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The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival honors new American plays that provide dynamic performance opportunities for college-aged actors.

The festival endeavors both to recognize playwrights for their outstanding work and to provide a resource for universities across the country to identify dynamic plays with robust roles for college-aged actors for production at their institutions. The festival features both a full-length and short play division.

The 2022 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival will be held in person at the Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre & Dance on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University from June 12-18.
The festival will feature staged readings of the five Official Selection plays, as well as workshops and seminars on playwriting and new play development.

At the conclusion of the festival, one play will be selected for the festival’s top prize and will receive its world premiere in the 2022-2023 Dobbins Conservatory Mainstage Season and will be considered for publication by Concord Theatricals, the world’s most significant theatrical company, comprising the catalogs of R&H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark, and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.

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Featured Guest Speakers

  • Robert Barry Fleming

    Artistic Director

    Actors Theatre of Louisville

  • Lonny Price

    Emmy-Winning and Tony-Nominated Director and Librettist

  • Mika Eubanks

    Award-Winning

    Costume Designer

Special Event

Staged reading of Los Alamos, an unproduced play by the late Pulitzer Prize-Winner Lanford Wilson

Presented through special arrangement with the Lanford Wilson Estate, with special thanks to the Lanford Wilson Collection at the University of Missouri. Followed by a discussion with Lanford Wilson scholar David Crespy, PhD, Professor of Playwriting, Acting, Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, University of Missouri and Director of the Lanford Wilson Collection

2022 Full-Length Official Selections

Tough

by Margot Connolly Synopsis: The troubled teen boot camp, Crosswinds, sells itself to parents as a behavior modification program that will help their daughters straighten out. The girls who have been sent here, however, learn it is a place of ever-changing rules, harsh punishments, and increasing desperation. When they hear a rumor that the program will be shut down if a camper dies, the girls plan their escape – by whatever means necessary. Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m.

The Other Part of the Picture

by Peter Hardy Synopsis: Matt and Maddie are grad students living in apartments next door to one another. Very different people, they are unexpectedly drawn to each other and gradually become friends. A group of other friends gather around them to explore the enigma of some old letters they’ve found in their rooms. A play about friendship, storytelling, and the mysteries of how we come to know other people, learning things about them which they never tell us outright. Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

Fame Heaux

by Leigh M. Marshall Synopsis: A close-knit group of online avatars gather in their virtual forest, a gossip forum called Alice’s Evidence, to spill the tea on celebrities. On the forum, they are able to create their own rules, theories, and even court of law as they attempt to discover one true thing in a world of fake news. As they focus on the conflicts and kinships of their Technicolor internet rumor mill, the real world around them shifts toward the oppressive, violent, and unknown. Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m.

The Dark Arts for Beginners

by Nick Robideau Synopsis: It's the year 2057, and the planet's climate crisis has passed the point of no return. Fires rage, cities drown, cancer rates soar, and the population is forced to live nocturnally. Humanity's last hope lies with a coven of teenage witches. There are just two little problems: these kids are tapping into forces more powerful than they could ever imagine, and they don't exactly know what they're doing. Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

The Winterguard Play

by Avery Deutsch Synopsis: Winter Guard is not Color Guard. Forget football. Forget pom-poms. In Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania, a High school Winter Guard team attempts to choreograph a routine on global warming. A play about catching flags, catching each other, and realizing the grown-ups aren't going to save you. Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

2022 Short Play Official Selections

SUNDAY, JUNE 12 at 7 p.m.

Admittance: A Letter to Northwestern University by Elijah Cox
Et tu, Brew Tea by Jeff Dunne
Chem Class by Jennifer O'Grady
A Benevolent Alliance of Mourners by Ken Preuss
Grace by Wendy Gough Soroka

SATURDAY, JUNE 18 at 2 p.m.

Loglines by Dan Borengasser
As Slimy as Young Snails by Arlene Hutton
Sad Lonely People by Seth McNeill
A Monogamy of Swans by John Minigan
Last Dance with MJ by Lindsay Partain

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2022 Full-Length Semi-Finalists

A Sad and Merry Madness by David Don Miller
Below the Fold by Matthew T. Stoffel
Black Feminist Video Game by Darrel Alehandro Holnes
Call Time by Deb Hiett
Campus Jihad by Nicole Anderson Cobb
Carl Flunt Would Protect You From Trucks by Scott Mullen
Co-Op by Matthew Stephen Smith
The Discharged Truth by Lexi McKay
Do It For the Bard by Laura Barbieri
Exploding the Swan by Lawrence DuKore
Founders, Keepers by Aurora Behlke
Frankenstein's Mary Shelley by Rachel Atkins
Glitter Bracelets by Nay Harris
Hit the Pavement or, Hoboloboactive by Imani Alyse Redman
How to Build an Ark by Andrew Black
Ill Met By Moonlight by Greg Cummings
Intake: Hawaii by Salwa Meghjee
It’s Better If You Don’t   by Stephen Kalpin
Kaleidoscope by Evan Brodsky
Love in Idleness by Walt McGough
Magic Years by Mary DeCarlo
The Making and Breaking of Glass by S. Dylan Zwickel
Midnite by Reina Hardy and Rory Leahy
Miss Understood by Monique Hebert
Near Nellie Bly by Mark Loewenstern
Off-White; Or the Arab House Party Play by Alyssa Haddad
Once on Rumspringa by Ellis Stump
The Rest of Us by Amy Tofte
Sibling Rivalries by Marcus Scott
The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes by Katie Bender
Taco Town by Luke Sorge
These and Those by Ruth Geye
This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero by Adrienne Dawes
three girls never learnt the way home by Matthew Paul Olmos
Tough by Margot Connolly
Untouched by D.L. Siegel
What Else is True? by David Rosenberg
You Cannot Undo This Action by Conor Eifler

