Indiana Playwrights Circle
Bimonthly Events

Mark Your Calendars!

Revision: How?
Sunday, May 1, 2022, 5:00 pm EDT

Sheri Wilner
John Minigan

Save the Date! Two prominent playwrights share tips on revising your work. The Indiana Playwrights Circle’s May Large Group Meeting meeting is FREE and open to playwrights everywhere. Presenters are acclaimed playwrights Sheri Wilner and John Minigan. The event is facilitated by Andy Black, IPC Founder, and Dr. Rick Plummer. 

Please join us via Zoom, on Sunday, May 1, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm EDT. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register through Eventbrite.

Find out more about the Indiana Playwrights Circle!

Sheri Wilner’s plays include Kingdom City, Relative Strangers, Bake Off, Father Joy, A Tall Order, The End, Joan of Arkansas, and Hunger and have been presented at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Signature Theatre (DC), Williamstown Theatre Festival, the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, Bucks County Playhouse, The Old Vic/New Voices, and many others. Her plays have been published in more than a dozen anthologies, which has led to over four hundred productions of her plays worldwide. Playwriting awards include a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, two Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowships, and two Heideman Awards, granted by the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Also an established playwriting teacher, she has taught for the Playwrights’ Center, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Boston College, Vanderbilt University, Florida State University, PlayPenn, and the Dramatists Guild Institute, where she is also the DGI Certificate Program Advisor.

John Minigan is a recent Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing and New Repertory Theatre Playwriting Fellow. He has developed new work with Urban Stages, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Portland Stage Company, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Queen of Sad Mischance was a 2020 winner of the New American Voices Festival and the 2019 Clauder Competition. Noir Hamlet was a Boston Globe Critics’ Pick and an EDGE Media Best of Boston Theater for 2018. His work is included in the Best American Short Plays, Best Ten-Minute Plays, New England New Plays and other anthologies, and published by Applause, Smith & Kraus, YouthPLAYS and Theatrefolk. He is on the faculties of Emerson College and the Hanover Theatre Conservatory and serves as Dramatists Guild Ambassador for Eastern New England.

Screenwriting for Playwrights
March 6, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Two prominent screenwriters share tips on screenwriting and what playwrights should consider in writing for film and TV. The Indiana Playwrights Circle’s March Large Group Meeting meeting is FREE and open to playwrights everywhere. Presenters are a successful screenwriter and a screenwriter and film director: Scott Sickles and Harold Cronk. The meeting will provide ample time for networking with playwright participants. The event is facilitated by Dr. Rick Plummer.

Please join us via Zoom, on Sunday, March 6th, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm EDT. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register through Eventbrite.

Find out more about the Indiana Playwrights Circle:

Scott Sickles will discuss writing for daytime tv vs. writing for the stage. Harold Cronk will discuss his experience as both a screenwriter and a director of major-release films.

Scott Sickles (he/him) is an LGBTQ/neurodivergent/biracial Korean American writer whose plays have been performed in New York City, across the U.S., and internationally. He’s received five consecutive Writers Guild of America Awards for General Hospital and nine Emmy nominations. His anthology Playing on the Periphery: Monologues and Scenes For and About Queer Kids is published on Amazon. Plays include: Nonsense and Beauty (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Marianas Trench (Road Theatre; Portland Stage), Composure (NY Innovative Theatre Award), among others. .

Harold Cronk is an American writer, director and producer and founding partner in 10 West Studios and EMC Productions. Harold is a director for the Walt Disney Company and has directed for Universal Pictures. He won the Best Director award at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival in 2006. His screenwriting and directing credits include God Bless the Broken Road, Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Pirate’s Code: the Adventures of Mickey Matson, and Jerusalem Countdown. He has directed other major-release films, including Silver Bells, God’s Not Dead, and God’s Not Dead 2.

