Troupe could have spotlighted work of Ky. playwrights

August 25, 2014 

William H. McCann Jr. is president of Kentucky Playwrights Workshop Inc.

  • William H. McCann Jr. is president of Kentucky Playwrights Workshop Inc.

  • At issue: Aug. 8 article by contributing arts writer Candace Chaney, "358 years of theater experience go into seven 10-minute plays"

Kudos to Studio Players for producing a festival of 10-minute plays.

Rotten tomatoes for including only a single Kentucky playwright in the evening's mix.

Yes, there are many Kentucky playwrights including:

Constance Alexander, Kris Alfred, Sharon Woolley Allison, Justin Ayer, Shan Ayers, Trish Ayers, Robert Barr, Eunice Beatty, Jeni Benavidez, Tabitha Berges, Carolyn Bertram-Arnold, Jim Betts, Carolyn Biggs, Sallie Bingham, Bill Breuer, Beth Dotson Brown, James Brown, Cheryl Brumley, Sarah Diamond Burroway, Catherine Bush, Linda Caidwell, Ross Carter, Richard Cavendish, Steve Cleberg, Cody Clifton, Stephen Currens, Fredrick DeJaco, Michael Bigelow Dixon, Gary Eldridge, Kathi E. B. Ellis, Chris Fannin, Hennan Farrell, Liz Bussey Fentress, Greta Fields, Brett Owen Flora, Bill Forsyth, Nancy Gall-Clayton, John Gamel, Jeremy Gillette, Jennifer Goodlander, Joe Terrence Gray, Heather Branham Green, J. R. Greenwell, Mary Christopher Grogan, Warren Hammack, Clara Harris, Rebecca Henderson, Robby Henson, bell hooks, Kristin Hornsby, Silas House, John Howell, Arlene Hutton, Jim Inman, Donna Ison, Teresa Jenkins, Kristi Johnson, Ken Jones, Nancy Jones, Jonanthan Joy, Sandi Keaton-Williams, Elizabeth Kilcoyne, Jeremy Kissling, Bo List, Gail Livesay, Jane Martin, Carol Mauriello, Walter May, George McGee, Ron Mielech, Jim Wayne Miller, Kim Miller, Cisco Montgomery, Ellen Birkett Morris, Marsha Norman, Liz Orndorff, Mary Owens, Phillip Paradis, Reagai Payne, Betty Peterson, Jim Peyton, Donna Phillips, Larry Pike, Susan Pope, Charles Edward Pogue, David Preece, Margaret Price, Cathy Rawlings, Georgana Riddle, Charles L. Roe, Rebecca Ryland, Heidi Saunders, Doug Schutte, Frank Schaefer, Anne Shelby, Ric Siler, Larry Snipes, Vivian Hill Snipes, Tim Soulis, Dudley Stone, Steve Taylor, Galen Velonis, Naomi Wallace, Brian Walker, Frank X. Walker, Billy Ed Wheeler, Brenda K. White, Glenda White, Rachel White, Bruce Williams, Jason M. Williams, George C. Wolfe, Trey Wright and Vershawn Young.

This list was composed from lists of those who have entered the Kentucky Theatre Association's Roots of the Bluegrass or the Kentucky New Play Series play contests.

Others are or have been members of Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc.; still others have had plays produced or published. Sources for this list are as varied as those whose names are on it.

That list — exhaustive as it seems — isn't. The list changes. People die, lose interest, and move on to other interests. Some no longer write.

Or they're taking a class and working on their first play (or even scene). Or I've left their name off, inadvertently. (My apologies.) Or they don't write 10-minute plays. Or they only work on devised pieces.

Or they are focused on teaching. Or directing. Or producing. Or they write for Broadway. Or they write only for their own enjoyment. Still, there are Kentucky playwrights, lots of them.

Finally, it should be pointed out that Pioneer Playhouse in Danville this summer season produced three full-length plays by Kentucky playwrights Catherine Bush, Robby Henson and Charles Edward Pogue and sold out many nights.

So Kentucky playwrights cannot just write good plays — they can write profitable ones.

In the future, I hope area theaters will seek out Kentucky playwrights and put their works on stage.

After all, our home-grown talent is every bit as deserving as playwrights with no connection to the commonwealth.

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