Midwest Dramatists Conference Sep. 28-30, 2017

The Midwest Dramatists Center is hosting its first playwriting conference September 28-30, 2017, where more than 40 visiting playwrights and theater professionals from around the country will be in attendance. Conference events are open to the public.

All events will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn at I-35 and 119th St in Olathe, Kansas, 12080 S. Strang Line Road.

Conference Schedule

Reception - $20
7:00pm Thursday, September 28
You receive a drink ticket for a domestic beer or house wine, munchies of chips, dips, hummus, etc, and meet and listen to our panelists and invited special guests.

Play Readings - $5 per session
Session 1: 9:00am - 12:30pm Friday, September 29
Session 2: 1:30pm - 5:30pm Friday, September 29
Session 3: 1:30pm - 5:30pm Saturday, September 30

Midwest Comedy Scene Off - Free
7:30pm Friday, September 29
Our writers and guests from the audience will write a quick, one minute scene based on what they draw from the bowl, and have them performed immediately by local actors.

Breakout Sessions - Presenting Playwrights Only
9:00am Saturday, September 30

Dinner Gala - $40 ($75 for two)
6:30pm Saturday, September 30
The dinner menu is Johnny's Signature Chicken De Burgo, Focaccia Bread, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, House Salad, Iced Tea and Cheesecake. There will be a cash bar.


Playwrights selected to participate in the inaugural conference will receive exclusive 50-minute workshops and feedback on their staged readings from nationally recognized industry professionals.


Morgan Allen
New Dramatists, NYC

Valerie Novakoff
Associate Producer, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises

George Simon
NYC producer and theatre administrator

Gerald VanHeerden
Midtown International Theatre Festival

Presenting Playwrights 

John Adams - Old Girl
John is a full-time communications professional and a part-time improviser from the Kansas City area. He is a founding member of the comedy team, That's No Movie, which has performed at improv festivals and pop-culture/comic conventions around the country. Old Girl is his first dramatic play.

Lindsay Adams* - Cottonmouth
Lindsay is an educator, deviser, and playwright. Her play, Her Own Devices, was awarded the Judith Barlow Prize. Her development/production history includes Women's Project Theatre (NYC), Kennedy Center, Westport Center for the Arts, Theatre Alliance, Fishtank Theater, Hub Theatre, and One Minute Play Festival, among others. She is an M.F.A. Candidate at Catholic University of America, MDC Resident Playwright, and proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Upcoming projects include a reading at Interrobang Theatre (Baltimore) and The Insubordinates at Fishtank Theatre.

Jeanne Beckwith - Holiday Special
Jeanne is a published playwright whose work has been performed from San Francisco to Istanbul. Her full length, Love Letters Made Easy was presented this past June by the AlphaNYC theater Company at the Roebuck Theater in New York City. Her play, An Alien Encounter will be produced by Otherworld Theater this coming November at the Paragon Play Festival in Chicago. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild, teaches English and Theater at Norwich University, and lives in Roxbury, Vermont.

EH Benedict - Gloria Steinem & Lotte Lenya & Scout Are Waiting
EH Benedict is honored to be included in the ReOrient Festival, where her play Orhan was produced in 2012. Her plays include Jesus in Las Vegas, American Royals, Rashomon in Kansas, and Party at the Garden of Allah or Lesbians in Pre-Code Hollywood, and have been developed at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Magic Theatre, the Lark (NYC), Z Space, Playwrights’ Lab (Mill Valley), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Pacific Rep. Her plays American Royals and Rashomon in Kansas were semifinalists for the prestigious O’Neill Conference. Her short play Gloria Steinem & Lotte Lenya & Scout Are Waiting was performed in Berkeley and at the WCPA in Westcliffe, Colorado, where it won Best in Festival. An excerpt from her latest play, The Story of Harley Procter and His Floating Soap as Re-Enacted by Two Women of Color, was performed at the 2017 Theatre Bay Area Conference. She is a 2016 TITAN Award recipient from TBA and a proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild.