'Make Use of Time, Let Advantage Not Slip':
Organizing Your Yearly Schedule
January 2, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST

Two prominent playwrights share tips on how to organize your yearly schedule around submissions to playwriting contests and festivals. The Indiana Playwrights Circle’s January Large Group Meeting meeting is FREE and open to playwrights everywhere. The meeting draws its title from Shakespeare’s narrative poem, Venus and Adonis–“Make Use of Time, Let Advantage Not Slip.”
Presenters are prominent playwrights, Vivian Lermond and Mark Harvey Levine. The meeting will provide ample time for networking with playwright participants. The event is facilitated by Dr. Rick Plummer.
Please join us via Zoom, on Sunday, January 2, 2022, 5:00-6:30 pm EST. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register through Eventbrite. Register here
Want more info about the Indiana Playwrights Circle? Read more.

About the presenters

Vivian is an award-winning playwright who has penned more than 100 plays and monologues that have entertained audiences in the US, Mexico, England, Scotland, Canada and Australia. Her full-length drama/comedy, Back to Bethlehem (PA), premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In addition to her stage plays, Vivian has also written two full length screenplays that were awarded first place in two highly competitive screenwriting contests. She has taught playwriting and has facilitated playwriting workshops at writing conferences. Vivian has lent her talents to Gallagher Literary, an LA talent management company, where she evaluated pitches and screenplay submissions. She also has freelanced for, where she was a script analysis specialist for stage plays. Currently, a variety of her work is featured on The Writer’s Block Radio Hour, a radio program that airs worldwide on the web via Vivian has been a proud member of The Dramatists Guild since 1998.

Mark Harvey Levine is an award-winning playwright with over 1800 productions of his plays all over the world from New York to Bucharest to Jakarta to London. His work has been seen at such theatres as the Actors Theatre Of Louisville, City Theatre of Miami and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Evenings of his short plays have been produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as in Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Indianapolis, Columbus, Providence, and other cities. An evening of his plays had a National tour of Brazil from 2007-2010. His work has been translated into seven languages. Eleven of his plays appear in the “Best Ten Minute Play” Anthologies from Smith & Kraus, and other plays appear in the Anthologies “Laugh Lines”, “Shorter, Faster, Funnier” and “Plays For Two” from Random House. A Spanish language film version of his play “The Kiss” (“El Beso”) just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University’s School of Drama and currently lives in Pasadena, California with his lovely wife and son. More info at

Produce Your Own Play!
November 7, 2021, at 5:00 p.m., EST

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to self-produce? The thought of bringing your own work to the stage by your own hands is exhilarating, right? Many of us have what it takes to do just that. In this month’s large group meeting we will examine the question from all angles.

The panel we have assembled are some of the best in the business, and they have agreed to help you figure out what it takes to do it on your own.

This amazing group of folks includes Tim Mooney, Georgeanna Smith, Casey Ross, and Ben Asaykwee. All of these playwrights have been successful at producing their own work. They will share firsthand knowledge of how the process works. Don’t miss your chance to find out if you have what it takes to produce.

Please join us via Zoom, on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EST. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register through Eventbrite.

Calendar of IPC Events

IWC Open House

Come learn about the upcoming fall classes at the Indiana Writers Center! September 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST. 

If writing is rewriting, how does a playwright do it? July 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Most writers are familiar with the maxim “Writing is Rewriting”.  Revision is a key part of the process.  So what are possible approaches?  How does a writer take input on a draft and use it intelligently to create a new version of their story?  This large group session of the Indiana Playwrights Circle will talk about approaching the revision process, which we will define as the steps taken after getting feedback on a draft, using collected feedback to craft an intentionally reworked and improved play.  Our panel of experts (Andrew Kramer, Latrice Young, and Audrey Cefaly) will share their experiences and take questions.  This 90-minute session will include time for playwright networking.  See you on Sunday, July 11!

Thank You, Ten! The Art of Crafting the Ten-Minute Play
May 2, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Erica Batres Indiana Playwrights Circle
Erica Batres
Donna Hoke Indiana Playwrights Circle
Donna Hoke
Frank Blocker Indiana Playwrights Circle
Frank Blocker

Join our panel of playwrights, Erica Batres, Donna Hoke, and Frank Blocker, playwriting teachers, and members of artistic staffs who will provide tips for crafting a ten-minute play.

Save the Date for an Indiana Playwrights Circle Open Meeting! Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST.

