Prism seeks submissions from women playwrights for “Spotlight on… Women Writing: Prism’s Festival of New Works”

The mission of St. Louis’ newest professional performing arts organization, Prism Theatre Company, is to promote the work of women and emerging artists, on stage and off, through the lens of theatre for the new world.  We produce both new and classic works in an atmosphere of inclusivity, where artists from all walks of life can come together to explore our common humanity. Prism is creative collaboration, without the cliques. 

To that end, Prism is currently seeking submissions for new plays by women playwrights based in Missouri or Illinois for “Spotlight on… Women Writing: Prism’s Festival of New Works.” Prism is accepting non-musical plays of any length that feature 2 – 15 characters. All submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Visit prismtheatrecompany.org for full submission guidelines.

Prism’s search for the most talented playwrights in our region will culminate with the inaugural season of a series of staged readings this summer (dates TBA), featuring some of St. Louis’ favorite actors and exciting, emerging artists. COVID safety guidelines will be strictly followed for in-person readings, and a virtual option will also be offered. Details on the festival are available on Prism’s website, Instagram, and Facebook page.

Prism Theatre Company is the brainchild of Trish Brown and Joy Addler, St. Louis-based theatre-makers and longtime collaborators.   

Trish Brown, a professional director, actress, and theatre educator, has directed regionally, as well as in Canada.  She is a proud associate member of SDC, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. 

She holds an MFA in Directing from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and worked professionally in Chicago for a number of years before returning to the St. Louis area.  

A process-based, ensemble director, Trish is trained in and utilizes a number of acting methods in her work while specializing in the Michael Chekhov technique. 

She is a founding member of The Moving Dock Theatre Company, a Chicago-based company dedicated to the actor’s creative process through the use of the Chekhov technique.  Theatre education is also a passion of Trish’s and she has taught in regional arts programs such as COCA in St. Louis and Hinsdale Center for the Arts in Chicago.  She is now a Professor of Theatre at Principia College.  Her educational productions have won numerous recognitions, including two Best Production for the  State of Illinois awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  Trish also loves directing film and coaching actors for stage and screen.  

Joy Addler

Joy Addler is a St. Louis area stage manager, company manager, and nonprofit professional. A proud graduate of The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, Joy has a BFA in Stage Management and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management. She is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Currently, Joy works as the Performing Arts Manager for Variety the Children’s Charity, overseeing their inclusive chorus and dance programs throughout the year, as well as serving as the Company Manager and Production Stage Manager for their annual Variety Theatre production. In addition to her work at Variety, Joy works as a freelance AEA stage manager throughout the St. Louis area.  

Addler and Brown began work on Prism Theatre Company over 18 months ago in a pre-pandemic world.  The company was a long-time dream of these partners who wanted to provide a home for artists from all walks of life to shine, especially women.  “As members of the St. Louis theatre community, and in talking to our friends in the community, we noticed a gap in the opportunities for women to really be at the forefront,” says Joy Addler, Prism’s Managing Director. “We want to provide a safe space for the voices of women to really shine and take center stage.” Though the company’s mission puts women at the forefront, men are also an important part of Prism’s work.  “We love all artists and welcome men into Prism, as actors, technicians, directors, designers, and Board members.  Nothing at Prism is exclusionary,” says Trish Brown, Prism’s Artistic Director.      

Trish Brown

Prism is also designed as a home for new and emerging artists.  “Because I’m passionate about theatre education, fostering new and emerging artists was an important aspect of Prism,” says Brown.  “I remember graduating from college with my BA in Theatre and wondering, ‘OK, what now’?  It was difficult to break into the theatre scene in a meaningful way.  Few companies were open to mentoring young artists at that time.  We want Prism Theatre Company to be a place where emerging artists can work with kind, collaborative, seasoned professionals so they can learn, grow, build their resumes, and make connections.”    

Theatre artists who are interested in joining Prism’s Board of Directors or Company may contact Prism at [email protected]. Prism invites actors to like us on Facebook for access to audition details for the festival and for future productions.  Women playwrights interested in submitting their unproduced scripts for consideration to “Spotlight on… Women Writing: Prism’s Festival of New Works” can find full details on Prism’s website.  

