wrote a column for his hometown newspaper. It wasn't until college, however, when he saw the movie version of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" that he decided to try his hand at writing plays. His first one-act, "The Boys in the Halls," a play about dorm life, was produced at Lon Morris Junior College in 1968 and has since vanished in some forgotten trash can. After moving to Houston he soon found other writing assignments at AstroWorld and in educational radio, night clubs and local television. His first play was published six years later. Still, writing was only a sideline along with several other odd jobs, which included playing piano in pizza parlors, acting in local commercials, industrial films and on stage, building scenery and selling pianos and organs. However, more plays got published and along the way, his wife, Rose Ann, taught him the joys of using a computer. This, coupled with his conviction to everything else and write full time, proved to be a turning point in his life. He has more than a hundred plays published by seven publishers. Many of these plays have been translated into Dutch and German. Further, he is also published in Eldridge's religious drama catalog (www.95church.com). He firmly believes that old saying, "The harder I work, the luckier I get," and that everyone has a story to tell, a dream to pursue. "And, believe me, if I can do it, anybody can!"
Rick Crom is a songwriter, actor, and comedian living in New York City. He won the MAC award for best musical revue for his "Our Life and Times Revue." As an actor he has appeared in 3 Broadway shows: "The Goodbye Girl," "Once Upon A Mattress," and "Footloose." As a comedian he's been featured on Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, and Caroline's Comedy Hour and A&E.
Nelly E. Cuellar-Garcia is a 35-year award-winning veteran theatre teacher with four state appearances, over 15 regional appearances, and scores of district titles. Ms. Cuellar-Garcia’s experiences in the world of competitive theatre (UIL Texas Competitions) have not only helped hone her writing skills but also enabled her to produce and improve the quality of theatre in her school and community.
Rick Davis has written 42 plays: six full lengths, 13 children’s musicals, 23 one-acts. All except his full length, The Morphology of the Human Foot, have been performed, some in NYC, some in LA, a few in Europe, and all in theatres across the country. Ten have been published and more than half have won awards. Most recently his full-length, Behold a Pale Ryder; a 10 minute piece, “Joseph Receives Unsettling News;” and his one-acts, “The Naked Man on the Couch,” “The Audition,” and “Lucille flirts With the Space-Time Continuum” were published. Also, “Joseph Receives Unsettling News” was produced in NYC as part of the 2017 Midtown International Theatre Festival, and another ten-minute piece, “Driver’s Side,” was work-shopped and given a staged reading at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Conference in Chicago the same year. ATHE also produced another 10 minute piece –“Dancing with Johnny DeMarco” -- last summer (2019) at their conference in Tampa. His one-act with a rather inelegant title -- “Two Assholes on an Elephant” – just closed in the Black Box New Play Festival in NYC. Another one-act, “Lucille Flirts With the Space-Time Continuum,” ran all summer in Atlanta as part of the Theatre-To-Go Summer Loving Festival. A short play, “Kismet for Marshmallows,” was just accepted for production by Le Chat Noir.
Chip Deffaa is the author of fifteen published plays and eight published books. An expert on old-time show business, he has been “following his bliss” since he wrote his first report for school, at 10-page essay on George M. Cohan, at the age of nine. His other plays for Eldridge include Presenting Fanny Brice: The Original Funny Girl and George M. Cohan & Co. Deffaa has written eight books, including Swing Legacy, Voices of the Jazz Age, In the Mainstream, Traditionalists and Revivalists in Jazz, Jazz Veterans, F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Princeton Years (ed.), Blue Rhythms, and (with David Cassidy) C'Mon Get Happy. He has contributed chapters to the books Harlem Speaks and Roaring at One Hundred. For 18 years, Deffaa wrote for The New York Post, writing news, feature stories, and reviews dealing with jazz, cabaret, and theater. He was also a longtime writer for Entertainment Weekly magazine. Deffaa has written liner notes for many CD's, including those of such artists as Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Ray Brown, Diane Schuur, Ruth Brown, Tito Puente, Dick Hyman, Randy Sandke, Scott Hamilton, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Deffaa has won an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, a New Jersey Press Association Award, and an IRNE Award (Independent Reviewers of New England). Deffaa is a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, NARAS, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, and the Drama Desk. Deffaa is a trustee of the Princeton Tiger magazine.
TERRI DILL For as long as she can remember Terri has had a passion for the theater and technical theater. As a child, she even wanted to live in the Swiss Family Robison tree house. Terri wrote her first play when she was eight. She would set up the stage in the garage and bribe other neighborhood kids into participating either on stage or as an audience member. It wasn't until 2004 that she decided to try playwriting again. When she sat down at the computer and started to type she says it felt like she was the secretary and God was telling her what to write. After having been the director Drama Ministry since 1999 and teaching Sunday School for 30 years, she was given the chance to work at her church as the Ministry Director. All the jobs have been very rewarding and they have certainly played a big part in her personal faith journey. For the past 32 years, she and her husband Ron have lived in Fort Morgan, CO. They have two grown children. Their family is very close and they do many things together. Her son Brandon has even written music for many of her plays. BRANDON DILL (composer/lyricist/orchestrator) Brandon is a graduate of New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Program, where he received his MFA. His most recent compositions include: music & lyrics for In Light of Everything (published by Eldridge Publishing) and The Whisper of God (two of the four Christmas musicals on which he has collaborated with his mom, Terri) ; incidental music for Twelfth Night and Dracula(both directed by his wife, Rene); Mass of a Grateful Heart for choir and organ; and the choral anthem Eternal Trinity (based on the dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena). He has also written two short-film scores, orchestral and choral works, ballets, musicals, & children’s songs for liturgical use. Brandon lives in Westminster, Colorado with his wife, René, and children, Jackson, Eliot & Josephine.
Patrick Rainville Dorn has a MA in Theatre from the University of Denver. He taught English and drama at Colorado Christian University, has written and directed plays for Colorado ACTS for many years, was a theatre critic for a daily newspaper, and has more than thirty published plays. He especially enjoys adapting well- and lesser-known folk and fairy tales for a whole new generation of young actors and audiences. More information at www.patrickdorn.com
Michael Druce earned a degree in Speech, Theatre and Journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma and has taught in Oklahoma, California and Alaska. He has directed more than a hundred productions and written and produced more than a dozen plays for high school and community theatre. He and his family make their home in Soldotna, Alaska.
Dean Feldmeyer is a United Methodist minister living in Columbus, OH, where he also teaches drama at an area high school. He is active in community and church theater and has written several liturgical dramas for church productions in addition to his regular plays. Dean has also written books on youth ministry and parenting teenagers, as well as a novel for young readers on substance abuse.
Julian Felice is a drama teacher and playwright from the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. He gained a Masters degree in Drama at the University of Kent and trained as a drama teacher at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama before returning to Gibraltar in 2008. He has four plays published by Eldridge Plays and has had two other plays performed professionally in London. He has won Best Original Play at the Gibraltar Drama Festival on five occasions and has given talks on his plays at British universities. Last year, Julian received a For Excellence token from the Governor of Gibraltar in recognition of his achievements in playwriting. Julian lives in Gibraltar with his wife Sylvana and his children William and Natalie.
Richard C. Fink has been a writer for as long as he can remember. That calling has taken many forms in his lifetime. Always obsessed with comedy, he set out to take Broadway by storm and become the next Neil Simon. As it turned out, Neil Simon had no reason to worry. Richard honed his craft studying playwriting at Catholic University in Washington DC, where he earned a degree in Drama. Leaving New York behind, he headed to the west coast and joined the Group Repertory Theatre. Fame and fortune remained elusive. It was at this point that fate and common sense intervened. He decided to do something drastic...use his writing skills to make a living. He became co-founder of Indelible Images, an advertising agency. There, he wrote press releases, brochures, magazine articles and corporate newsletters. And exactly none of that was as much fun as writing for the theater. He wondered if he could still coax those characters out of his head and onto the page. And surprise, surprise, they were all there, hanging out in the space between his ears, just waiting to be discovered. Today, Richard writes comedies that have challenged actors and delighted audiences. The madcap world of Richard Fink has been unleashed on an unsuspecting public.
Steve Flowers has been a middle school music teacher at River Trails Middle School in Mount Prospect, Illinois since 1995. He teaches general music and also directs the choirs, steel band and bucket band. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and his Masters Degree from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Steve's musicals, and his compositions for jazz ensemble and steel band, have been performed all across the country including a performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 2005, and at the Illinois Music Educators Association Jazz Festival in 2013. Steve received the Who's Who Among America's Teachers Award in 2002 and The Village of Mount Prospect Shining Star Champion For Youth Award in 2009. He is a member of Pan Go, a professional steel drum band, a member of the Harper College Steel Band, and plays in a rock band named Otherwise Civilized. Steve lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and daughter.
Steven Fogell is the Artistic and Theatre School Director for Bainbridge Performing Arts on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. Steven has an extensive background in fine art as well as theater. His training has taken him into areas of stage, costume, and puppetry design as well as teaching, directing, and acting in over 30 productions in the last twelve years. Steven works also on a state level developing the EALRS program for incorporating the arts into the public school system. In the Seattle area Steven created the children's theatre company, "Oh Dear!...Not Shakespeare!" He wrote and produced eight different Shakespeare plays for children that were performed in several Seattle theater houses. Currently Steven is working on creating theatre, dance and movement books for teachers and educators as well as working on a new television arts show and turning several of his plays into animated videos. Steven lives in Seattle with his partner and their four cats.
Rob attended the University of Michigan where he studied acting, but graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science. An avid professional actor for over 30 years, he has spent the last 20 writing. He has written over thirty published plays, and is most at home writing wild comedy with lots of verbal wit. His comedy has been influenced by such comedians as Woody Allen and Steve Martin. He uses his computer background to spice his plays with very topical themes, and also enjoys exploring what happens when plays become "aware of themselves"! A native Chicagoan, he now resides in Rochester, Minnesota. He enjoys fatherhood with his sons Andrew and Tommy, and daughter Lizzie. Other "lifetime roles" have included radio d.j., ranch hand, singing telegram messenger, folk guitarist, magician, and bridge player. He is very open to discussing his plays and makes every effort to attend productions he is aware of that are near his home.
Andrew currently serves as the Director of Drama ministries at Zion Pentecostal Church in Maine. He has over fifteen years of live theatre industry experience where he has served as a Stage manager, Production Manager, Producer, Puppet coach, Designer, and Director for over 90 productions. Throughout high school, Andrew traveled across the country with his family as a troupe of Puppeteers. He wrote puppet skits and routines for the productions. Since high school, Andrew has published fourteen stage plays including, ‘Chapter Seven Christmas’ and ‘Christmas in Juneberry’ with Eldridge Publishing. Produced stage plays include an adaptation of Margery Williams’s classic 'The Velveteen Rabbit', which in 2012 was chosen to be produced off Broadway at the first annual New York Children’s Theater Festival (NYCTF) in New York City. NYCTF is a play festival with board members/adjudicator’s including Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical, Cheryl Henson of the Jim Henson foundation, and Carol Demas of the Magic Garden to name a few. Original works produced include 'Liferaft' (Penobscot Theatre Company 2011), and 'The Blueberry Balladeer' (Penobscot Theatre Company 2012)
Andrew’s passion is to use writing, drama, and puppets to further the ministry to which God has called him. Andrew is currently working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Kingsway University and Theological Seminary. Andrew lives in Mattawamkeag, Maine with his wife Ashley and their three sons, Axel, Hans, and Finn.
Whitney Ryan Garrity wrote and directed his first musical at the age of 21. Since then he has created numerous plays, revues and musicals, a dozen of which are published. He has worked with various theatre organizations in both New Jersey and Texas as a performer, director, and artistic director. He has also founded several youth theatre programs. He currently resides in Texas where he continues to write.
Kelli Leigh-Ann Connors is a familiar face to New England audiences where she has performed in regional, stock and dinner theatres for the past 20 years. When Kelli is not performing she works as a costume designer and director. Cathy Sanborn has been performing for over ten years. She has toured from Maine to California with various theatre companies. She is also an accomplished musical director and children's theatre director. Together the form a professional theatre company that services New England and Florida with interactive plays and musicals for country clubs, fund raisers, hotels, corporate parties, conventions and more.
Jeff Goode is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He is the creator of Disney's animated series "American Dragon: Jake Long."
Larrance Fingerhut is a composer of music for theater and the concert hall. He has composed music for many of the classical Greek dramas and comedies, and Shakespeare. They first worked together as resident composer and playwright of the Summer Festival of the Arts in Southwest Harbor, Maine, where they developed original musicals, including "ELEPHANS."
Evan Guilford-Blake has had about 35 different plays mounted in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Israel, and won 29 playwriting competitions. His children’s scripts have won such honors as the Jackie White Memorial Playwriting Award and the Aurand Harris/New England Theatre Conference competition. He’s also had numerous short stories and poems, for adults and children, published in magazines, online and anthologies and won several awards for prose as well. Evan is member of the Dramatists Guild and the advisory Board of Chicago Dramatists, where most of his work has been developed. He and his wife Roxanna, a freelance writer and jewelry designer, live in the Atlanta area with their two lovable, dumb-as-dirt doves, Quill and Gabriella.
Jim Gustafson has recently retired after a 46-year career in film, television, radio and theater… The last 25 as a freelance writer.