What is the value in writing ten-minute plays? What is the best way to conceive one? What are common problems that might keep your ten-minute play from being selected? What do artistic directors look for?

Join us on Sunday night, May 2, at 5 PM EST when a distinguished panel of playwrights, playwriting teachers, and members of artistic staffs will provide tips for crafting a ten-minute play. Join us for a lively discussion and Q&A with the experts.

Panelist Bios: 

Erica Batres is an activist, actor, and student at the University of California Irvine. Aside from acting, her passion lies in mutual aid, and abolition. She is excited to be graduating this spring.

Frank Blocker is the Film and Theatre Director at Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs where is curator of the international Stage It! 10-Minute Play Festival, now in its fifth year.  A member of Dramatists Guild, Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA, his plays include Drama Desk Award-nominated Southern Gothic NovelStabilized Not Controlled, The Call of Cthulhu and several comedies.  He most recently appeared in the premiere of his new play Good Jew.

Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 47 states and on five continents, including at Barrington Stage, Barrow Group, Celebration Theatre, Gulfshore Theatre, Queens Theatre, The Road, Writers Theatre New Jersey, Phoenix Theatre, Atlantic Stage, Purple Rose, Skylight, Pride Films and Plays, New Jersey Rep, Hens and Chickens (London), The Galway Fringe Festival, and Actors Repertory Theatre of Luxembourg. Plays include BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (Kilroys List), ELEVATOR GIRL (O’Neill, Princess Grace finalist, and Austin Film Festival finalist), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and TEACH (Gulfshore New Works winner). She has been nominated for the Primus, Blackburn, and Laura Pels prizes, and is a three-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS, ONCE IN MY LIFETIME). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop HEARTS OF STONE, and, in its final three years, Artvoice named her Buffalo’s Best Writer—the only woman to ever receive the designation.

Janet Allen
Jen Otterman
Kate Galvin
Ronan Marra

Artistic staff from Indiana theaters to speak March 7 to Indiana Playwrights Circle

Artistic leaders in theaters consider many things when selecting the plays and musicals to produce during their annual season. Some considerations will be discussed during a virtual meeting for playwrights throughout Indiana and beyond.

Indiana Playwrights Circle has invited members of the artistic staffs from various state theaters to participate in “Go Inside the Black Box,” a roundtable discussion on Sunday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Questions to be asked are:

• What criteria do theaters use to assemble a season?

• How do they decide what to produce and what not to?

• How do new plays fit in, and how do theaters work with new plays and new playwrights?

• How does a playwright write a play to make it producible?

• What about theatre in the time of COVID?

“Go Inside the Black Box” will be Sunday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Admission is free and the event is open to all, but attendees must register online on Eventbrite.  

Scheduled speakers include Janet Allen (Indiana Repertory Theatre), Jordan Flores Schwartz (Fonseca Theatre Company), Kate Galvin (Cardinal Stage), Ronan Marra (Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis), and Jen Otterman (Westfield Playhouse).

Janet Allen is the Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director at Indiana Repertory Theatre. This season is Ms. Allen’s 25th at the artistic helm of the IRT. Beginning as the IRT’s first literary manager-dramaturg in 1980, she left Indiana to pursue freelance dramaturgy in New York, returning several years later to serve ten years as associate artistic director under mentors Tom Haas and Libby Appel before she was named the IRT’s fourth artistic director in 1996.

During Allen’s tenure, the IRT has significantly expanded its education services to both adults and children, nurtured playwrights to create and produce 15 new works that examine Hoosier and Midwestern sensibilities, and has been through two capital campaigns that stabilized IRT’s financial future and extended the IRT’s regional and national reputation. Her collaboration with playwrights has brought the theatre prestigious grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Joyce Foundation Grant, a Doris Duke Foundation grant as well as numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as many local foundations. Allen studied theatre at Illinois State University, University of Sussex, UK, Indiana University, and Exeter College, Oxford.