ABOUT PRISM THEATRE COMPANY

Prism Theatre Company seeks to champion the voices and stories of women from all walks of life, giving emerging artists a platform to showcase their work with seasoned professionals. We produce both new and classic works in an atmosphere of inclusivity, where artists from all walks of life can come together to explore our common humanity. Prism is creative collaboration, without the cliques.
Learn more about Prism on our website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Keep Live Alive Saint Louis is a free 90-minute entertainment video special produced in St. Louis for the people who miss being able to attend concert events due to the pandemic.

More importantly, Keep Live Alive Saint Louis is about all the people behind the scenes who bring you concerts everyday – ushers, ticket takers, bartenders, wait staff, sound & lighting technicians, stagehands, backstage crews, the list goes on and on.

KEEP LIVE ALIVE SAINT LOUIS, the streaming video, will premiere the weekend of Friday, March 12 on both YouTube and Facebook Live. Links to the special will be on the participating Hubbard radio station websites and at KeepLiveAliveSTL.org. You can stream it any time on demand after the event.

Media partner of the project is Hubbard Broadcasting (KSHE-95, 106.5 The Arch, 92.3 WIL, and 105.7 The Point). Not only have Hubbard’s four music stations committed promotional support, but their key on-air personalities will co-host the video special.

By making a donation, you will be helping some of those people most affected by being laid off, waiting and wanting to come back to work producing your favorite concerts and live entertainment events.

When the pandemic hit, the live entertainment business was the first to close down and will be one of the last to reopen. Key venues in the St. Louis region went dark overnight, including The Fabulous Fox Theatre, The MUNY, The Pageant, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Enterprise Center, The Sheldon Concert Hall — the list goes on and on, all the way to the countless small local clubs and theaters.

Please contribute via the Donate tab as any amount large or small will help!

Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon is featured in the special

So, come join us along with Sammy Hagar, Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Pat & Danny Liston (Mama’s Pride), Michael ‘Supe’ Granda (Ozark Mountain Daredevils), Stan Kipper (Gypsy, Minnie Riperton), as well as local musicians Lady J Huston, Bell Darris and Roland Johnson, comedians Paula Poundstone, Greg Warren, and Joe Marlotti, and country recording artists Lindsay Ell, and Alexandra Kay – plus special guests Mark Klose, ‘Lern’ Ewell, and Favazz from KSHE-95. Joining them will be Rizzuto and Lux from 105.7 The Point, Mason & Remy and Kasey from 92.3 WIL with Courtney Landrum and Donny Fandango from 106.5 The Arch – plus many other special guests and performances!

Podcast partners Carl Middleman and Lynn Venhaus of Reel Times Trio are included. Carl is a longtime radio veteran and Lynn is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle and longtime movies/theater reviewer.

St Louis Classic Rock Preservation Society is a producer. They are dedicated to “preserve, promote and honor St. Louis’ unique classic rock heritage and its place in music and pop culture history.”

“I’ve never witnessed such enthusiasm and dedication from so many talented people to deliver a great show for St. Louis. Their
passion is what will make this 90-minute video special a very memorable event for all of us,” said Ron Stevens, Co-Executive Producer and Director of the special.

Helming the videographer duties is Co-Executive Producer Jack Twesten, who teamed up with Ron Stevens to produce the highly successful documentary, “Never Say Goodbye: The KSHE Documentary.”



“One of the nice things about having Weber Chevrolet as an underwriter of the special is that we have been able to hire a lot of the people that have been most affected by layoffs for our location and studio filming,” Twesten said.

Co-Executive Producer Greg Hagglund, who has spent the last 35 years producing and promoting live events across the globe, said he has enjoyed working on the project.

“Knowing a lot of the people personally that have been affected by the pandemic has left a marked impression on me. It’s a reminder of how many people work behind the scenes to produce a successful live concert or special event,” he said.

Follow us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/groups/keeplivealivestlouis

KEEP LIVE ALIVE SAINT LOUIS welcomes any inquiries from local businesses that would like to participate in the underwriting of the video special program.