Claudia Haas says she was born with a theatre gene. She explains, “My theatrical journey has taken me through gigs as an actress, director and teacher but my most satisfying work has been creating a story and seeing it come to life. Sometimes it is exactly as I saw it in my head and other times it is wildly different, more imaginative as if it has taken a life of its own. But the very fact that a group of people have devoted weeks of their life to bringing my play to life always brings joy.” She makes her home in Minnesota with Paul, Matthew and Kirsten as well as four furry creatures. Richard M. Cash, Ed.D. is the Director of Gifted and Talented Programs, K-12, for the Bloomington Minnesota Public Schools, and serves as an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN. Prior to this he taught first and sixth grade in an urban elementary school for gifted children and worked for many years as a children's theater director. He has co-author of four highly acclaimed children's plays with Claudia Haas. Richard is widely known for his theatrical and engaging presentation style.
Former actress and director Christina Hamlett is the published author of 17 books, 100 plays and musicals, and several hundred magazine and newspaper articles that appear regularly throughout the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Her latest book, "ScreenTEENwriters," is the only one on the market which teaches the craft of screenwriting to young people and provides insights on how to break into the film industry. In addition to her work as a script coverage consultant in Southern California, she is an online screenwriting instructor and has an international clientele whom she mentors in works of fiction and nonfiction through workshops and one-on-one critique. Her degree in Communications from California State University led to stints in all aspects of media, an expertise that continues to be applied to PR assignments and volunteerism in the public sector. Recently married in Scotland, she and her husband are currently collaborating on several book and film projects.
Nikki Harmon’s plays run the gamut from social/political satires, to theatre for young audiences, to murder mystery comedies, and have been produced in India, Botswana, So. Africa, England, Australia, China, Thailand, and throughout the U.S. and Canada. Among her awards, she has been a Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and has won the University of Central Missouri's National Theatre for Young Audiences Playwriting Competition (three times). Nikki studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and at the Institut Britannique, at the Universitie de Montpellier, and is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon, the University of Miami, and Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts. Along with her writing, she’s also a Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, Casting Director, and pen & ink/watercolor artist, and a long time member of Actor’s Equity and the Dramatists Guild. Nikki has worked on Earthwatch projects in Kenya, Peru, Italy, Namibia, Thailand and the U.S., on wildlife conservancies and archaeological digs. (Pictured: Nikki with a rescued giraffe on an Earthwatch Project at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in Kenya.)
Alan Heckner is an actor and playwright residing in Atlanta, Georgia. He has appeared on stage for nearly ten years now, most recently appearing in a production at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, and is a proud graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Acting. His previous plays, "The Best Show Never Seen" and "America's Next Top Model Student!" have been performed in middle schools and high schools all across the country...and once or twice in Canada, too.
Rand Higbee grew up in Spearfish, SD, and holds a theatre degree from South Dakota State University and an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Currently living in Hager City, WI, Rand won a 2009 Wisconsin Wrights Award for Playwriting. In recent years he has become a fixture at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference held every June in Valdez, Alaska.
Patricia (Pat) is from a small town in southeastern Michigan. She grew up listening to songs (on vinyl LPs) from shows like The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Camelot, Oliver! and Brigadoon. She and her friends learned the songs, put on variety shows, and played the Broadway characters, in costume, in games of “dress-up.” She wrote stories and poetry, drew comic books, took piano lessons and ballet, and loved school, sailing and going to camp. She learned the fun of singing harmonies in church choir and around a campfire. High school developed strengths in English, art and music. In her senior year, she joined the concert choir and was pianist for Balladiers, a “show choir” of the early 70s (theme song: “Consider Yourself” from Oliver!). She fell in love with Melzor, choir president. When they graduated, she was co-valedictorian of their class. Patricia and Melzor married and moved to Iowa (echoes of The Music Man!). They started a family. They attended college and graduated together, twelve years after high school graduation. Their commencement speaker was actress Helen Hayes. Pat majored in English and Art. Graduating summa cum laude, with an award for superior accomplishment in English, she was one of two nominees for a fellowship. Not selected for the award, Pat took II Timothy 2:15 to heart: “Study to show thyself approved unto God…” and determined to use her gifts and talents in her church family. During thirty-seven years in Iowa, she directed church choir, led worship, taught Sunday School and midweek children’s ministries and directed summer Bible camps. She served as state-level secretary, wrote Bible studies and arranged choir music. She wrote a few songs, then a cantata, and then a full musical. This was followed by another musical, and another; to a total of eight, over a twenty-three-year span. She also became a writer for Dr. Wonder’s Workshop, a Christian TV series for the Deaf. Two years after her husband retired, Pat and Mel left children and grandchildren in Iowa and moved to Florida. She continues to write plays, music and lyrics, in between salt water fishing, canoeing, tandem bicycling and recumbent tricycling. Sailing is on the near horizon, too. Pat says, “If God says ‘Yes,’ don’t let anyone say you can’t. And trust His timing.”
Marc has lived his life in the theater, settling into the thriving arts scene in Ann Arbor, Michigan, his home for the last twenty years. With the release of "Code Five," he marks twenty-five years as a published playwright in 2018. He and his wife, Kathy are the proud parents of two grown children. Together they enjoy reading, antiquing and Detroit Tiger baseball.
Rev. Craig Howard -- Much to his surprise God called him to the ministry and he became a pastor full time in Petersburg, WV in 1981. He has a loving wife, Camille, whom he met in Bible College; a caring, talented son Ryan who is a police officer; and a beautiful daughter Erin who is a high school student. Craig loves the outdoors and working with teenagers, a role he has filled in his community and denomination as a coach and director of various youth ministries for over 30 years. He has taken youth on mission trips all over the world and plans to continue that activity well into his retirement someday. Craig has always loved theater and has worked with actors in one form or another since his high school days. He understands that words are a tool that when used properly, can encourage and uplift. As God gives him a story he tries to wrap it in words that will do just that.
Kory Howard was born in Utah but grew up in many parts of the USA because of his father's military career. His experiences from living in different regions of the country and meeting a variety of people have shaped him as a person and a writer. He earned his BA degree in English teaching from the University of Utah and his M.Ed. from Southern Utah University. He currently teaches English and Theatre at a small high school in rural Utah. He has a wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters. In his rare spare time, he enjoys playing the guitar and piano.
Scott Icenhower works, writes, and acts, (In that order), in and around Greensboro, NC. His plays are being performed around the country now thanks in part to Eldridge Publishing.
R. Eugene Jackson is a professor, play director, and chairman of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama. He has been writing stories, skits and plays since he learned what crayons could do to walls. At college he was encouraged to continue playwriting and scripts made up most of his thesis at Kent State University and his dissertation at Southern Illinois University. He has won numerous playwriting competitions while having over fifty plays published. "I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go," Jackson says, "because my mind is always plotting new storieseven if the rest of me is doing something else. I feel like I can't get to the computer fast enough to get everything down. Sometimes I can't type fast enough to catch up." In his leisure time (other than writing, which is both leisure and therapy), Gene enjoys traveling, playing the violin and ballroom dancing.
Michal Jacot’s twelve published plays include romantic comedies, suspense, and farces. He has been presented with the Excellence in Playwriting Award by the Community Theatre Association of Michigan. His books include Dwaible, Confessions of an Overactive Imagination, and Stages of Insanity. Michal has traveled to schools and libraries teaching a writing workshop for twenty years, as well as being a staff instructor at Author Quest, a writing camp for kids. He is also a commercial illustrator, having created hundreds of art pieces, logos, and comic strips. He is the illustrator for the children’s book series Dollar Store Danny. Michal and his wife Laurie live in northern Michigan.
Jane and Jim Jeffries -- We have been writing plays together since 1995—and are still married. Our scripts have been performed in 49 states, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala. Jane earned her B.A. in English from the University of Evansville in Indiana and her M.A. in English from Penn State University. Besides writing plays, Jane judges at the WI Forensics Association’s One-Act Festival and directs shows whenever she can. Currently, she teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Jim earned his B.A. in Education at Indiana University and his Masters in American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He teaches history and economics at North High School in Eau Claire where he performs 900 shows a year in front of audiences of 30 critics. Juggling at the Wisconsin Renaissance Faire was a much easier gig.
Married writers Deborah Ann Percy and Arnold Johnston live in Kalamazoo and South Haven, MI. Their individually and collaboratively written plays have won some 200 productions, as well as numerous awards and publications across the country and internationally; and they’ve written, co-written, edited, or translated some twenty books.
Debby earned the MFA in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. A book of her short fiction, Cool Front: Stories from Lake Michigan, appeared in 2010 from March Street Press; in fall 2014 One Wet Shoe Press published her full-length collection, Invisible Traffic, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and an Independent Publishers Award.
Arnie’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. His books include two poetry chapbooks—Sonnets: Signs and Portents and What the Earth Taught Us—The Witching Voice: A Play about Robert Burns; and The Witching Voice: A Novel from the Life of Robert Burns. His translations of Jacques Brel’s songs have appeared in numerous musical revues nationwide, and are also featured on his CD, Jacques Brel: I’m Here! A full-length collection of Arnie’s poems—Where We’re Going, Where We’ve Been—will appear soon from FutureCycle Press, and his new novel—Swept Away—is forthcoming from Caffeinated Press.
Karen Jones lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with her husband of 40 some years. Being in charge of directing the Christmas play each year at her church for almost as long, a lot of money was spent on scripts that couldn't be used. They just didn't fit the church's need. So one Christmas she decided to write her own tailor-made script for her small church. No one was privy to the change and to her surprise the play was well-received. After several years, her secret came out and she was encouraged to submit one for publication. To her delight it was accepted and thus launched her new writing career which has enabled her to help share the Gospel in her own small way.
Laura Joye is currently the Education Director at a community theater in Kansas. With her hard work, she has developed the youth theater and summer camps into flourishing programs. Laura's belief that children's plays should be fun to perform and watch for all ages has prompted her to write some of her own. Her short stories have won several prizes, including publication in two separate magazines, and bragging rights. When she is not at work, Laura enjoys cooking vegan dishes, yoga, and reading a good book.
Dan Kehde is a playwright, librettist and director who, for the past 15 years, has served as co-founder and managing director for The Contemporary Youth Arts Company of Charleston,WV, an organization dedicated to giving young artists hands-on opportunities to bring new works to the American stage. A nearly unfunded, for-profit theater company, CYAC has produced over 50 new works in the past 15 years including 15 new Scarpelli-Kehde musicals, more than thirty new plays and eight touring social action one-acts. Together with his persevering wife, Penny, Dan continues to work with the young people of CYAC while constantly striving to challenge the ever-changing lists of new actors that come into the company. Dan is currently working on new pieces of musical theater with composer/collaborator Mark Scarpelli, as well as continuing to create and produce three or four new plays of his own each year.
Kandie S. Kelley received her MFA from the University of California, Riverside, and has successfully pursued a career as a director, educator, and author (Closet Drama, Bear Star Press, 2001). Committed to teaching theatre, she owned her own company for eight years while also serving as department chair of drama at a private school in Orange County before founding the Inland Edge Players in Riverside, an ensemble group devoted to fostering the energy of local performers, directors, and writers. In addition to being a theatre instructor at the University of California, she also teaches classical acting and Shakespeare as performance at Idyllwild Arts Academy while also working with the Riverside Metropolitan Museum’s Youth Diversity Project, educating youth via improvisational and playmaking workshops, which focus on social change.
Bobby Keniston was born and grew up in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. He had the karmic good fortune to have Lakewood Theater, the country's oldest still-operating summer theater, as a summer home. His love for acting and for reading plays started there, and he was encouraged by a very theatrical set of parents. He studied acting at Boston University and playwriting and literature at Bennington College. He has over thirty plays published and is relieved that people seem to like them. He would like to thank his parents, his different community theater families, and his friends for all of their support of his creative endeavors. If you would like to read Bobby's blog, it is called “Theater is a Sport” (because theater IS a sport), and you can find it at email@example.com. If you would like to contact him, feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.
ROBERT KINERK (far left) is the author of seven picture books including the popular Clorinda series and the well-received "Bear’s First Christmas." The first play he wrote, a musical melodrama for his hometown in Alaska, Ketchikan, has been produced every summer since 1966. He was born in Seattle, grew up in Alaska, and has lived in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. From the home in Cambridge, he shares with his wife Anne Warner, he travels to visit children and grandchildren and to keep up on the doings of his six brothers and sisters.
STEPHEN MURRAY is a composer, lyricist and playwright who has been a Performing Arts Educator since 1985. Steve's plays and musicals have been produced throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, South Africa, Malta, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and China. Some of his award-winning titles can be found in the Eldridge catalog. "Musical! The Bard is Back!" was the 2000 winner of the Columbia Entertainment Company National Playwriting Contest, the first musical ever to win the award. Two other Eldridge titles have also been recognized by the CEC Contest, "Mother Goose, Inc." and "The Universe and Other Stuff." Steve has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. By day he is a humble music teacher, but by night, you may find him performing on various stages in Massachusetts.
Brian Kral is a director, playwright and theatre educator in Las Vegas. The author of more than twenty plays for young people, his scripts have appeared in the anthologies West Coast Plays and Lucky 13, and in “Dramatics Magazine.” He is a recipient of the Chorpenning Cup, presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education for “a body of work of national significance,” and received a Governors Arts Award for his contribution to Literature in the state of Nevada. His script Paper Lanterns, Paper Cranes was selected as a winner of the IUPUI/Bonderman Playwriting Competition, and honored with a Medallion Award from the American Alliance of Theatre & Education in 2003 as “the best new published play in the United States.” From 1978-2010, Kral enjoyed an unprecedented ongoing relationship as a playwright-in-residence with the Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, where a majority of his plays premiered, including The Zombies Walk Among Us.