Paul Bowman - A Soldier's Testimony
The misguided author, Paul Bowman, is a retired maintenance man. He writes both fiction and plays. He is fortunate to have six of his one-acts produced in small theaters across the country. Five of his stories have been published in literary magazines or on-line. His play, Graduation Party, will premiere next June. Three pieces of flash fiction will be published in the fall. When he is not writing he reads with his eyes closed (it only looks like he is napping), postpones going to the gym, and searches the entire house for his car keys when he has to go somewhere.

Emma Carter* - Happy?
Emma is playwright, producer, actress and teaching artist. Her works have been produced by local theatre such as The Living Room Theatre, The Fishtank, and The Barn Players. In the last year she has written and self-produced two full-length plays, won Project Playwright 2015, participated in multiple short play festivals and is now playwright-in-residence at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. Visit emmakcarter.com for more.

Jerry Casagrande - Blue Jay
Jerry is a playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker. He is the writer and co-director of On the Wing, an award-winning family film starring Emmy-nominated Corbin Bernsen and featuring Oscar winner Shirley Jones. He has penned four other screenplays, including most recently, Lost Dog, a political thriller set in Washington DC. He has written several one-act plays, including Among Shrubs and Ivy, which has been twice produced and well-received in the Washington DC area. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and three children.

Scott Dixon - Appetite
Scott is a resident artist/administrator with the Commonweal Theatre Company in southeastern Minnesota, working as an actor, director, and playwright as well as serving as Director of Development. His full-length playwriting credits include adaptations of Dracula: Prince of Blood (2018 world premiere production) and The Nutcracker & The Mouse King, and original dramas A Midnight Dreary, Enemy Alien, and Endwaters.

Rebecca Dzida - The Prophet
Rebecca is a playwright native of California and currently based in Washington, DC. She received her M.F.A. in Playwriting at The Catholic University of America, where her play Preggers, or Parenthood for Virgins was produced as part of the M.F.A. New Play Rep last winter. Before grad school, she joined Teach for America and taught high school special education in Memphis for two years. Rebecca’s plays have been produced around the country at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City, where she was nominated for The Playwrights Award for her one-act The Greatest Performance. The Prophet is inspired by the legend surrounding the character of Tiresias featured in Greek mythology and the plays of Sophocles, Euripides, and more.

Gwen Flager - Jornada del Muerto
Gwen was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana; attended college in Mobile, Alabama; and moved to Houston, Texas, after graduation. Waiting To Be Mended, her first full-length fictional play, was presented in the 2009 New Play Reading Series at Country Playhouse and produced by Theatre Suburbia in 2010. Mother’s Day was presented in the 2011 New Play Reading Series at Country Playhouse. In Flight, a 10-minute play, was produced at the Fifth Annual Museum Plays by Scriptwriters Houston in 2012. Jornada del Muerto, a 10-minute play, was produced at the 25th Annual Scriptwriters Houston 10 x 10 Showcase in 2015. Tattoos and Tater as well as Girls Who Sing in the Choir were presented in the New Play Reading Series at Queensbury Theatre in Houston in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Ms. Flager is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Gabriel Flores - Maria's Wish
Gabriel is a Tampa, Florida based educator, theatre professional, and arts administrator. His titles in the theatre include director, playwright, producer, actor, stage manager, musical director, drama critic, sound designer, lighting designer, and producer. He has experience in musical theatre and straight plays. He has been lucky enough to have his own plays produced and looks forward to creating more memories for actors and audiences alike.

Anna Fox - Ginny
Anna is an alliterative amalgamation of performer/poet/playwright and aspiring astrologer. Her work has been seen at The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Sam French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, Fusion Theater Company, Live Girls! Theatre, NYCfringe, Tongue in Cheek Theatre, Wide Eyed Productions, Fresh Produced LA, Route 66 Theatre and Free Fall Baltimore. Her play Alaska in the Summertime is featured on soundplay.media’s Bare Wire Theater podcast (available for download on itunes), and her plays Ron Don Jon Juan and Sitting Causes Cancer and Other Modern Tragedies were featured in Theater Masters National MFA Playwriting Competition, and both published by Samuel French. She is an alumna of The Eugene O’ Neill Theatre Center’s NTI Advanced Playwriting Semester, has partaken in Pataphysics workshops at The Flea, and is the co-founder and producer of The Pioneer Valley New Works Festival, taking place each summer in her idyllic hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. BS Skidmore College. She is a current MFA student at UCLA. www.annapfox.com