Jordan Flores Schwartz is the Interim Producing Director and co-founder of the Fonseca Theatre Company, an organization dedicated to representation and neighborhood engagement. She is also a current MFA Candidate in Dramaturgy at Indiana University Bloomington, holding an MA in Arts Management from the University of Oregon ’17 and a BA from Bryn Mawr College ’15. She was recognized as a Rising Leader of Color by Theatre Communications Group in 2017 and was named a 2019 Young Philanthropist Scholar by Impact 100 Indy.

Kate Galvin is the Artistic Director of Cardinal Stage in Bloomington, Indiana, and her work has been seen in recent productions of “The Great Gatsby,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Christians” and “Fun Home.” A Philadelphia native, she previously served as Associate Producer at 11th Hour Theatre Company and Casting Director/Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director at the Walnut Street Theatre. Kate is Barrymore Award-winning director of both musicals and plays, and has a passion for new musical development. Kate holds a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance – Musical Theater) from NYU and a Master of Arts (Musical Theater Producing) from Goldsmiths – University of London.

Ronan Marra founded Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis in 2016 and directed both shows in its inaugural season (“Infinity” by Hannah Moscovitch and “Prowess” by Ike Holter), and led the development and opening of Storefront’s Broad Ripple Facility in 2019. Ronan was Co-Artistic Director of Chicago’s Signal Ensemble Theatre for fourteen years before moving to Indy in 2015. He directed most of Signal’s productions and wrote five of them. He is a three-time Joseph Jefferson Award nominee, an Illinois Arts Council Award recipient, and a Woodward/Newman Award finalist that has directed and/or written forty-plus shows in Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Birmingham and Indianapolis.

Jennie Otterman has over 52 years of theatrical experience, acting in a multitude of productions and directing over 50 plays at Hamilton Southeastern High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Speech/Theatre and Psychology from Indiana University and a masters in Theatre Performance from Northwestern University. She was a long-standing member of the IRT Education Advisory Board and one of the authors for the Department of Education’s state standards for theatre. Since retirement in 2015, Jen has directed “A Christmas at Home,” “Picnic” (7 Encore nominations), “Social Security,” (2 Encore Awards), and “Lie, Cheat and Genuflect” (multiple Encore Awards, including Best Director of a Comedy) for Westfield Playhouse, and she acted at Mud Creek as Nat in “Rabbit Hole” and Grandma in “Lost in Yonkers” at The Red Barn Theatre in Frankfort. Other directorships include “Dinner with Friends” at The Red Barn, “Hide and Seek” at Carmel Community Players, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (9 Encore Awards, including Best Director of a Drama) and “Wait Until Dark” at the Belfry Theatre in Noblesville. She also directs Noblesville’s Shakespeare in the Park at Federal Hill Commons. In addition, she is a judge for musicals with The Indianapolis Encore Association.

Internationally produced playwrights to address Indiana Playwrights Circle on Jan. 3, 2021

Playwright Rachel Carnes
Playwright Mark Harvey Levine
Playwright Scott Sickles

Rachael Carnes of Eugene, Oregon, Mark Harvey Levine of Indianapolis, and Scott C. Sickles of New York City will speak about playwright preparation during the January 3, 2021, virtual bimonthly meeting of the Indiana Playwrights Circle.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. EST on the Zoom virtual meeting platform. Admission is free, but people are asked to register at Eventbrite. The Zoom link will be provided via email about one hour before the event.

Carnes, Levine and Sickles will offer practical suggestions about preparing to write plays, preparing to submit plays to production and publication opportunities, and preparing playwrights to self-promote themselves and their work. An informal networking session will follow.

“Writers often set annual goals for themselves in the number of scripts they write and submit during a calendar year. Additionally, several will explore online platforms or update currently owned platforms to promote themselves,” said Andrew Black, founder of the Indiana Playwrights Circle.

“Rachael, Mark and Scott are immensely gifted playwrights who also understand the work involved after a script is complete. Attendees will learn several key strategies and tactics they can incorporate into their own playwriting methods.”