Vicki’s creative passion is to share the good news of Jesus Christ in any possible mode. While she directed the Potpourri Players at Community Church of Greenwood (IN) for several years, she wrote more than fifteen full-length dramas, multiple vignettes, and a series of vignettes for Moody Radio. Some of the musicals contained a cast of more than 200 people, including the choir. Some of her vignettes were published by Chapel of the Air’s 50-Day Adventure. With a BA in English/Education and an MA in Journalism, Vicki taught English and communication skills from junior high to university levels. She served a few years as the editor of One Mission Society, formerly OMS International, an organization with work in more than 50 countries. She wrote four books; two published by Victor Books/Scripture Press, one published by Zondervan, and another published by OMS Int’l. Other ministry interests have included: teaching Bible studies to women, directing women’s ministries, disciplining new believers, editing the church newsletter, and speaking in various venues. She has traveled in more than 25 countries. Vicki is married to Charles, a pastor, and they have two married daughters and two grandsons.
Christopher Landrigan is a Western New York native, graduate of Cornell University and The George Washington Law School, attorney, and a person who really enjoyed acting in his high school one-act plays. He gave writing a play a try while in college. He is not a professional writer but hopes to write another play or two in the future to supplement the less (but only slightly less) fictional works of a lawyer.
Tom Large has directed more than 65 community theater, university, and school productions in the greater Philadelphia and Boston areas. He received his B.S. In English Education from Temple University, and his A.L.M. in English and American Literature from Harvard University. The creation of the musical adaptation of "Twelfth Night" brings together his twin passions for Shakespeare and musical theater.
Bill Leavengood is a nationally awarded, two-time Eugene O'Neill playwright whose work has been produced Off-Broadway at Circle Repertory and Primary Stages, as well as regionally. He is the recipient of the Edith Oilver Fellows Award, Brodkin Scholarship, Berilla Kerr Foundation Grant and an Individual Artist's Grant in Screenwriting from the State of Florida. In addition to THE GRIMM BROTHERS PRESENT: PUSS 'N BOOTS, Mr. Leavengood has written eight other plays for young audiences which have been seen by over a million students in the Northeast.
Will Ledesma graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. After school, Will spent six years with Houston's A.D. Players, who have premiered a dozen of Will's original plays and adaptations. His original fairy tale "The Girl Who Wore Golden Clothes" was selected for CATS Playhouses’ first annual Cordell Green New Plays Festival in 2009 and later won the 2010 First Place Award for Drama at the IWA! Texas Christian Writer’s Convention. He has also had four plays published with Eldridge and two more with Eldridge's Christian Plays divison. You can learn more about all of Will's plays at ledesmaplays.wix.com/home. In his spare time, Will enjoys reading, writing, and watching hockey. He currently resides in Houston with his wife Kimberly and their three children, Robbie, Isaac, and Shiloh.
Shelley Leiser was a late bloomer when it came to theatre and speech. After “trying” speech and theatre late into her junior and senior year of high school (but only when it worked around volleyball), Shelley went to Simpson College to play volleyball and study biochemistry. On a whim, she auditioned for a play where she met her now husband, Zach, and realized that her passion and interest was not biochemistry. Now, She and Zach are living their happily ever after with their three kids and two dogs near Des Moines, Iowa. Shelley teaches theatre in a nearby school district, and spends her time directing school plays, developing script ideas, and hanging out with family whenever possible.
Linda Livingston, Artistic Director of Transport Theatre, is an award-winning actress who has appeared on stages across the country, from a staged reading of “Marie Antoinette” at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, to touring with Seattle’s Shakespearean Bellevue Rep. She has performed in “Master Class” (Maria Callas); Rubicon’s world premiere of “Murder in the First” (Blanche) with Ted Neeley and the late Larry Hagman; “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (Nurse Ratched); and “Diary of Anne Frank” (Edith Frank) to name a few. Her turn as Vivien Bearing in “W;t” won her an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Nomination during its run at the Victory Theatre in Burbank. Linda has also acted in two plays for National Public Radio, hosted a television show on California’s central coast, and appeared in the short film, “Brightness,” featuring Eric Idle, which ran on the Independent Film Channel. Linda has directed shows at a half dozen theatres, and has written two stage plays as well as a dozen monologues for Santa Paula California’s wildly popular annual GhostWalk. She has co-written two radio plays that were produced live: “Tales to Tremble By - Play Within a Play,” and “The Shadow, 1940’s Re-creation,” both by Grand Guignol Players. She holds a Master’s in Theatre Education from UNCO and has taught acting at a number of schools and theatres.
Rachel Lopez, was born and raised in San Diego where she received classical training at The Old Globe Theatre until moving to Chicago to study improvisation at The Second City. During her three years at Second City, she performed and wrote for two sketch comedy revues. Rachel also performed with The Free Associates comedy troupe and toured Chicago schools with Urban Gateways as a teaching artist and improviser. She served as Youth Theatre Director for Lafayette Civic Theatre in Lafayette, Indiana and at South Bend Civic Theatre in South Bend, Indiana. Upon moving to Reno in 2012, Rachel founded Spotlight Youth Theatre at Good Luck Macbeth Theatre. As the Artist in Residence at Sage Ridge High School she co-wrote and co-directed an original piece called “Nevada – It Ain’t Just Vegas, Baby" for performance at the 2014 Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rachel currently resides in Reno, Nevada with her husband and daughter.
Susan Barsky’s full-length works include Expectations which was produced at numerous regional and summer stock theatres including Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, Stamford Center for the Arts, Helen Hayes Performing Arts Theatre, and the Cape Playhouse. She received a 2005 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for her play Owed to My First Love which was produced at the Stamford Fringe Festival and Premiere Stages Play Festival. Her play The D Word had a workshop production at the Stamford Fringe Festival. Her play The Seeds of Greed was the first-prize winner of the Great Platte River Playwrights Festival. Her play Payback’s A Bitch was recently part of Philly Footlights Series at the Adrienne Theatre in Philadelphia. Her one-act play The Jeter Report was produced at The Algonquin Seaport Theater as part of the Derek Jeter play festival. Her one-act play Mr. X was produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Chatham Playhouse. Her other one-act plays, Horse Sense, Luther, and Fowl Play were produced at Triangle Theatre’s Beast Festival. Fowl Play was also part of Manhattan Theatre Source’s Estrogenius Festival. Her play CRAP was the first-prize winner of Perishable Theatre's One-Act Playwriting Festival, and was a finalist at Love Creek's One-Act Festival. Susan studied with playwriting master, Milan Stitt, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild and Theatre Communications Group.
Jacqueline T. Lynch’s plays have been produced around the United States and in Europe. Her novels, short stories, and non-fiction books on New England history and film criticism are available from many online shops as eBooks, audiobook, and paperback. She writes Another Old Movie Blog on classic films, and the syndicated newspaper column Silver Screen, Golden Memories. She is featured in the Power of Women book on the history of women's achievements in western and central Massachusetts published by the Springfield Republican.
Hilary Mackelden was born in Coventry, UK, and has lived all her adult life on the edge of Ashdown Forest in Sussex. She has three grownup children and six grandchildren. When she's not writing, she works for World In Need, a Christian charity that helps people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Through them, she has spent time building a school in Kenya, and driven to Morocco with a consignment of wheelchairs. Her other interests include reading, swimming, watching her grandchildren play soccer, and history. She is a member of the National Trust and loves to visit historic sites and stately homes.
I currently live in Southwest Florida, but I am originally from a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. I am a high school and college English and Drama teacher, and I love it. In addition to teaching, I have been working in theater for many years. I had my first lead in a play when I was 9 years old. I began directing and writing plays when I was 14, and Eldridge published my first play when I was 27. I am also a published short-story writer and journalist. I have a wonderful, patient husband, Raymond; two sons, T.J. and Tyler, and a stepdaughter, Reanna. My favorite “drama” experience so far has been a summer I spent in London in residence at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
BOB MARSHALL Bob Marshall is professional musician (woodwind specialist), arranger and orchestrator and teacher with over forty-five years of experience. His background includes performance of and writing for most musical genre from classical to jazz. In addition to performing and writing, he also served as a performing arts consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Western States Arts Federation. For over 15 years he taught elementary school classroom music, band and choir and just recently retired. However, he continues full-time work in his music publishing/production company Snowflower Music where he arranges, orchestrates, and produces CD rehearsal tracks for music composers and playwrights around the country.
JJ LEWIS-NICHOLS Born and raised in NYC, JJ’s passion for the theatre started by seeing the original Mary Martin “South Pacific” at age 2 ½. Her theatre education included attending all the major Broadway shows from the 50’s through 2010. After attending Denison University, she graduated the first year of the Tisch School of the Arts in “acting”. Her Broadway credits include the French maid in “Private Lives” in 1969 and as Frances Hunter in “No Sex Please, We’re British” in 1973. Based in NYC, her 17-year professional career included national tours, the Cleveland Playhouse, and the Mark Taper Lab. Television credits include appearances in many soap operas, the sit-com “The Madhouse Brigade”, numerous TV commercials, and over 400 radio ads. Her film work includes “Dead Ringer” with Meatloaf and “Dreamchaser” with Harold Gould and Jeff Tambor. In 1981, she moved to Northern California where she is artistic director of the Siskiyou Performing Arts Center and currently working on her 112th show as director. She has taught “acting/directing/playwrighting” for College of the Siskiyous as adjunct faculty for 25 years. In addition to “Little Women – A Merry Christmas” (the musical), she has written and produced other musical adaptations including “The Littlest Angel” and “Christmas Carol”.
MELINDA FIELD Melinda Field is an award winning writer/poet/playwright who lives in the mountains of Northern California. A version of her short story The Ledge, excerpted from True, was an award winner in the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Competition. She has authored three sets of wisdom cards with photographic artist Lani Phillips, that were created to inspire and empower women of all ages on a daily basis. They are Wisdom of the Crone, Wonder of the Mother and The Journey. Melinda is currently working on a sequel to True.
London-based writer Catherine McDonald writes plays, musical theatre and short stories. After completing David Edgar's Playwriting Master’s Degree at Birmingham University, Catherine was commissioned by The Bronte Society to write an adaptation of Jane Eyre and is currently adapting a musical version Wuthering Heights. In 2011 she was short-listed for the BBC Writer's Academy for her play The Kittens in the Bag. This was followed in 2012 by London’s Theatre 503 programming her play What Sam Told Me as part of their Rapid Write Rewind night, celebrating the best of their Rapid Response evenings over the past few years. Catherine received critical acclaim for her musical adaptation of Peter Pan Never Land at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which went on to be performed outdoors in Kensington Gardens, and was then featured on ITV1's Fortune, winning £15,000 to donate to St. Ormond St Children's Hospital.
Shirley McNichols, a California native, has been a middle and high school English, drama, speech/debate, and video production teacher for 15 years. She began writing plays for her drama students ten years ago. She currently resides in Sacramento, and is the mother of three grown kids and grandmother of preschooler. Shirley's hobbies include reading (voraciously) vocal music and guitar writing (time permitting) hiking in the Sierras and bike riding. Her overall favorite pastime however, is traveling. Her most embarrassing moment...running into Bob and Elizabeth Dole at the Watergate Hotel and exclaiming to Elizabeth, "It's Barbara Bush!"
The late Eddie McPherson has published over 60 children's shows, fractured fairy tales, murder mystery and rural comedies in one-act, full-length and reader's theatre formats. He earned his undergraduate degree in Broadcast Writing, a Master’s in English Literature, and a Specialist in Educational Leadership. Before entering the world of administration, Eddie taught high school and middle school theatre. His drama students won first place in one-act play competitions, best actor awards, all-star cast awards, and attend/attended acting schools in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. He is still very proud of his students. Eddie works with publishers to develop scripts for the educational, community theatre, and religious markets. Many of his plays have become best-sellers. Eddie lives in Atlanta. He writes in his favorite coffee house in the heart of the city or in his childhood home the mountains of Northeast Alabama, where he made up plays as a child and performed them for anyone who would watch.
Lisa is a multi-platform writer, who works both solo and with her husband, Todd Messegee. As a solo writer, Lisa wrote Just So, Mr. Kipling and Fierce Creatures, published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals. Other produced plays include The Hamlet Murders and Freeborn Lehman’s Last Day on Earth. Lisa co-wrote The Value of x and Carol vs. Christmas with Todd. Both plays are published by Eldridge. She also co-wrote the play, An American House, available on Amazon. Lisa and Todd work together exclusively as screenwriters. Their made for TV movie, Christmas Homecoming debuted on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (2017). The military drama stars Julie Benz and Michael Shanks. Lisa and Todd also wrote the made for TV movie, Romantically Speaking, starring Heather Morris, which aired on both PiXL (2015) and The Hallmark Channel (2017). Lisa is a member of the Writers Guild of America, Writers Guild of Canada, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Lisa and Todd are a multi-platform writing team who are published playwrights and produced screenwriters. Lisa and Todd plays include Carol vs. Christmas, The Value of x, and Fierce Creatures and Just So, Mr. Kipling, all published by Eldridge. Other plays include An American House, available on Amazon and their newest play, The Tour, based on Konstantin Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s tours to America,which received its world premiere in 2018. Lisa and Todd are also produced screenwriters. Their made for TV movie, Christmas Homecoming debuted on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (2017.) The military drama stars Julie Benz and Michael Shanks. Lisa and Todd also wrote the made for TV movie, Romantically Speaking, starring Heather Morris, which premiered on PiXL (2015) and is now airing on The Hallmark Channel. Currently, Lisa and Todd are on contract, writing a new Christmas movie for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. They’re both members of the Writers Guild of Canada and the Writers Guild of America.