Sharon Goldner - Without Further Delay
Sharon is this chick who perpetuates the notion that crazy is just a frame of mind. Her writing goal is to make audiences laugh at things they feel guilty for laughing at because that’s her idea of fun, and she thinks folks are just too darn serious a lot of the time. Sharon’s award-winning (and published) plays have been performed in theaters all across the country from Off Broadway to Los Angeles, and in-between. She was a 2014 fellowship recipient with Newfoundland’s SheSaidYes! Theatre, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Her award-winning short stories have been published in literary journals all over the U.S.A, and in England. Sharon assures audiences that no letters of the alphabet have ever been harmed in the creation of her work.

Kristin Andrea Hanratty - Skin Deep
Kristin has had multiple one-act and ten-minute plays produced by theatre companies throughout the United States. Kristin’s play Bird was produced by the Detroit Theatre Company, Puzzle Piece Theatre in the spring of 2017 after receiving a staged reading at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor as part of the 2015 Michigan Playwrights Festival. Kristin’s honors and awards include her screenplay Tyler’s Revolution a two time quarterfinalist for the Academy Award/Nicholl fellowship, her screenplay Goodbye David, a semifinalist in the Austin Film festival; and her one-act play Wine was a finalist for the 2017 Arts and Letters Literary Journal award.

Andrew Heinrich - Coffee for Camo
Andrew is a playwright and screenwriter living in San Antonio, Texas. He is currently enrolled at Texas State University in their MFA program for Dramatic Writing. Andrew graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Theatre from Texas State University in 2014. He has worked as a professional actor, violence designer, singer, teacher, and musician for over 10 years.

Susan Hansell - In the Beginning...
Susan Hansell's In the Beginning... is a stand-alone ten-minute excerpt from the full-length tragicomedy, Waiting for a Table at the Garden of Eden. Her historically-driven new drama, Every Concentrated Fragment, was presented as at the 2017 William Inge Center Theatre Festival. She is the author of American Rose, produced at NYC's Ohio Theatre; and My Medea, a selection of the Best American Short Plays series, first staged by Cal Rep.

Rand Higbee - Moon in a Barrel
Originally from South Dakota, Rand obtained a Theatre degree from South Dakota State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While at UNLV his first full-length play, Sir Isaac’s Duel, was named as an alternate to the National American College Theatre Festival held at the Kennedy Center. Since UNLV days Rand’s plays have continued to gain both productions and awards. He won a 2009 Wisconsin Wrights award for his superhero play The Lightning Bug which has since been published by Next Stage Press. His short play Next! has become one of the most often performed high school one-acts in the country. The 2012 debut production of his full length A Girl Named Destiny at the Venus Theater in Laurel, Maryland, was named as one of the best plays of the year by DC Metro Theatre Arts. Rand currently lives in Hager City, Wisconsin.

Kevin Hollenbeck - Ed's Place
Kevin is a New York City based playwright. His play Fox and Grapes received its premiere at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in spring of 2013. Over the summer of 2014 Kevin co-adapted Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (entitled Uncle Johnny) which was performed by Bottoms Dream in January of 2015. Also in 2015, his play Porch Years received its premiere at the Playwrights Forum Reading Series under the direction of the Staten Island Playwrights Collective. In 2016 Kevin was accepted into The Barrow Group’s Advanced Playwrighting Intensive, where he studied under Arlene Hutton.

Zachary Michael Jack - Wake Up Call
Zachary is the author of many award-winning books on as well as an active playwright whose 2016 work has been performed at the Florida Literary Arts Coalition (FLAC) Flash Play Festival and at the Florida Theater Conference at Santa Fe College. His new short play Hurricane Andrew is forthcoming at the 2017 Tampa Bay Theatre Festival. Jack is a former youth playwriting instructor in the Des Moines, Iowa, Public School District as well as an instructor for the Writing Performances graduate course at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson* - No Other Way
Michelle Tyrene Johnson is a Kansas City-based, award-winning playwright whose work has been seen on stages across the country, including New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, Kentucky and California. Her play Echoes of Octavia is scheduled for a production in Spring 2018 by NYC's Rhymes Over Beats theater company and her play The Green Duck Lounge is in the 2017-2018 season of the University of Missouri-Columbia Theatre Department.