Rachael Carnes received a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship, and had more than 50 productions in 2019, across the U.S., U.K., Canada and Asia, with recent invitations to develop work at the William Inge Theatre Festival (2018), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Playwriting Intensive (2019), the Midwestern Dramatists Center Conference (2018 & 2019), the Mid-America Theater Conference (2019 & 2020), the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education New Play Development Series (2019), the Sewanee Writers’ Conference (2019), the Ivoryton Playhouse Women Playwrights Initiative (2019), the Parson’s Nose Theatre’s Women Playwright Series (Winter and Fall, 2019), the Cambridge U.K. WriteON Festival (2019), the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival (2019) and the Great Plains Theatre Conference (2020 – moved to 2021, due to Covid.) Her work is seen in many literary journals, and has been nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

Mark Harvey Levine has had over 1800 productions of his plays everywhere from Bangalore to Bucharest and from Lima to London.  Indianapolis productions include numerous appearances in “A Very Phoenix Xmas” and in last year’s “A Very Bryan Xmas.” His plays have won over 45 awards (including First Place in Fat Turtle’s “Quaranteeny Play Festival”) and been produced in more than ten languages. Full evenings of his plays, such as “Cabfare For The Common Man,” “Didn’t See That Coming” and “A Very Special Holiday Special” have been shown around the world, including a multi-year tour of Brazil.  A Spanish-language film of “The Kiss” (“El Beso”) premiered at Cannes and aired on HBO and DTV (Japan).  His work has been published in over two dozen anthologies by Smith & Kraus, Applause, Routledge and Vintage. He lives in Indianapolis, where he teaches playwriting at the Indiana Writers Center.

Scott C. Sickles is an LGBTQ/biracial Korean American writer. His plays have been performed in New York City, across the U.S., and internationally in Canada, Australia, the UK, Hungary, Singapore, Indonesia, and Lebanon. Plays include: Nonsense and Beauty (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; 2018 Edgerton New Play Award; 2020 ATCA Steinberg Award Finalist), Marianas Trench (2019 O’Neill Finalist), Pangea (O’Neill Semifinalist), Composure (Winner, 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Award; 2018 Lambda Literary Award Finalist), Intellectuals (Smith & Kraus’ New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2007), Lightning From Heaven (1999 Beverly Hills Theater Guild/Julie Harris Playwriting Award); Beautiful Noises (Smith & Kraus), murmurs (Samuel French); and Turtles and Bulldogs (Applause). Five consecutive Writers Guild of America Awards for the daytime drama General Hospital, eight Emmy nominations. Most recently, he published Playing on the Periphery: Monologues and Scenes for and About Queer Kids, available on Amazon. Member, Dramatists Guild, New Play Exchange. 

Indiana Playwrights Circle is a writing group for playwrights of all experience levels; membership is not limited to Indiana residents. It is affiliated with the Indiana Writers Center

November 1, 2020: Writing a Mystery . . . Play, That Is!

For our November meeting, we've invited Crystal Rhodes, MB Dabney, Lillie Evans, and Janet Williams from Speed City Sisters in Crime, Indiana Chapter (thank you, Ramona Henderson, also a member of SCSIC, for suggesting the topic!), in addition to our own Andrew Black, to share some of their experiences and approaches to writing a mystery and how the process might apply to the writing of a mystery play.

IPC’s November meeting to feature renowned mystery authors

Renowned mystery writers MB “Michael” Dabney, Lillie Barnett Evans, Crystal V. Rhodes and Janet E. Williams will speak about how to successfully write a mystery play during the Indiana Playwrights Circle’s all-member meeting November 1, 2020.

Evans and Rhodes are co-authors of the Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery book series, which consists of four published books. They wrote a two-act staged play titled Grandmothers, Incorporated, based on their characters.

“It appeared Off Broadway for a very successful run,” Rhodes said. “In 2014 Lillie and I wrote a one-act stage play titled Stakeout, which featured two of the most popular characters from our series. It was produced at the 2014 Indiana Fringe Festival and was among the top money-makers at the festival that year.”

Additionally, Evans and Rhodes are members of Sisters in Crime along with Dabney and Williams. Together, the chapter members wrote Deadbeat, a play that was produced at the Indiana Fringe Festival in 2018.