Ev Miller is a life-long resident of North Dakota. He gained his bachelor of arts degree from Jamestown College, a liberal arts college in North Dakota. After graduation, Miller taught English at Bismarck High School, a position he has held since. Miller began his writing career in 1975. Since then, he has published over 30 plays with 13 American publishing companies.
Michael Mish relates that several years ago he set out to record a children's CD about the environment. An Emmy and Parent's Choice Awards later, he decided to see what teenagers thought aboutàwell, being a teenager. "In what must have been an utterly unorthodox approach, I cast the show before writing it," he says. The cast's first assignment? Come to the next rehearsal and bring with you your three biggest issues about being a teenager. Be honest and respect the confidentiality of the other actors. "I distilled their concerns down to the most shared ones, then wrote the play and songs about what was real for them," says Michael. Thus the musical "teensomething" was created. "I found the material wrote itself and became probably one of the most passionate creations I've ever been involved with. Then again, what could be a more passionate period than the teen years," he adds. Michael makes his home in Oregon and his upbeat and thoughtful songs for his own Cds, films and books on tape have earned him numerous awards. His songs have been recorded by Marilyn McCoo, John Denver, Shari Lewis and Glenn Yarbrough. The LA TIMES calls Michael the "Pied Piper of the Environment."
Tim Mogford grew up in England, where he studied at the Universities of York and Nottingham, earning degrees in Literature, Theatre and Education. He has worked in the amateur and professional theatre for over twenty years as actor, director, producer and now writer. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Times Literary Arts Festival, and as a semi-finalist at the American College Theatre Festival. He has taught in the school and university systems of both the UK and the USA, and holds an M.Ed from Kutztown University of PA. Tim’s plays have garnered praise and won awards in schools, colleges and theatre festivals all over the USA, Canada and in Europe. In addition to teaching English, Shakespeare and Speech Communications in the Pennsylvania high school system, Tim also works privately as a consultant and acting coach, preparing young people for auditions in theatre, film and television, and most especially for application to college performing arts programs. He lives in Reading, PA.
Geff Moyer has written and directed theater in the Kansas City area for over thirty years, but it wasn't until he puffed up enough nerve to finally submit one to a publisher and, lo and behold, they took it. Then another publisher took one. Then another and another. Now, his scripts have been produced by hundreds of schools and theaters across the country, including Canada, Greece, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He has even had a book published entitled Billy Old, Arizona Ranger (based on a true story - Google it!), which has received excellent reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and OnLine Book Club. Geff is a retired high school theater and creative writing instructor. He and his wife Cathy have three sons and two grand daughters.
Daniel Munson has been involved in nearly every aspect of theatre after performing, for the first time, in the fifth grade. He has been an actor in the Midwest, Los Angeles, and New York an Actor's Equity Association stage manager on and Off-Broadway the founding member and director of the Midwest based Quotidian Mime and Dance Troupe a theatre reviewer and award-winning arts columnist. As a writer, he has written for theatre, film, television, radio, and theme parks (yes, theme parks!). He is a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, and is dedicated to providing quality theatre for young audiences. He currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and three children.
ANNA MURDOCK has been producing and directing children's theatre for 25 years. She has a degree from Brigham Young University and countless productions to her credit. She has also enjoyed writing her own material. She has collaborated with her daughter Cami and produced three musicals: "Castles and Dragons," "Robin Hood:Tales of Ye Merrye Woode," and "Sleeping Beauty." Anna has worked with children all her life and is the mother of eight. When she is not involved in designing costumes and sets, writing, teaching, washing and ironing tunics and mopped caps, or finding space to put away one more show, she is in her garden working with her flowers. CATHARINA (Cami) JENSEN studied music composition at Brigham Young University. She has composed in many genres, but most of her works have been children's musicals. She began composing early and her first children's musical was written before she was in high school.
Stephen Murray is a composer, lyricist and playwright who has been a Performing Arts Educator since 1985. Steve's plays and musicals have been produced throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, South Africa, Malta, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and China. Some of his award-winning titles can be found in the Eldridge catalog. "Musical! The Bard is Back!" was the 2000 winner of the Columbia Entertainment Company National Playwriting Contest, the first musical ever to win the award. Two other Eldridge titles have also been recognized by the CEC Contest, "Mother Goose, Inc." and "The Universe and Other Stuff." Steve has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. By day he is a humble music teacher, but by night, you may find him performing on various stages in Massachusetts.
STEPHEN MURRAY is a composer, lyricist and playwright who has been a Performing Arts Educator since 1985. Steve's plays and musicals have been produced throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, South Africa, Malta, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and China. Some of his award-winning titles can be found in the Eldridge catalog. "Musical! The Bard is Back!" was the 2000 winner of the Columbia Entertainment Company National Playwriting Contest, the first musical ever to win the award. Two other Eldridge titles have also been recognized by the CEC Contest, "Mother Goose, Inc." and "The Universe and Other Stuff." Steve has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. By day he is a humble music teacher, but by night, you may find him performing on various stages in Massachusetts.
TOM LARGE has directed more than 65 community theater, university, and school productions in the greater Philadelphia and Boston areas. He received his B.S. in English Education from Temple University, and his A.L.M. in English and American Literature from Harvard University. The creation of the musical adaptation of "Twelfth Night" brings together his twin passions for Shakespeare and musical theater.
Director, teacher, playwright, and performer Katie Bufithis Oberlander has a bachelor's degree in voice performance from Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree in arts administration from American University. Katie has authored and directed numerous plays and musicals for professional theatres, including Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland, Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME. An experienced drama and music teacher, Katie has worked at Norwood School in Bethesda, MD, The Peabody Essex Museum, North Shore YMCA Theatre Company and Marblehead Community Charter Public School. She is currently Director of Performing Arts at Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School. Katie lives in Beverly, Massachusetts with her husband Eric and their two sons, Thomas and James.
Daniel O'Donnell has been the drama director for the Freeport (PA) Junior High School for 25 years. An award-winning playwright, he has written and directed over 30 plays. His entire family including his wife Linda of 45 years, his sons Kerry and Sean, along with his daughter Casey have also been deeply involved in theater. "Theatre has been a very large part of our family life".
Phil Olson grew up in Edina, Minnesota, home of the first indoor mall. He went on to Dartmouth College where he majored in mathematics, was All Ivy in Track and played tight end on the Ivy League Championship Football team. After graduating from Dartmouth, Phil tried out for the Chicago Bears. Following a “summer with the Bears” he went on to receive an MBA from The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and pursued a business career while writing stage and screenplays. Phil has written three national award-winning plays, one of which is “KOLD Radio, Whitefish Bay,” a.k.a “Crappie Talk.” He has also written several one-act plays that have been produced in Los Angeles and New York that are published. Phil has sold two screenplays, "Hooters: The Movie," an “American Pie-type” comedy based on the infamous restaurant chain, and "Reform School Girls," a comedy spoof of prison movies. As a script doctor, he’s re-written three movies that were produced. He’s also written for two television series.
The late Greg Palmer was a multi-talented writer. As a playwright he created three musicals and five plays for families that have been produced and performed worldwide including commissioned works for the Seattle Children's Theatre and the Empty Space Theatre, as well as an official entry in the Goodwill Games Arts Festival. He was also a television writer, producer and broadcaster whose awards include a Peabody, three commendations from Action for Children’s Television and 13 Emmys given for national documentaries. Mr. Palmer had several books published.
Lisa Patrick-Wilkinson is a prolific playwright, with six of her plays having been successfully produced by Center Stage Theatre in Florida and Murder Mysteries On Call in New York. Two of these plays, "Eclipsed!" and "Last Will & Testament" are published by Eldridge. She has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. She has written, produced, directed and choreographed themed shows for major corporations as well as written, directed and performed in mystery theatre and specialty games for major hotels and exclusive southwest Florida golf and country clubs. In addition, she writes screenplays for feature films, teleplays and docudramas and was a chapter winner in the 1998 Nora Roberts Romance Novelist writing contest. Offered an honorary talent scholarship by Webster College in 1978, Ms. Wilkinson went on to become a creative writing major at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In 1979, three of her works were selected for publication and appeared in the National Collegiate Anthology for Young Writers. In 1989, she received Honorable Mention in the Robert Frost International Writing Awards. Several years ago Ms. Wilkinson produced a three-day festival on the historic grounds of the Collier County Museum which included the presentation of a narrated ballet adapted from one of her original children's stories.
Robin Pond is a playwright who lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His first short plays were high school productions in 1970 and 1971. He received his MA in English literature in 1976, and spent four years in a doctoral program studying linguistics, since what interested him the most was the language itself, and how an author’s linguistic choices could achieve a particular effect. Then the need to earn a living intervened, and Robin spent the next quarter century working in systems, in finance, and in investments. Along the way, he also obtained an MBA, an accounting designation, and a financial analyst charter. In his spare time, he continued to write. Robin only began submitting plays to festivals at the end of 2007. Since then, his plays have received over 40 productions in schools and community theatres throughout the US, Canada, and the UK.
Tom Quinn is the Director of Education at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia overseeing theatre education programs that reach over 180,000 people each year. A recipient of the Dorothy Haas Acting Fellowship and a former High School History Teacher, he has written plays on bullying, gun violence and civil rights. Quinn's plays have been performed at The National Constitution Center and across the country. He lives in Rose Valley, PA with his wife and two children.
Emilio Regina is a retired English/Drama teacher. He is presently working at the College of the Rockies as an auxiliary English instructor. As well as being a playwright, Emilio is also a multi-instrumental and is a frontman for various blues bands. He has also won many acting awards and continues to have some involvement in productions.
Chris Richman is a writer and actor from South Jersey. Chris holds a BA in Professional Writing from Elizabethtown College and is pursuing an MA in Writing from Rowan University. He is about to enter the thesis stage of the program where he will be working on a full-length young adult novel. While Chris writes extensively in different genres, “Take a Chance” is his first published play of what he hopes will be an extensive career.
Lane Riosley currently has 15 plays in publication with productions by The Children's Theatre of Charlotte, The Actor's Company, The Little Top Theatre Company, The West Coast Ensemble, The Texas Renaissance Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, The Merry-Go-Round Theatre, Asolo Theatre and countless high schools and colleges across the nation. Formerly a script writer for the KUHT-TV/PBS television series CENTERSTAGE, Lane's work has been featured at the American Film Institute Festival in Los Angeles. Lane's science fiction theatre series "Lucky Hightops and the Cosmic Cat Patrol" played a six-year run at both EarlyStages of Houston and as a live show at Houston's Burke Baker Planetarium. Lane offers playwrighting workshops in schools and colleges and has been a featured speaker and presenter Theatrefest and the Texas Educational Theatre Association. A recipient of the 1992 Writer's Foundation Gold Award for screenplay writing Lane is a winner of the Roger L. Stevens Award in Playwrighting from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Fund for New American Plays. Most recently Lane served as a panel speaker for the 2013 Comicpalooza, a convention featuring some of the nation's leading artists, actors and writers.
Dan Roberts and his wife, Christina, are the owners of the Academy of Performing Arts in Grandview, Missouri. Dan also directs the school's choir and teaches drama, piano, and voice. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music education and has been named "Outstanding Educator of the Year" and "Missouri Music Teacher of the Year." He has worked professionally as an actor, singer, and pianist since 1964 and has directed over 150 productions throughout the United States, including two years as the state director of the Miss Missouri Pre-teen Pageant. Many of his more than 4,000 past and current students are active professionally in the fields of stage and screen, and his choirs have been nationally recognized for their high quality and achievements.
Royce Roeswood is a playwright and actor originally from Denver, CO. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting. In 2011, he won the "Best Actor" award from the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association. In addition to writing and performing scripted theatre, he also performs, directs, and teaches improvisational theatre. He also enjoys board games and exploring the world with his wife. "Romeo and Juliet: Werewolves vs. Vampires" is his first published play.
Wiley Russell worked for the petroleum industry in 12 countries. He lived in the Middle East, supervised offshore operations in India, and was an instructor in Holland. He has worked with Boots and Coots Wild Well Control and has performed pressure-control work behind legendary oil-field firefighter Red Adair. Wiley left the oil patch in 1995 to pursue writing full time and has completed a number of feature-film spec scripts, most often dealing with action and humor. He makes his home in Arkansas.
MARY RYZUK, Ph.D., a published author, playwright, and lyricist, and REGAN RYZUK, an ASCAP composer, have written 11 musicals together. They co-founded The Enchanted Players Inc. over ten years ago in order to bring these productions to fruition. Over the years, The Enchanted Players have presented wholesome, live, original musicals for children that, most particularly, can be enjoyed equally by adults. Some of the hallmarks of Regan's compositions are strong lyrical, melodic content with a very rich harmonic and rhythmic sense. Mary and Regan believe children today are sophisticated enough to absorb good music, good stories and good lyrics. In having this kind of respect for children, they hope to enchant their parents as well. The classic tales of the Grimms Brothers have presented a wonderful foundation for their creative efforts.
