Entries by Inge Center (5)


Play Lab Actor Bios 2019

Michael Bell is a poet and director based in Fayetteville, AR. Michael last worked with ArkansasStaged on a site-specific work developed for ArtInfusion at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. He spent fifteen years working in New York City’s independent theatre community. Favorite credits include appearing in Third Rail Projects’ immersive The Grand Paradise (New York Times Critic’s Pick) and directing Stephen Alexander’s Purple Plays (winner, best production in the BaCoCa Festival). He is thrilled to be at the Inge Festival for the first time. 


Robert Gibby Brand (AEA) is a familiar face on Kansas City stages. Favorite roles include Salieri in AMADEUS (Spinning Tree), Josef Mashkan in OLD WICKED SONGS (Unicorn) and Antonio in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, and General Stanley in PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Lyric Opera of Kansas City). Recent roles include Dr. Miranda in DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (Kansas City Actor's Theatre) and Senator James Reed in the premier of NELLY DON. He is honored to step in at the Inge Festival for his friend and colleague, Kip Niven, whose spirit lives on in the many theatres he played in and the many lives he touched.

Anne Byrd is a Minneapolis based director, actor, and educator. Directing credits around the Twin Cities include productions for the Old Log Theatre, the Minnesota Jewish Theatre, Lyric Arts, Daleko Arts, and Yellow Tree Theatre. Her production of The 39 Steps for Yellow Tree earned her an Ivey Award for her direction. Next up is a production of Sylvia for Renegade Theatre in Duluth, MN. Anne is also the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Normandale Community College where she was recently named as an Outstanding Educator for the State of Minnesota. 

Sean Byrd is a Twin Cities based actor/director/teacher. He has appeared on stage through the years with such Twin Cities companies as 15 Head: A Theatre Lab, The Minnesota Shakespeare Project, Fifty Foot Penguin Theatre, Sandbox Theatre, Walking Shadow.





Vicky Chen is thrilled to be a part of the 2019 William Inge Theatre Festival! Coming from Saint Louis, Missouri, she is currently a student at Saint Louis Community College Meramec, and enjoys doing theatre and film around the city. Thank you to Jenna for this wonderful opportunity.





Scott Cordes dreamed of being a rodeo clown as a boy in Nebraska, and tried his hand driving an alfalfa truck, radio DJing in small towns, and working on rock shows as a stagehand before becoming an actor. A member of the professional acting unions AEA, SAG & AFTRA, Scott has made his living in the arts in Kansas City for over 25 years. Upcoming - Sherwood at New Theatre.



Erick Dagoberg is excited to be making his first Inge Festival appearance! His most recent performances include Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Darcy), and [Title of Show] (Jeff) through Normandale Community College, and Peter and the Starcatcher (Boy/Peter) through Delako Arts. The last play reading he has done was Purple Cloud (Orville Huang) through Mu Performing Arts. Erik will graduate from Normandale this upcoming spring and will attend the University of Michigan next year in pursuit of a BFA in Theatre Performance (Acting). He would like to thank his parents for always supporting him and grandma Rei and grandma Mur who come to every performance in body and spirit.

Moemin Ebrahim is super excited to be a part of the William Inge Theatre festival. Born and raised in Bloomington Minnesota, Moemin hasn’t traveled anywhere outside of the surrounding states. He has just finished his last semester at the local community college and plans on continuing his education at the University Of Minnesota Duluth where he plans on getting his B.F.A in Theatre. Moemin has done two shows at Normandale Community College; A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Look again (a play about Normandale CC). He is looking forward to the festival and can't wait to meet and learn from all of the amazing people that will be attending the event.

Chandler Reid Evans is from Eureka Springs AR. He is a student at the University of Arkansas majoring in Vocal Performance with a minor in Theatre. Previous credits include: Count Carl Magnus Malcolm in A Little Night Music, Karl Lindner/Steve in Clybourne Park, Princeton in Avenue Q, and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, all at the University of Arkansas, Merriweather Lewis in the staged reading of Crossing the Mnisose at The New Play Fest at Theatersquared, and as David Catron/Robert in a staged reading of Chat Rats: Oronogo at the Inge House in Independence, Kansas.


Claire Fossey is 21 years old from Fayetteville, AR. She is studying Theatre Performance at the University of Arkansas where she has appeared as Whatsername in American Idiot and Anne in A Little Night Music. She spent two years at Oklahoma City University studying Music Theatre where she appeared as a Dynamite in Hairspray, Elizabeth in In the Next Room, and Diana Dream in On the Town. She has also appeared in the 2015 New Play Fest at TheatreSquared. Claire plans to pursue a career in acting following her graduation next spring.


