Monday, November 05, 2012

FTW Playwright Nights

Welty, Williams, Faulkner...the next Mississippi treasure may be among us.Please join Fondren Theatre Workshop at Brent's Diner on the first Tuesday of each month for Playwright Night, when we will feature public readings of new theatrical works by local writers, presented in a Reader's Theatre format, followed by a feedback session with the playwright, all served alongside the best burgers & shakes in town!

First Tuesday of Each Month @ Brent's Diner, 655 Duling Ave., Jackson, MS

Dinner service begins at 6:00 p.m.; play readings at 7:00 p.m. Featuring a "Best of Brent's" menu, as well as beer and wine service. If you plan to eat at Brent's, please arrive no later than 6:30 p.m., as no new orders will be taken after the play readings begin.Admission is free; food and beverage at menu prices.

For more information regarding upcoming schedules or to submit works for consideration, email:, visit, or call 601-301-ACT1 (2281).

FEBRUARY 5, 2013 - "Finding Laurel" by Chris Moore
We're thrilled to start off 2013 with this MS Theatre Association 2013 Best New Play Award-winner!  A native of Jackson, Chris Moore has appeared in recent FTW productions of "Assassins" (Hinkley) and "The Rocky Horror Show" (Brad).  A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Filmaking, Chris has had two of his films featured in the Crossroads Film Festival. He's also made several films with his production companies, Macabre Films and Schmoore Filmworks, including "Perversion," "Lock In," "Here's to the Ladies Who Munch," "The American Dream," and "No Offense, But You're Fugly."  He is currently working on other various projects, including a full-length play, "Chasing Rainbows," inspired by his favorite show of all time, "Gypsy."

NOVEMBER 6, 2012 - Three Short Plays by Stonewall Lane
Stonewall Lane was born in St. Louis, Missouri, served in Vietnam, and after 33 years retired from state service in Connecticut. He earned his B.S. in Human Services from New Hampshire College and his Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Southern Connecticut State University. Upon his retirement, Stonewall relocated to Jackson, Mississippi in 2006 where he now resides, exploring the regional history and culture that seeded his DNA. He spends his spare time writing, volunteering for the New Stage Theatre, and making amends for a multitude of sins and shortcomings.

The three works to be included are:
Kenya - Katrina Byrd
Wanda - Gernelle Nelson
Fatale - Deja Abdul-Haqq
Prentice - Clif Hogan

Mulan - Gernelle Nelson
Old Woman - Katrina Byrd

Justin - Clif Hogan
Susan - Gernelle Nelson
Mrs. Hudson - Katrina Byrd
Mr. Wilcox - Cory Drake
Mrs. Rich - Deja Abdul-Haqq 
Mr. Knowles - James Anderson 

OCTOBER 2, 2012 - "Portrait of a Woman" by Katrina Byrd
A self-proclaimed Boa Flouncer and Hair Whipper, Katrina Byrd tells her stories on stage, in the classroom, and on paper.  "Portrait of a Woman" is a collection of diverse genre writings centered on the female experience. According to Katrina, "I like to write stories about real women, confronted with real life situations." 

Katrina is a graduate of Millsaps College with a BA in History. She has written several short plays that have been seen locally (including several for FTW's Ten-Minute Play events), and was the Playwright in Residence for The Center Players for the 2010-2011 season, culminating in the production of her short play, "Dinsmoor's Last Stand."  She has received minigrants from the MS Arts Commission, and was added to MAC's roster of teaching and performing artists in July 2012.  She has had short stories published in Black Magnolia literary magazine, and has self-published three books, Byrds of a Feather, One Hot Minute, and Justice is Blind. As prolific a writer as she is, Katrina is also a gifted performer, having appeared in productions of "Hats" (Center Players), "The Rocky Horror Show (FTW), and "Leading Ladies" (FTW).

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 - Three Short Works by Judy Tucker
Including something serious: "A Family's Story"; something sweet: "The Owl & The Pussycat"; and something silly: "The Morninng Show"-- but all of which are equally entertaining! 

