The 37th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival welcomed these outstanding guest artists.


Carlyle Brown

Carlyle Brown is currently a writer/performer and artistic director of Carlyle Brown & Company, based in Minneapolis. Carlyle Brown & Company was formed in 2002 around a constellation of culturally and ethnically diverse artists dedicated to the development and performance of his work in an atmosphere of collaborative co-creation. The Company is interested in innovations in dramatic form, rich story-telling and shaping ideas into theatrical events.

Brown has received commissions from major theaters across the nation. He is also the 2006 recipient of the Black Theatre Network’s Winona Lee Fletcher Award for outstanding achievement and artistic excellence.

A Core Writer of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and an alumnus of New Dramatists in New York, Brown is also recipient of numerous fellowships. Brown has served on the board of directors of The Playwrights' Center and Theatre Communications Group and is a member of the board of the Jerome Foundation. He is a member of the Charleston Jazz Initiative Circle at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, where his works and papers are archived.

Brown now joins a select roster of world-renowned playwrights who have traveled to the Inge Festival to receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award. They include Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, David Henry Hwang, Tina Howe, August Wilson, and Neil Simon, to name only a few.

Carlyle Brown’s first professional theater production was his Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show at Penumbra Theatre Company in 1986. The next year Penumbra premiered his now famous The African Company Presents Richard III. With a Penumbra premiere of Buffalo Hair in 1994 and a National McKnight Fellowship, Brown moved to the Twin Cities and it has been his artistic home ever since. Other Twin Cities productions: Beggars’ Strikeat the Children’s Theater Company, and the Mixed Blood production of Pure Confidence;that moved to off-Broadway in New York.

Additional plays include The Negro of Peter the Great, A Big Blue Nail, Dartmoor Prison, The Pool Room, Yellow Moon Rising, Down in Mississippi, and others. He has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Houston Grand Opera, the Children’s Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Goodman Theater, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Louisville. He is recipient of playwriting fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Theatre Communications Group and the Pew Charitable Trust. Mr. Brown has been artist-in-residence at New York University School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program, The James Thurber House in Columbus, and Ohio State University Theater Department.

Before his career in the theater Carlyle Brown was a specialist in outdoor adventure education working with such organizations as Outward Bound, a maritime educator and for nearly twenty years a licensed master of sailing vessels specializing in 19th century schooners in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Baltic Sea.

Guest Artists


Timothy Alderman is from Chicago, Illinois and is currently a senior in Theatre Arts at the University of Kansas. He most recently appeared as in the University of Kansas’ productions of Spring Awakening and Company and Theatre Lawrence’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Chimoa Anyanwu is very excited to play with Kokopelli Theatre Company. Living in Kansas City, MO for the past 10 years, she’s had the privilege of working with the Unicorn Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Living Room Theatre, Theatre for Young America, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, MET, and Egads Theatre. She looks forward to earning her MFA in Acting this May from UMKC, and navigate the arts with her new toolbox.

Damon Ron Russel Armstrong is a Director and Actor who spent his formative years in Kansas City. He has worked on most of the stages Kansas City has to offer. He’s been a familiar fixture at the Unicorn, The Coterie, Theatre of Young America, The American Heartland, The Living Room, Chestnut Fine Arts, New Theatre, and Kansas City Actors Theatre. After graduating from Ruskin High School, Damron sought to further his education in New York City. From there he received the best education of life. The practical application of that knowledge, working on the professional stage. He’s performed nationally in Raisin in the Sun – Gutherie Theatre, MN, The Full Monty – The Palace, NH, and Children of Eden – PaperMill Playhouse, NJ just to name a few. Embarking on this new adventure in his career as Executive Artistic Director of The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City is met with joy and excitement. The of idea of giving back to his community is the reason for this journey.

Forrest Attaway is the Artistic Director of Kokopelli Theatre Company. Former Artistic Director of Stage Left Productions in the Northwest, Forrest began his professional career under the tutelage of Dr. Jo Ann McDowell, one of the founders of the William Inge Festival. Forrest performed in several far flung conferences across the country, working with and learning from the most respected and revered minds in the American Theatre. Forrest has worked in over thirty cities across the United States as an actor, playwright and director and is currently charged with producing the William Inge inaugural play lab for it’s thirty fifth anniversary. Forrest, a graduate of Texas A&M- Commerce, moved to Kansas City in 2011 where he met his wife Amy, and never left. Forrest says “It’s great to be back in the conference/festival system, it’s programs like this that do so much for not only emerging artist but recharges the batteries of more established professionals” Some of the luminaries that Forrest has worked with are, August Wilson, Arthur Kopit, Emily Mann, Edward Albee, John Guare, Romulus Linney, Terrence McNally, Joe Chaikin among other gifted and talented playwrights and directors.

Ben Auxier is an actor, writer, and part-time video editor originally from Kansas City, currently living in Chicago. Much of his video work can be seen on his comedy channel Friend Dog Studios (, and his previous design work for stage productions includes The Butcher’s Son at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, Our Author Died Today at The Living Room Theatre, and multiple shows with Stuffed Buffalo Productions in KC. He last appeared in the Inge Festival as an actor for several staged readings in 2016. For more information on Ben and his work, please visit

Terri Barbera is the Company Manger of the William Inge Center and Executive Associate of the ICC Fine Arts Department. Terri assists coordinating and facilitate productions and events throughout the year, while participating in select groups within the Fine Arts programs. Terri has become a local name when referring to the arts of Independence and Southeast Kansas. Terri is considered a well-balanced performing artist with over twenty years’ experience singing and performing with cover and touring groups. While keeping her skills for the classical stage intact, Terri has also performed as supporting or lead actress in over thirty-five theater productions including plays, musicals and operas.

Dr. Daniel Barwick is serving in his seventh year as the President of Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. He also currently serves as the president of the statewide organization of community colleges. He was previously the Director of Institutional Advancement at Alfred State College and Executive Director of the Alfred State College Development Fund, Inc. in Alfred, New York. Formerly a tenured professor of philosophy in the State University of New York, he was the President of the New York State Association of Scholars, as well as the President of the American Association for Learning Outcomes Assessment. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Geneseo, a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Iowa, and a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Trevor Belt is an actor, director, and producer from Kansas City, MO. Recent directing credits include Talley’s Folly, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantasticks, Barefoot in the Park, The Normal Heart, and his personal adaptation of The Hairy Ape. As an actor, he has appeared onstage for Musical Theatre Heritage, Spinning Tree Theatre, City of Maples Repertory Theatre, Central Missouri Repertory, Olathe Civic Theatre, Relevance Productions, and in six seasons for the Arrowrock Lyceum Theatre. This past fall, he created the role of Hector in the United States Premiere of The Aeneid by Olivier Kemeid. Trevor serves as Artistic Director for the Kansas City-based Relevance Productions, and is currently a first year MFA Directing candidate at the Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Beaufield Berry-Fisher is a founding member and former executive director of FireBelly Rep, a playwright driven theater collective that serves the vision of the writer first and foremost. Beaufield is the recipient of the 2016 Nebraska Arts Council distinguished IAF award. Her work has been staged across the nation, THE WAITING LINE (2011) debuted at Manhattan Repertory Theater.  She’s an alumni of the Philadelphia Spark Fest, Great Plains Theater Conference, NYC Fringe, and the William Inge Festival. A Disney Musicals in Schools Teaching Artist, Beau helped launch the flagship program in 2016 offering undeserved school districts outlets in Musical Theater. Beau is also a journalist for American Theater Magazine, collecting stories across the Midwest’s growing theater scene, and a novelist. Childhood Friends, her novel debuted this year. Her latest play, IN THE UPPER ROOM, can be seen this later this spring at GPTC in Omaha. 