Michelle Hand is very grateful for this opportunity to appear at the Inge Festival. Recent credits include Oslo (The Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Life Sucks (The New Jewish Theatre), Silent Sky (West End Player’s Guild), Dancing at Lughnasa (Mustard Seed Theater), Blow Winds Blow (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis) and Into the Breeches (St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Best Actress in a Comedy). She has appeared Off-Broadway as Julianne in Day of the Dog and as Claire in The Two Character Play for the inaugural Tennessee Williams Festival of St. Louis. Much love to her friends and family, especially Tim and Liv, and many thanks to all of you who support the theater.

Mischa Hutchings Recent roles include: University of Arkansas credits include, Marlene in Top GIrls Hannah/Ethel/et. al in Angels in America Part I and Part II, Amanda in Glass Menagerie, Woman in The Poodle Trainer. Other theatre credits are Mary in It’s a Wonderful Life a Radio Play (TheatreSquared), Mary in Detroit (Catastrophic Theatre), Alice in Lidless, Stacey in Spaghetti Code (Horse Head Theatre), Meg in Leighza Walker's Fishing (Cone Man Running Productions, Elizabeth Keel’s Rainbowlands (14 Pews) Margaret in Leading Ladies (Texas Repertory Theatre) Karen in Speed the Plow (Country Playhouse); Catherine in Elizabeth Keel's Notions of Right and Wrong (Mildred's Umbrella). Other favorite roles include: Catherine in Proof, Carol in Oleanna, Mary in It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play Sylvia in Sylvia.

Ethan Isaac was adopted from India at 20 months and grew up in St. Charles, closest city to St. Louis. Ethan went to Indiana University for Theater for 1 year but graduated from LU with BFA in Musical Theater. Ethan currently models for West Model Management and Ethan's favorite thing to model for was the PGA Tournament last year, as a model for the Wannamaker Trophy. Ethan hopes to bring a new interesting flavor to his senses and hopes you enjoy.

David Lane is excited to return to the William Inge Festival.  He has previously worked at the Inge Center as a director for the 24 hour plays, an actor in a new play reading  workshop, as a student recipient of the Festival’s directing competition at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and as a volunteer.  David is a theatre director and instructor at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO. David has worked as an actor and director in and around St. Louis, MO, Independence, KS, and the Quad Cities Area.  David wants to thank Jenna Bock for this opportunity and he is thrilled to get to work with her again. He also wants to thank his wife, Mary Kay, for all of her support and patience. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Hali Liles A small town girl from Southern Missouri, Hali has just recently graduated from Culver-Stockton College with a BFA in Musical Theatre. This fall, Hali will be attending the University of Nebraska- Lincoln where she will begin her journey toward a Masters in Costume Design. Hali was most recently seen on stage as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia, the Proprietress in Afterlife: A Ghost Story, as Vivian Spears in Dear Friends, and the Countess Andrenyi in Murder on the Orient Express. Hali is very thankful for this opportunity to be a part of the Inge Festival and will be relishing every moment of it!


Jennifer Mays is a graduate of UMKC and has been a professional actor in and out of KC for the last 25 years. KC credits include August: Osage County, Les Liaisons Dangerouses at KC Rep, Mamma Mia, Dixie Swim Club, and Beau Jest at New Theatre and many more. More at jenmays.com




 Phillip Newman is a professional actor/singer/dancer from Kansas City, MO, and is thrilled to be a part of this year's William Inge Theatre Festival! Favorite credits include: Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Lend Me a Tenor, Hairspray (New Theatre Restaurant); J. Pierrpont Finch in How to Succeed (MET); Good People (Unicorn/KCAT); Flat Stanley (Starlight); Beat Bugs, The Presidents! (Coterie); Show Boat (MTH); Winterfest (Worlds of Fun); Dog Sees God, Death of Cupid (Living Room); Zombie Prom, Lysistrata Jones (Egads! Theatre). Catch Phil in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant this Summer!

Linden Palmer is a trans masculine actor hailing from the land of ice and snow. He is a student of the performing arts at Normandale Community College. He has entertained audiences through improv in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington State. Linden is deeply honored by being invited to this festival and is excited to work with his colleagues.


Raven Symone Ray is from Conway, AR. Receiving her BA in Theatre and African/ African-American Studies from the University of Arkansas, her recent credits include Ross in Macbeth (University of Arkansa) Andrea in The Dream




Laila Sahir is an actor, administrator, and educator based out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She is a recent graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she studied theatre and psychology. Her recent credits include Evita (Lyric Arts), As You Like It (21/40 Productions), and Elephant’s Graveyard (St. Croix Festival Theatre). Later this year, she can be seen in the Minnesota Fringe Festival and in Wayward Theatre Company’s production of Macbeth.