“The intimacy of the interaction between the performers and the audience makes theatre a great medium to tell stories,” Rhodes said. “Each audience is different, and it is interesting to compare each audience’s reactions. This provides insight for the writer.”

Rhodes offered advice to playwrights interested in writing mystery plays.

“The playwright must understand that the mystery on stage must be of interest from the beginning and the reasons behind that mystery must make sense,” Rhodes said. “If not, the audience will lose interest quickly.”

During the IPC meeting, Dabney, Evans, Rhodes and Williams will focus on the aspect of theatre as a business.

“Playwrights need to understand the business of theatre if they want to get produced,” Rhodes said.

Andrew Black, founder of the Indiana Playwrights Circle, said the presentation during the November member meeting fits perfectly with the organization’s mission to strengthen playwrights’ skills.

“All plays are fundamentally mysteries, so all good playwrights need to understand the elements of mystery to draw on when they write,” Black said. “And as it so happens, Agatha Christie is one of the most-produced playwrights in the United States, even now nearly 50 years after her death. The formula is a crowd-pleaser, and a playwright who wants to get produced should consider writing a mystery!”

The November meeting featuring Dabney, Evans, Rhodes and Williams is free to members of the Indiana Playwrights Circle and the public. People can become members of the Indiana Playwrights Circle by going to

MB “Michael” Dabney is an award-winning retired journalist whose writing has appeared in local and national publications. He’s worked at United Press International and the Associated Press, and as an editor at The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest continuously published African-American newspaper. His short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and his first mystery novel, An Untidy Affair, is scheduled for publication next year. He co-wrote and co-produced Deadbeat, which premiered at the Indianapolis Theater Fringe Festival in 2018.

Crystal V. Rhodes (left), Lillie Barnett Evans (right)

Lillie Evans is an author, playwright, and storyteller. Under her pen name, L. Barnett Evans, she is co-author (with Crystal Rhodes) of the cozy mystery book series, Grandmothers, Incorporated. In addition to the novels, she is co-writer of the plays Stake Out and Grandmothers, Incorporated, based on the characters from the book series. The play Grandmothers, Incorporated enjoyed a very successful Off-Broadway run. Lillie is the writer and producer of the play, Take My Hand, which was chosen for a reading at the prestigious National Black Theater Festival and was performed at the 2018 OnyxFest at the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival. Lillie has appeared as a crime commentator on TV One’s “Unsung” and is a member of the writer’s group  Sisters in Crime, International.( 

Crystal V. Rhodes is an award-winning playwright and author whose plays have been produced in theatres throughout the United States. Her plays have been the recipient of numerous awards.  Rhodes has served as Playwright-in-Residence for the Connor Prairie Interactive History Park. She is the recipient of The Black Theatre Alliance Award for her comedy, Stoops.  Her play, The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin was selected as a read for the 2017 Black Theatre Festival.  The Diary of Annie Mae Franklin won the 2019 American Stage 21st Century Voices New Play Festival, and was selected as a finalist in the 2020 Broadway Bound Theatre Festival.  Her play, 1200 Miles from Jerome, is the winner of the 2020 Women’s Playwrights Festival sponsored by the Ivoryton Playhouse, and the 2020 Columbus Black Theatre Festival.  Rhodes holds a Masters degree in Sociology and has written for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.  Rhodes is the recipient of the 2020 Creative Artist Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indiana Arts Council. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Indiana Chapter of Sisters in Crime Mystery Writers and Crime Writers of Color. (

Janet E. Williams has been writing her entire life, first as a child making her own books and later as an award-winning journalist for newspapers in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. She has always believed that journalism is, at its heart, strong storytelling. Today, she uses her experiences covering courts, crime and politics to create her fiction. Since retiring from a corporate job in 2015, Janet has been working with Franklin College journalism students and developing her fiction-writing skills with short stories as she works on her novel.

September 13, 2020

A distinguished quartet of African American playwrights from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio will be guests of the Indiana Playwrights Circle for our open Zoom meeting at 5 p.m., Sunday, September 13 — “Lift Every Voice.”

