2003 Symposium and Showcase
Rick Bonn, in his decade as an executive in Hollywood, has developed multiple feature films, television movies, and animated series including AIR BUD for Disney and ADVENTURES FROM THE BOOK OF VIRTUES for PBS. He's also analyzed more than 3700 scripts for various studios. The intersection of faith and art in media has long been a passion; he most recently worked at Fuller Seminary as Development Director for Reel Spirituality: An Institute for Moving Images, where he coordinated conferences and events to improve the theological dialogue between storytellers in the church and Hollywood. And despite all that busyness, he still hasn't quite left the dream of writing behind. Of his five screenplays, two have been optioned, and he's also written a children's video series and novel. He's currently co-writing a young adult fiction novel with youth evangelist Greg Stier and his articles and reviews have appeared on Aint-it-Cool-News.com and been published in PRISM. A graduate of Wheaton College and grateful mentee of Jim Young, he's honored to be included in this crucial discussion, to renew Arena theater ties with McFadzean, McLaughlin, and Murray Walker, and to create brand new ties with this incredible group.
Steve Broyles received an MFA in Script and Screenwriting from Regent University in 2001. Steve teaches as an adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College and is a member of Crowded House Theatre, a local writer's group in Hampton Roads and the Floodlight Theatre Company. Steve has written short scripts for church worship for Communication Resources. Originally from East Tennessee, Steve graduated from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana in 1985. He managed a community theatre in Easley, SC for 3 years and directed major church theatrical productions at his home church in Easley for 3 years.
Chris Cragin Day is currently pursuing her MFA in stage directing at Baylor University. A fairly new playwright, she has had her plays produced at Baylor, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Gardner-Webb University. This year she received a number of awards for her plays including: Finalist in the Actor's Theatre of Louisville Ten-Minute Play Contest, Finalist in the Mid-America Theatre Conference Ten-Minute Play Contest, Honorable Mention at the CITA Full-length Play Contest, and 3rd place in the Baylor Ten-Minute Play Contest. Chris is also an actress with numerous credits, both professional and non-professional.
Gillette Elvgren has been writing for over thirty years, his plays have been produced by professional theatre companies throughout the United States and Canada. He is co-founder and resident playwright for Saltworks Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, PA., as well as being resident writer for Children's Ministries, Scripture Union, Philadelphia, PA. There have been approximately 8,000 performances of Elvgren scripts. While a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh he was head of the M.F.A. directing program and staff director for the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. Presently he is a Professor in Theatre Arts at Regent University, Virginia Beach.
|Joe Frost is a resident of Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife, Shannon, and children, Nina and Darby. He has written several one act plays, including Van Gogh, Anya, and The Great Play- winner of the 2001 Regent University One Act Festival, and full-length plays, Winter Branch, ‘Til Heaven, and Oz. Joseph holds an MFA in Script and Screenwriting from Regent University, and is a member of CITA and is the artistic director of the SlapHappy Improvisational Comedy Troupe. As an actor, he has performed such varied roles as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Charlie in The Foreigner, and Hamlet. Joseph is a member of The Dramatist’s Guild, Inc. and is the founder and artistic director of the floodlight theatre company.|
|Sean Gaffney is a playwright, screenwriter, director, teacher and producer. His producing credits include Managing Director of Taproot Theatre (Seattle), and General Manager of Lamb’s Theatre Company (New York). He has written twenty professionally produced plays and seven produced videos. Sean’s freelance writing with Big Idea (creators of VeggieTales) includes videos, chapter books, and dialogue for four music CD’s. Teaching credits include director of the theatre program of the MasterWorks Festival, adjunct faculty at Biola University, and speaking/teaching on Christianity and the Arts at conferences throughout the United States. Sean is a reader for Act One’s APEX Script Critique Service, a judge for the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition, and a freelance script consultant. He received his BFA from Drake University, his MFA from Columbia University and graduated from the Act One: Writing for Hollywood program. www.gaffneyinkwell.com|
|Wayne Harrel's play "Song of the Bow" had its world premiere with Art Within Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The play was also a finalist in the Oregon Literary Arts Awards and was excerpted in Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion (www.imagejournal.org). Other works by Mr. Harrel include: "Making Choices", winner of New York's TADA! Theatre New Play Award and published by The Dramatic Publishing Company; "Look At Us Now", winner of the CITA playwriting contest; and "Gospel Blues", a new work in progress. A native of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Harrel is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the creative director for National Meeting Company, the father of two and the husband of one.|