Jennifer Blagen has been performing in the Twin Cities for over 40 years now. Theaters include over 20 years with The Guthrie Theater, Pillsbury House Theater, Workhaus Collective, History Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, Theater Latte Da, The Children's Theater, Eye of the Storm, Ten Thousand Things, The Theater Exchange, The Phoenix Ensemble, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, The Old Log Theater, and many more. Films include The Wagon, Dragonfly, Stay Then Go, Little Words, Older than America, and I am Not a Serial Killer. This is her second visit to the Inge Center, having performed in a play development workshop in 2013 with Playwright-in-Resident Larissa Fasthorse. Jennifer got her MFA at the National Theater Conservatory under Tony Church and her BA magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota.

Evangeline Joyce "Lena" Blackert is sophomore more Music Major at ICC. She has been in many Children’s Summer Theatre Plays and two ICC productions. She enjoys reading, writing, and performing onstage whether she is acting or singing.

Harty Blackert is the Fine Arts Technical Director & Theater Manager at Independence Community College. Aside from teaching Tech Theater classes, he has production designed for such shows as: Les Miserables, Almost Maine, Night of the Living Dead, South Pacific, The Skin Of Our Teeth, TEDx ICC, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, Once Upon A Mattress, South Pacific, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Spitfire Grill, Chekov’s Three Sisters, The Nerd, The 24-Hour Plays, etc. He also designed the scenery for Neewollah’s Young Frankenstein, Honk! and Mary Poppins the Musical.

Gigi Bolt is a theatre and musical theatre program consultant, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Theatre Management and Producing Program at Columbia University.  She was Director of Theater and Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts from 1995 till 2006.  In 2006-2007 she served as Interim Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group.  Prior to joining the Endowment, she was Director of the Theater Program at the New York State Council on the Arts.  Her tenure at the Council was preceded by work as an actor including five seasons as a member of the company of the Cleveland Play House.  Consulting projects have included work with the National New Play Network, NAMT’s National Fund for New Musicals, Theatre Development Fund, Musical Theatre Matters (UK), the Network of Ensemble Theatres, the Mellon Foundation and the Humana Festival.  She serves on the William Inge Festival Foundation Board, Ford’s Theatre’s Advisory Council, the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat Sounding Board, and the Emeritus Boards of SITI Company and Theatre Communications Group.  She is the recipient of a Chairman’s Distinguished Service Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the League of Professional Theatre Women’s Lee Reynolds Award, the La MaMa E.T.C. Silver Bell Award, and the Alumni Honor Citation from the University of Kansas. 

Hannah Brooks (Production Stage Manager) received her degree in Stage Management from the University of Northern Colorado in 2009. She has been avidly working in the Northern Colorado area for many years. Most recently she has worked with OpenStage Theatre and Co. as a Stage Manager and Production Manager. She has worked extensively behind the scenes in other capacities and received the OPUS Award for Best Technical Support for four years. Other credits include Production Manager for Canyon Concert Ballet’s Nutcracker which tours locally, and a founding member of Up in Lights Productions. She is thrilled to be returning to the William Inge Festival for a ninth year.

Luqman Brown's life began in the theater. Son to noted playwright CARLYLE BROWN, Luqman is a well-known bandleader with over twenty years of experience in on-stage performance and studio recording—prolific and proficient as a recording engineer, producer and composer. He's written and produced music for bands and solo performers, as well as for TV, radio and film. As a sound designer he was a nominee for Arena stages SEED, but won the Adelco for Classical Theater of Harlem’s: THREE MUSKETEERS, Other theater credits include Guthrie Theaters: THE PARCHMENT HOUR; Signature theater: HURT VILLAGE; Miami New Dramas: THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, National Black Theater: PECULIAR PATRIOT; and so much more. You can check it all out at

Dusty Brownewell is a first year student at Independence Community College. She has been involved in stage management for at least 15 productions—including both Fall productions at ICC and Labette County High School’s National qualifying show Eurydice. She plans to become a Stage Manager or a novel editor once she graduates college.

Ben Byard’s recent Music Director credits include: The Butcher’s Son (winner of Most Promising Musical at Chicago Musical Theatre Festival) - Kokopelli; Passing Strange - The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City; Resident MD/Bandleader - Stuffed Buffalo Productions. Ben is thrilled to join this production and thanks Rachel and the fur kids for their support.

Annie Cady(Costume Design) is happy to be working with the Inge Festival for the first time. Annie is a freelance designer and educator based in Saint Paul, MN. She has designed costumes for several Twin Cities theatre and dance companies including Ananya Dance Theatre, Black Label Movement, The Children’s Theatre Company, Commonweal Theatre, The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Threads Dance Project, Workhaus Collective, Yellow Tree Theatre and Zenon Dance. Annie is a theatre department faculty member and costume designer at Normandale Community College. She holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota in Theatre Design and Technology.

Darren Canady’s work has been produced at the Alliance Theatre, Congo Square Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre, Horizon Theatre, London’s the Old Vic Theatre, M Ensemble, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, American Blues Theater, and others. His awards include the Alliance Theater's Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award, Chicago’s Black Excellence Award, the Black Theatre Alliance Award, and the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborn Award. His play You’re Invited appeared in The Best American Short Plays 2010-2011. His work has been developed at the Fremont Centre Theatre, Premiere Stages, and Penumbra Theatre. He is an alum of Carnegie Mellon University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, The Juilliard School, and is a former member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group. He is an artistic affiliate with American Blues Theater and Congo Square Theatre. He currently teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas.

Emma Carter is a playwright, producer, actress, and teaching artists currently based in Kansas City, MO. She holds a BFA in Theater Arts with a minor in music from Stephens College. she is a member of the Midwest Dramatists, and the winner of KC's Project Playwright 2015. Her works have been produced by The Living Theatre, The Fishtank Theater, Project Playwright, and the Bart Players. Find copies of her work on the National New Play Network.

Tiffany Chappele Director of Operations, KC Fringe Festival; Program Manager, KC Creates Tiffany graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.F.A in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management with an emphasis in Live Events and Performing Arts. After graduating, she taught Special Education with Kansas City Public Schools through Teach For America before finding her home with KC Creates. Tiffany is also a playwright, poet, and comedian. She serves as an educator and administrator with The KC Improv Company with which she performs regularly. As Director of Operations for KC Fringe Festival, Tiffany oversees the execution of logistics regarding staff, artists, and audiences that allow the event to serve it’s mission: connecting artists to audiences with exciting, bold works.

