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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ten 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. He has also authored dozens of short stories and a young adult novel, Dwaible. Michal has been a writing instructor for twenty years, traveling to schools and libraries around his state, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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 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.
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.
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, 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." 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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 go out adventuring with my wife Aubrey and our son, Rhett who are my absolute favoritest people to be around. 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, An Experiment is the 10th play I’ve had published and I have really grown to love writing for my kids and now getting to share it with a much larger audience!