By Connie Bollinger
Contributing Writer
Full disclosure: I ordinarily don’t enjoy audience interactive productions However, “Flanagan’s Wake,” playing now through March 21 at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza, proved to be a delightful exception.

Part improv, part scripted, part interactive,”Flanagan’s Wake” tells the story of an Irishman’s funeral and the family and friends who come together in an Irish pub to toast him on his way to paradise.  

Already a long-running smash hit in Chicago, Emery Entertainment has moved the interactive play to St. Louis, where the locals memorialize his passing with plenty o’ pints, zany sing-a-longs and witty tales.

There’s a priest, of course, dear Father Damon Fitzgerald, played by Alan Knoll, whose penchant for sacrilege and gambling is well presented. Knoll tells a thumping good story about the deceased and about an unknown Apostle named Kevin.

Alan Knoll as Father Fitzgerald. Photo by John Flack

Mother Flanagan is there, an ancient, salacious, Gaelic speaking old blister, played to perfection by Bill Burke. Mayor Martin O’Doul (Lynn Berg) hosts the gathering, as it’s his Pub after all.

Brett Ambler is Brian Ballybunion, a fun-loving handsome young man with big dreams. Dustin Petrillo plays Mikey, Teresa Doggett is Kathleen Mooney, the Irish Pagan, and Jennifer Theby-Quinn is Fiona Finn, Flanagan’s long-time fiance.

Music Director Charlie Mueller commands the pub piano, accompanying some of the most surprising songs we’ve ever heard, and three patient bartenders (Janelle Pierce, Sean Seifert, and Matt Billings) round out the cast, along with Patrick Blindauer playing the accordion.

The assembled audience are the cousins and friends come to participate in Flanagan’s send-off.

A romp of this magnitude requires a talented director and an equally skilled stage manager. Luckily, Director Lee Anne Mathews and Stage Manager Emily Clinger are up to the challenge, keeping the action moving along at a break-neck pace but never giving us the feeling of being rushed. 

The cast of “Flanagan’s Wake” are Improv wizards. Brett Ambler creates a wonderfully funny song out of thin air right before our eyes. Theresa Doggett’s Pagan Kathleen tells a  tale of a visit from the “Little People”  that is both surprising and, I’m sure, mostly improvised.

The Mayor, Lynn Berg, also spins a yarn about Flanagan that incorporates audience suggestions and never misses a beat; but for me, the favorite is Jennifer Theby-Quinn’s Fiona, the long suffering, hard drinking, short-tempered fiance whose Banshee;like wails of grief will literally make your ears ring. Fiona throws herself on Flanagan’s casket at every opportunity, causing brother Mikey (Dustin Petrillo) to have to wrestle her off kicking and screaming. 


Some of you may remember Ms Theby-Quinn in Westport’s production of “Avenue Q,” where she played Kate Monster and Lucy the Lounge Singer. Indeed, much of the cast of “Flanagan’s Wake” have St. Louis connections.

Teresa Doggett (Kathleen) recently appeared in “Pride and Prejudice” at the Rep and is also the resident Costume Designer for the Union Avenue Opera.

Jennifer Theby-Quinn as Fiona Finn. Photo by Jack Flack

Bill Burke (Ma) comes to the Playhouse from St. Louis’ own Stray Dog Theater where he recently played in “The Tempest” and “Macbeth.”  Patrick Blindauer has appeared in movie and television productions as well as several productions at the Muny.  Brett Ambler played Brian in “Avenue Q” last year at Westport, and  Dustin Petrillo’s St. Louis credits include Myriad Productions’ “Heathers the Musical” where he played JD.

“Flanagan’s Wake” is irreverent, loud, sarcastic, and delightful — just like family.  

The Playhouse @Westport presents “Flanagan’s Wake” Jan. 24 through March 21. Performances run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with a special Tuesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day performance. Tickets are available at www.metrotix.com or at the box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more should call 314-616-4455 for special rates. The Playhouse is located at 635 Westport. Visit www.playhouseatwestport.com for more information.

Theresa Doggett and Dustin Petrillo dance. Photo by John Flack.