Jeff Church is Producing Artistic Director of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, which, during his tenure, was named in the top five theatres for young audiences in the US by Time Magazine. At Woolly Mammoth in Washington, DC, he directed Helen Hayes Award winning The Rocky Horror Show and Al Carmines' Wanted. For the Kansas City Repertory, he helmed The Drawer Boy, and for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seussical and The Wrestling Season (which also played the Kennedy Center), as well as Quentos at the Denver Center. For the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, he has directed 10 productions, including Love! Valour! Compassion!, bare, The Judas Kiss, Next Fall, Laramie Project, Sister Mary Ignatius, and others. His Coterie highlights have included producing the Coterie’s Great Books/Banned Books season, creating the "TYA versions" of Seussical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Shrek and more, working with the Broadway composers. Prior to The Coterie, Jeff was a playwright-in-residence at Kennedy Center Youth & Family Programs and taught at Ellington School in D.C. He has been a board officer of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), currently teaches graduate level Text Analysis for UMKC Theatre; inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in 2006.

Ben Corbett is Associate Professor of Voice and Acting Instructor at the Inge Center.  He is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (Shakespeare & Co. '12). His professional acting credits include two-and-a-half years as a resident actor at Barter Theatre, with additional roles at the William Inge Theatre Festival, City Rep, Blowing Rock Stage Co., Burning Coal Theatre Co., Light Opera Oklahoma, Shakespeare & Co., North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. He serves as both an actor and voice teacher at the Last Frontier Theatre Festival.  He's is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, and an Associate Editor for Oklahoma for the International Dialects of English Archive. He has launched his own voice practice,, and welcomes private clients who wish to explore the possibility and power of their speaking voices.

Maxwell Collyard (Projection Designer/Video Editing) is a theatre artist based in the twin cities. His work as a Projection Designer includes Turtle Theater Collective: Almighty Voice and His Wife; Theatre Novi Most: Dancing on the Edge; Frank Theatre: REVOLT: SHE SAID REVOLT AGAIN; Playwrights’ Center: Molly. He has filmed, directed, and edited several music videos for Twin Cities bands such as Annie and the Bang Bang, Fox & Coyote, & Porno Wolves. Maxwell has assistant directed and/or acted for many twin cities companies including: Park Square Theater, Jungle Theater, Mixed Blood, Arts Center on 7, Frank Theatre, Walking Shadow, and Theater Latté Da. He has written/devised two plays: You Don’t Have To Leave But You Can’t Stay Here and Ferguson, USA. Maxwell holds a B.A. in Physics & Theatre from St. Olaf College.

Claudia Copping is returning for her second year as a part of The William Inge Festival’s New Play Lab. Claudia is a Kansas City-based actor with extensive credits in theatre, film, and commercials (on-camera and voice-over). She is a veteran of multiple productions of Mystery Train Dinner Theatre, has appeared in the Kansas City Fringe Festival (BOXES AND ASHES, ROAD RAGE, etc.), as well as THE SESSION for KC Melting Pot Theatre, CASA VALENTINA for Spinning Tree Theatre and, most recently, in the reading of HADLEYBURG, an original musical. Additionally, she is a past officer and board member of the Independent Filmmakers’ Coalition of Kansas City. Also, Claudia continues her 10-year stretch working at The Apple Store on The Country Club Plaza.

Ben Corbett is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (Shakespeare & Co. 2012). He teaches Uta Hagen’s approach to acting, Kristin Linklater’s vocal progression, and phonetics and accents using Louis Colaianni’s Phonetic Pillows at the William Inge Center for the Arts. He is also a resident actor and director for the William Inge Theatre Festival. His professional vocal coaching credits include the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, City Rep, the William Inge Theatre Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Barter Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Company, Bare Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Ben has numerous acting credits and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Coleman Crenshaw is excited to return to the Inge Festival for a second time! He is an active member of the KC theatre community with over 50 credits to his name. He may have seen him most recently in The 12 Plays of Christmas (Fishtank) or the MET’s The Weir or Photograph 51. Other Kansas City stage credits include Crimes of the Heart at Kansas City Actors Theatre and Sylvia at The Buffalo Room, as well as work at The Coterie, Fishtank, Living Room, Melting Pot KC, TYA, and The KC Fringe Festival. He is also a busy teaching artist (recently at JCCC and BVNHS) and in area elementary schools; for more information about his innovative early education playwriting programming please visit He has two dogs, one girlfriend, and a handful of nickels. He is content.

Lusie Cuskey is a PhD student in Theatre Studies at the University of Kansas. She has worked as a director, actor, teaching artist, and technician in KY, NY, OR, and throughout the upper midwest. Most recently, she assistant directed Spring Awakening, served as a directing consultant for the world premier of original musical My Name is Sally, and worked as a tour director for Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty. Lusie will be directing the University of Kansas’ mainstage production of A Man of No Importance this fall.

Johnny Lee Davenport first worked with Carlyle Brown in 2001 when he played Ibrahim in the world premiere of The Negro of Peter the Great at Alabama Shakespeare. In 2016, he played Papa Shakespeare for The American Players’ Theatre production of The African Company Presents Richard III and will reprise that role for the Oak Park Theatre Festival this summer. Boston-based, Davenport’s most recent shows include Anna Christie (Lyric Stage); Oleanna (New Rep); Fences (Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando); Bank Job (Gloucester Stage); Thurgood (New Rep); Oedipus Rex (PICT, Pittsburgh); Akeelah and the Bee (Wheelock Family Theatre); The African Company Presents Richard III, Death of a Salesman, and Arcadia (APT, Spring Green, Wis.), Bootycandy (Speakeasy), Beowulf (The Poets’ Theatre), and Water by the Spoonful (TheatreSquared, Fayetteville, Ark.). Boston Magazine’s Best Actor, Elliot Norton Best Actor, 2 Broadway World Boston Awards and D.C.’s Helen Hayes Award. For full career credits, please visit

DeAngelo Davis is a junior theatre & journalism major at the University of Kansas from Lynwood, Illinois. He was last seen at the University Theatre as Joe Ryan in When the Rain Stops falling. Erysichthon and others in Metamorphoses. He also appeared as Pascal in Anon(ymous), Pooter in Pooter McGraw Is Not Dead Party, Officer Derek in Welcome to Arroyo’s, and was the understudy for the role of Sly in Detroit ’67.

William Missouri Downs has had over 150 productions of his plays from the Kennedy Center to The San Diego Rep and won numerous national writing awards including two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network. He’s twice been a finalist at the Eugene O’Neill. His plays have also been produced in Spain, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, India, and South Korea. He’s published four books on the art of theatre and writing, 11 plays, and written for several NBC television shows. He holds an MFA in acting from Illinois and an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA.

Kyle Dyck recently joined AEA and has been an actor in the KC,MO area for the last 7 years, appearing in over 25 shows at theaters including The Living Room, Kansas City Actors Theater (KCAT), the New Theater Restaurant, and the Metropolitan Ensemble Theater. He is also the Technical Director for The Living Room and KCAT. He is so very proud to be a part of this project and thanks you for supporting live theatre.

Robert Elliot began his acting career as a company member at the Missouri Repertory Theatre and the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. Extensive work over the years at Rep. Theatre St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Indiana Rep. Most recently at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre playing Jacob Marley in Christmas Carol and Matt Drayton in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Other theatres include: The Unicorn Theatre, Florida Stage, Syracuse Stage, Asolo Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Kansas City Rep., The Cleveland Playhouse and The Roundabout Theatre. He is happy to be returning to the Inge Festival for the third time.

Dave Fritts is a Kansas City actor who is celebrating his 30th year as a member of Actors’ Equity, and looking forward to his 100th professional production later this year.