Jack Sale, a native of Pleasant Hill, California, is currently studying musical theater at the UCLA school of Theater, Film, and Television. An aspiring actor, director, writer, and playwright he has worked with many companies including the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco – as well as various other regional theaters. He is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Deni Fuson teaches high school English and theatre in Citrus Heights, California. She graduated from Sacramento State University with a bachelor's degree in English in 1991 and a master's degree in creative writing in 1998. Deni has written several plays for her high school students, however, her latest play, "Othello Undone," is her best work yet! The characters are even more vibrant and alive because they are fashioned after Shakespeare's very own. The whole idea of "know thyself" comes crashing down around this group of young people with force. Love, betrayal, and consequence encompass and undo even the best-made plans...besides, an audience loves a good villain and they get the best in "Othello Undone"!
R. James Scott began writing and performing as a teenager in the early ‘70s. He approaches each new project as a literary and performance adventure. For the past thirty years, he has been performing, directing, and writing for college, community and high school theatres. He lived through the Vietnam era, and drew on many of his memories of that time to complete "The Birthday Party" which was first produced for regional and state one-act play competitions in the spring of 2002. He has also created monologues for the collection "Multiplicity" with former student Bianca Cowan. "A Highland Requiem" was first produced in the spring of 2003 for regional and state one-act play festivals where it received several performance awards.
Luke Simmons is a student at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma. Previous published works include "Nottingham" in 2012. He enjoys writing plays where everybody onstage and in the audience gets to have a good time. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and ultramarathon running.
Noah Smith is a New England native who began writing plays for children while still in college. He has written more than 20 adaptations of children's classics, including several collaborations with musician David Nields. Noah holds a BA in Drama from Vassar College and an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis University. He has taught writing and literature at Simmons College, Quinnipiac University, the City College of New York, Occidental College, and Widener University. Noah has written material for "Weekend Update" segment on "Saturday Night Live" and is the author of "The Big Book of Batman" and "The Big Book of Superman" as well as a co-author of "The Official DC Super Hero Joke Book" for Downtown Bookworks. Noah lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Amanda Atkinson, and their four children.
Tom Smith’s plays have received productions both nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of the 2004 Robert J. Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting, the 2004 ATHE Playworks Award, the Orlin R. Corey Outstanding Regional Playwright Award, the Richard Odlin Award, a Seattle Footlights Award, the Doña Ana Arts Council Newcomer's Award, and has been a ed participant in numerous playwriting festivals across the country. He is a proud member of the Dramatist's Guild.
PLAYWRIGHT JONATHAN TURNER SMITH says... I was born in West Texas, grew up in Texas, and now live in Los Angeles where I continue to write. I am also an AP English and theatre teacher at Metropolitan High School. I have written and produced several full-length plays. One of my plays, "Nathan," was produced in Los Angeles and had an extended run. I received a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for outstanding performance. I also co-wrote and produced an independent feature film, "Broken Victory," which won several awards, including the Silver Medal at the New York Film and Television Festival. I produced "The Losers' Club" with my Theatre Arts students at Roosevelt High School in Lubbock, Texas. We performed the play for the community with resounding success. We also performed it for the state one-act play contest and won runner-up at the district level. Three of our actors were named to the All-Star and Honorable Mention Casts.
Craig Sodaro is one of Eldridge Publishing's most popular and prolific playwrights with over 60 titles currently in print. Most of his work is ideal for children's theatre and school performances, and several plays have been turned into musicals. His audience participation plays are extremely well received. For community theatre plays he writes under the pen name of Sam Craig. Mr. Sodaro taught for 33 years in public schools, but now writes full time. He and his wife Sue have four grown daughters. Here he speaks in his own words about his love of writing. "I always wanted to write. From the first time I read my first full-fledged book - a long-forgotten mystery - I wanted to be an author. I've always had an imagination that runs overtime. My mind has always been more interested in the possibilities of what if two times two equaled five rather than four. "I grew up in Chicago, but I don't think the Midwest has had a great deal of influence on my writing. I was fortunate enough to travel as a youngster, and the places we visited - the West, East, and South, all seemed steeped in atmosphere and dramatic possibilities. Eventually, I traveled to Alaska, Europe, and Africa, and each experience planted seeds for future stories. "I wrote my first play in high school - an anti-administration absurdist comedy performed in my last period art class. Our teacher turned a deaf ear to the proceedings, but we all caught her laughing. I liked this idea of audience response, and during college, I entered a playwriting contest. I won the fifty dollar prize and saw my characters come to life under the blue, red, and amber stage lights. I knew that this was the direction my writing obsession would have to take. "Success on stage would have to wait for a number of years, however, since I married, began teaching, and had four children and received many, many rejections slips. Eventually I found a formula that worked: large cast mystery with mainly female parts, one setting, and a lot of one-liners. Since then, I've written a hundred and thirty plays, many of which have been published and/or produced. I've had the thrill of walking down 54th Street in New York to a flag-adorned theater where one of my plays premiered. I've received terrific letters from kids who have had parts in the plays I've written, and I've found myself in Amazon.com. "Once in a while people ask me how I write so fast. I guess it’s that I have a lot of stories to tell. And idea will grab me, and then for quite some time—even while working on another script—I’ll keep thinking about the characters and develop the major plot points in my imagination. Once I sit down to the computer to write, the characters really tell the story almost too quickly for me to write down what they’re saying. And that's what I think playwriting is all about. It's telling a story in the simplest but most dramatic way possible. There's a ninety minute or so limit on reaching the climax, and for literature that's quick. I write fast simply so I can find out what's going to happen at the end, just like anybody who watches the play."
Bill Springer worked for years as a director and designer in amateur, educational, community and professional theatre. One summer, as director of a camp in Vermont, he was unable to find the perfect script for his young actors and so sat down and wrote his own. "Frumpled Fairy Tales" was a big hit and later published by Eldridge Publishing Co. where it has been one of the company's most popular children's shows ever. Based on that, more children's scripts followed and many became the mainstay of a N. C. children's theatre. It wasn't until later that Bill's love of mysteries surfaced and he wrote "Murder Me, Murder Me Not" which was immediately picked up by Eldridge. Surprisingly, it is the only "adult" play of his eight published with the company, yet it is as well-received as any of his children's plays. What makes Bill's plays so popular? In his own words, "I guess it's my silly sense of humor. I write my plays so I'd enjoy them and the jokes and gags seem to appeal to all ages." His editors are quick to add that his plays are also strongly constructed, with good characterization and an attention to detail that is close to perfection. While these individual elements may not be immediately obvious, the audience knows instinctively that overall the play is a good one. Bill currently lives and works in South Carolina where he continues to write, compose music and create miniatures.
Steven Stack has been involved with theater for over 25 years as playwright, actor, director, and instructor. His career began in the third grade, when he took on the challenging dual role of both Hansel and the Father in Hansel and Gretel. Steven's 15 years teaching middle school gave him a thorough knowledge of the inner workings of middle-school students' minds, which has influenced his writing style, the topics he incorporates in his plays, and often his intended performers and audience. He has written and directed several full-length plays, countless one-acts and many scenes for various theaters, performing arts schools and professional organizations. Steven has published over 18 plays that have been performed all over the world. Steven spends part of every summer at the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth, where he guides gifted and talented students in writing and performing their own original theatrical works. His goal in working with and writing for this age group is to help them grow into themselves by giving them stories that resonate beyond the stage.
Gary Ray Stapp is a founding member of The Chamber Players Community Theatre in Garnett, Kansas, and since its beginning he has participated in numerous productions as either an actor, director, or set builder. He added the role of playwright to his resume in 2003 when his debut play, “Love Thy Neighbor,” was an unexpected hit, breaking the theatre group’s previous production attendance record by fifty percent. Genuinely stunned by the play’s success, and in spite of what he thought would be a one-time writing fling, he ultimately developed a long-term affair with playwriting. With an emphasis for quality over quantity, Gary began to create a modest portfolio of new plays, all of which have so far become published works. His comedic plots and characters have found their way to stages across the United States and in Canada and Europe. Gary and his wife Kim have two children, Lacey and Taylor. In their spare time they love to travel the globe, including an occasional trip to see a production of one of Gary's plays. Who knows, he may show up in the audience at a theatre near you!
Bryan Starchman grew up in the small foothill town of Mariposa, CA., just outside of Yosemite National Park. He began writing short stories in the first grade and fell in love with screenwriting in high school. Soon he tried his hand at playwriting. At UCLA, he spent four years honing his craft. There, he won the UCLA playwriting award for his satire on fraternity life. Unfortunately Bryan and Los Angeles went together like Elizabeth Taylor and husbands -- it just wasn’t meant to be. Now he lives in Mariposa where every night he plays the ukulele with his dogs Maggie and Luna. He teaches English and Drama at his old high school. His plays have been produced over 2000 times in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, in 9 out of 10 Canadian Provinces (come on Prince Edward Island!) and around the world in Mexico, England, Italy, Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Nigeria, and Portugal. He has also collaborated with fellow Eldridge playwright and composer Stephen Murray to create "Just Another High School Musical" and "Parents Just Don't Understand: The Musical." In 2018 he was the recipient of the NBC RISE grant beating out nearly 1,000 other schools and his drama program was featured coast to coast on The Today Show. More information at www.bryanstarchman.com
BRYAN STARCHMAN (left photo) BRYAN STARCHMAN grew up in the small foothill town of Mariposa, CA., just outside of Yosemite National Park. He began writing short stories in the first grade and fell in love with screenwriting in high school. Soon he tried his hand at playwriting. At UCLA, he spent four years honing his craft. There, he won the UCLA playwriting award for his satire on fraternity life. Unfortunately Bryan and Los Angeles went together like Elizabeth Taylor and husbands -- it just wasn’t meant to be. Now he lives in Mariposa with his beautiful wife Noel (even a geek sometimes gets the girl!) and his cats, Wily and Pinkerton. He teaches American Literature, Advanced Placement Language, and Theatre at his old high school. His plays have been produced over 1300 times in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, 9 out of 10 Canadian Provinces (come on Prince Edward Island!)and six more countries including Mexico, England, Italy, Dubai of the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Portugal. He has also collaborated with fellow Eldridge playwright and composer Stephen Murray to create "Just Another High School Musical." More information at www.bryanstarchman.com
STEPHEN MURRAY (right photo) is a composer, lyricist and playwright who has been a Performing Arts Educator since 1985. Steve's plays and musicals have been produced throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, South Africa, Malta, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and China. Some of his award-winning titles can be found in the Eldridge catalog. "Musical! The Bard is Back!" was the 2000 winner of the Columbia Entertainment Company National Playwriting Contest, the first musical ever to win the award. Two other Eldridge titles have also been recognized by the CEC Contest, "Mother Goose, Inc." and "The Universe and Other Stuff." Steve has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. By day he is a humble music teacher, but by night, you may find him performing on various stages in Massachusetts.
MATT STEELE (Left photo) is a Los Angeles-based actor and writer who has been performing from a very early age. He began acting in a self-constructed theatre he built in his basement. For years, he and his older brother, performed, directed, and designed high-quality productions - at least as high quality as theatre can be with no budget, two actors, and curtains made from bedsheets. Matt performed with community theatre companies and in his high school plays before attending New York University as a Drama major at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. There, he studied musical theatre under CAP21 and acting for the screen with Stonestreet Studios. Since graduation, Matt's acting work has been seen on screens, both large and small, and he has performed in theaters across the US, ranging from the grand Town Hall in NYC to the most intimate of performing spaces. He recently garnered international media acclaim for his original web series, "The Doomsday Diaries," for which he was reviewed in various publications and social media outlets, including The Huffington Post and the Village Voice. His performances in his school plays, however, will always remain his favorite memories as an actor. It's these memories that have given him a passion for writing for young performers. For more information, visit www.mattsteeleonline.com.
MIKE STEELE (Right photo) has been writing and directing from far back as he can remember. His life in the theatre began at the age of five when he gathered old bedsheets and constructed a stage in his basement so that he could direct a production of Snow White and the Two Dwarfs. Mike could not round up enough friends to cast seven dwarfs, so his adaptation had to be slightly non-traditional. His childhood weekends consisted mostly of forcing his friends and family to watch his original basement plays. Mike spent the bulk of his teenage years performing in school and community theatre productions and continued to act through college while he completed a BS in elementary education and sociology. Shortly before earning his degree, a local high school asked Mike to direct a play for a small group of students. The gig continued through the next year, and then the next, and he hasn't looked back since. Mike soon began to write full length plays and found ways to incorporate his students into the creative process. This evolved into what he now refers to as his cooperative drama program. Mike continues to direct school and community theatre productions and has taught cooperative drama workshops to a variety of students throughout the years - from elementary schoolers to senior citizens - as near as his hometown of Trenton, New Jersey, to as far as Bangkok, Thailand. He is happy to have found a way to combine his love of theatre and his passion for education. In Mike's spare time he enjoys exploring new places, watching television and films, and pretending like he knows how to play tennis. For more information, visit www.mikesteeleonline.com.