“Lift every voice and sing…” is the first line to the James Weldon Johnson poem-turned Negro National Anthem. Under the umbrella of the Indiana Writers Center, the IPC advocates lifting every voice, especially as communities confront difficult issues that touch all — including a pandemic virus and systemic racism. The writers will share their unique experience and offer advice in an evening of networking with other playwrights and creators.

Our guests:

Kimberly Dixon-Mays is a poet, playwright and performer. As a playwright, she has received readings and staged productions at Chicago Dramatists, Crossroads Theatre Company, Plowshares Theatre Company, Emotive Fruition, Windy City Playhouse, and Strawdog Theatre Company. As a poet, Kimberly is a Cave Canem, Callaloo and Ragdale fellow, and her poetry has been published in journals including Reverie, Anthology of Chicago, the anthology Trigger Warning, Uproot magazine, Rhino magazine and Consequence magazine. She was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She is currently a 2018-20 Russ Tutterow Fellow with Chicago Dramatists. She holds a B.A. Psychology/Theater Studies from Yale University an M.A. in Afro-American Studies (playwriting concentration) from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre/Drama from Northwestern University.

Angela Jackson-Brown is an award-winning writer, poet and playwright in Indiana. She teaches creative writing and English at Ball State university in Muncie, Indiana. She is a graduate of Troy University, Auburn University and the Spalding low-residency MFA program in creative writing. She is the author of the novel, Drinking From A Bitter Cup and has published in numerous literary journals. She has written and produced several original plays, including a musical about Bobby Kennedy. She published a book of poetry, called House Repairs. Her new novel, When Stars Rain Down, is forthcoming in 2021.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson is a public radio journalist, author and speaker from the Kansas City, Missouri area who now lives in Louisville, Kentucky. As a playwright, Johnson’s plays have been staged nationally, including in California, Texas, Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky. Several of her plays, such as “Wiccans in the Hood,” “The Negro Whisperer,” “Trading Races: From Rodney King to Paula Deen,” “Echoes of Octavia,” and “The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip” have been in New York City festivals and readings. Her play “Only One Day A Year” was chosen for the Kennedy Center’s 2020 New Vision/New Voices Festival and recently received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for its World Premiere at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.

Charles Smith is a founding member of the Playwrights Ensemble of the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago where nine of his plays received world premiere productions. He has had multiple works commissioned and produced by Goodman, Indiana Rep, and The Acting Company. His work has also been produced by People’s Light & Theatre Company, Penumbra, Crossroads, Penguin Repertory, Ujima, New Federal Theater, The Colony Theatre, St. Louis Black Rep , Seattle Rep, Jubilee Theatre, Ensemble Theatre in Houston, West Coast Black Rep., Robey Theatre Company, Berkeley Rep, HBO New Writers Project, Independent Theatre in Adelaide, South Australia, the International Children’s Theater Festival in Seattle, and The National Black Theatre Festival. He is currently head of the Professional Playwriting Program at Ohio University.

July 12, 2020

Phoenix Theatre at the Indiana Playwrights Circle
5:00 PM EST, Zoom (you’ll receive invite info after you register). Free and open to the public

Sign up for Phoenix Theatre Night at the Indiana Playwrights Circle (IPC)

Join us for an open Zoom meeting of the IPC as we welcome members of the playwriting education team from the Phoenix Theatre to talk about their work as playwrights.

The Phoenix Theatre is currently offering summer playwriting classes as part of its ARC series, and their instructors (Jennifer Blackmer and Tom Horan) will be with us in Zoom to share how they got started as playwrights, to tell us about their first big “break” and to provide suggestions for aspiring playwrights.  

We are also excited to have Bill Simmons, the artistic director of the Phoenix Theatre as a special guest.  He will talk about what is going on with the Phoenix during this difficult time for theatres and also give us some insight as to what he looks for when he reads a new play for possible production.

Anyone can attend, IPC members, non-members, friends, family and wannabes!

The session will take place Sunday night, July 12 at 5 PM EST in Zoom.  Sign up.   The session is free, but for security reasons, we are asking participants to sign up in advance here on this webpage. We will send you a confirmation email within approximately 24 hours with the Zoom link and a password to join.  