Chuma Gault is a Los Angeles based theater artist . In 2011 he first came to Independence as part of the original cast to develop EM Lewis' new play "Magellanica", a five-hour epic which staged its world premier this season at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, OR. Chuma has been involved as a guest artist/director for the Beth Henley, Arthur Kopit and William Inge tribute festivals. For the Inge 35th year celebration, he starred in the 50th anniversary production of "Where's Daddy?" by William Inge. Acting awards: Los Angeles Stage Raw Awards for "The Gun Show" by EM Lewis (Moving Arts) outstanding solo performance nomination (2015); LA WEEKLY Awards nominee for "Freedom Summer" by Stephen Sachs (Fountain Theater), "Tree" by Julie Hébert (EST-LA) which also garnered a LA Drama Critics Circle nomination for Best male performance.  Directing credits include: scenes from "Abundance" by Beth Henley for the 2017 Inge festival, 2018 Kilroy's List play "Hangman" (workshop) by Stacy Ossei-Kuffour, "Party Girls" by Tira Palmquist (Moving Arts' Car Plays/Segerstrom Center for the Arts), "Phenom" by Charlayne Woodard (Car Plays/La Jolla Playhouse), "The Guard Will Escort You to Ruff Ruff" by Carole Real (Ensemble Studio Theater-Los Angeles.) Film credits: Chuma plays Nina Simone's husband Andrew in the biopic "Nina". TV: Chuma recently starred in the drama "Game of Silence" (NBC). Recent Commercials: Total Wireless, Nationwide, Amica, Lowes, and Edward Jones. Chuma wants to give a special thank you to the awesome Inge staff, and Cyndy & Grant Sherwood. Social Media contact: @ChumaGault; @Bigtimeoperator;

Enjoli Gavin is ecstatic to be back at the Inge Festival! She returns after being here in 2011, along side Uzo Aduba (OITNB), honoring Marsha Norman (The Color Purple; The Secret Garden). Enjoli was recently seen in Informed Consent at the Unicorn Theatre, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure (World Premier) at the Coterie Theatre, and You Can’t Take It With You along side Jim O’Heir (NBC’s Parks and Recreation) at New Theatre. Other local Kansas City credits include Hairspray (New Theatre), Bloody Mary in South Pacific (Musical Theater Heritage), The Wiz, Bud, Not Buddy, Shrek the Musical (World Premier), Once Upon a Mattress, James and the Giant Peach, and Seussical (Coterie Theatre). She was also fortunate to work on her first short film, Endowed, in a supporting role.

Katie Gilchrist is co-owner and producer of Bohemian Cult Revival, and Co-Proprietrix (with Annie Cherry) of The Pearl. She is a founding company member of The Living Room, an ensemble member of Late Night Theatre, and the founding Artistic Director of Kansas City Irish Theatre, about to (finally) enter into their inaugural season. She has performed on almost every stage in Kansas City. Recent credits: Heartbroken: A Tribute to Tom Petty (Cody Wyoming/Record Bar),Hedwig and The Angry Inch (Arts Asylum/Egads), Chainsaw: The Musical (Kokopelli), Stupid Fucking Bird, and Men on Boats (Unicorn Theatre). Past acting credits include: Carousel, Pippin (KC Rep), Scarlet Pimpernel (New Theatre), Three Viewings, Translations (KCAT), Everyday Rapture, Lobby Hero, Rabbit Hole,(Unicorn Theatre), Betrayal, Death of Cupid, HurlyBurly, Pontypool, and more.

Manon Hilliburton has worked at various regional theaters across the country which include, Indiana Rep, Chester Theater Massachusetts, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Rep, Lyceum Theater Arrow Rock and Unicorn Theater KC to name a few. She has also appeared on Law and Order and The Sopranos as a recurring character in the fourth season. She currently makes her home in Kansas City and works as an actress at various KC venues as well as enjoys her time as a professional photographer. She is thrilled to return to the Inge Festival and be a part of the new work being workshopped!

Elroy Hawkins s honored to be part of this Fantastic project. Most recently seen in Informed Consent at the Unicorn Theatre, and It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Other credits include Stick Fly and A Soldier’s Play for The Kansas City Black Repertory Theatre.

Marsha Hayes taught various English and communications classes at ICC before retiring in 2015. She continues to freelance write for various equine publications both online and in print. She also volunteers for equine and hiking trail projects with Back Country Horsemen of America, especially at Big Hill Lake bear Cherryvale, Kansas. Born in Independence, Ks, she is always pleased to share the history and story of Inge’s hometown.

Cynthia Hyer has participated with the Willam Inge Theatre Festival for a decade as an actress, director and stage combat instructor. She lives and performs in the Kansas City area, but always enjoys her visits to Indy to work on new plays.

Laura Jacobs is a Kansas City-based actor. Recent appearances include Dutchman with KC MeltingPot, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with Unicorn Theatre, and Chainsaw: The Musical with Kokopelli. Her alter-ego, Ivory Wilde, performs with Burlesque Downtown Underground.

Nicole Jaja is a Kansas City area lighting designer. Select lighting design credits include Full Gallop, Casa Valentina, Finian’s Rainbow, Assassins, Shipwrecked, Nine, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Amadeus, 13 (Spinning Tree Theatre); Milking Christmas, Bastard, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Trigger Happy, Annapurna, Bank Job, Chainsaw: The Musical, Love Song, On An Average Day (The Living Room); Disgraced, Eclipsed, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Unicorn Theatre).

Casey Jane is so excited to be part of the Inge Festival and work with this team of excellent creators. Credits include: The Sarah Play (The J) Chainsaw The Musical (The Arts Asylum, Kokopelli) Tennessee Playboy (MET), Walls Suck (KC Fringe 2017 Unicorn Theatre), The Death of Cupid (TLR). See her next at KC Fringe 2018 at Just Off Broadway in Any Questions?

Gary Neal Johnson has been a member of the professional theater world for more than 40 years, appearing in more than two hundred productions. In addition to his annual portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in KC Repertory Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, his list of roles include Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Lear in King Lear, Pizarro in Royal Hunt of the Sun, Shylock in Merchant of Venice, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, George in Of Mice and Men, Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Owen Musser in The Foreigner, John in Oleanna, Charlie in August: Osage County, Virgil in Bus Stop, Morgan in The Drawer Boy, Gallimard in M. Butterfly and Harry Truman in the one-man play Give ‘Em Hell, Harry. In San Francisco, Mr. Johnson was honored with a Dean Goodman Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the premiere of David Mamet’s adaptation of The Voysey Inheritance.

Shawnna Journagan has been Executive Director of The Living Room Theatre since its inception in 2010. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Painting with a Minor in Art History from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition to her role as Executive Director, she has also served as a props designer, a costume designer, a scenic artist, a director of original productions, and has acted in numerous productions at The Living Room. She also designs props for other professional Kansas City theatres.

Hannah Joyce-Hoven is the Director of Membership Programs at the Playwrights' Center, one of the major playwright-centered new play development organizations in the U.S., providing support and resources to over 2000 playwrights around the world. She is also a freelance actor and producer. Before working at the Playwrights' Center, she worked for a number of years at the William Inge Center for the Arts as Director of Operations. She is a proud member of the Board of the William Inge Festival Foundation. Originally from St. Louis, she has worked with various theaters there, including the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Her professional training includes teaching artist certification from the Lincoln Center Arts Education program. She is also trained as a yoga instructor. She has a BA from Wheaton College. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Matt and her two daughters Dorienne and Dierdre.

