July 9, 2018

Meet the New Class of 2018

The Midwest Dramatists Center announces the new class of resident playwrights for 2018: Jennifer Baker, Kevin King, Lavinia Roberts, and Emily Swenson. These writers make up the fifth class for the nascent playwrighting development organization. They will join eight other writers who comprise the current residents and represent the institution’s desire to find and support new voices in theater.

Jennifer Baker creates plays that revolve around exploring the parts of the human condition that elicit fear, judgment, condemnation and punishment. Since she first began writing plays she’s been interested in the stories that people don’t tell, which are coincidentally the same ones people are uncomfortable talking about. Ms. Baker is a graduate of the University Of Missouri Kansas City and the New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program.

Kevin King is a playwright, director, actor and producer headquartered in the Kansas City area. He has been the Playwright in Resident, Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency. He is an award winning playwright and producer including several “Best of Venue” awards in the Kansas City Fringe Festival – where he remains an audience favorite. He is Producing Artistic Director of the theater company Whim Productions.

Lavinia Roberts is a published and award-winning playwright, puppet designer, and theatre teacher. She has over thirty plays for young people published with Applause Books, Big Dog Plays, Brooklyn Publishers, Heuer Publishing, Plays; The Drama Magazine for Young People, Pioneer Drama, Smith and Kraus, and Standard Publishing. Her book, A Little Drama; Playful Activities for Young Children is published with Redleaf Press. Her work has been seen in all 50 states and around the globe. She has a Masters in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities from New York University and BFA in Fine Art from the University of Kansas.

Emily Swenson strives to reveal the pieces of herself and humanity that are often overlooked or ignored. Her plays expose the people behind the labels given by society. She is inspired by those living unashamed of who they are and what they do. Emily is a graduate of Stephens College and has worked in various parts of the theater world including at the venerable Unicorn Theater in Kansas City and the Warehouse Theater Company in Columbia, Missouri. Her work has primarily been seen in the Midwest including The Kansas City Fringe Festival.