William Kovacsik - Bottle for a Special Occasion
William holds a Bachelor of Arts from Drew University, as well as a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University. He was on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon from 1994-2001. He has also taught at Ball State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Most recently, he served as chair of the Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch Asia graduate program in Singapore, where he was on the faculty for six years. William’s plays have been seen throughout the United States. He wrote The Masrayana, which was co-produced by the Prop Theatre and the Rasaka Theatre Company. The Masrayana received praise from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, and went on to win the Joseph Jefferson Citation Award for Best New Play in Chicago, 2005-2006.

James Lindheim - The Kids
James started “writing for fun” in the mid-2000’s as he was ending a twenty-five year career as a public relations consultant specialized in helping clients deal with crises and fast-moving issues. Having written press releases, speeches, message points, policy papers, presentations, etc. for others, he has relished the opportunity to write both serious and comic work, including plays, short stories, essays and a recently completed novel. Several of his short plays have been produced in festivals in San Diego; Spokane; Los Angeles; Durango, Colorado and Moab, Utah. James was raised in Cleveland and Los Angeles. He was graduated summa cum laude from Williams College and holds a Master of Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.

Scott Lummer - Psych Nick
Scott is an award-winning playwright and mediocre actor. Nine of his plays have been featured in 21 professional productions nationwide: Starbucks on Broadway, Cherry, The Saint, Love Her Madly, Auction Day, A Service Tail, Psych Nick, Crisis in Character, and Miss Understanding. His play, 2045, was selected to be presented at the 2017 Inge Festival, and will premier this November. He has written seven other short plays and two full length plays.

Robert Lynn - Back Porch Test
Robert's full-length Christmas-themed comedy, The ReGifters, is the winner of the New American Comedy Festival and is published by Heuer Publishing. Robert's play, With Friends Like These, is also published by Heuer. The Stupid Economy, a one-woman show, has appeared in the United Solo Artists Festival at Theatre Row in New York, and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. His ten-minute play, Palindrome Love was a winner in the Short & Sweet Sydney 10-minute play festival, was performed in Sydney Australia in February 2009, and was performed in the Washington DC Capital Fringe Festival in the summer of 2010, and at the Fury Theatre in Chicago in 2013. It was also a semifinalist in the Heartland Festival (Normal, Illinois), where his play, A Good Man, was a 2010 winner. His play, The Back Porch Test, was voted audience favorite in the Lakeside Players Theatre 10-minute Play Festival (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) in June, 2017. Other writing credits include the Iowa Play Festival, and the Cedar Lane Stage & Sandy Spring Theatre Group's One Act Festival (Bethesda, Maryland). He is a member of the Dramatists' Guild of America, Inc.

William Manley - Linda's Last Call
William studied at Santa Clara University, Albert Ludwigs (Freiburg, Germany) and San Francisco State, and has a BA and MA in German Language in Literature focusing on German drama. After additional computer science studies, he spent most of his career as a software developer and manager. He has performed publicly as an actor and singer and is currently with the Oakland Symphony Chorus. As a volunteer, he has worked frequently in Latin America as a teacher and in community projects. While relatively new to playwriting, an act of his full-length play La Plata was performed at the FlightDeck theater in Oakland in 2016. His one-act Dark Café Days was performed in 2015 at the same venue.

