New Play Labs Announced for William Inge Theatre Festival

William Inge Center for the Arts at Independence Community College is pleased to announce The 6th New Play Lab at the 40th William Inge Theatre Festival. Events occur Thursday, April 20, 2023, at 7 pm and April 21, 2023, at 2:00 pm in The William Inge Theatre. See readings of new 10-minute and one-act plays by playwrights from around the country. Actors from around the region will bring these new plays to life. Each performance will receive feedback from professional theater artists.

2023 New Play Lab Playwrights at the William Inge Theatre Festival

John Adams (he/him) The Damp, Dark Room Just Off the Parlor. John Adams writes about teenage detectives, robo-butlers, and cursed cowboys in a genre he’s coined “absurdist speculative melodrama” — meaning “monsters being monstrous, aliens being alien, and humans being all too painfully human.” His plays have been selected for productions and readings by the William Inge Theater Festival, Whim Productions, the Barn Players, and the Midwest Dramatists Conference. His short stories have been published by Australian Writers’ Centre, Dream of Shadows, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Intrinsick, Metaphorosis, Paper Butterfly, and Wyldblood. He performs across the U.S. with That’s No Movie, a multi-genre improv team.

Tom Cavanaugh (he/him) WHEN THEY MET. Tom Cavanaugh MFA in playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School in 2000. ADAM & YOSHI was a finalist in McKinney Repertory Play Competition, TX, and a finalist in the 2013 New American Playwrights Program Utah Shakespeare Festival 2014. INLAND EMPRESS, another full-length play, world premiered in Los Angeles. THE FIELD, a short play by Cavanaugh, premiered at The CTI Theatre Festival in Independence, MO. In 2018, Theatre of Action in Los Angele’s Plays About Immigration listed Tom’s short play, COYOTE. Won the Artists & Playwright Festival at The KNOW Theatre in Binghamton, NY in 2018 short play, ROCKS ON THE PLAYA.

Debra A. Cole (she/her) A TOAST. Debra A. Cole is an award-winning playwright, director, and theatre/writing/arts educator from Kansas. Her one act play THE WRINKLE RANCH took AUDIENCE FAVORITE at Short + Sweet Perth, Australia. Her one act play Cold War can be found with Off The Walls Plays, and one act play SMALL TALK can be found at Heuer Publishing. Debra is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a member of Honor Roll!, an advocacy group of women+ playwrights over 40, and an active member of a playwriting groups for Kansas City area playwrights and Literary Discourse Society out of Devon, England.

Ivan Faute (he/him) SLAUGHTER. Ivan Faute’s credits include the OFFFest recommended show ON ARRIVING in London, the City Lit Art of Adaptation winner “Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher,” THE DARLING CHILDREN at New York International Fringe, and THE DOG SHOW at The Players Theatre. LOST SOCK LAUNDRY was awarded the OnStage Award in Italy and a TRU Voices New Play Reading 2022 selection. In addition to productions in New York, London, Houston, and Chicago, his prose appears in dozens of journals and was named a finalist for the Calvino Prize.

Gay Glenn IF YOU SEE PANIC IN MY EYES. Gay Glenn is a performer, teacher, and playwright from Topeka, KS. She is honored to be recognized by the 40th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival New Play Lab for IF YOU SEE PANIC IN MY EYES, her first one-act play. On stage she has performed at such notable theatres as the Penumbra, and Pillsbury House Theatres in MN; Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Artistic Home, Hypocrites, and Fleetwood Jordain Theatres, in Chicago; and the Imaginary Theatre Company in St. Louis. She toured nationally with THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY where she also played tenor sax onstage! She teaches stage and on-camera acting techniques, and taught theatre to elementary and college students in Chicago. Gay earned her MFA in Theatre Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is developing her next project: a multi-character one-woman show, which she will personally perform. To learn more about Gay, visit:

Andra Laine Hunter’s (she/her) FIREMOTHER. Andra Laine Hunter, MFA, DG, is thrilled to make her Inge debut with her new play FIREMOTHER. Her original plays have been performed at theaters in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Tennessee. Her work has been published in Flyway Journal of Writing and Environment, Apricity Magazine, and is forthcoming in Flowersong Press’s Drama in Plague Time anthology. Her plays Nutcracker: Krakatuk and Frankenstein/Monster are published with Next Stage Press. Her play Star Bright was a finalist for City Theatre Miami’s National Short Playwriting Competition 2020. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Linden Grove Theatre Company in Dallas and earned a MFA in Playwriting from Spalding University.

Maurielle Mcgarvey THE COMMONS.  Maurielle Mcgarvey is a filmmaker and theater artist from Houston, Texas. Her past works include an adaptation of WOYZECK about youth gun violence (Rec Room Arts) and SCHRODINGER’S WIFE (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center). In the spring, she will be staging her new play, WOMEN OF at Aeneid Theater Company. At this time, she is pursuing a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California with a minor in Gender and Social Justice Studies.

Elena Naskova (she/her) A GAME OF CHICKEN. Elena Naskova was born and raised in Macedonia.  She immigrated to the USA in her late twenties.  After spending thirteen years in LA, she moved to Seattle to raise her kids in fresh air. Elena has been writing forever, starting with poetry, then short stories and finally plays.  Her plays have been produced, read and published in the USA, Canada, Spain and the UAE, and have received a few awards. Elena is a member of the Dramatist guild of America, and the Playwright’s Center. 

Zack Peercy (he/him) GREETINGS FROM SADSVILLE Zack Peercy is a disabled playwright based in Chicago. In 2021, his play ESSENTIAL STARLITE was honored as an O’Neill Finalist, a Bay Area Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist, and a Blue ink Playwriting Award Semi-Finalist. Other plays include IN AN INSTANT (Unheard Of Company), HARD-BOILED EGGNOG: A CHRISTMAS NOIR (Possibilities Theatre Company), MUTED. (Bottlecap Press), GREETINGS (Elgin Fringe Festival), EXHAUSTED BY YOU (American Blues Theatre), and others available on New Play Exchange.

Tori Rice (she/her) BOX OF TEETH. Tori Rice is a San Diego-based playwright, teaching artist, and co-host of the podcast, Hey Playwright. She is a founding member of the San Francisco-based Club Solo and a former roller derby blocker for the San Diego Derby Dolls. She has enjoyed productions with Fusion Theatre, The Magnetic Theatre, SDSU, Scripps Ranch Theatre, and SMoCA’s Lit Lounge, as well as site-specific and immersive theatre in cafes and courtrooms. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from ASU, and is a proud member of the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, Dramatists Guild, Honor Roll!, Scripteasers, and TYA-USA.

Jessie Salsbury (she/her) THE LAST WEEK. Jessie Salsbury is a playwright from Olathe, Kansas, near the Kansas City Area. She has participated in numerous local play readings and new work development. She is a resident playwright with the Midwest Dramatists Center and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Since 2014, she has been a playwright with 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project. Her play ROUTE 84 HOUSE FIRE has been performed in multiple states for a variety of festivals and in colleges and universities. Her play THE LAST WEEK was previously performed as part of the Barn Players 6X10 Play Festival in 2022. Her play ADOPTION OF GRIEF won Olathe Civic Theatre’s New Works Playwright Competition and was a semi-finalist for the Bechdel Test 2.0 Festival. Her play MENTALLY ILL/GUN FREE was featured in the Protest Plays Project in Los Angeles. She was a contributing writer to “45’s 24”, a group writing Protest Plays Project performed nationally. She has been a play reader for both Creede Repertory Theatre and Olathe Civic Theatre for their new play festivals. Her work centers on women protagonists and the rural Midwest. Her full body of work can be found on the New Play Exchange.