Jamil Jude is a director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self-identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Associate Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA as well as the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival. He was a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. The program provided him a residency at Park Square Theatre, in St. Paul, MN, where he worked as Artistic Programming Associate. Prior to that, he served as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer in Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre Company. He remains an Affiliated Artist with NNPN. Before joining Mixed Blood, Jamil served as a New Play Producing Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Jamil has helmed productions for D.C. area companies (Olney Theatre and Forum Theatre), in Denver (Curious Theatre), in Atlanta (True Colors) as well as various Twin Cities’ theatre companies, including Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Stages Theatre Company, Daleko Arts, and Lakeshore Players. Jamil has also taught and directed at Augsburg University and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. As a playwright, Jamil was the 2013-14 Jerome Many Voices Mentee at The Playwrights’ Center, where he remains an affiliated writer. 

Liz Kerlin is very excited to be working with WITF for the first time. She has been performing and stage managing in the Kansas City area for the past five years. Favorite past productions include One Man, Two Guvnors (OCTA); Equus (The Living Room); The Tall Girls (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre). She is also discovering a love of playwriting and looks to have her work produced in both Kansas City and Chicago within the following year. Liz thanks Nick and Bhooda for their steady support.

Cheryl Kimmi Although a college music major, the arts were only an avocation for Cheryl until 14 years ago. She spent 20+ years in corporate America doing mostly sales & marketing. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival was her first arts position, leading to coordinator of Arts Alive, Program Mgr. of Chameleon Arts & Youth Development, and board member of both The Barn Players and Just Off Broadway Theatre Assn. All of which overlapped. Cheryl’s passion for the arts and local artists led her ultimately to the concept called - Fringe. After launching the KC Fringe Festival in 2005, Cheryl also produces Waterfire KC every October on the Country Club Plaza and Inspire–KC’s Corporate Arts Challenge. Most recently Cheryl has accepted responsibility to oversee the new city wide arts event that launches this fall, Open Spaces KC.

Missy Koonce has been a bar owner (bar Natasha), cabaret singer, music producer, theatre producer, actress, choreographer, director, mentor and most recently – “Celezbutante Activist”; needless to say she is always reinventing herself. Missy has worked in virtually every theatrical venue in Kansas City in some capacity; these are a few of her favorite things: co-directing and choreographing Batboy, Heathers, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (with THE Cynthia Levin), directing The Salvation of Iggy Scrooge, Speech & Debate, [title of show], Hands on a Hard Body and Men On Boats, performing in The Laramie Project, Hedwig, a memorable cameo turn as Claire in bare and the one woman show Loving Lucy at The Unicorn, playing a psychotic lesbian in Kimberly Akimbo at the M.E.T., her knock out performance as Helene in Pride & Joy. SANG LE is an ICC student and has been in productions at the college like Night of the Living Dead, Almost Maine, and Les Misérables. Sang has also participated in the student show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind: 30 Neofuturist plays in 60 minutes. He would like to say thank you to the Inge Center staff for helping him achieve great heights.

McGwire Lindquist is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. McGwire is a theatre major and he plays trumpet and piano on the side. He has appeared in three productions while attending ICC, Night of the Living Dead Live, Les Misérables and Almost Maine.

Bob Linebarger is proud to have been a KC actor for the last 8 years. Recently you have seen him in Milking Christmas at The Living Room, Chainsaw: The Musical through Kokopelli Theatre Company and Shipwrecked! through Spinning Tree Theatre. He is also an educator, director and producer in pursuit of being a true theatre artist. He would like to thank Forrest and the rest of the Kokopelli company for the continued opportunity not only for me but so many other KC artists as well.

Todd London is executive director of the University of Washington's School of Drama. He spent 18 seasons as artistic director of New York's New Dramatists, the nation's oldest laboratory theatre for playwrights. Todd's books include, An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art; Outrageous Fortune: The Life & Times of the New American Play; The Importance of Staying Earnest, and The World's Room, a novel. He was the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group's Visionary Leadership Award for advancing "the theatre field as a whole." A former managing editor of American Theatre, he has won the prestigious Goerge Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays and a Milestone Award for his novel. He is the author of an ongoing Howlround column, "A Lover's Guide to American Playwrights" and found of the Third Bohemia, a travelling series of interdisciplinary artistic retreats.

Evan Lovelace studied a B.F.A in Acting at Missouri State University where he served as president of the Theatre and Dance program. He received a certificate from Storling Dance Theatre’s Artist Development Program for dance and dance composition, and served as dance captain/ intern with New York’s Broadway Artists Alliance for many years. Evan has enjoyed performing all over the KC Metro Area in theaters including; The Coterie, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Starlight KC, Musical Theatre Heritage, and The Living Room Theatre in their Writer’s Den Series.

Marilyn Lynch has worked at the New Theatre Restaurant as Julia in Lend me a Tenor, American Heartland Theatre as Dorothy in Glorious, The Unicorn as the Inspector in Inspecting Carol. Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, as Grandma Kurnitz in Lost in Yonkers, A in 3 Tall Women, Nancy in Seascape, Ouiser in Steel Magnolias, Musical Theatre Heritage as The General in Guys and Dolls and Mom in Sunday in the Park with George, Phoenix Theatre Company as Mrs. Grayson in Waiting to be Invited, The Melting Pot as Clare in The Taste Test. Kansas City Actor’s Theatre as Fonsia in The Gin Game. She has appeared during the Fringe Festivals in Bedford, England and Adelaide, Australia as Daisy Werthen in Driving Miss Daisy. She is so happy to be working at the Inge Festival again this year.

Levi Manners has been involved in over 20 shows at ICC and his high school, including Eurydice, Rock of Ages, and Peter and the Starcatcher. He plans on continuing his career in technical theatre.

Nellie Maple Parman is an actress in Kansas City Missouri, a 2016 graduate of the University of Central Missouri, and the 2016 National Irene Ryan Acting Champion. Nellie is extremely excited to be returning to the Inge Festival for her 2nd Year! KC Credits: The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (Chicago New Musical Theatre Festival), International Women’s Day Voices Play Readings, Milking Christmas (The Living Room Theatre), Melancholy Play (UTA)

C. Andrew Mayer has had the privilege of working with many fine theatres in the Twin Cities, including the Jungle, the Minnesota Opera, the Guthrie, Pillsbury House, Park Square, Latte Da, and Mixed Blood; and elsewhere, including Opera Philadelphia, Arkansas Rep, Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, SeaGlass in LA, and ACT in San Francisco. He has worked on Carlyle’s plays Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been, Abe Lincoln and Uncle Tom in the White House, Down in Mississippi, Finding Fish, American Family, and George Bonga: Black Voyageur, and won an Audelco Award for his design for Pure Confidence at 59E59 in NYC. He was a McKnight Theatre Artist Fellow, and in summer serves as Producing Director of the Acadia Repertory Theatre on Mount Desert Island in Maine, where in 2017 he directed Inge’s BUS STOP!