|Dennis Hassell is the founding artistic director of Brookstone. Hassell comes by his storytelling honestly: his grandfather ran the first radio station in Vancouver, and used to ad lib stories on the air; and his mother was a kitchen comedienne. Hassell grew up in Vernon, B.C, and worked and trained in Edmonton, Calgary, California, London, England, and the Shaw Festival, before starting Brookstone. He claims he is a member of the Roman Presbetery of Baptecostal Angloholics (Reformed Traditon). Produced scripts include A Divine Comedy; Shell Game; Merry Crisis!; The Big Picture. and Saint Hilaria’s. He is now writing a drama, Firewalking. Acting credits include appearances at the Citadel Theatre, Lamb’s Players Theatre, and hundreds of touring venues across North America. He teaches performance skills at seminaries; university colleges and national conferences. Hassell and his wife live in a cottage in west Toronto, where they grow roses and children.|
Key is a) Producing Artistic Director of Atlanta’s
acclaimed Theatrical Outfit, in residence downtown at The Rialto Center for The
Performing Arts-- Theatrical Outfit is a professional company giving dramatic
voice to the spiritual themes of the American South. b) Nationally acclaimed award-winning actor and
creator of the off-Broadway musical hit Cotton
. c) A solo performer in demand over two decades dramatizing a wide range of roles from C.S. Lewis, Saint John, President Harry Truman to the best of classic and contemporary poets, from The Kennedy Center of Washington, to Oxford University, England to, most recently, with The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
. d) Featured on numerous television films with Ann Margaret, Karl Malden, Lee Grant and George Segal, the award winning television series In the Heat of the Night and I’ll Fly Away, the Mirimax Family Film Gordy, and the upcoming feature The Adventures of Ociee Nash
. e) Won critical praise for his performances, direction, or scripts from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Herald, and The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
. f) One of Atlanta’s most prominent Theater Artists: “An actor with such energy that even standing still, he seems to quiver like a divining rod.”—Creative Loafing
|Andrew Librizzi is a playwright, director, and producer. In the mid-nineties, he wrote, co-produced and directed his award winning, feature film, Holding On. Mr. Librizzi established the Desert Bloom Theatre in 1995 (Dallas, TX), and from 1995-2000, he wrote and directed a number of mainstage romantic comedies. That list includes The First Church of Texaco, The Boxer's Garden and Peanut Butter and Tofu on Jewish Rye. Librizzi has also written and directed corporate projects for companies such as Visa, Seimens and Nortel garnering him many industry awards including several Tellys. In 2001, Mr. Librizzi directed a High Definition Television pilot starring Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure) called, Texas Tales and Legends about the infamous casino owner and gangster, Benny Binon. Presently, Mr. Librizzi is producing a second feature film entitled, Beyond the Farthest Star.|
|Kevin Mayer, still unsure what he wants to be when he grows up, has tried his hand at a variety of occupations. He’s been a DGA trainee on the set of "Cheers", a minister, a copywriter, a computer programmer, and a trainer. If you include things he’s done for free, he’s also driven cattle in South Dakota, shot documentary footage in Haiti, and checked in teams during a dog-sled marathon. Kevin considers one of his biggest blessings to be having his play "Thirst" chosen as the winner in CITA’s one-act playwright competition in 2001. Whether writing, speaking, or teaching, Kevin’s passion is conveying God’s truth to audiences in ways they’ll find relevant. He lives in Iowa with his wonderful wife Pat and their two dogs (neither of whom pull sleds).|
|David McFadzean is a partner with Matt Williams and Carmen Finestra in the Wind Dancer Production Group. He was creator and executive producer of Home Improvement, served as executive story editor during the debut season of Roseanne, and was creator and executive producer on the series Soul Man, Thunder Alley and Buddies. He also served as executive producer on Carol and Company. David’s plays have received productions Off-Broadway, at Washington’s Kennedy Center and at many colleges and universities.|
|Buzz McLaughlin's plays, which include Transcendence, Leaving Jane, Traverse des Sioux, Sister Calling My Name, Spirit on the Plains, Absent Without Leave, Limits, and Wings (a musical adaptation of Aristophanes' The Birds) have been produced in NYC and regionally in the U.S. and Canada. With his wife Kris, he has written several screenplays and teleplays. His work has won numerous national competitions, including the National Play Award for Sister Calling My Name, and he is the recipient of a Playwriting Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has twice been a writer-in-residence at the New Harmony Project, a national playwrights/screenwriters conference held annually in New Harmony, Indiana, and also serves on the Project's advisory board. He is the founding director and former Artistic Director of Playwright Theatre of New Jersey, a professional (AEA) theatre dedication to the development of new plays, and a Professor of Theatre Arts at Drew University where he teaches playwriting. His book, The Playwright's Process: Learning the Craft from Today's Leading Dramatists (Back Stage Books, 1997), includes extensive excepts from his four-year interview series at the Dramatists Guild, NYC, with sixteen of America's foremost playwrights. he holds a doctorate in theatre and dramatic literature from the University of Wisconsin and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Writers Guild of America.|