Trey Smith is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas and a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre.During his time in college a few of Trey’s favorite roles were Booth Topdog/Underdog, Orcus She Kills Monsters, Paul Kiss Me, Kate, Belize Angels in America, Fabian William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Ensemble Green Days American Idiot, East/Chad/Lendall Almost, Maine, and Martin Luther King Jr. The Mountaintop. Trey would like to thank his mother, Marilyn Smith, for her unwavering support, and constant love. This is Trey’s first gig out of college, and he couldn’t be more excited. God is so good!

Nora Sonneborn is an emerging theater student and performing artist in the Twin Cities Metro area. Her recent roles include Susan in [title of show], Marty in Circle Mirror Transformation, and Martha in Spring Awakening, all through Normandale Community College. In addition to performing, Nora works with costumes in theater as well as theme park entertainment, most recently at Walt Disney World Resort. She is thrilled to get to be a part of the William Inge Theater Festival for the first time and learn from so many talented theater makers! Nora would like to thank Amanda White for inviting her, as well as all of the NCC staff for always being so supportive and helping her learn and grow as an artist.

Leah Walk is currently pursuing her BFA in Acting at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She previously received an AFA in Acting at Normandale Community College. She has appeared in UMD's productions of Love's Labour's Lost, Dear Finder and Meteor Shower. In her time at Normandale she appeared in Spring Awakening, Steel Magnolias, She Kills Monsters, Noises Off, and Circle Mirror Transformation. Her upcoming projects include Legally Blonde and Lyric Arts and An Enemy of the People at UMD.


Thursday, May 23rd New Play Lab Schedule



Friday, May 24th New Play Lab Schedule



The 2019 New Play Lab Playwrights


Twenty-four outstanding playwrights, representing 14 states, will converge in the small town of Independence, Kansas for a public staged reading of their new scripts during the 4th Annual New Play Lab at the 38th Annual William Inge Theater Festival, May 22-25, at Independence Community College, Independence, Kansas.

The 2019 New Play Lab playwrights are: Bendan Beseth, Fayetteville, AR; Joshua Cohen, NY, NY; Nelson Diaz-Marcano, New York, NY; James English, Providence, RI; Ron Fassler, New York, NY; Kevin King, Kansas City, MO; Kenneth P. Langer, Maynard, MA; Annie LaRussa, NY, NY; Bill Lynch, New York, NY; Tony Manzo, New York, NY; Alan Olejinczak, San Francisco, CA; Reuel Olin, San Diego, CA; Dave Osmundsen, Pompton Plains, NJ; Michael Pisaturo, Brighton, MA; John Remington, Adams, OR; Greg Romero, Austin, TX; Nan Satter, New Paltz, NY; Mary Teitelbaum, New York, NY; Elbert Traylor, Lincoln, NE; and Asher Wyndham, Minneapolis, MN.

The four KCACTF New Play Lab writers are: Andréa Mayrose, South Dakota State University; Paige Quinlivan, University of Minnesota-Morris; Terry Sklenar, University of Missouri-Columbia; and Megan Weidner, University of South Dakota.

Each year, the Inge Festival New Play Lab connects playwrights with the national and regional theater communities. The playwrights receive a public reading of their plays, feedback from professional theater artists, attend playwriting masterclasses with the Inge Festival playwright Honorees and Dramatists Guild Fund Traveling Master Playwright, attend theater workshops, panels, and events, all while enjoying the small-town hospitality of William Inge’s hometown of Independence, Kansas.

The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) partners with the Inge Festival in presenting the New Play Lab. The KCAIC is dedicated to measuring, promoting, supporting, and expanding the creative industries to grow the state's economy and generate creative industry-related jobs.

Twenty of the New Play Lab writers were selected through a blind reading process by a panel of nationwide theater practitioners.  An additional four writers were selected in a competitive process through the Inge Center’s partnership with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Region 5. The KCACTF is comprised of more than 600 colleges and universities and advocates for improving the quality of college-level theater nationwide.

All plays are 10 to 30-minutes long and the readings are open to the public. Tickets for the New Play Lab and all Inge Festival events are available at www.ingecenter.org, or at (620) 332-5648.

The William Inge Theater Festival is the Official Theater Festival of the State of Kansas, as designated by the state legislature. It is part of the proud tradition of Independence Community College, in Independence, Kansas.