Tyler McCoy is student at the University of Tulsa. He’s currently in his junior year about to embark on the last year of his education, at least for the noticeable future. Recently, he’s played a wide range of roles both at school and in the Tulsa Theatre Community such as Eddie in A Fool for Love, Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, and Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar. Tyler is incredibly excited to be at the William Inge Festival this year. He would like to thank his family, friends, professors, and everyone involved in the Festival that made this week of collaboration and the celebration of William Inge possible.

Lydia Rose Miller is a graduate of Stephens College and is thrilled to be involved in the William Inge Theatre Festival. She recently returned to Kansas City. Since moving back from New York City, she has been involved in several theatre festivals around the city. She was most recently seen in Belfast Girls with the Fishtank Theatre.

Meagan Moore is the Inge Center Office Manager for the Inge Center. Meagan moved to Independence from Wichita to attend ICC, where she played “Annie Oakley” in Annie Get Your Gun and “Callie” in Stop Kiss, before going on to graduate from Pittsburg State University with a BA in Psychology and minor in Communication. A Cherryvale resident, she’s continued to be in productions with ICC and the Neewollah stage, including “Jane” in Mr. Burns, “Ariel” in The Little Mermaid, and the lead in Mary Poppins. She is thankful for support from her loved ones, including husband, Alex, and daughter, Evie.

Heather Mydosh is a Professor of English at Independence Community College. Originally from Michigan, she holds degrees in literature from Lake Superior State University and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She was the Assistant Managing Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, and has been involved in several staged readings at the Inge Center over the years. She has also appeared in ICC Theatre Department productions and is active in the Music Department. Heather is on the editorial board of the Journal of Contemporary Poetics, published by the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. She is currently pursuing a generative degree in poetry with the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Kip Niven has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres and summer stock, as well as in feature films, network television, and commercials. In Kansas City, he has appeared at Musical Theater Heritage, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Starlight, KC Repertory, New Theatre Restaurant, Spinning Tree Theatre, The Coterie, and KC Actors Theatre. For over twenty-five years, Kip has taught his Musical Theatre Audition Technique Workshop/Master Class—based on his studies with his teacher and mentor, David Craig—at colleges, universities, and theatre festivals throughout the country. He is a vested member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association and is the Production Coordinator of EARTh (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre).

Mike Ott s excited to be back in Independence, for this year’s festival. The past 2 years have seen Mike as a performer in the New Play Lab readings, and he is thrilled to be in the cast of Down in Mississippi for this year’s festival! The Kansas City based actor has been seen on numerous stages in KC and regionally. Most recently he was lucky enough to travel to Chicago and perform in The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe (Produced by The Living Room Theatre) as part of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, where they were awarded Best Book, Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best of the Fest.

Lacey Pacheco is a Kansas City native and jill-of-all-trades. She graduated from Missouri State University with a BFA in Technical Direction. She has designed lights around Kansas City at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, Spinning Tree Theatre, and The Living Room. She has also designed sound for the Stuffed Buffalo Parody-for-Charity staged readings and various other productions. She spends most of her time now working at The Living Room as a production and stage manager for various productions. Most recently she served as production and stage manager for the recent TLR and Friend Dog Studios production of The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe at The 2018 Chicago Musical Theater Festival. That production was awarded Best Direction, Best Book, Best Ensemble, and Best of Fest.

Emmy Panzica is a Kansas City native and actress of the stage, film, and commercial works. Recent credits include: Abigail in The Crucible (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre), Ensemble in Kiss and Tail 2018 (The Living Room Theatre), Marion in The Ironing Man (KC Melting Pot Theatre), and Various in Along the Line 2017 (The Fishtank Theatre).

Daniel Parman is happy to return to the William Inge Theatre Festival. Kansas City credits include West Side Story, Assassins (Spinning Tree Theatre); and We Shall Not Be Moved (The Coterie Theatre). Daniel holds a MA in theatre from the University of Central Missouri.

Bruce Peterson has a background in arts and entertainment journalism. He worked many years as marketing and development associate with the Inge Center prior to his appointment as Managing Director. Bruce has aided growth of the Inge Center’s national stature and resource development, as reflected in national media coverage and numerous grant awards for support of the Inge Center’s artistic and educational programs. Prior to the Inge Center, Bruce worked as an editor with Back Stage publications in New York City, the development office of the International House in Philadelphia, and as arts editor for daily newspapers in his native California. He holds a Master of Science degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University (Philadelphia) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting from San Francisco State University.

Becky Phelps is a sophomore at the University of Kansas double majoring in Theater Performance and Broadcast Journalism. Thrilled to play Marie in Come Back, Little Sheba as a part of the William Inge Festival, her other theater credits include The Music Man, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, and most recently, Tilly in She Kills Monsters. Becky also enjoys working at several campus broadcast news stations, where she writes news and entertainment stories, works as crew, and serves as a news anchor.

Elsie Poehling is a Kansas City native that studied vocal performance and theatre at Kansas State University. She has most recently been seen in EARTh’s reading of The Crucible (Marry Warren), Friend Dog Studios and The Living Room’s production of The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (Lolo), Milking Christmas at The Living Room (Macey), Finian’s Rainbow at Spinning Tree Theatre (Sharon), and she can be seen next this summer as Jellylorum in Cats at Musical Theater Heritage. Elise would like to thank The Living Room for such a generous opportunity, and the cast and crew for their work and dedication. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Samantha Potrykus is a graduating senior from The University of Tulsa where she earned her B.A. in Theatre with a Minor in Media Studies. Samantha hails from Dallas, TX where she attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Some of Samantha’s favorite past roles include: Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, O’Brien in 1984, Lysistrata in Lysistrata and Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show. Samantha also recently finished directing Sam Shepard’s, Fool for Love as her senior project. Samantha is thrilled to be here at the William Inge Festival surrounded by so many talented artists.

Kory Pullam was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. He earned his BFA at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013. Since moving to the Twin Cities, Kory has worked with the Guthrie Theater, Children's Theatre Company, Penumbra Theatre Company, Ten Thousand Things Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Pillsbury House Theatre, History Theatre, Brave New Workshop, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, and much more. Kory is the founding artistic director of Underdog Theatre. He is also a founding member of Blackout Improv, the premier Black comedy troupe in the Twin Cities. Most recently, Kory joined Penumbra as the new Education Manager where he oversees Summer Institute and RACE Workshop programming.

Noel Raymond is the Co-Artistic Director of Pillsbury House + Theatre where she has helped lead, develop and implement theatre and arts programmign to promote community vitality since 1995. Noel has worked extensively as an actor and director in theaters locally and nationally and is currently a core member of Carlyle Brown & Company. Noel's directing credits include Almost Equal To, The Children, Far Away, and Angels in Amerca: Parts I and II at Pillsbury House Theatre; Are You Now..., Therapy and Resistance, Acting Black, and Down in Mississippi for Carlyle Brown & Co., and multiple staged readings and workshops through the Playwrights' Center. She has served on the Arts Commission for the City of Minneapolis and she co-founded the Burning House Group Theatre Company. Noel co-authored, with Denise Kulawik, a case study of Pillsbury House Theatre for the book Building Communities Not Audiences. She received a 2017 Ivey Award for her direction of The Children.

Jack Reinhart, 29, of Athens, Georgia is currently in the midst of his second semester at ICC. Past involvements in theater have included, “Night of the Living Dead: Live”, and the reading for, “Chat Rats: Oronogo”, produced on behalf of the William Inge House. He is a singer and composer of songs, in his own initiative as a Rock musician, and has traveled the country exhaustively.