Susan Rowan Masters - Talk Turkey
Susan is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Authors Guild. Her play The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel, winner of The Growing Stage: Children’s Theatre of NJ New Play-Reading Festival, was a 2013/14 Main Stage production. Shoestring Radio Theatre in San Francisco produced two of her plays for public radio. Masters' monologue Going Home had a staged reading at the 2017 Equity Library Theater Summer Festival in New York City. www.srmasters.com

Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos - El Lorco, El Gato Y El Espíritu Santo (or The Parrot, the Cat, and the Holy Ghost)
A rural American playwright, Kelly's aesthetic view is a fusion of Southern Appalachian and Southwest U.S. culture. She is author of the Southern Gothic crime noir, To Tread Among Serpents (winner of the Southern Playwrights Competition, O'Neill Semi-finalist) and the dark comedy western, The Hall of Final Ruin (Princess Grace Semi-finalist, BAPF Semi-finalist, Renaissance Theaterworks Brink! Award). Her plays have been developed by the Barter Theatre, Teatro Vivo, Something Marvelous, and Renaissance Theaterworks.

Richard Medugno - Near Death Experiment
Richard Medugno has written numerous plays, many of which have been staged and several have been published. A graduate of the UC Irvine School of Fine Arts, Richard's work has been produced by many small theatres across the US. Recently, he adapted Charlie Chaplin's film City Lights into a stage play for ASL-using actors.

Dave Osmundsen - Pix of Your Partner's Privates
Dave is a New Jersey-based playwright. He holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University. His work has been seen in New York, Los Angeles, London, and more. His one-act play A Firework Unexploded was featured in Issue 001 of The Dionysian, and his play Stupid, Fat, Ugly was a semi-finalist for the 2017 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Most recently, his play Something for Sondra was a part of the Caleb Reese Festival for New Plays and Musicals at the Phoenix Theatre. Dave’s theatre reviews and short fiction has been featured on StageBuddy, TheatreIsEasy, and Scholars and Rogues.

Rich Pauli - The Princess & the Frog & the Other Frog
Rich began writing for the theater in 2009, while a senior writer at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Since then, he has written over 40 plays, ranging from one-minute, don't blink-or-you'll-miss-it flash plays to full-length, my-God-I-hope-there's-an-intermission pieces, many of which have been produced in Kansas and around the country. Rich is currently working on a comic operetta, Captain Quirk and the Love Goddess of Outer Space, for which he has written the book, lyrics, and music. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. When not writing, Rich can often be found engaging in activities involving strings, such as tennis, banjo playing, or unsnarling Christmas tree lights (seasonal). He is grateful to his sister, Linda, for her ongoing willingness to be a first reader of his work, and to his spouse and best friend Rosemary for, well, just about everything.

Leslie Powell - The End
Leslie is a playwright, poet and screenwriter. Ms. Powell’s plays have been read and produced throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada as a part of the InspiraTO Festival.

Judith Pratt - The Windows
Judith is also a director, theatre professor, and actor. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cape Town, South Africa, to name a few. Her full length-play The Wright Place has been published by JAC Publishing Co, and read at the Vokes Theatre in Wayland MA. Her monologue, Waah, has been published by JAC in Singular Voices. Most recently, Cora’s Mountain was part of the Nor’Eastern Play Writing Showcase in May 2015, and Studying War was read at The Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights 6 in July 2015. Maize was read by Artemisia Theatre in Chicago in September 2015. Spiralling received a reading from Panndora Festival, Long Beach CA, in 2015, and a podcast from 12 Peers Theatre in Feb. 2016. (www.12peerstheater.org/modern-myths-podcast) In October 2016, Chimera received a reading at the Road Less Traveled Theatre in Buffalo NY. Judith is an adjunct professor of theatre at Wells College, NY and has begun to write fantasy novels.

Ron Pullins - Baby Dada
Ron is a writer and playwright living in Tucson, Arizona whose works have been read or produced on stage at such theaters across the country as Madlab, Mildred’s Umbrella, Whistler in the Dark, Rebelyard, Revolution Theater, No Shame Theater, Guinea Pig Theater, Actors Studio of Newburyport, and Abbie Hoffman Died For Your Sins Festival, as well as at ATHE, among others. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Shenandoah, Kansas Quarterly, online at Box of Jars, Sourland Review, Steeltoe Review, Oasis, WildWords, and (forthcoming) Gyroscope and Stoneboat.