In addition to the college, major supporters include the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission; the National Endowment for the Arts; Independence Chamber of Commerce; and the William Inge Festival Foundation.



4th Annual New Play Lab call for play

Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission partners with the William Inge Theater Festival in presenting the New Play Lab. The Commission is dedicated to measuring, promoting, supporting and expanding the creative industries to grow the state's economy and create creative industry-related jobs.

2019 Inge Festival New Play Lab

The New Play Lab at the annual William Inge Theater Festival is a partnership between the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College. 

The 4th Annual New Play Lab seeks to connect 20 playwrights with the national theater community through during the 38th Annual William Inge Theater Festival,  May 22-25, 2019. 

Selected playwrights receive a professional public staged reading of their play, feedback from national theater artists on their script, exclusive playwriting masterclasses with master playwrights, and full access to all private and public festival events. 

This year the festival will honor playwright Octavio Solis with the 2019 Distinguished Achievement in American Theater Award.  

Interested playwrights are invited to submit a 10 minute or one-act play (no more than 30 minutes, no more than four actors) to be included in the New Play Lab. 

The playwrights receive: 

  • A professional staged reading of their play with an audience
  • Feedback on their play facilitated by national theater professionals 
  • Exclusive playwriting masterclasses with master playwrights (including festival honoree Octavio Solis and a Dramatist Guild Fund Traveling Master playwright)
  • Opportunities to meet with theater professionals from across the country
  • VIP passes to all festival events

Applications are due by midnight on Nov. 22, 2018, with notification by Jan. 18, 2019.

The submitted plays will be blind reviewed (the playwright’s name will not be revealed) by a panel of national theater professionals. 



Submit a play 

  • Playwrights may submit either a 10-minute play or one act play, no more than 30 minutes read-time - not page count. (Plays that are longer than 30 minutes will be disqualified).
  • Plays should require no more than 4 actors. The play may be designed to have actors play multiple roles. If that is the case, doubling must be indicated in the character list.
  • Plays must be submitted in a PDF format.
  • Plays may not include the author’s name or contact information anywhere on the script
  • Playwrights may only submit one play per festival. 
  • Plays must be submitted through an online form: https://kansascaic.submittable.com/submit/96278/new-play-lab


  • Playwrights are required to attend the festival. If you cannot attend, you are ineligible to apply.
  • Each playwright is required to attend the Playwright Masterclass with honoree Octavio Solis and the masterclass with the Dramatists Guild Fund Traveling Master playwright. The Masterclasses will take place on Thursday and Friday mornings May 23 and 24. 
  • Each playwright is required to attend the reading of their play during the Play Lab. The Play Lab readings will take place on Thursday and Friday, May 23 and 24. 

More details will be sent out to those accepted.

Travel, transportation, and lodging

  • Playwrights who are chosen are required to attend the festival in-person starting Thursday morning, May 23rd through Saturday evening, May 25.
  • Each playwright is responsible for their own travel, transportation, and lodging needs. Subsidized housing on-campus at Independence Community College is available upon request. (Complementary transportation to and from the Tulsa Airport is available upon prior arrangement.)

Conference Fees

Conference fee is $175 and includes a number of VIP events that are not open to the general audience. Playwrights are responsible for their own conference registration fees.


  • Professional Public Reading Playwrights will receive a professional public reading of their play, as well as feedback from national theater artists.
  • Exclusive Seminars and Masterclass The Play Lab Playwrights receive at least two exclusive opportunities to take masterclasses from a master playwright, including a masterclass with the 38th William Inge Festival Honoree Octavio Solis.
  • Festival Celebration Play Lab Playwrights will have full access to four days of all public and private festival events, including the 2019 award and tribute to the honoree, the other play lab readings, productions, social events, workshops, panels, and much more.

Application Guidelines

  • All applications must be submitted online: https://kansascaic.submittable.com/submit/96278/new-play-lab
  • All scripts must be submitted in PDF format.
  • Your title page may not have any identifying information -- no author name or address -- or it will be disqualified.
  • Give your script file the name 2019 + TITLE (for instance, 2018 Bus Stop.pdf).
  • The script length should be no longer than 30 minutes of stage time and require a maximum of 4 actors.
  • Applicants must enter a short synopsis of their play as it might appear in the Play Lab program. (Maximum 100 words.)
  • Applicants must also enter a summary of how they think their play would benefit from a Play Lab reading and panel response. (Maximum 200 words).

If you have any questions about the residency, feel free to email program coordinators directly: playsubmissions@ingecenter.org