Judy Tucker is a native Mississippian, playwright, author, and independent editor in Jackson. Her plays have been produced and/or workshopped by New Stage Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Fondren Theatre Workshop, and Brick Street Players, who produced her most recent full-length work, The Watch They Keep, in 2010. She received a Literary Arts Fellowship in play writing from the MS Arts Council in 2008. She and her co-editor, Charlene McCord, have produced a very successful series of collected works by Southern writers, including Christmas Stories from Mississippi, Christmas in the South, A Very Southern Christmas, A Dixie Christmas, Christmas Memories from Mississippi, and Growing Up in Mississippi.

AUGUST 7, 2012 - Three Short Works by Julie Whitehead
Including  "Ave Maria," "Freedom to Breathe," and "One More Time from the Sandbox," each of which examines characters in moments of crisis, and how they help each other cope. 

Julie Whitehead is a native Mississippian, and  a graduate of MS State University with a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in English.  A successful freelance writer for ten years, Julie won a first-place award from the Mississippi Press Association for her work in 2006. She now teaches Composition at Hinds Community College, Rankin Campus.  Her first play, "Hurricane Baby," was a top-three finalist in the 2010 Eudora Welty New Play Series at New Stage Theatre.

JUNE 5, 2012 - "Open Mic" by Bret Kenyon
Winner of the MS Theatre Association 2012 Playwriting Competition, "Open Mic" asks the question: "Did the Class of 1998's 'Most Likely to Succeed' really succeed? Or was he a failure like the rest of us?"  Mixing comedy, drama, and a few nice musical interludes, the play turns Red's Bar into a courtroom and its patrons into lawyers, judge, and jury... with an overdue bar tab as the stakes.   (Contains adult language and subject matter.)

Bret Kenyon, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, graduated from Belhaven University in Theatre, and has called Jackson his home since 2003.  He is a published author, screenwriter, and cinephile, and has been active as an actor, director, and playwright in several local theatres, including Belhaven University, Fondren Theatre Workshop, The Center Players, Actor's Playhouse, and, most recently, New Stage Theatre, where he played a lead role in "All My Sons." He currently is employed by WJTV as Outreach Coordinator.

MAY 1, 2012 - "The Sixth Stage of Grief" by Brent Hearn
Come for a reading Brent Hearn's new play, "The Sixth Stage of Grief," a project supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission.  Brent Hearn is a local writer, actor, comedian and man-about-town. A 2011-2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship in playwriting supported his development of this work, "The Sixth Stage of Grief," which explores loss, processing, and unexpected friendships and realizations.  Readers include Beth Kander, Deja Abdul-Haqq, Danny Dauphin, and James Wood.

APRIL 3, 2012 - Four Short Works by Joseph Frost
Joseph Frost is Chair and Associate Professor of the Theatre Department at Belhaven University. Works to be read will include "RETURN," an MTA playwriting competition finalist, as well as two works from a cycle of ten plays being co-written by Joe and several Belhaven students in a collaborat...ive effort with an English language program in Ghizhu, China, which will be performed by students there in May. Based upon the poem "Phoenix Hairpin," the two plays to be read are "Peach Blossoms Fall" and "East Wind Unfair." The fourth work will be, as Joe puts it, "a surprise."

MARCH 6, 2012 - "Buck-Nekkid," a full-length comedy written by John Maxwell, who most of our Jackson community will recognize from his world-famous one-man show, "Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?" Although earlier versions of "Buck-Nekkid" have been produced regionally, this is a newly-updated script, including a new character. According to Mr. Maxwell, "The play has a deep religious theme...I got the idea from the characters themselves. I know that sounds strange, but I found the voices, and they dictated the plot." ADVISORY: THIS PLAY CONTAINS MATURE LANGUAGE AND SUBJECT MATTER.

FEBRUARY 7, 2012 - "Scrambled," by Beth Kander, winner of the 2012  Southeastern Theatre Conference Getchell award for best new play. This will be the Jackson premiere of this new work, so you won't want to miss it!