FEATURED GUEST BIOS 

LONNY PRICE – On Broadway, Lonny Price directed Sunset BoulevardLady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill110 in the ShadeMaster Harold... and the BoysSally Marr and Her Escorts (co-written with Joan Rivers and Erin Sanders), Urban Cowboy, and A Class Act (Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, co-written with Linda Kline). London directing credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill on the West End, as well as CarouselSunset BoulevardSweeney Todd, and Man of La Mancha at the English National Opera.

Film and television credits include his film version of the New York Philharmonic’s Sweeney Todd and Company.  He also directed the stage and filmed versions of his tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert! (Emmy Award). Other Philharmonic collaborations include the ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ broadcast of CamelotCandideSweeney Todd (Emmy Award), and Sondheim’s Passion (Emmy Award). 

In his years as an actor, Lonny originated the roles of Charlie Kringas in Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along, Ben in Joseph Stein, Charles Strouse, and Stephen Schwartz’s Rags, and Hally in Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the boys. He also appeared in the role of Larry during the original Broadway run of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This.

ROBERT BARRY FLEMING – Robert has a varied portfolio and a wealth of administrative/artistic leadership experience, producing, directing, choreographing, performing, and teaching/coaching. Currently the Executive Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, Robert was formerly the Director of Artistic Programming at Arena Stage, and served as the Associate Artistic Director at Cleveland Play House. Actors Theatre of Louisville world premieres include Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, Are You There?, Keep Going Song, and Ali Summit. Arena Stage world premieres commissioned, scouted, shepherded and nurtured under his watch include the 2017 Best Musical Tony-winner, Dear Evan Hansen and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner, Sweat. He directed/choreographed the acclaimed world premiere musical Grace for Ford’s Theatre in D.C. and in the commercial theatre, Robert was an Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway premiere of The Two Character Play by Tennessee Williams, starring Amanda Plummer and Brad Dourif. He was an Associate Professor and Chair of the University of San Diego Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Department. Some of his professional acting credits include stints on Broadway (Ragtime directed by Frank Galati, Stand-Up Tragedy), Off-Broadway (lead role in Insurrection at The Public), national tour (Cats original Bus and Truck and German companies), playing in major regional theatres (i.e., The Taper in the world premiere of Jelly’s Last Jam, The Old Globe, and The Guthrie), on television (the Emmy winning Adventures in Wonderland, Family Matters, The George Carlin Show) and film (the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential and Twilight of the Golds).

MIKA EUBANKS Mika Eubanks received her MFA in Costume Design at Yale School of Drama where she has designed Death of Yazdgerd and Tent Revival. Other work includes Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., In the Red and Brown Water (Yale Cabaret); Feeding Beatrice (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Harry and the Thief (Strand Theater); Fires In The Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long wharf Theatre); King Lear starring Andre De Shields (St. Louis Shakespeare Festival); and Seize The King (Classical Theater of Harlem). Mika has worked at the Hippodrome, Morgan State University, and Rift Art Studio Gallery, where she was a co-founder. In film she has designed costumes for short films like Candace and The Hulu mini-series Initiative 29. In awards she earned the Leo Lerman Graduate Fellowship in 2019, the Jada Pinkett Smith Applied Arts Award in 2015, and holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. In Spring 2019 she designed Twelfth Night at the Yale Repertory Theatre, for which she received the Connecticut Critic Circle Award for outstanding costume design. Web site: mikaeubanks.com.   

GARRETT ANDERSONGarrett Anderson is the Senior Manager of Acquisitions and Artistic Development with Concord Theatricals. He also serves as the Literary Director of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival (OOB). Garrett has previously worked with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, Bret Adams, Ltd., and Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He's also been a reader for SPACE on Ryder Farm, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Theatre Masters, and the Austin Film Festival. Originally from El Paso, TX, Garrett holds a B.A in Theatre Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.