R. REX STEPHENSON earned his Ph.D. in educational theatre at New York University. Rex has more than a dozen plays published, has won two major play writing contests, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and the National Archives Play Writing Contest. In 1996 he received the Jean Ritchie Fellowship to research and write plays on John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church. He was awarded the 1997 East Central Theatre Conference's Award for "Theatrical Excellence." In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious SETC Sara Spencer Child Drama Award. Stephenson is considered one of the most published children's playwrights in Virginia. Rex lives in Ferrum, VA, and has three daughters, Janice, Jessica and Juliet. EMILY ROSE TUCKER lives in Ferrum, VA. She has collaborated with R. Rex Stephenson on two full-length musicals, one of which is “Just So Stories.” She also serves as Music Director and performer at the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre, and directs plays, musicals and choral music for Franklin County Public Schools.
Kevin Stone lives near Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife have three grown children. Kevin has been writing and directing plays for over 20 years and has won one national playwright's award. He has experience as an actor and as a director of community theater, church plays, high school productions, and touring collegiate groups. Besides teaching drama classes, Kevin is the pastor of a church and the managing editor of a ministry website.
L DON SWARTZ received his BA in Theatre Education from Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, Illinois and a MA in Theatre and English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His plays have been produced in 47 states, Novia Scotia, Ireland, Guam and British Columbia. Don has been Artistic Director of the very haunted Ghostlight Theatre in North Tonawnada, New York since 1982. Don married his favorite actress, Debby Koszelak, in 1991 and they share a noisy home with their four children, Emily, Rosemary, Donald and Michael.
Brian Sylvia, originally from Massachusetts, has been involved in theatre since being a unified arts major in high school. He has served as drama/fine arts director in several locations around the country, including serving as an adjudicator in numerous regional and national festivals within his church denomination [and assisting in coaching several national finalists and winners]. Brian has taught drama ministry up to a college level and still travels nationally conducting workshops in Christian drama. Currently he serves as President/Director of inCHARACTER SCHOOL OF MINISTRY (training church leaders in creative approaches to ministry) in Florida, where he lives with his wife Rebecca and daughter Annaliese.
Mary Jane Taegel earned a degree in English and political science from the University of Texas at Austin. During a seven-year career teaching British literature to high school seniors, she married an orthopedic surgeon, and it was her husband’s ordeals in the world of medicine that inspired her to begin writing plays, an aspiration awaiting inspiration. “Going Bare,” a romantic comedy about medical malpractice, was first produced in Los Angeles where it won a Best New Play award, and critical acclaim brought eight more productions. In 2002, “Going Bare” was both published and optioned for film by a production company in Los Angeles.
Jules Tasca has taught play writing at Oxford University in England and he has performed with a commedia dell'arte group in central Italy. He is the author of more than a hundred published plays that have been produced in numerous American theaters from the Mark Taper Forum to the Bucks County Playhouse, as well as abroad. He has also written for radio and television. He has been the national winner in New York's Performing Arts Repertory Theater Playwriting contest. Other awards include the Thespie Award for Best New Play, the Drama Critics Award in Los Angeles, the Dorothy Silver International Play Writing Award, and the prestigious Barrymore Award for Best Play. He received a grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts to develop a new theatrical form, the Eurythmy, a system of movement to language, music and sound. He is a member of New York's Dramatist Guild.
Matthew Thompson previously served as the Artistic Associate/Literary Manager/Director of Education for North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, CA. from 2008-2012. In 2007 he founded Compass Theatre in Hillcrest where we was the Artistic Director. He has directed productions for the La Jolla Playhouse, North Coast Rep, Scripps Ranch Theatre, and Coronado Playhouse. His plays have bee published through numerous drama publishers. Matt also teaches theatre and film classes at MiraCosta and Southwestern College. He received his M.A. in Theatre from San Diego State University.
Lorraine Thompson is currently the Head of the Drama Department at Athens Academy in Athens, Georgia. Her bachelor’s degree in Education is from Auburn University of Montgomery and her Masters in Fine Arts in Theatre is from the University of Georgia. She is the author of several published plays for the educational and community stage. In addition to teaching and writing, she also works as a professional actor and storyteller. Ms. Thompson is a member of the Educational Theatre Association, The Dramatists Guild, Southern Order of Storytellers and The National Storytellers Association.
Richard Van Den Akker lives in Vicksburg Mississippi and works as an emergency planner for Entergy Operations. Married to Sue for thirty years they have three sons: Cory, 29; Ryan, 18; and Noah, 15. In his spare time Richard fishes, acts, writes and is a Boy Scout leader. He has been performing mainly at Vicksburg Theatre Guild for twelve years, and writing for eight. Richard's writing is mainly comedies and Christian-themed plays and skits. He has had seven dinner theater plays produced by Hawkins United Methodist Church to raise money for missions, and three full-length children’s plays produced by the VTG Fairy Tale Theater.
Patti Veconi is a Brooklyn-based music and drama teacher, director of youth theater, dramaturg and playwright. Though her niche is writing in the adolescent voice, her plays for adults have also been produced in theater festivals around the country. Patti holds a BFA in music theater from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in educational theatre from New York University. She is also an avid vegetable gardener and award-winning hand-quilter.
James D. Waedekin is an award-winning playwright whose scripts and productions have been honored by Dramalogue, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs, Colorado Theatreworks’ 14th Annual Playwrights Forum, American College Theatre Festival and Writers’ Digest Magazine. One of his plays was one of five finalists for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation’s National Play Award for 1999-2000. His work has appeared at UCLA, West Coast Theatre Ensemble, Theatre of Note and the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, the Chicago Playwrights Center, The Prince Music Theatre in Phildadelphia, and the Writers’ Theatre, Miranda Theatre Company, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, and York Theatre in New York City, and the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in Scotland. Waedekin earned a BFA in Journalism (Public Relations)/Theatre from the University of Oklahoma. He earned his MFA in Playwrighting from UCLA. He earned his secondary teaching Clear CLAD Credential in English/Drama Instruction from Loyola Marymount University. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild.
After working for seven years as a comic book writer and artist without ever quite having made a living at it, Bradley Walton landed a job in the library of his high school alma mater. A well-remembered drama and forensics junkie, he was quickly recruited to head the school's forensics program, as well as establish and direct an annual spring play. Long intimidated and befuddled by Shakespeare, but figuring it was high time to do something about it, he directed “The Tempest” as his first show, followed by a wildly (if improbably) successful Star Wars-themed production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Having conquered his greatest theatrical fear, the next logical step seemed to be writing his own plays to direct. To his enormous relief, he turned out to be rather good at it. Mr. Walton lives in Virginia with his wife, daughter, some cats, and an embarrassingly large quantity of comic books and Star Wars action figures.
E. Jack Williams --Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in 1969, Mary and I moved to Waseca, Minnesota to accept a teaching position in media, speech, and theater which included directing plays. I’ve directed elementary, junior, and senior high school productions as well as community theater and after 43 years of directing, I am often asked which play is my favorite. The answer is always, “The one I’m working on.” Now I’m busy writing plays. In 1991 I was the recipient of the Minnesota Arc of Excellence Community Media Award for writing a play on bullying called CARL.
Mr. Williams has provided the following FREE monologue relating to his one-act play, "Carl."
SPEAKER: There aren’t many things about my high school days I would do over. I loved every minute of it. We had the greatest time: the dances, dates, games, everything. We all had fun. (Pause) Almost all. There isn’t much I would change about high school, not much ... just one thing ... Carl won’t be here ... Carl was one of those lost souls. The guy everybody loved to pick on ... I remember as if it were yesterday. I’ll never forget the time he was called on to give his Pet Peeve Speech. He walked slowly up to the front of the room and started his speech.
As CARL: “My name is Carl ... my pet peeve is this ... I don’t like it here ... I’m not having any fun. I don’t like school. You don’t know what it’s like to be alone, to have no one to talk with. When people talk to me, it’s only to tease, never had a friend, a buddy ... and it hurts. I see you with your friends before and after school. And I ask why not me? You knock my books to the floor. I’m different I know it. But, why do you have to tell me I’m different? I’m not stupid. I’d like to wear nice clothes, but this is all I have. You live in nice homes with your moms and dads ... I live with my father ... My mother died a long time ago. I miss her. She loved me. The worst part of school is being laughed at. I don’t want to be laughed at ... Do you? “
SPEAKER: There was dead silence as Carl walked back to his seat. Some students bowed their heads unable to look him in the eye. Miss McCloud wiped away a tear. Carl was self-conscious of many things especially the way he looked, walked and talked ... That’s why he surprised us when he actually read his manuscript. As it turned out, that was the only time he ever talked in front of the class. The only thing he seemed to care about was a small piece of paper he kept tucked in his pocket. As bad as school was for CARL, things didn’t get much better at home ... he could never seem to please his “old man.” Nothing he did was good enough ... nothing. The summer after graduation, Carl’s lifeless body was found hanging in the shed next to his house. Not many attended Carl’s funeral. Few heard about his death. Fewer even cared. His obituary simply read, “Carl Chapman died, suddenly, on August 12. Arrangements are pending.” We will never know what caused Carl to take his own life, but we do know this ... everything he learned about life, we taught him. Everything he experienced in life, we showed him. Everything we did to him prepared him for that moment. When the police discovered Carl’s body, they found him clinging tightly to a crumpled-up piece of paper. I’d like to tell you what it said, “If they could hear my prayers – I may be relieved of some of my pain.” THE END
Mike studied theatre arts with an emphasis on acting at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. His professional acting credits include seventeen seasons of regional theatre, thirteen of those with either the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival Theatre Company or the South Dakota Shakespeare Company, where he also taught play writing workshops for youth. Mike has been the recipient of numerous directing, acting, and writing awards. In 1990 he was recognized for his contributions to the arts in secondary education by the Southwest Wisconsin Educational Alliance. Mike is a nine-time winner of the Wauwatosa Village Playhouse’s One-Act Playwriting Competition, a competition for Wisconsin writers, where his play, The Runaway, enjoyed a three week run in 2015 and was voted favorite script and favorite production. A U.S. army veteran, Mike’s Vietnam agent-orange drama, Who Said Life Was Fair, won the 1995 Wisconsin Section of the American Association of Community Theatre’s AACT-FEST Play Competition and was a runner-up at the Region III level. The author of over fifty plays, Mike’s works have varied from adult Vietnam War dramas to teen awareness plays and Shakespearean spoofs. He currently has thirty-five plays in publication. His plays have been presented throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and numerous international schools. Many of his teen awareness plays have received awards in high school play contests. Mike has worked as a high school drama director and was the Artistic and Technical Director for the former Main Street Player’s Theatre Co. of Galena Illinois. During his career, Mike has directed over one hundred plays and presented workshops on set and light design, directing and play writing. Mike and his wife Sandy, split their time between their hometown of Platteville, Wisconsin and their winter home in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
James Witherell is Professor Emeritus at College of the Siskiyous, where he served for 34 years as Director of Theatre. In that capacity, he directed over 60 major productions and taught the full range of theatre classes. As a playwright, he specializes in fictional scenarios derived from Western American history. “The Perils of Pusher,” was originally written and produced for the centennial of Dunsmuir, California, which was originally named Pusher. However, it is readily adaptable to any community experiencing the building of the railroads.
Ken Womble is the Head of Acting and Professor of Theatre at the University of Northern Colorado.
His book, Inside Act: How Ten Actors Made It—and How You Can Too (Hansen Publishing Group), was hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a 2014 book that flew under the radar.”
Ken’s adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Importance of Being Earnest, published with Eldridge Publishing, have been produced throughout the U.S. Arms and the Man is his third adaptation for Eldridge.
Ken wrote and directed the first-ever documentary film on novelist James Michener, James A. Michener, An Epic Life, for which he was named UNC Scholar of the Year. He also directed and co-produced the short film An Equal Opportunity, which was named Best Inspirational Short at the Olympus Film Festival Los Angeles.
As an actor, Ken has appeared in two Off Broadway premieres and was the voice of a BBC radio announcer in the world premiere of Freud’s Last Session. He has had recurring roles on Guiding Light, General Hospital and All My Children, and is a member of Actors Equity and SAG/AFTRA.
Ken has directed over sixty plays, including Lobby Hero, Proof and First Date at Colorado’s Little Theatre of the Rockies, and award-winning productions of August: Osage County, Clybourne Park, and The Cherry Orchard at UNC.
Jonathan Yukich’s plays have been published by numerous drama publishers and have been produced across the United States and in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, and throughout Europe. Jonathan has received a number of awards and honors for both his original works and his inventive theatrical adaptations of literary classics, including "Alice@Wonderland," "Frankenstein Unplugged," "Finding Don Quixote," "Waking Sleepy Hollow," and "Reality Stars: Greek Gods Edition." On average, his plays receive well over 200 full productions each year. Jonathan is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Trembling Stage (tremblingstage.com). He lives in Connecticut and teaches at the University of New Haven.
Nancy Zelenak was born in Perth Amboy, NJ; raised in Sarasota, FL; and is currently residing in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah. She graduated from BYU in Theater Education and received her Masters in School Counseling from the Univ. of Phoenix. Nancy has unique and vast ideas for upcoming works instigated by her steadfast and resolute professions which keep her surrounded by youth.
Eddie Zipperer is an award-winning playwright whose published plays have been produced across North America from Fairbanks, AK to Miami, FL. His short plays have won several contests and awards, and his full length drama, "Nicolas the Worm," won the 2011 Charles M. Getchell Award. He is also a member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America, Inc.
