William Inge Center for the Arts to Celebrate William Inge at the 40th William Inge Theatre Festival 

The William Inge Theater Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary April 20-22, 2023, by honoring its namesake playwright William Motter Inge.   

The three-day festival brings to Independence, Kansas, playwrights from across the nation to its New Play Lab, guest artists, a production of Inge’s The Dark at the Top of the Stairs with guest professional artists, and theatre workshops and panel discussions, with a special focus on William Inge. 

Inge is the acclaimed writer who was born and raised in independence and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for Picnic) and the Oscar for Best Screenplay (for Splendor in the Grass.) His work is notable for its authentic and compassionate representation of the lives of everyday Midwestern life. 

On the occasion of the Festival’s 40th anniversary, the Inge Festival has chosen to honor its namesake to highlight his legacy that includes an unprecedented four consecutive Broadway hits (Come Back, Little Sheba; Picnic; Bus Stop; The Dark at the top of the Stairs.0 

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs is his most biographical play. It will be performed three times during the Festival. The New Play Lab is in its sixth year. There are public readings April 20 and 21 of scripts by 11 playwrights from across the nation. These will be read and responded to by noted playwrights and artistic directors. As always, the Festival holds scores of workshops and panels conducted by professional artists for students and the public. 

“ICC is proud to offer our region such a distinguished and reputable event continually. The William Inge Festival enriches our community and honors the illustrious legacy of Inge as a playwright and Independence native,” said Dr. Vincent Bowhay, ICC President. 

For more information on the William Inge Center for the Arts’ programming, history, and upcoming events, please visit the Center’s website at www.ingecenter.org, or email info@ingecenter.org.