Tyler Ridgeway is a first year student at ICC, majoring in Theatre. Tyler has been in Night of the Living Dead Live!, Almost, Maine, Les Misérables, and the recent student production Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 Neofuturist Plays in 60 Minutes, at ICC. His other favorite previous roles include the Nasty Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld from Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice and Drew Boley from Rock of Ages 101. In addition to theatre, Tyler is an avid lover of music, mainly rock n’ roll.

Jonathan Robertson is a composer and sound designer based in Kansas City. He is an adjunct instructor in the Theatre and Music Technology departments at Missouri Western State University, and teaches sound technology at University of Missouri, Kansas City. Recent credits include: Associate Sound Designer X, or Betty Shabazz v. The Nation off-broadway at the New Victory Theater (Dir. Ian Belknap, NYC, 2017) and the Theater at St. Clements (Dir. Ian Belknap, NYC, 2018); Composer/Sound Designer on Men on Boats at the Unicorn Theatre (Dir. Missy Koonce, Kansas City, 2017); Sound Designer Sea Marks (Dir. Jan Rogge, Kansas City, 2018); Sound Designer A Christmas Carol (Dir. Quin Gresham, Arrow Rock, 2018); Composer/Sound Designer And Then There Were None (Dir. John Rensenhouse, Kansas City, 2017).

Kathhlynn "Rosie" Rosenberg is an ICC Theatre Student. Was involved in Almost, Maine; Night of the Living Dead Live and others. She is an ITS member and Preformed at State and National levels. Seeking her BFA to teach High Schools. Send Special Thanks too; Our Military Forces, Heather Wilson and Tony Munóz.

John Eric Rutherford, the artistic Director, is a professional performer, tenor, and also Dean of the Fine Arts Department at Independence Community College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein College, a master’s degree from Northwestern University, and is a current doctoral degree student in music at the University of Washington. His extensive performing experience includes operatic roles with Puget Sound Opera; Columbus Light Opera; Puccini Theatre in Bari Italy; Seattle Opera and other regional groups. He has also been featured as a soloist with Door County Music Festival, Columbus Symphony, and Elmhurst Symphony. Eric leads long-term strategic planning for all Inge Center activities, which includes year-round artistic programming and holding high standards for the Independence Community College Fine Arts Department.

Mikell Sapp is Minnesota's 2015 Ivey Award winner for Emerging Artist from Phoenix City, AL and a proud graduate of Alabama State University. He started his professional career at Pillsbury House Theatre (MN) performing in Broke-Ology in 2011. Since then, he has worked at numerous theaters around the Twin Cities. He has performed in: Pussy Valley (Mixed Blood Theatre), The Snowy Day (Children's Theatre Company), Electra (Ten Thousand Things Theater), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (Guthrie), The Ballad of Emmett Till and Spunk (Penumbra Theatre). He is particularly proud to have been in Carlyle Brown’s play and production of Down in Mississippi and to be here, at the William Inge Theatre Festival, honoring him.

Christina Schafer is thrilled to participate in this year’s William Inge Theatre Festival Play Lab. She has performed at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, CO, and locally with Kansas City Actors Theatre, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, EARTh, Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre and several community theatres. Favorite recent roles include Beth in A Lie of the Mind, Annette in God of Carnage, Tourvel in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Jackie-O in The House of Yes. Christina on the board of Kansas City Actors Theatre.

Laura Skoch is an actor, director, and teacher based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is currently a professor at The University of Tulsa, where she recently directed a new adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. Other directing credits include Cabaret, Julius Caesar, and A Doll’s House. As an actor, she recently played Richard III in an all-female production of Richard III. Other notable collaborations include Caucasian Chalk Circle with PL115 at Mabou Mines and Tartuffe with Classic Stage Company’s Young Company, directed by Brian Kulick. Laura received a BFA in Acting from USC in Los Angeles and an MFA in Acting from Columbia.

Blade Smith has designed lights for over fifteen shows, and have also performed in five of them. He is super pumped to finally design a collegiate level show. Blade is majoring in Business. He plans on owning his own restaurant someday.

Curtis Smith is making his third appearance at Inge, and is honored to be part of such a wonderful festival. Curtis has been an actor for twenty years in Kansas City and is grateful for the opportunity to be here. GABRIELLE SMITH is a freshman studying theatre performance at the University of Kansas. Gabrielle has appeared in Metamorphoses (Aphrodite and others) and Henry’s Law (Sara Culverson) with the University Theatre. She has performed with the River City Players in Leavenworth, Kansas, in several shows including Bye, Bye Birdie (Ursula Merckle) and Legally Blonde: The Musical (Delta Nu Girl). She currently holds the title of Miss Kansas Homecoming Queen, a title earned with public speaking and poise.

Rusty Sneary graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre performance. In the spring of 2010 he co-founded The Living Room Theatre where is serves as the Artistic Director. Rusty has produced and served as Artistic Director on over fifty productions including over twenty world premieres. He has also served as a lighting designer, sound designer, and the director of many productions, has acted in numerous productions at The Living Room, and continues to act on other professional Kansas City stages. His most recent accolades include director of The Ballad of Lefty & Crabbe, a Friend Dog Studios and TLR original, that took Best Ensemble, Best Book, Best Director, and Best of the Fest at the Chicago Musical Theater Festival this past February.

Stefanie Stevens has worked as an actress, dancer, and choreographer. Select theatre credits: Olive, Not With a Bang But a Whimper; 7 Deadly Women; Roberta in Danny in the Deep Blue Sea; Mrs. Kendal in The Elephant Man, Ulla in The Producers (The Barn Players), Judy in A Chorus Line, Lola in Damn Yankees (Theatre in the Park), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Coterie Theatre); Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show, Godspell (Egads! Theatre); Minnie in West Side Story (Spinning Tree Theatre); Help Yourself with David Wayne Reed; Heaven So Far, Suspicion, Flowers in the Wardrobe (Whim Productions). Stefanie is also active in film and can be seen on the local webseries: Captives and soon to be starring in a local feature film: The Watcher. Courtney Taylor is a freshman at Independence Community College. This her first production with ICC. She has previously appeared in 16 local theatre productions.

Bradley J. Thomas. International: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Great Britian), Ragtime (Germany), Chess, 42nd Street, Alice in Wonderland (Canada). Regional: Man of La Mancha (Sierra Rep). Longview Stageworks, Lakewood Center, Portland Center Stage, Sylvia’s Theatre, Embers Stages, New York Center, ART, Arkansas Center, Pacific Stageworks, Oregon Children’s Theatre. Kansas City: Pontypool, Chainsaw: The Musical, Titus Andronicus, Carousel, The Death of Cupid (The Living Room); Ghosts of Lote Bravo (Unicorn). A Christmas Carol, The Living Room’s Production of Carousel, Sweeney Todd (KC Rep) No Exit (The Fishtank), Theatre for Young America, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Shirley White Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, Thin Aire Theatrics, KC Fringe. Director, Emcee and hos. Education: BA, Theatre Performance and Marketing/Public Relations (Portland State University).