Ayesha Raees - An Abstract Conversation Featuring Imaginary Strangers Called Myselves
The tentative title, An Abstract Conversation Featuring Imaginary Strangers Called Myselves, is a ten minute scene I wrote two years ago and have since not only revised it vigorously but also have had the opportunity to workshop and produce it. The piece is a hybrid of poetry and playwriting and compliments the sensibilities of a choreopoem, a dramatic expression introduced by Ntozake Shange whose work I have always been inspired by. The play delves into an anxious and restless mind conflicted with several phases of one’s unconventional and introspective growth. It experiments with identity through the use of shadowplay, where the characters are never truly physically visible or clear. These characters are named with numbers and they represent themselves independently but also as one entity. In the full length play, I wish to expand their personal stories and show their interactions with other numerical characters. Family, relationships, political displacement and mental illness are the main themes of the piece.

Kevin Rabas - Lemonade
Kevin leads the poetry and playwriting tracks at Emporia State University. He has eight books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book. His plays have been produced across Kansas and in North Carolina and San Diego.

Leslie Revelle* - New Chili
Lezlie is an award-winning playwright, author and singer-songwriter from the Midwest. Lezlie’s plays have been produced locally as part of Potluck Productions, the Barn Players 6x10 Festival, and the Kansas City Fringe Festival, as well as across the United States. Lezlie just wrapped her fourth album with local recording label Enneagram Records. In addition to songwriting and playwriting, Lezlie writes novels and is excited to start sharing her long form stories.

Everett Robert - Moonlit
Hailed as “one of our best new children's authors” by Heartland Play Publishers, Everett is an actor, writer, and director with over 20 years of experience. A native of Kansas, Mr. Robert's works have been performed across the United States, from New York City to Spokane, Washington, from Atlanta, Georgia to Hollywood, California. His work has also been featured regularly on Sherri's Playhouse, a feature of the popular podcast Chatting With Sherri, where his plays have been downloaded into the millions. A graduate of Fort Hays State University, Mr Robert can be found blogging at www.EmergencyRoomProductions.com or tweeting @eerobert.

Jessie Salsbury - Route 84 House Fire: Three Miles from Train Tracks, Nine from a Hydrant
Jessie is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She is a Kansas City playwright and has participated in numerous local play readings and new work development. Her play Fangirls: An Improbable Cosplay was part of KC Fringe 2016 and her play HeLA was part of Knox College’s New Play Festival II in Spring of 2016. She is a playwright for 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project and her work can be found on the New Play Network Exchange.

George Sapio - Hocking Murray
I hail from near Ithaca, NY, and I am an award-winning playwright who directs, practices dramaturgy, acts, designs lights and sets, cleans theatres, designs marketing, and pretty much everything else having to do with getting a theatre show up. I also produce the annual Ithaca Fringe Festival (2014) and host a monthly theatre-based podcast, Onstage/Offstage. My how-to book, Workshopping the New Play, a Guide for Playwrights, Directors, and Dramaturgs, will be published by Applause Books this October. I've been producing my own work as well that of my fellow Ithaca-area theatre comrades for over fifteen years.

Royal Shirée - Lightning Bugs
Playwright/solo performer Shirée has been produced by Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Waterworks Players Theatre, Leading Ladies NY, Downtown Urban Theater Festival NY, Live Arts Charlottesville, and a professional reading by Virginia Playwrights and Screenwriters Initiative. Her solo show, Clippings, has been performed throughout Virginia and in New York. MOJOAA Performing Arts Company performed her piece, Victory, in "Reclamation, 'Female Voices of Color'". Her ten-minute plays have been produced coast-to-coast. She is a former Storyteller/Education Consultant at Avoca Museum.

Adam Seidel - Scared of the Dark
Adam is a New York-based playwright and a 2017 O'Neill semi-finalist. His play Catch the Butcher received its world premiere at the Long Beach Playhouse in Long Beach, CA, its off Broadway premiere at Cherry Lane Theatre where the production was labeled a critic's pick by The New York Times, and recently received its European premiere at Ilisia Volonakis in Athens, Greece. His play The Devilman received at development workshop at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in 2014, and was apart of the IATI Theatre, NYC “Foundations” new work series in June 2016. His play Other People’s Happiness was given a staged reading at InFusion Theatre Company’s 2014 New Work Development Series at the Den Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, was featured at the Summer Playwright's Festival at The Road Theatre in Los Angeles and won the New Works @ The Works series at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee, where it received its world premiere in January of 2017. His play American Outlaws was featured at the 2016 Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore, was apart of the 2nd Annual Historic Elitch Theatre new works festival in Denver, received its world premiere at the Labute New Theater Festival at the St. Louis Actor's Studio and received its off Broadway premiere at 59E59 in January 2017. Adam's plays are published by Middle Tennessee State University Press and Furious Gazelle.