Terry Gabbard has been a public school theatre teacher since 2003 and has worked at both middle and high schools levels in Florida and North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Florida and Master of Arts in School Leadership for Queens University of Charlotte. He is an award winning director and playwright and has received the prestigious “Excellence in Directing Award” three separate times from the North Carolina Theatre Conference. One of his plays, Our Place was named the “Best New Play” by the Southeastern Theatre Conference and was also named the second most produced short play among high schools in the United States in 2015. Terry lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Erika and two children Kiera and Ryan.
Jacque is an actress, writer, director and filmmaker with over 30 years of experience in theatre and film. From starring in local stage and commercial productions as a teen to launching her own film production company - Vocatus Productions – heartfelt storytelling has been central to the many productions she’s developed over the years. She has been an active player in the local Colorado Independent filmmaking community for the last five years. An accomplished set designer, builder, and costumer for the stage, she’s applied that visual passion to numerous film and stage projects that have been enjoyed by audiences nationwide and overseas.
Jae Campbell has been writing poetry, plays and musicals for over fifteen years. Her writing style is dramatic, usually contains humor, and always has a lesson. Her passion for theater began when she received her first role as a street smart gangsta at the age of fifteen. Since then she has earned a master's degree in Theater Education, and has taught all aspect of theater in the public school setting. She has played such roles as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, Sojourner Truth in A Woman Called Truth, and is well known as "Gritty Granny," a character she created that teaches life lessons to today's generation. She has directed August Wilson's Fences, Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and numerous other productions over the years. She currently serves as the Performing Arts Director for Agape Faith Church, where she oversee's all aspects of Easter and Christmas productions, as well as drama, dance, and mime performances throughout the year.
Lindsey Schneider grew up in Homer, Alaska, a beautiful rural fishing town with a dynamic artistic community. Her passion for theatre began at age six, when she made her first stage appearance in The Nutcracker. She is a three-time winner of the Kenai Peninsula Writer’s Contest, a recipient of the Homer Foundation’s Beluga Tail Writing Award, Homer Council on the Arts’ 2015 Youth Artist of the Year, as well as the recipient of Pier One Theatre’s 2017 Original Work Award. She is the Director of Pier One Theatre’s Youth and Teen Theatre Program and has directed and designed eight youth theatre productions to date. Honor Among Thieves was written for her students, inspired by a need for fresh, complex characters in a family-friendly play. Lindsey currently resides in British Columbia, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in theatre at the University of Victoria.
Craig Lee holds a BFA in Theater/Television from Texas Christian University and an MFA in Performance from the California Institute of the Arts. Craig is currently the Director of Theatre at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. Craig served as the Producing Artistic Director of Applause Theatrical School and Performance Company, located in Northwest Houston. He has taught for Lon Morris College, Texas Christian University, Tarrant County College, Blinn College, and Lone Star College -Montgomery. He has directed for Tyler Civic Theatre and many other North Texas theater companies including Artisan Center Theater, Grapevine’s Runway Theater and Casa Manana. His directing credits include: The Servant of Two Masters, Crimes of the Heart, and The Robber Bridegroom, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hairspray the Musical, Metamorphoses, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As an actor, he has performed with Theater Arlington, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fort Worth Opera, Fort Worth Shakespeare in the Park, and Hip Pocket Theater.
Jessica Chipman is a high school theatre arts teacher, director, and playwright. Her short play "The Braves One" earned a staged reading at Central Washington University, was a 2010 Heideman Award Finalist, and saw productions in the US and Canada. Her adaptation of Medea has been performed by high schools across the United States and earned accolades at the Iowa High School Speech Association's All-State Festival. Most recently, her retelling of the myth of Icarus received a star rating at the Minnesota State High School League State One Act Play Festival in 2017, as well as the Wells Fargo Award of Excellence. Under her direction, her school’s productions have earned Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theatre from the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Education Program and four consecutive performances at the Minnesota State High School League One Act Play State Festival. Ms. Chipman lives with her daughters and husband, where she has earned the title of Chipman Family Laundress.
As a child, Carol Duff often entertained her family with long, meandering tales that seldom came to a climax or a conclusion. Once she learned to rein in the plot lines, she began writing Christmas plays for her church. For more than 30 years, Carol has been a freelance writer in several additional forms—short stories, skits, articles, and Sunday school curriculum. She loves the ocean and enjoys the creativity of capturing nature in photography. One of her most thrilling moments was attending the release of a bald eagle back into the wild after its treatment and recovery from ingested toxins. She has one grown son, Nathan, and lives in Virginia with her husband Bill. Nathan Duff has always been a writer at heart. In his spare time he enjoys well-used gerunds, embedded clauses, cumulative syntax, and long walks on the beach. He holds a master's degree in education and is a child and family therapist. Nathan lives in central Virginia with his cat Socrates, upon whose passing he intends to adopt Plato, followed by Aristotle. He hopes each cat will live at least twenty years. Otherwise he will run out of names for cats.
I have lived in rural Westmoreland County, Virginia all of my life. My husband and I are retired and we have two grown children and five grandchildren.
One of my fondest memories from childhood was when I was able to be part of the Christmas play at our tiny church in Baynesville, VA. I don't remember the plot or even the title of the play but I do remember that the father in the play was played by my dad and he also appeared as Santa Claus. I think this is when I fell in love with Christmas plays.
When I was a kid, my cousin and I would write short skits and perform them for our family. I joined a community theatre group in the late 1980's where I had a few on-stage roles and also worked back stage. My favorite on-stage role was that of Sister Hubert, a singing, tap-dancing nun in the musical, Nunsense. That was quite a challenge to my alto voice and my slow moving feet.
I've had the privilege of directing Christmas plays at our church for the last 18 years. My best friend, Donna, and I have worked backstage every year. We started out small but our group has grown to about twenty-five members. We have produced full length Christmas plays every year since 2005 and we have a very talented and dedicated group.
My favorite playwrights are Andrew Frodahl, Pat Cook and Cheryl Harrison.
I have been teaching theatre at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina since 2011, having spent the previous 8 years teaching physical education. (Weird combo, right?) When not at work I like to go out adventuring with my son Rhett and our two dogs (Delilah and Jezebel).
I’m a 6th degree black belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate, and along with my older brother Byron, I own and operate a commercial dojo here in Wilmington. As I write this, I have more than two dozen shows published, and I have really grown to love writing for my kids and now getting to share it with a much larger audience!
My books have won awards in many different non-fiction categories. My work translating ancient Chinese was recognized as the best multicultural book of the year when it was published. My works have been translated into over a dozen languages and sold all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have read my work. I was an author on technology before I was a CEO of a software company that we grew into an INC. 500 company.
I have spent fifteen years on studying Jesus's words in the ancient Greek. This time has been very narrowly focused on Jesus’s words in the Gospels. I have written a detailed article on almost every verse Jesus speaks in the Gospels. I write or update these articles daily at the website, ChristsWords.com.
Cameron Kent is a journalist and writer from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has published five novels: The Road to Devotion, When the Ravens Die, Make Me Disappear, The Sea is Silent, and Mayor Molly. His screenwriting credits include four films which have aired on NBC, HBO, Lifetime, and at the American Film Institute.
As a reporter and news anchor for WXII-12 News in Winston-Salem, Kent was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, and won an Emmy for his reporting on the Pentagon after 9/11. In 2018 he was inducted into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
He is originally from Alexandria, Virginia, and a graduate of Wake Forest University. His entire family is very active with Habitat for Humanity.
Gwendolyn J. Kandt has been involved with various drama ministries for about twenty-five years, including three churches and two homeschool theatre groups. She has written five full-length plays, nine one-acts, and scads of sketches for Sunday morning services, Christmas programs, classroom vocabulary reviews, and more ... with more scripts to come for this year’s students! Currently, she teaches middle school English and Drama at a Crestmont Christian Preparatory School in San Antonio, Texas, and teaches and directs at Crystal Sea Drama Company in San Antonio, as well. Although she misses performing on-stage herself, she thoroughly enjoys the young people whom she connects with in her various capacities and is grateful to God for these opportunities.
Charles Caratti is multiple award-winning author who has written more than two thousand stories, articles, and columns for many of the nation's biggest print and online outlets St. Martin's Press and Macmillan Learning. Charles' noted background in the world of journalism has created an excellent basis for dozens of stage plays and scripts, all of which have an historical or classical literature footing. Caratti's theatrical works have been produced at many prestigious venues and been attended by thousands. His works include "Passage Into Fear," "Mark Twain's A Christmas Carol," "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Angels," and "All the Time in the World. "
Colin Speer Crowley is a playwright-lyricist who has written a variety of dramatic works, including four musicals, twelve straight plays, a rock opera, and a few screenplays. His work has been performed throughout the United States, including California, Washington, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Louisiana, Colorado, Kentucky, Texas, and New Jersey. Plays and screenplays by Crowley have been winners or finalists in over 50 national and international contests since 2010 and songs to which he’s written the lyrics have been performed in musical revues in London. Additionally, Crowley has had the pleasure of seeing his work performed in theatrical capitals on both sides of the Atlantic, including Off-Off-Broadway and London’s Covent Garden. Crowley is a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Lambs of New York, the Playwright’s Center, the New Play Exchange, and Phi Beta Kappa and also served as founder and President of the theatrical group Speerhead Theatricals. He lives in Westport, CT with his wife, Dianne, and has three children – Chloe, Callen, and Canaan.
Christopher L. Pankratz teaches, writes, directs, and acts in Tucson Arizona. Christopher graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television and a degree from the College of Education. Christopher’s playwriting encompasses a wide variety of scripts including classical adaptations, one acts, comedies, tragedies, and theatre for young audiences.
As a newspaper reporter, I learned to recognize and translate for readers all the human stories out there waiting to be told.
I later became a high school speech and drama coach, and served on the board of directors for my local youth theatre company. Through these experiences, I was exposed to the challenges and joys of bringing fresh talent to the stage.
Following the adage, “Write what you know,” I began writing the kind of scripts I would like to direct. Nothing in my life has matched the thrill of seeing my work presented by young performers.
Playbill, Play Ball is my fourth published script, with, I hope, many more to come.
Mr. Jory was a graduate student in playwriting at Yale and went on to become a Producer-Director at two regional professional companies, The Long Wharf Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has won a Tony and was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer Prize won by Edward Albee. He currently teaches acting at UCLA.
I was born and raised by my grandparents on a farm in Southern Kentucky. With no brothers or sisters in my early childhood, and few children my age nearby, I filled my time alone pretending and making up characters, stories, and situations to act out. I would often pray as I walked the farm, that God would send me a special friend. One day He did, and has sent many others since. My writings will most always be about the value of having a friend and beginning a friend, and how faithfulness, love, and loyalty are at the heart of true friendship. My experiences have since gone far beyond the farm. Majoring in design and another degree in marketing, I went from college advertising intern at a footwear company to being their shoe designer . For the next 25 years I would work for other footwear brands which carried me to several countries around the world creating shoes and boots. I have cherished these experiences and the friendships I made along the way. I now live on the farm I grew up on. I spend my time recollecting and writing about these experiences, personalities, and journeys in the form of plays and children's books.
Lavinia Roberts is a theatre teacher and award-winning playwright who’s passionate about arts education and creating zany, engaging, and meaningful plays for schools and community theaters. She has been an arts educator for over 15 years, teaching playwriting, acting, directing, and puppetry. She’s worked with various organizations in New York City including Arts Connection, Project Art, and others. Lavinia has more than 30 plays published and has had work performed in all 50 states, as well as, overseas in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and The United Kingdom. She has a MA in Theatre Education for Colleges and Communities from New York University. Lavinia currently teaches visual art and theatre in Lawrence, Kansas.
Chris is a playwright, novelist, essayist, actor, rare book dealer, and several other things. He resides in the arts-oriented mountain community of Idyllwild, California, where his troupe, Stratford Players, has been entertaining audiences for more than a decade. He is the author of nearly twenty plays and adaptations, most or which have won awards and/or been produced in venues around the country and abroad.
James Stover is an Assistant Professor of Acting & Musical Theatre at Purdue University Fort Wayne. His other plays include Grimm’s Juniper Tree (produced by Philadelphia’s Renegade Company) and Prometheus & Sisyphus (short, produced by Ohio’s MadLab Theatre). As an actor, he’s performed Off-Broadway and at regional theatres across the country (including the Walnut Street Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Repertory Theatre and many others). He’s directed the world premiere of Wilkes (Ohio’s Glacity Theatre), the Mid-Atlantic premiere of Yank! (Richmond Triangle Players) and the Philadelphia premiere of The Amish Project (Simpatico Theatre). He holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University.
Mollie Ottenhoff is a freelance writer and lover of books, food, and joy raising her two kids in the suburbs of Chicago (with her husband, who does everything for her because she is a total wreck most of the time). Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, MamaLode, and Listen to Your Mother, and she is the author of a children’s book about cement trucks called Spinning, Spinning, Spinning. She takes an honest look at the beautifully ugly, terribly awesome, sufferingly joyous ride called life at MeetTheOtts.com
Terrell is a seminarian and minister who also works as a writer, actor and director. His play, “Quiet on the Set” ran off-Broadway. It’s been translated in several languages and staged in five countries. As an actor, Terrell played in the soaps for many years, including a long run as Rusty Shayne of “Guiding Light.” His most recent projects have teamed him with the Uniformed Services University and the National Institute of Health to help combat veterans deal with the effects of traumatic brain injury.
