The 2018 William Inge Theater Festival Evening Productions
May 9-12, 2018
with playwright Honoree Carlyle Brown

The dates and the Honoree Playwright for the 2019 William Inge Theater Festival will be announced at a future date.

Tickets will go on sale in spring of 2019.

The 37th Annual William Inge Theater Festival, the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas, took place May 9-12, 2018.

Carlyle Brown was Honoree Playwright. Outstanding artists from his base in Minnesota, as well as from across the country, presented a multi-media Tribute to his inspiring works and career. Actors from Kokopelli Theatre Company, of Kansas City, Mo., were also featured during numerous presentations at the New Play Lab, the reading of "Are you now or have you ever been..." and the full production of "Down in Mississippi."


Are you now or have you ever been...By Carlyle Brown. A fictional account of the demons and dilemmas faced by Langston Hughes while attempting to write a poem on the night before his appearance before the Senate Permanent-Sub-Committee on Investigations on Un-American Activities, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theatre, Independence Community College. Thursday May 10 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theater, Independence Community College. 


An Evening with Mr. Inge Live performances of scenes from selected plays by William Inge, with context and comment on the career Independence's native son journey from Independence to literary stage stardom. Thursday May 10 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theater, Independence Community College.


 Down in Mississippi By Carlyle Brown. Setting: The Freedom Summer 1964 campaign to register African-Americans to vote in the dangerous, segregated world of Mississippi. Three young civil rights activists leave their safe northern homes to try to change the world, and discover that before they can change the world they will have to change themselves. A celebration of a movement that gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter’s Rights Act of 1965. Friday May 11 at 7:30 p.m., William Inge Theater, Independence Community College.


Tribute to Carlyle Brown A multi-media presentation, featuring video interviews with Brown and his artistic collaborators, and live scenes from his great plays,performed by professional guest artists. Mr. Brown will receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award, at the conclusion of the performance. Saturday, May 12, at 7:30p.m., William Inge Theatre, Independence Community College.

Fringe at the Inge Each night, commune with our guest artists and theater buffs from across the nationat a local gathering spot after each evening performance. Just purchase a beverage, no ticket required! Locations will vary nightly. 

Daytime Events During the day on Thursday through Saturday (May 10-12), the Inge Festival buzzes with activity. These include:

  • New Play Lab readings
  • Workshops and Panels
  • The Scholars' Conference
  • Tours of the William Inge Family Home
  • Tours of historic Independence, with reference to influences on Inge's works
  • Picnic in Riverside Park

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    The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission is a partner with the William Inge Theater Festival New Play Lab.

    The William Inge Center for the Arts programs are supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


    What the media has to say about the Inge Festival

    American Theatre magazine, April 21, 2015. "Donald Marguiles, Brooklyn Boy, Feted in William Inge's Hometown"

    American Theatre magazine, April 28, 2016. "Inge Festival Brings the Theatre World to Independence"

      PBS News Hour, June 12, 2006. "William Inge Theater Festival Honors Playwrights"

      New York Times,Aug. 5, 2009. "Out of Kansas, Into the World; A Trove of Inge Plays." 

    New York Times, April 22, 1998. "Frank Rich Journal; Kansas Night Music"

    New York Times, April 24, 1996. "Hospitality Takes Center Stage at a Town's Festival for its Native-Son Playwright"

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