Vicki Vodrey* - Go Ask D'Alice
Vicki is an award-winning playwright who has had her work produced by numerous theatre companies and festivals. She has been a Playwright in Residence at Script2Stage2Screen in Palm Desert, CA for four years. Vicki is proud to be one of the founding members of Midwest Dramatists Center. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Dramatists’ Guild. For further information and reviews, please go to vickivodrey.com.

Jessica Whitfield - Miss Hedda and Her Seagull
Jessica earned her BFA in Theatre/Acting from Drake University, where she was a part of the Playwrights’ Acting Company and had several original plays produced, one of which was an alternate for the American College Theatre Festival Region V. After graduating, her play, How to Operate a Telephone was produced by Potluck Productions and The Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City. Dr. Deranged and the Supervillain Reunion was produced by The City Theatre in Independence, Missouri. Miss Hedda and Her Seagull was produced by The Barn Players in Mission, Kansas. Shotgun had a staged reading with Potluck Productions in Kansas City. She was hired to write Back in Time for Murder for The Mystery Train. She has written her own material for stand-up comedy routines and performances at the Actors’ Showcase for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City. Recently she was hired to write a feature film and is working on the first draft now. It is to be shot in and around Wichita, KS.

Philip Middleton Williams - A Moment of Clarity
Can’t Live Without You was Philip's first play to receive a New York production at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in January 2008. All Together Now won first place in The Playgroup LLC 2016 playwriting contest, and A Moment of Clarity was a finalist in the City Theatre National Short Play Contest. He is a recovering high school drama teacher and has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1984.

*Resident playwright of the Midwest Dramatists Center.

Actors and Directors 

Max Brown
Ian Crawford
Warren Deckert
Paul Hough
Phil Kinen
Teresa Leggard
Karen Paisley 
Bob Allen
Bob is a veteran performer on many stages in the Kansas city area including OCTA where he won the Buddy Award as Best Character Actor in 2012 for Twelve Angry Men. He has been blessed over the years to also perform in radio, television, industrial and feature films.

Shawna Peña-Downing
As a professional actor/singer, Shawna has worked with a variety of prominent theatre companies: the Coterie Theatre, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, the Unicorn Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Theatre for Young America, & KC Melting Pot Theatre. She is the Director of Education & Community programs with KC Melting Pot Theatre, and a personal assistant to Stuffed Buffalo Productions. She is also a teaching artist with the Coterie Theatre, KC Repertory Theatre and the KC Black Repertory Theatre; as well as a peer educator with the Dramatic Health Education Project and is signed with Exposure Model and Talent agency.

Joseph Fournier 
Joseph earned his MFA in Acting from UMKC, and also has degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Schoolcraft College. He has performed with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas Repertory Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Detroit Ensemble Theatre, and Fishtank Theatre. 

Jordan Fox
Jordan is honored to perform for the Midwest Dramatists Conference. His Kansas City credits include It’s a Wonderful Life, Photograph 51, The Kentucky Cycle, Pride’s Crossing, Ragtime, Mary Stuart, and The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre); Assassins and Amadeus (Spinning Tree Theatre); Bedtime Solos (Central Standard Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013); StoneLion Puppet Theatre; Westport Center for the Arts; MeltingPot, KC; Kansas City Fringe Festival; Stuffed Buffalo Productions; and Commedia Kansas City.

Brie Henderson
Brie is a local SAG/AFTRA actress who has performed around town in many theatrical, commercial, film, and voiceover projects. She has written, produced, and performed in two of her own shows, Poops, I Did It Again, which went on to both LA and the New York International Fringe Festival, and this past summer, the debut of The Taming of the Poo at KC Fringe. She is a member of the radio sketch comedy group Right Between the Ears and enjoys playing her Internet fairy character, Slutterbell, on Instagram and Facebook.