My name is Robby Steltz! I’m a graduate of Augsburg University’s Graduate Creative Writing (Playwriting) program. I passionately love stories about women, stories that make their voices heard and allows us to get a better perspective on who we are as humans. In this world, I also feel as if there are still many topics that we don’t quite discuss that need to be brought to attention, and I’m sure many of you feel the same. I want to write plays that allows us to dismantle our fears of talking about our mental health, talking about our trauma, talking about how we’ve been victimized in various degrees. Theatre is a safe place for us to showcase our troubles and darkness, to discover or rediscover ourselves, and I believe that we can change the world by allowing theatre to be a safe place for people. If “all the world is a stage,” than the theatre is meant to be there for us most; like a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter’s morning.
Let’s heal the world together!
John Shanahan is an award-winning playwright and author who lives as quietly as possible at the edge of a marsh in a town south of Boston, MA. His full-length and short plays have been performed by small theaters and school groups around the U.S. and beyond since 2005, including three appearances in the prestigious Boston Theater Marathon. In his spare time, he is an avid pinball player and the host of the Hypnagogue Podcast, a program focused on presenting ambient and electronic music.
Kimberly Barger is a writer from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A lover of all things theatre, she began writing for the theatre in 2018, and her plays have since been performed internationally. She has completed the Core Curriculum program with Los Angeles-based New Musicals Inc. as a bookwriter, and she is also an alumna of the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Intensive in NYC and a member of The Dramatists Guild. Kimberly holds a degree in Journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to writing for the theatre, she worked for over 10 years in public relations, writing everything from news releases to feature stories. She also created the blog Mommy's Always Write, where she was featured on popular parenting sites such as Scary Mommy and BabyCenter. When she isn't writing, Kimberly enjoys going to see plays and musicals, spending time with her husband and two sons, and eating ice cream straight out of the carton. Instagram: @theatrekim
James Venhaus is the author of 18 plays including The Temple of Dionysus and Weird Sisters and, Stocking Stuffers, a collection of holiday themed 10-minute plays. His Shakespeare adaptations for young actors, Bitterroot, Romeo and Juliet at Verona High, and A Great Big Deal Over Nothing, have been produced over 100 times in schools and theatre across the United States and in nine other countries. He lives in Savannah Georgia with his wife and daughters.
Kelly Barrett-Gibson has been writing plays for as long as she can remember. As a child in upstate New York, she regularly created shows to perform with her siblings and cousins for the rest of the family. This love of creating continued into adulthood when she moved to NYC to pursue a career in theater. After years working in the off and off-off Broadway world, she created her own theater company “Endangered Artist Sanctuary” along with her husband, Carl Gibson, and a few close collaborators, where she serves as Artistic Director. Two of her plays, Reading Between the Lies and The Sutherby Triplets, have been featured in the New York International Fringe Festival. She continues to write, act, direct, and coach. Kelly could not do any of this without the support (and willingness to be exploited for creative fodder) of her friends and family throughout her life.
Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm (he/him) has had over 400 productions of his plays and musicals staged in 12 countries. His Off-Broadway credits include having his play WOUNDED featured in The Soho Playhouse's "Fringe Encore Series," and writing for Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre's "Village Song Project.” His work was featured in Lincoln Center’s “Broadway’s Future Songbook” and at The Other Palace (UK). His play E-SCAPE was commissioned by CLIMB Theatre and toured schools throughout Minnesota, while his musical podcast APART TOGETHER was commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse. His play WOUNDED is under option to be adapted into a feature film. He has won and placed in over three dozen play- and screenwriting competitions, including being a Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Studio recordings of his musicals GIANTS IN THE SKY, SALLY SELLS SEASHELLS (AND YOU CAN, TOO!), and THE CLAW are available on all music streaming platforms. He has a B.F.A. in Acting from Syracuse University and an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts. For more information, visit www.kerrykaz.com
Carlos Perez has a M.A. in English from the University of Missouri — Kansas City (a professional writing degree in playwriting and screenwriting) and a B.F.A. in Speech and Theatre from Avila University. He was a tenured college professor for 13 years, teaching classes in theatre, speech, English, creative writing, playwriting, and screenwriting. He formed a theatre company which operated seasonally for 15 years that entertained audiences throughout the United States. As a published playwright, he's a member of Dramatist Guild of America. His published stage plays include: The Terry Stinger Show, Caught Between Two Worlds, Native American Folktales for Fun, Folktales for Fun, The Adventures of Christina and Viperina, How the Beetle Got Her Colors, Room in the Forest, and Misadventures of a Frog-Girl. Carlos is also a screenwriter and his original stage play, Jeremy’s World, was adapted into a short screenplay that premiered at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase. And as a screenwriter-for-hire, ten of the scripts he’s been commissioned to write have gone on to be produced and distributed internationally, with two more of his commissioned works currently in the production process.
Rick Padden is a produced playwright, actor and former journalist living in Loveland, Colorado. He has acted on stages, on radio and in films throughout Northern Colorado since the turn of the century, and has written eight full-length plays, as well as several short scripts, fiction stories and a novel. Padden is a former Red Cross Public Affairs volunteer; currently volunteers at the Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center in Loveland and is retired. He and his wife, Rocky, live on acreage close to town, and particularly enjoy the elk, deer, coyotes, skunks, racoons, rabbits, owls, hawks and other critters that visit the property. Padden is also a rooky beekeeper.
Keith Klewer is a retired federal employee but he has been a musician and sound technician most of his life. He plays piano and drums. He supports local theater groups by providing live sound engineering for plays and musicals.
Nora is a first generation Norwegian-American writer and a teacher of literature, theatre arts and music which has allowed her to travel, write and produce plays and, above all, learn from her students the world over. She is a member of the SACD (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) and the Dramatists Guild. She studied under poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly at the University of Illinois.
Adriana Domínguez (she/ella) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at UT-El Paso and focuses on excluded and underrepresented groups in the performing arts. She has published with Chicana/Latina Studies, The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, Camino Real,and Theatre Topics. Recent projects include: Heroes & Saints, And Then Came Tango, Real Women Have Curves, Luna, El Toro y La Nina, Lengua, and Cenicienta which received the Directors’ Choice Award at the Region VI Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Adriana is honored to live in El Paso, a vibrant community that knows no borders.
Jay is the co-adapter and premier director of the University of Texas at El Paso’s acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol en la Frontera. Jay is also the author Keeping Distance – an irreverent comedy about covid isolation, and the adapter of numerous other pieces including a recent reimagined As You Like It, and UTEP’s Halloween productions of Bloody Shakespeare! and Shakespeare’s Asylum.
Vincent Bonvissuto is a musical theater composer and songwriter whose stage works have been performed in New York (Black and White and Read All Over), Chicago (Flowershop, That's Life!, Progress) and Nashville (The Curious Tale of Rip Van Winkle). A native of New York, Mr. Bonvissuto studied at the Westchester Conservatory of Music and New York University, moving to the Nashville area in 2004. In addition to his musical theater works, Mr. Bonvissuto has written numerous songs on Music Row which have generated over 2,000,000 radio spins on over 2,500 radio stations in 32 countries around the globe. He has registered an international #1 song, "Behind Your Back," on the indie country chart (Ramgatie), and two Top-5 singles, "Scotland" and "Let Your Country Out," on the European indie chart (HotDisc). In 2016, his co-written single, "Wayward Rose," garnered a Country Song of the Year nomination from the International Music and Entertainment Association (IMEA).
Kendall Krueger is a Florida based actress, screenwriter, and playwright. She attended Indian River State College and University of Central Florida, where she earned her degrees in Acting and Theatre History. Since graduating, she has pursued acting and writing professionally. “A Little Misunderstanding” is her first published play, with more to come! Her acting credits include “The Dreamfactory” (Rudy), “Glitche” (The Catalyst), and “Portrait of a Murder” (Emily). Recently, she and her fellow screenwriter, Joseph Baribault, co-wrote and starred in the short film, “Should’ve Called It…”. This short film received the first-place title at the Florida Central Film Slam and was nominated for multiple awards at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, including Best Acting Duo.
David Alberts is an actor, director, educator, author, and playwright. Dr. Alberts is a former university theatre instructor and Chair of Region 8 of the National Playwriting Awards Committee of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Dr. Alberts has directed over 60 productions of plays and musicals, including original plays, college/university productions, dinner theatre, summer stock, community theatre, professional, off-Broadway, and touring productions. As an actor, he’s appeared in the original productions of TRUMPET IN THE LAND, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, and UNNATURAL ACTS, by Tony Award®-winning playwright, Henry David Hwang. Dr. Alberts is the author of PANTOMIME: ELEMENTS AND EXERCISES, TALKING ABOUT MIME, REHEARSAL MANAGEMENT FOR DIRECTORS, and THE EXPRESSIVE BODY: PHYSICAL CHARACTERIZATION FOR THE ACTOR, which are used as college texts in the U.S. and throughout the world. Dr. Alberts received the Founders Award from the International Thespian Society for his contribution to theatre education, a Directing Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and a San Diego Book Award. In addition to his modern adaptation of ANTIGONE, published by Eldridge Publishing Co., his published plays include A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE RADIO SHOW, and DEATH BY ARRANGEMENT.
Since childhood, I've become a bit of a Swiss Army Knife in creative pursuits, having engaged in theater, film, and video game development for the better part of the last 30 years. I never expected a musical to get added to the mix, but here we are, and I'm glad to be here. It was a welcome surprise that demanded a skill set I didn't know I had in me. If that's not what art is all about, then I don't know what art is. But if I know anything at all (still up for debate), I think I know art, and I'm just happy for any opportunity to play my part in it.
Jared Mallard is an international award-winning playwright and teacher from Bishop’s Falls, Newfoundland, Canada. He resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick with his wife Gina and two kids, Jonah and Juliana.
Analyn Boydston is a 21-year-old playwright who’s been acting since she was still in the womb and her mother played the role of Frenchy in "Destry Rides Again." Analyn adored acting with other kids her age every summer, but as she grew into her teen years, she found that her true passion was writing the stories that the actors brought to life. You can almost always find her writing: during her free time, she writes parodies of popular songs, short animated skits for YouTube, and elaborate tabletop campaigns to play with her friends. Non-writing-related interests include weight lifting, listening to the same song on repeat for several days straight, and dancing alone in the living room.
Marcus Yi is an award-winning theatre writer/composer/director and performer based in New York. Marcus was an inaugural member of the 92nd Street Y Musical Theater Development Lab Collective, a 2021-2022 New Victory LabWorks Artist, and a Resident Artist with the American Lyric Theater. He has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, Queens Council on the Arts, American Lyric Theater, Atlanta Opera, Really Spicy Opera, First Stage, and New York City Children’s Theater.
Brian Mitchell has been involved in theater for over thirty years as an actor, director, and playwright. His written work has been performed throughout the United States and Canada. Brian grew up in Minnesota, and currently lives in Iowa with his beautiful wife, Ramona. They have two adult children. Aside from theater, Brian is passionate about reading, mental health care and advocacy, and kindness. He currently works as the Course Materials Specialist at Grinnell College. When you see him, he will be reading. Feel free to interrupt him and say hello.
Terry Schwinge is a theater arts educator at Santa Ana High School. In his teaching career, he has been awarded Teacher of the Year (2019-2020), he directed the Orange County MACY Show of the Year in 2018 (RENT), and his 2001 production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was selected as one of the twelve episode’s of Disney+’s series, ENCORE!. UN AMOR PICANTE is the third show he has written for the stage and he continues to write plays designed specifically for middle schools and high schools. He attended California State University, Fullerton and has been a theater arts educator for over twenty-five years.
He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua (2003-2005), worked in Honduras as an educational consultant in 2006. During that time, he became fluent in Spanish and was first introduced to his wife and his very first telenovelas that would later inspire UN AMOR PICANTE.
He currently lives and works in Santa Ana, California with his wife and two daughters. He very much enjoys being a part of this community and serving our youth to develop into more confident, more empathic, more empowered people through theater arts.
Trevin McLaughlin is a high school theatre teacher in North Richland Hills, Texas, and a graduate of Texas Tech University. He has been teaching middle and high school theatre for eight years, and he also performs and directs at community theatres in the DFW area. In his spare time, Trevin enjoys watching competition reality TV and Mavericks basketball with his cocker spaniel, Jessie.
Nate Bressler is a Christ follower who currently serves as the Youth and Worship Minister of Hagerman Baptist Church in Sherman, TX. Nate has been married to his wife Melissa since 2013, and they have enjoyed the highs and braved the trials involved raising five children in a blended household. Nate is also employed at Texoma Christian School where he teaches theatre and Bible courses.
Josephine Kelly is a graduate of Missouri's Truman University with a degree in theatre and holds a master’s degree from Adams State University. She has taught Theatre Appreciation as an adjunct instructor, has been the director of a high school theatre program in Colorado and she was named H.S. Theatre Educator of The Year for the State of Colorado. In 2001, the program earned the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Having directed over 75 productions, Kelly finds something new and wonderful in the creative process. Serving as the director of the LJ Children’s Theatre Program and consulting with the One Act Competition held at the Sangre De Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, Colorado has kept her busy. She also served as English Department Chair and is a past board member of the Picketwire Center. She served on the Colorado Department of Education’s Commissioner Cabinet and is a member of the National Educational Association as well as a member of the Colorado Theatre Guild. Currently, she has formed her own Theatrical Arts Company, and is actively writing and directing theatrical projects.
She makes her home in Colorado with her daughter, Hannah.