December 15, 2014

Midwest Dramatists Center seeks Kansas City playwrights for its 2015 class

The Midwest Dramatists Center, a collective founded to serve and support local playwrights, announced today that applications for its next class are now available.

As many as five writers will be selected for a five-year residency at MDC, joining the inaugural class in a community of playwrights that enjoys access to a range of career-development resources. These include the workshops and staged readings of residents’ work that MDC hosts in its theatre space at the Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, as well as staff support to help shape new plays and connect them with theatres and institutions that produce original work regionally and nationally.

Anyone age 21 and older who resides in the Kansas City metropolitan area and can demonstrate a commitment to the craft of playwriting is eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted beginning January 15, 2015, and are due February 28, 2015. To apply, click here. 

MDC’s overriding mission is to support playwrights on that difficult career stretch from “emerging” to “established,” and to amplify new voices in the American theatre. It was launched earlier this year by playwrights Bryan Colley, David Hanson, Michelle T. Johnson, and Vicki Vodrey. Since acquiring its space this spring, MDC has hosted nearly a dozen staged readings of new work, and MDC playwrights have seen their plays produced to critical acclaim at the Kansas City Fringe Festival, MeltingPot KC, and by companies from New York to Philadelphia to Palm Springs.

The call for applications is the next important step in MDC’s growth, as it builds toward a full complement of 20-25 writers over the next few years. Final selections for the 2015 class will be announced by late spring, and the chosen playwrights will begin their participation with MDC this summer.

“The theater lives, breathes, and thrives only when new voices tell compelling stories that need to be heard on stage,” says Hanson. “MDC is about finding those emerging voices for the theater and giving them a place to create new works, as part of a family of other writers, and receive professional support so those stories get out into the world. Today is special for us as we begin the process of identifying those voices that we hope will shape the future of theater.”

Application form and instructions are available here.

December 9, 2014

Michelle T. Johnson talks short plays on KKFI 90.1

MDC's Michelle T. Johnson, who just so happens to also serve on the board of the Barn Players in Mission, Kansas, appeared as a guest on radio host Michael Hogge's Art Magazine today to talk up the Barn's upcoming 6 x 10 Ten Minute Play Festival this weekend. Sounds like there are some timely, intense pieces to see this December 12, 13, and 14 (and if you've been paying attention, you know there are six of them).

Had you tuned in to KKFI 90.1 FM at noon, you would have been able to hear Michelle, who made her own playwriting debut at the Barn in 2011, and fellow board member Lynn Reddick live. But don't worry--you can still listen to the entire segment here.

"Sue Aside..." draws engaged, engaging audience

Sue Aside..., Vicki Vodrey's newest play,  is enticingly disturbing and bitterly funny--so said the roomful of enthusiastic patrons who got to be the first to ever see it and offer their feedback last night at the Writers Place.

The MDC staged reading of Vodrey's script ran about 45 minutes--but the audience stayed nearly an hour to discuss the twists and turns of the two-person drama with the playwright, director Warren Deckert, actors Jessica Ryan and Jake Walker, and stage manager Melissa Koerner.

Thanks to everyone who participated--on both sides of the music stands--and helped make new theatre come alive.