Festival

Festival Updates

The 2022 Inge Festival will take place April 21 – April 23, 2022.

The William Inge Theater Festival is unique in the world. It is the official state theater festival of Kansas, and it is dedicated to  celebrating playwrights. At its core, it asserts that living playwrights matter, that their stories matter, and that those stories will bring us together and show us the way forward.

The 39th William Inge Theater Festival will recognize and celebrate Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage with the Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award, and playwright Gina Femia with the Otis Guernsey New Voice in the American Theater Award

The Inge Festival began four decades ago out of love and recognition of native son and playwright William Inge. Margaret Goheen, one of Inge’s long-time friends and a faculty member at Independence Community College, determined that a fitting tribute to his life and work would be to celebrate playwrights in a playwrights’ town. And that is what we do here, to this day. 

Our 5th annual New Play Lab will bring us 26 talented writers from across the country. These writers will have their short plays performed publicly by actors from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota. This Lab provides facilitated developmental feedback after each play reading from playwrights and Artistic Directors in the region. The Lab connects writers to other theater artists, deepening the connections between artists from around the country to artists in our region, and introducing new work to theater lovers in attendance at the festival.

The three-day festival includes many participatory theater workshops, panel conversations, and performance events for folks of all ages and experience levels. The culmination of each year’s Festival is a multimedia Tribute to the playwright honoree, who is in attendance to receive the award.

Festival attendees include –artists, high school and college students from around the region, community members, those who work to support art, and those who are enthusiastic fans of the stories told on our nation’s stages.

This Festival is brought to you by the people of Independence, Kansas – countless volunteers and local businesses who give their time, their money, and their resources to bring each of these events to life. It is brought to you by the Inge staff and the generosity of Independence Community College and the William Inge Festival Foundation. The rhythm of the Festival is many beating hearts – it’s powered by admiration, respect, and love. We hope you feel that love infused in every detail of your experience at the Inge Center.

Information about past festivals…