Laura Jacobs
Laura is a Kansas City-based actor who has performed on area stages since 1990. Recent appearances include Dutchman with KC MeltingPot and Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Unicorn. She can be seen next in Chainsaw at the Arts Asylum. Her alter-ego, Ivory Wilde, regularly performs with Burlesque Downtown Underground. 

Peter Leondedis
Peter was most recently seen in the Barn Players production of Rumors. Prior to that, he was in One Man, Two Guvnors for the Olathe Civic Theatre (OCTA) where is proud to serve on the Board.

Kelly Main
After graduating from NYU through Stella Adler Studio, Kelly lived in NYC for 13 years working at theaters like EST, The Living Room, and HB. Since moving to KC she has worked at the Kansas City Repertory, The Unicorn, The Coterie, The Living Room, Musical Theater Heritage, Spinning Tree, The Fishtank, and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

Nancy Marcy
Nancy has a special love for working on new plays – beginning with her MFA thesis role at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Particular local favorites: the musical Changin’ Lanes by Mark Huston, Arms and Legs by Ron Simonian, Devoured by Tigers by Michael Ruth, and The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pines by Vicki Vodrey. Nancy recently appeared in the KCPT and StoryworksKC production of Justice in the Embers at The Living Room and in Oakland, California. Nancy is currently appearing in Antigone at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theater and will be seen in Tuck Everlasting (with Gary Neal Johnson) at The Coterie in 2018. Nancy is a member of the Actors' Equity Association.

Lydia Rose Miller 
Lydia is a graduate of Stephens College and recently moved to the KC area from New York City. Her past credits include Ruth in Blithe Spirit and Claudine in Rich Girl at Okoboji Summer Theatre. She was most recently involved in the Fringe Festival production of Blackmail, Murderer, and Other Ways to Say I Love You.

Mandy Mook
Mandy is a local performer who graduated from Missouri State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She has performed at many venues such as Starlight Theatre, Dorothy Streslin Theatre NYC, The NEw Theatre Restaurant, The MetropolitanEnsemble, the KC Fringe Festival, and many more.

Sherri Roulette-Mosley
Sherri is thrilled to work with Vicki Vodrey again after playing Bertie in The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pine. Sherri has performed on several local stages that includes KC Melting Pot, The MET, and The Coterie. Sherri received her Theatre Arts degree from Grambling State University.

Stephonne Singleton
Stephonne is a Kansas City born actor and singer-songwriter. He is a misfit actor in Ron Megee's Late Night Theatre who has appeared in Black Bewitched, Cluelessness, Golden Girls Gone Wilder and Valley of The Dolls. He has also worked with Trade Wind Arts, The Fish Tank Theatre, Bohemian Cult Revival and Whim Productions. He has performed all over the city as a vocalist and is an ASCAP registered songwriter with singles on Apple Music, Spotify and more. For more information visit www.stephonne.com.

Franci Talamantez-Witte
Franci is super excited to be performing at the Midwest Dramatists Conference. Recently, you may have seen her as Tess in Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park's Crazy For You. In November she will be performing with The Mid-Life Players as Morticia in The Addams Family. Much love to her husband and their kiddos.

Zachrey York
Zachrey has been performing in Kansas City since 2014. You may have seen him recently in Assassins: The Musical with Spinning Tree, Evil Dead: The Musical with Egads!, Heathers at the Unicorn, or Rudolph at the Coterie. Come check him out at Musical Monday/Tuesday October 2nd and 3rd at Musical Theatre Heritage.

About the MDC

The Midwest Dramatists Center is a creative home, family, and support network for emerging playwrights who want to further their art and its impact on the greater theater community. Member playwrights include: Bryan Colley, Michelle Tyrene Johnson, Vicki Vodrey, Darren Canady, Ry Kincaid, Nicholas Sawin, Dan Born, Emma Carter, Lindsay Adams, Lezlie Revelle, and Literary Manager David Hanson.

For more information, please contact David Hanson at 913-484-0360 or at director@midwestdramatists.org.