2014 RNPF Playwrights:
Aaron Adair (Chicago, IL), Steve Coogan (Rockford, IL), Caleigh Derreberry (SETC H.S., GA), Derick Edgren (Auburn H.S., Rockford, IL), Mildred Lewis (New York, NY), Charlyne Blatcher Martin (Rockford, IL), David Ross (Rockord, IL)
Aaron Adair (The Paperboy Comes Before Dawn) is a playwright from Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of several evening-length plays and a series of one-act and 10-minute plays, which have been produced in a number of delightfully diverse destinations, including Madison, Wisconsin, San Antonio, Texas, Spring Arbor, Michigan and beautiful Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is grateful for the opportunity to add neighboring Rockford, Illinois, to the list and encourages a visit to www.jellobox.com, if you’d like to help him conquer the rest of world.
Steve Coogan (Dam, Sweet Dam) is an artist and educator, currently working as the High School Education Director at Spectrum Progressive School of Rockford. He was inspired to submit a play (the first he’s written) to this event by one of his students, who is a terrific storyteller in her own right. Steve studied art history at the Art Institute of Chicago before coming to Rockford 18 years ago to work as a curator at the Rockford Art Museum. He is married and has two wonderful daughters.
Caleigh Derreberry (Late Bloomer) is a rising freshman at Georgia Tech, where she will be studying Literature, Media & Communications. Her work has previously been chosen as the winner of the SETC High School New Play contest, Georgia Playworks program, Young Voices with New Visions contest, and as a finalist/winner of the Thespian Playworks program. She aspires to be a playwright/screenwriter.
Derick Edgren (Earth from the Moon) is a recent graduate of Auburn High School’s Creative and Performing Arts and Renaissance Gifted Academy programs. Derick currently works as a writer for College News Magazine, enjoying writing about Theatre and college life. His work was previously produced at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a finalist/winner of Thespian Playworks, a competition for young playwrights recognized worldwide. He is grateful for the everlasting support of his parents, Bill and Idalis Edgren, and of his greatest non-blood-related fan and former teacher, Recha Sofolawe. He hopes to make them proud this fall when he begins classes at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Mildred Lewis (Not Peace but a Sword) is an award-winning writer, director and teacher. She began as a theater director in New York City. She has taught at Chapman University since 2000. In 2009, she co-founded the Fox Lewis Project, a digital production company that created content for clients including HBO’s True Blood and a web series, The Etiquette Show. In 2013, her play, the end of everything, was workshopped by Imported Talent. Her short play Daily Habits Mask Pain was a finalist in the Sky Blue Theatre’s Cambridge (UK) Theatre Challenge and L.I.C. (NY) One Act Festival. It is published by Lazy Bee Scripts.
Charlyne Blatcher Martin, M.A., (Epiphany) is a playwright, freelance writer, poet, and host of Comcast’s, “Something To Talk About.” Her plays include: Epiphany (2014 Rockford New Play Festival); Crossing Bridges (2002-World Premier at Rock Valley Studio Theatre); Black History Series: Queen Bess and Pancho Barnes (2009-CAPA Auburn High School and Rockford Public Library); Bravery and Courage: the Buffalo Soldiers (2001-Midway Village Museum Center& Ethnic Heritage Museum); Harriet Tubman: The Black Moses and the Road to Freedom (2003-Ethnic Heritage Museum); The Slaves (2008-CAPA Auburn High School at Rockford College); and A Week in August (1997-Top 100 Stage Plays Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, 1998-New Voices in the Heartland Series-New America Theater, and 1998 Rockford College Dramatic Reading).
David Ross (Roundabout Rumble) was stage-struck as a college student director and actor. He eventually found writing scripts was a bigger kick. After years as a newspaper journalist, writing teacher and literary magazine editor, his widely published personal prose and poetry preference has returned to the klieg lights that only theater provides. He is also on the board of directors of Rockford Writers’ Guild which may be visited at www.rockfordwritersguild.com.