May 3, 2020

Bi-monthly meeting
Sign up for a virtual gathering of the Indiana Playwrights Circle!

All are welcome for this virtual (Zoom) meeting on Sunday, May 3, at 5 PM EST.

We will have special guest New York playwright Donna Hoke joining us via Zoom.  She will be talking to us about creating relationships that will enable us to continue our work when theater creaks back to life after the pandemic crisis has abated.  Donna will challenge us to think of this time strictly as social distancing but not isolation and talk about what work is going to be useful and relevant two years from now.   Members can then reflect on the relationship they need to be building during this time.

We are honored to have Donna join us virtually.   Her work as a writer has been seen in 47 states and on five continents,  She has been nominated for both the Primus and Blackburn Prizes, and is a three-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS, ONCE IN MY LIFETIME). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop HEARTS OF STONE, and, in its final three years, Artvoice named her Buffalo’s Best Writer—the only woman to ever receive the designation.

In addition, Andy Black, founder of the Indiana Playwrights Circle, will present an interactive tutorial on the Seven Key Elements of Narrative using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as his teaching model.

Our meetings usually last about 90 minutes and we promise to keep this virtual meeting fast-paced and interactive.

Sign up for the May 3 virtual gathering of the Indiana Playwrights Circle

See you all on Sunday, May 3!

March 1, 2020

Bi-monthly meeting

Free and open to the public! 

“How to submit your play (to festivals, contests and theatres).”

Mark Harvey Levine (produced playwright and Dramatists Guild Ambassador) will talk about how to submit your play(s) when they are ready to be sent out—identifying places to send it and creating a submission packet. Tom Horan (Playwriting professor at Ball State and Resident Playwright at the Phoenix Theatre) will lead us in a writing exercise.
Come network with other playwrights, learn about the submission process, pick up a writing tip or two, and celebrate the success of the many central Indiana playwrights who are getting their work out there.
5 PM EST at the Broadway United Methodist Church. First-timers and other theatre artists (directors, actors, tech folk) are enthusiastically encouraged to attend.

January 5, 2020

Bi-monthly meeting

Free and open to the public! 

Calling all playwrights, directors, actors, and producers!

From Page to Stage – Getting your show produced!

So you’ve written your great American play – and you’ve secured a local production at Fringe or in a local theatre. How do you go about producing your play for the stage? Toiling alone in your office struggling to tell your story by putting lyrical, pithy, dialogue in the mouths of your characters is one thing – getting it produced on a stage in a theatre is quite another.

The Indiana Playwrights Circle is holding a large group meeting on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, at 5:00 at Broadway United Methodist Church. June McCarty Clair will be discussing all of the ins and outs of producing a play, and sharing her personal experiences. She will be joined by Spencer Elliott, local director who will talk about working with new plays and playwrights from a director’s eye view. We would like to invite all playwrights, directors and actors to this event.

June McCarty Clair has produced and directed many plays – in theatres, schools, and churches, over the course of her forty plus theatrical career. She has produced and/or directed shows in locales as varied as the UpperStage of the IRT, public and private schools, and intimate stages in Carmel and Indianapolis. Spencer Elliott is a local director, actor, lighting designer, and sound designer who has worked with numerous theatrical companies around central Indiana. He is currently the director of Heritage Christian School’s theater program.

We will also have a directors / playwright meet and greet and invite local directors who like working with new playwrights to come introduce themselves as part of the networking aspect of this event.

November 3, 2019

Bi-monthly meeting

Free and open to the public! Join us for a talk with IndyFringe President and CEO, Pauline Moffet, on November 3rd, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., at the Broadway United Methodist Church. Pauline will discuss opportunities for local playwrights, including: 

  • Playwriting seminar: January 18
  • DivaFest: Kickoff, February 8; Marketing workshop, March 14; festival, April 17-26
  • Ten Minute Play Festival: May 1-3
  • OnyxFest: African-American playwrights festival, May 15-25

And much more! 

We will also have panelists who have participated in DivaFest and other Fringe fests who will speak about their experiences there and field questions. There will also be a short writing activity and networking opportunities. 

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