Schedule of Events

Sunday, June 12

TIME Event
7:00pm SHORT PLAY STAGED READINGS – PROGRAM 1
Admittance: A Letter to Northwestern University by Elijah Cox
Et tu, Brew Tea by Jeff Dunne
Chem Class by Jennifer O'Grady
A Benevolent Alliance of Mourners by Ken Preuss
Grace by Wendy Gough Soroka

directed by Kitt Lavoie and Mary McGough

Rust Flexible Theatre - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Monday, June 13

TIME Event
10:30am Festival Opening Session
1:00pm Twenty Minute Playwriting Challenge
Kenneth L. Stilson, PhD
Executive Director of the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival and Chair of the Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre & Dance, Southeast Missouri State University
3:00pm Navigating Artistic Innovation and Social Transformation in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complicated and Ambiguous Climate
Robert Barry Fleming
Executive Artistic Director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville
7:00pm OFFICIAL SELECTION STAGED READING

Tough
by Margot Connolly

directed by Lonny Price

Reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Tuesday, June 14

TIME Event
9:00am Playwrights Lab
moderated by Kitt Lavoie
Artistic Director, Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival
1:00pm Uncharted: Approaching New Musicals from Multiple Perspectives
Lonny Price
Director and Librettist
3:00pm What's in your Pocket? Getting to the Heart of the Character through Costume
Mika Eubanks
Costume Designer
7:00pm OFFICIAL SELECTION STAGED READING

The Other Part of the Picture
by Peter Hardy

directed by Jennifer Reichert

Reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Wednesday, June 15

TIME Event
9:00am SPECIAL EVENT STAGED READING

Los Alamos 
an unproduced play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson

Directed by and followed by a discussion with David Crespy, PhD
Professor, University of Missouri
Director, The Lanford Wilson Collection
1:30pm Demystifying Theatrical Licensing and Publication
Garret Anderson
Senior Manager, Acquisitions and Artistic Development
Concord Theatricals
3:00pm Fluid Design for an Evolving Production
Amber Marisa Cook
Associate Professor of Costume Design
Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre & Dance
Southeast Missouri State University
7:00pm OFFICIAL SELECTION STAGED READING

Fame Heaux
by Leigh M. Marshall

directed by Christina Casano

Reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Thursday, June 16

TIME Event
9:00am Playwrights Lab
The Molecule Literary Magazine 50 Word Play Challenge
moderated by Kitt Lavoie
Artistic Director, Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival
1:00pm New Play Development Jeopardy
3:00pm Spectacle As Starting Point: And The Art of Self-Trickery
Avery Deutsch
Official Selection Playwright
7:00pm OFFICIAL SELECTION STAGED READING

The Dark Arts for Beginners
by Nick Robideau

directed by Kenneth L. Stilson

Reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Friday, June 17

TIME Event
9:00am Developing Character and Voice
Margot Connolly
Official Selection Playwright
10:30am Working With New Plays from Both Sides
Peter Hardy
Official Selection Playwright
1:00pm A Dialogue about Process with a Dance Break
Leigh M. Marshall
Official Selection Playwright
3:00pm Heightened Theatre from the Heart: Finding Emotional Truth Through Language and Spectacle
Nick Robideau
Official Selection Playwright
7:00pm OFFICIAL SELECTION STAGED READING

The Winterguard Play
by Avery Deutsch

directed by Ryan Townsend

Reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright.

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Saturday, June 18

TIME Event
2:00pm SHORT PLAY STAGED READINGS – PROGRAM 2
Loglines by Dan Borengasser
As Slimy as Young Snails by Arlene Hutton
Sad Lonely People by Seth McNeill
A Monogamy of Swans by John Minigan
Last Dance with MJ by Lindsay Partain

directed by Cameron Cai, Andrew Freeland, Noah Hinton, Julianne Ledford, and Mary McGough

Rust Flexible Theatre - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
4:30pm Panel Discussion with Full-Length Playwrights and 
Closing Awards Ceremony

Bedell Performance Hall - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Registration

Attendance at the evening and Saturday afternoon staged readings are free. To register for the daytime conference sessions, please follow the link below.

Registration for the full week of events is:

$225 for general audience
$125 for students
$125 for Cape Girardeau Residents and Southeast Missouri State University alumni

There is no charge for current Southeast Missouri State University students, faculty, and staff.

On-campus housing is available for $15/night for double occupancy and $20/night for single occupancy.

Appropriate CDC-recommended COVID safety protocols at the time of the event will be followed.

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Mission Statement

The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival identifies and supports new plays that feature robust roles for college-aged actors, while providing a laboratory to train students in the skills and ethics inherent to work with living playwrights on new works.

The festival accepts submissions of full length plays from playwrights nationwide and one-act plays from residents of the state of Missouri and/or students enrolled at universities in Missouri.

Festival Staff

Artistic Director, Kitt Lavoie
Executive Director, Kenneth L. Stilson
 
Associate Artistic Director, Mary McGough
Associate Executive Director, Isabel Fagre
 
Guest Artist Liaison, Noah Hinton
Conference Coordinator, Olivia Wheeler
Volunteer Coordinator, Paige Flottman
Social Media Manager, Emily Madsen
Assistant to the Artistic Director, Cameron Cai

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact Kitt Lavoie, Artistic Director, at  lanfordwilsonfest@semo.edu

 

Festival Sponsors

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Location
Office Location
River Campus Seminary, 454
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7850
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701