CONFERENCE CHAIR, DR. JACKSON BRYER
Friday, May 3, 2013 from 2:00 p.m.
- “The Misunderstood Social Activist: A Reexamination of the Plays of William Inge”
Robert Woods, Producer and Director
- "The Bi-Polar Express: Drive for Life in Late Works of William Inge and Sylvia Plath."
Susan Abbotson, Rhode Island College
- “Without Honor: Why Writers Get No Respect at Home”
Philip Middleton Williams, Independent Scholar, Miami, FL
- “A Place of His Own: William Inge's THE TINY CLOSET as a Sexual and Political Outsider"
Brian Warren, University of Texas Pan-American
Jackson R. Bryer (Conference Chair) is a Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1981, he served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities and for the William Inge Archives at Independence Community College. He is the editor of The Theatre We Worked For: The Letters of Eugene O’Neill to Kenneth MacGowan (1982) and many other publications. In 1988, he published “An Interview with Robert Anderson I Studies in American Drama” and co-edited The Playwright’s Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Dramatists, New Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Neglected Stories and The Actor’s Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Stage Performers. Recent publications include The Art of the American Musical: Conversations with the Creators and Conversations with August Wilson. His two most recent publications: as co-editor, The Selected Letters of Thornton Wilder (2008) and Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (2009). He received the Inge Festival’s prestigious Jerome Lawrence Award in 2007.
Dr. Susan Abbotson is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Drama at Rhode Island College and author of several books, including Masterpieces Of 20th-century American Drama, Thematic Guide to Modern Drama, Student Companion to Arthur Miller and Critical Companion to Arthur Miller. She has also published articles on Eugene O’Neill, Tom Stoppard, August Wilson, Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams. She is currently the Performance Editor for the Arthur Miller Journal.
Brian J. Warren holds an Ed.D (emphasizing Theatre Education) from the University of Houston, and is currently an Assistant Professor and the Theatre for Young Audiences/Creative Drama specialist at The University of Texas – Pan American. He most recently directed Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street which performed February 26 through March 5, 2013 at UTPA. In addition, Warren founded P.A.C.T. (Pan American Creative Theatre) Summer Drama Camp for children which will have its fourth season in the summer of 2013. For many years a fan of the plays of William Inge, Dr. Warren last presented at the Inge Festival Scholars’ Conference in 2003 and in 1998.
Philip Middleton Williams received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama from the University of Miami in 1974, a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from the University of Minnesota in 1977, and a Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Colorado in 1988. His first play, The Hunter, was produced at the University of Minnesota in April 1977 as a part of his master’s degree requirements. His other plays include Dark Twist, The Purer, Brighter Years, Here’s Hoping and Ask Me Anything. Can’t Live Without You was his first play to receive a New York production, at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in January 2008. In 1992 he was appointed to the national advisory board of the William Inge Theatre Festival. McFarland and Company published his doctoral thesis, A Comfortable House – Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason and the Circle Repertory Theatre, in 1993. He wrote five articles on the life and works of Lanford Wilson for the The Facts on File Companion to American Drama, edited by Jackson R. Bryer and Mary C. Hartig, published in 2003. He presently lives in Palmetto Bay, Florida.
Robert Woods has produced and directed productions in such far-flung places as Magnolia, Arkansas and Nanning, China, including Iolanthe (Cimarron Opera Company), Around the World in 80 Days (Soonerstock Theatre Company), Royal Gambit (Southern Arkansas University), Proof (University of Oklahoma), Letters to a Student Revolutionary (Neustadt Festival of International Literature & Culture), and High School Musical (Guangxi University). Robert produced the award-winning TV movie The Miracle of the Cards for Viacom, and the holiday specials The Elf Who Saved Christmas and The Elf and the Magic Key for USA Network. Robert holds an MFA in Theatre Directing and a JD in Law from The University of Oklahoma. Robert has previously presented papers at the American Society for Theatre Research Conference and the SUNY Graduate Theatre Students Conference.