Heidi Van is an actor, creator and producer of experimental live theatre. She is founder and Producing Artistic Director of Fishtank Theatre - a nomadic theatre company that challenges the way theatre meets its audience. Van’s work is movement-based, sparse in text, and often set to original, live music. Her productions have been staged in prisons, windows, abandoned churches, intimate retail spaces as well as a variety of theatres. Van and the Fishtank focus on new work, the intersection of theatre and dialogue, and reflecting society to engage dialogue and civic action. Van directs at other theatres in Kansas City, is a recipient of the Charlotte Street Fellowship, Pitch Mastermind Award, and Rauschenberg Seed Grantee.

Imani Vaughn-Jones is an Atlanta based actress, model, and playwright. She is thrilled to be a part of the William Inge Theatre Festival and helping celebrate the work of Carlyle Brown. A few of her previous credits include A Raisin in the Sun and Hamlet (Park Square Theatre), Luna Gale (Underdog Theater), and Cymbeline and In the Blood (UMN/Guthrie). When she’s not acting, Imani is the founder and editor in chief of the digital publication Super Dope&Extra Lit Magazine. She’s always open to creative collaboration and hearing new ideas, so just reach out! @yourfirstblackgirlfriend

Kelly Vogel is a resident artist and academic associate of theatre at KU. Previously she has served as scenic designer of University Theatre productions of …And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi and Company and as costume designer for Metamorphoses, Don Giovanni, Picnic, Little Women, Johanna: Facing Forward, The Marriage of Figaro and Tovarich. With the Kansas Repertory Theatre she has designed the set for Harvey, the lighting and costumes for Sherlock’s Last Case and the costumes for Next To Normal and The Book Club Play. Kelly holds an MFA in scenography from KU and her work has been seen at Johnson County Community College, KU Opera, the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Kansas Community College, and Missouri Western State University.

Ralph F. Voss, a native Kansan, is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Alabama, where he taught courses in writing, American literature, and rhetoric for over 30 years. A longtime performer at the William Inge Theatre Festival, Voss is author of ""A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph,"" which is considered the most thorough Inge biography. Voss holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Fort Hays State University and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his biography of Inge, Voss has written "Truman Capote and the Legacy of 'In Cold Blood,’ " and he is the editor of "Magical Muse: Millennial Essays on Tennessee Williams." Among Voss's other books are "Elements of Practical Writing," and he co-authored two editions of "The Heath Guide to College Writing" with Professor Michael L. Keene. Voss is also a co-editor of "Against the Grain: Essays in Honor of Maxine Hairston." During his 44-year teaching career, Voss also authored numerous articles in the fields of American literature, American drama, and expository writing in such journals as "American Drama," "College Composition and Communication," "The Tennessee Williams Annual Review," and "Library Chronicle." He wrote literary encyclopedia articles on William Inge and Inge's plays.

Ellis Wallace was practically born in a car in Anchorage Alaska in 1991 and is still finding reasons to travel new places. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013 with a B.F.A. double major in photography and creative writing. Ellis uses his experiences as a photographer and independent film industry professional to further the quality and efficiency of his role as talent on set. He loves working as a model and actor at least as much as he loves playing banjo, driving gravel roads, writing, doing improv comedy, collecting jackets, storytelling, and viewing art on a high-octane level. His red hair has always garnered comments, attention, and sometimes hands as long as he has been around. He has spent a lot of time around animals, cars, John Wayne movies, talented artists, and old furniture.

Michael Wangen is a well known lighting designer in the Minneapolis area and has been active for over 30 years. In that time, he has designed for almost every theater there. He served as resident designer for Penumbra Theatre from 1987-2000 and is currently the resident designer with Pillsbury House Theatre as well as the lighting director at the Fitzgerald Theater where he lights Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion when it is in residence in St Paul. Regionally, his work has been seen at Trinity Rep, CenterStage of Baltimore, The Guthrie, and Children’s Theater Co. He is also a recipient of a 2012-2013 Playwrights Center McKnight Theater Artists Fellowship.

Charles Weldon, a veteran actor of stage, film and television, is the Artistic Director of the Negro Ensemble Company. He has starred in more than 40 plays, including “The River Niger,” “ A Soldier’ Play”; and film and TV: “Stir Crazy,” “Roots the Next Generation,” “Fast Walking,” “The Wishing Tree,” and “Hill Street Blues.” Charles started his career as lead singer of the Paradon’s, with the number one song “Diamond and Pearls.” From there he moved to musical theater, starring in the original San Francisco company of “Hair” (where he came to work in costume.) He moved to New York with Broadway musical “Big Time Buck White,” starring Mohammed Ali. Mr. Weldon would like everyone to know he is dedicated to preserving him rich history of the Negro Ensemble Company.

Amanda White is honored to return to Independence for the 2018 William Inge Theatre Festival, and for the opportunity to honor Carlyle Brown. In addition to being an actor and director based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Amanda is founding Artistic Director at DalekoArts, an ensemble theatre company in New Prague, MN. Amanda is a member of the Theatre performance faculty at Normandale Community College, and most recently, she served as the Managing Director at Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Program in Arts Administration, Minnesota State University's MFA in Theatre Performance, and the School at Steppenwolf at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Connie Whitt-Lambert is a professor of Theatre and Director of Playwriting Studies at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Former ACTF Regional Playwriting Chair, Connie was awarded the Kennedy Center Medallion of Excellence for her work with student playwrights and was named a Distinguished Director of New Work. She created the long-running Wesleyan Playmarket as a venue for original scripts at theatres in Fort Worth and NYC. A member of the Dramatists Guild, her plays have been seen on stages across the country from elementary schools to professional theatres. Awarded a writing sabbatical, she is currently at work on a new play.

Erick Wolfe, who has been training and directing professional actors and performers for over 15 years, continues to work with top rated performers and directors from all around the world. Working as a Director, Assistant Director, Stage Manager, Stunt Coordinator, Stuntman, Movement Coach, Intimacy Designer, and Fight Director, his credits include Opera, Ballet, Theatre, Commercials, Television, and Film. Erick’s an Internationally Certified Teacher with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat and the Academy of Performance Combat, and received his B.F.A. in performance from the University of Central Oklahoma, and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of New Orleans.

Stephen Yoakam is a longtime member of the Twin Cities theater community. He has appeared in over 80 productions at the Guthrie Theater, most recently in King Lear. Other Guthrie credits include Othello, The Crucible, An Iliad, Burial at Thebes and the History Plays.  He is a founding member of the Mixed Blood Theater, and has collaborated for many years with writers at The Playwrights Center. He has performed with the Des Moines Symphony, The Music Academy of the West and with the Minnesota Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Stephen received the McKnight Theater Artist award in 2013.

Bruce A. Young is thrilled to be a part of the William Inge Theatre Festival as they honor Carlyle Brown with their annual Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award.  Mr. Young has performed throughout the country, in Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Los Angeles.  His most recent performance was in Minneapolis with the Mixed Blood Theatre and their production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.  Sci-fi enthusiasts will recognize him from the Star Trek Renegades films and TVs The Sentinel. He even occasionally dons his directors hat with world premieres in Atlanta, Horizon TheatreSheddin, and Mixed Bloods Chronicles of Kalki. Or you just might catch his bone crushing fight choreography at theater near you. His next assignment takes him back home to Minneapolis and Mixed Bloods 2018 season.  Congratulations Mr. Brown!