|Greg Payne isn't sure what Christian art is all about, but he is sure that he wants to be a practitioner and cheerleader. He currently lives in north Georgia with three beautiful girls; Lynn his bride,Carly (7), and Greylin (3 and A HALF). He acts, writes, and directs for KidStuf at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. KidStuf is a multimedia weekly production aimed at elementary age families, and Greg is also active in making the material available to other Churches through 252basics.com. He writes and performs for Family Times, a resource of printed, and recorded material that takes a relevant approach to teaching children when "you sit at your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." He is well aware that it is only by the Grace of God that he gets to play with an incredibly gifted and visionary group of people on a daily basis (2 Tim. 1:9). By reading to the end of this bio, you have also become a witness to Greg's promise to finish his first full length play before his fortieth birthday. Tick, tick, tick . . .|
is the Artistic Director of Pacific Theatre, a professional company which he
founded in Vancouver Canada in 1984. Ron
is a Jessie Richardson Award nominated actor whose performances include COTTON
PATCH GOSPEL, DAMIEN, THE FOREIGNER, MACBETH, TALLEY'S FOLLY, GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS
and many others. He has an MFA in acting from the California Institute Of The
Arts. Ron chairs the New Play
Competition for Christians In Theatre Arts, is a founding member of the Lamb’s
Players Writers & Directors New Play Workshop in San Diego, and has had over
a dozen plays produced at theatres throughout North America; the most recent is MERCY
WILD, a collaborative creation based on a mask training process for actors.
The Toronto production of TENT MEETING, a collaboration with
Morris Ertman, was nominated for the 1998 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding
New Play, and BOOK OF THE DRAGON won the 1997 Chalmers Canadian Play
Award. Works currently in progress
include A BRIGHT PARTICULAR STAR, the story of George MacDonald's actress
daughter, Lilia; YOU STILL CAN'T, a sequel to the classic comedy YOU
CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU; TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME, a revue about
baseball; and a commissioned piece for Wycliffe Bible Translators about work
among Muslims in the former Soviet Union. He
has a degree in Christian Studies from Regent College, and is a frequent guest
lecturer there and elsewhere on Christianity and the arts, calling and vocation,
as well as leading workshops and master classes in playwriting and acting.
Ron lives in Richmond, British Columbia, with his wife Carole and two
daughters, Thea and Katie.
|Jeanne Murray Walker is the author of five books of poetry and many theatre scripts, which have been produced in Boston, Washington, Chicago, throughout the Midwest, and in London. Her writing has been honored with numerous awards, including The Prairie Schooner-Strousse Award, six Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a coveted Pew Fellowship in The Arts. Jeanne’s plays have twice won The William and Arlene Lewis Playwriting Competition, a Stage Time Award from The Minneapolis Playwrights Center, the Washington National Theatre Competition, and The Charlotte Repertory Theatre New Plays Competition. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Image, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, and many other journals and anthologies as well as in busses and trains with the Poetry in Motion Project. Jeanne lives in Philadelphia. She is married, with two children, and is a Professor of English at The University of Delaware.|
Randy West is
delighted to be working with Sean on this musicalization of The
Invisible Man. For the past four years Randy has collaborated with his wife,
Shannon, in pushing the boundaries of the youth musical form, including shows
such Bound for Christmas, Don’t
Talk Back to an Angel, These are the
Voyages, The Road to Bethlehem, and for December 2003, The King of Christmas. Randy acted as gagwriter and dramaturg on Let
the Son Shine, a documentary musical on the Jesus Movement of the early
1970s. Randy’s music and lyrics have been featured in the NIV
Kids Club video series, produced by Stan Blair. His lyrics (in collaboration
with Stan Blair) have also been in nationally used VBS materials published by
Gospel Light. Other projects in the works: a musical version of J.R.R.
Tolkien’s novella “Farmer Giles of Ham,” a dramatic song cycle based on Sonnets from the Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and
songs based on the poems of Phillip Larkin and Maxine Kumin. From 1987 to 1990
Randy was a writer-in-residence and member of The Inheritance Players in New
York City, directed by Sidney Johnson, which produced his play with music Out
of Your World. Randy is a frequent contributor to The
Door (formerly The Wittenberg Door).
Randy earned a BA in English from California State University, Long Beach, and has done post-graduate work on musical theatre at the University of Washington, as well as Sheila Davis’ Sondheim Seminar at The New School in New York.
ABOUT US | PRODUCTION | SCRIPT SUBMISSION - PLAYWRIGHT'S PLAY ROOM - PLAYWRIGHT SPOTLIGHT - RESOURCES
ART WITHIN - 1940 Minnewil Lane - Marietta, GA 30068