Scholars’ Conference

The William Inge Center for the Arts is now accepting applications for the Annual Scholars’ Conference.  We are excited to announce that in addition to the annual call for professional work, we are adding an undergraduate and high school division this year.  The 40th William Inge Theatre Festival Dates are April 20-22, 2023.  More information about the festival can be found at or by contacting Dee Byrd-Molnar – Director of the William Inge Center for the Arts, at

Conference submission details can be found below.  If you have any questions regarding the conference or submission, please contact Sarah Owen, ICC Librarian/Inge Archives, at

Please note that there are two divisions: A graduate and Professional division and an Undergraduate and High School division.  The Graduate/Professional division will be 20-minute presentation of a paper/research.  The Undergraduate and High School divisions will be a poster presentation. 

We look forward to showcasing the hard work of theatre scholars in April!

40th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival and Scholars’ Conference

April 20-22, 2023

The Scholars’ Conference at the William Inge Theatre Festival offers a welcoming forum for researchers at any career stage to present their work.  This year we are expanding the scholars’ conference to encourage high school and undergraduate students to share their theatre work and learn the basics of conference presentations.  In anticipation of this expansion, please see the requirements for each division below. 

Graduate Student and Professional Level

For participants in this level, we invite submissions that engage in one or more of the following areas:

  • William Inge
  • One of the previous New Voices Playwrights or Honorees
  • Influence of Midwest/rural theatre and theatrical artists, particularly those with a connection to marginalized communities.

Participants in this category should expect to present for 15 minutes and engage in a 5-minute question-and-answer session.  These presentations will be held on April 21, 2023, from approximately 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and available in a hybrid (online and face-to-face) format.

Those wishing to submit a paper/research for consideration should submit an application through . The application requires an abstract (no more that 250 words) and a brief author bio.  Review of applications will begin January 3, 2023, and those accepted will be notified by January 31, 2023. 

High School and Undergrad- Poster presentations

The William Inge Festival is proud to introduce the inaugural High School and Undergraduate research and poster presentations.  There will be two divisions of poster presentations- one for high school students and one for college undergraduates.  We encourage presentations that highlight student design work (lights, set, costumes, sound, marketing), character/director research, playwright research, stage management, etc.  The standard format is using the trifold poster board (36” x 48”).  Each student will have approximately half of a 6 ft folding table.  All materials should fit in that space.  Laptops should be operable using battery power.  Several examples of layouts are available online.

Selection will be based on application:

            Up to 15 in each division (high school and undergraduate)

3 from each school and if more space allows directors/sponsors will be contacted on February 1st to select additional students.  Please submit all interested students in the original call.

Presentation times are 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2023, following a matinee performance of THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS and student workshops.  This is a face to face only event. 

Students should be prepared to talk to judges and the public for 3-5 minutes and answer questions regarding their projects. 

Feedback on presentations will be given verbally and a written rubric by judges.

Submit applications for work at