2019 TEN-MINUTE FESTIVAL PLAYWRIGHTS
Keith Whalen (Coming to Town)
Keith is a director and actor, but his love for the last decade has been playwriting. His short comedies have won awards and been produced across the country. Most recently, his play Youth for Dark was produced in Connecticut, and his ten-minute comedy Cliche won third place in an international playwriting festival in California. Cliche was Runner-Up in last year’s Theatre Odyssey festival. His play Reflection was a semi-finalist in Theatre Odyssey’s inaugural One-Act Festival in September 2018, and was produced in Oregon in February 2019.
Dan Higgs (A Conundrum)
Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Dan has been a local actor and director for both professional and community theatres since 1995. He directed Heroes for Banyan Theater and he most recently performed in Old Enough to Know Better at FST and in Urbanite Theatre’s Stupid Fucking Bird. Prior to the family’s move to Sarasota, he directed 40+ plays and performed in a 100+ plays and musicals in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. As a late-blooming playwright, his short plays have been produced by Player’s Theatre, Gulfport Theatre, Sarasota Area Playwrights Society and Theatre Odyssey. Dan and his extraordinary wife, Shigemi, reside in Sarasota with their four-legged family member, Starlette.
Frank Motz (Crunchers)
A retired lawyer and mediator from Canton, Ohio, Frank works part time as a house manager for Asolo Rep and a writing instructor for the State College of Florida. He is a member of The Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild Play Readers and directs staged readings at libraries and residential centers as part of its Outreach Program. He is also a member of Sarasota Area Playwrights Society, a group he credits with helping him develop Crunchers. Frank’s wife, Randi, daughters, Allison and Rachel, and grandchildren, Alona and J D, provide him with all the evidence he needs of how wonderful life can be. He has discovered in himself a passion for playwriting and is determined to continue exploring this art form for the rest of his life.
James Kassees (Dome)
James has been active in theatre for 40 years as an actor, director, writer and improviser. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, James worked with City Theater Company, which produced four of his 10-minute plays over the years (sometimes he’d appear in them as well). In Sarasota, James understudied for Asolo Rep’s Morning After Grace and played Richard Nixon in Arthur Keyser’s In Whom We Trust. Last year, a company called Just Write! Lakeland produced another of his 10-minute plays. James is also a new member of FST Improv’s On Deck team as well as FST’s sketch comedy writing team. James would like to dedicate this production of Dome to the late Jeff Williams, who originated the role of Gluteus Maximus in the earlier part of this century. Love forever to Barb.
Arianna Rose (Family by Numbers)
Arianna Rose (Playwright, Musical Theatre Writer) 2012 MAC Award Song of the Year “He’s On His Way” (w/composer Robby Stamper). Artistic Director, Miami New Musicals (www.miaminewmusicals.com).
Full-length: THE LOST GIRL with Ben Bonnema, (Viterbo New Works Festival, Buck Hill Skytop Festival, Players Club); GUTTER BALLS (Bucknell Theatre); THE HOLIDAY WINTER SOLSTICE SECULAR SPECTACULAR with West Hyler.
Children’s: JOSIE & THE ROCKAWAY TUFFS (Rockaway Artists Alliance); THE SPELL w/Matthew Gregory (RAA, MAD).
Short-form: GET THAT MOUSE (Microtheater Miami); FAMILY BY NUMBERS (Theatre Three New Works Festival; Bismarck New Play Festival); DOUBLE TROUBLE (VCT New Play Festival); SHARKS IN BARBADOS (with Ben Bonnema) Duplex Theatre; DREAM TEEN (with Robby Stamper), York Theatre; LUNCH MONEY, GET THAT MOUSE, MAKE MULCH FROM IT, Theatre Lab@FAU.
MFA Musical Theatre Writing, NYU Tisch. BA Theatre, Bucknell. BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. York Theatre NEO. Member: Musicians Local 802, ASCAP, South Florida Theatre League, Dramatists Guild.
Paul Donnelly (Family Visitation)
My life as a “trailing spouse” has included stops in Washington DC, Atlanta, Honolulu, and now Tallahassee. My work has won the Source Theatre Company National 10-Minute Play Contest, the Larry Neal Writers Award for Drama, the Virginia Playwriting Prize, and twice been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. I had pieces in the 2015-2017 Atlanta One-Minute Play Festivals and my romantic comedy, Falling Off the Edge, was produced in Atlanta in January 2018. My 10-minute play, The New Client, was recently published in The Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019!(Smith & Krauss). My full-length play, Memorial Day, was read in Kumu Kahua Theatre’s Dark Nights series in Honolulu and was named a Finalist (one of eight out of 1,243 entries) in the first Moss and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative. I am a member of the Dramatist Guild, Klunch, New Play Exchange, Playwrights’ Center, and Working Title Playwrights.
Connie Schindewolf (Life on Earth)
Connie taught theatre, including playwriting, for 25 years in the St. Louis area before moving to Bradenton. She has had 13 plays produced by Theatre Odyssey and has won four of their awards, including Best Play twice. She’s had productions across the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and United Arab Emirates. Smith & Kraus just published Memory Card in The Best Ten Minute Plays of 2018. She has been in The Players Theatre New Play Festival four times, and Mammoth Bones won in 2016 and thus received a full production in 2017. Clamour Theatre of Jacksonville, Florida recently invited six playwrights across the U.S. to participate in their weeklong Playwrights’ Retreat, and Connie was one of them. She is thrilled to be included in the festival this year, and she credits Theatre Odyssey for giving her the confidence to send out her work. She’s a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Sarasota Area Playwrights Society, and when she’s not writing, she’s saving sea turtles.
Bob Wanderman (Who Done It)
He de-tasseled corn, worked on the Great Lakes, studied engineering, joined the US Marine Corps, fought on Okinawa, went to China, majored in journalism, was named an Ernie Pyle Scholar, edited humor magazine, edited a newspaper, wrote a children’s TV show, worked for an advertising agency, manufactured dolls, toys and synthetic wigs, invented the cap-less wig, went to law school, practiced law, retired to Florida, wrote a memoir, Letters to My Grandchildren, and many plays including Who Done It, performed to rave reviews in Sydney, Australia, The Petition in Mesa, AZ and The Next Big Thing in Marin County, California.
Tony Gunn (Volition)
Tony is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Theatre Studies at Florida State University having earned his PhD there last year. This is his return to playwriting after spending many years working on scholarly pursuits. You can watch his adaptation of The Fisherman and His Wife online (Google it!) or read his critical work which has been published in Theatre Symposium and Popular Entertainment Studies.