For Potluck Productions, Fringe Festival, Arts Bar offer important audience

Nancy Parks, a playwright, and Richard Alan Nichols, a director, have been rehearsing at Nichols’ South Hyde Park studio for a Fringe Fest production.

Nancy Parks, a playwright, and Richard Alan Nichols, a director, have been rehearsing at Nichols’ South Hyde Park studio for a Fringe Fest production.

New opportunities in the Midtown area – from the Fringe Festival to the Uptown Arts Bar – are giving a wider range of aspiring actors, directors and playwrights a chance to experiment and grow.

That’s the word from two of the folks involved in the Potluck Productions showcase on stage tonight and next Saturday at the Fringe Festival. “

We’re getting a chance to see more writers,” says Nancy Parks, a playwright who has been a part of Potluck for several years.

Potluck, established in 1994 by Glendora Davis, Mary Beth Gordon and Joyce Slater, showcases scripts by emerging women playwrights through professional readings and stage productions.

The group opened up a competition for short plays to be performed at the Kansas City Fringe festival and got more than 40 submissions.

Director Richard Alan Nichols, a professional actor, director and founder of The Actors-Craft Studio who is directing the performance, says, ”the caliber of writing in this production is by far the best.”

For the Fringe, Potluck is offering four plays, the longest of which is 16 minutes. (see descriptions below) “

All of the plays capture people are a point in life where critical decisions have to be made,” Nichols says. But each play is also short, none longer than 16 minutes, so the writers and actors are challenged to tell a complex story very quickly.

According to its website, the goal of the Kansas City Fringe Festival is to “connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences.” The festival is eleven days of performing and visual arts put on around Kansas City, including several Midtown venues.

Nichols says the Potluck Fringe production, which continues tonight and next Saturday, features a range of actors: some with tons of experience and some who have never before been on stage.

Potluck has also been producing First Friday Play Readings at the Uptown Arts Bar. Parks says even for an experienced playwright like herself, the opportunity to do a reading is an important tool for polishing a play. “

You can see what it sounds like and how the audience reacts.” And the Uptown Arts Bar, she says, is a perfect venue. “It’s a bar in the front and people are really noisy,” she says. “

Its kind of like New York.


  • Monday July 21 at 7:30 pm; and Saturday, July 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Phosphor Studios at 1730 Broadway.
  • Tickets: $10 plus the one-time purchase of a $5 Fringe Festival Button required for entry at all Fringe performances. Both tickets and buttons can be purchased at the Turning Points box office on performance evenings or earlier via

The Fringe Festival evening includes four play with diverse themes, as described by Potluck Productions:

  • What’s left for an aging actor who for years specialized in Shakespearean and other classic characters? The Falstaff Years by Catherine Browder attempts to address this very personal dilemma with considerable wit and bare-knuckle honesty that will touch anyone who has ever been involved in theatre. Browder’s plays have been produced regionally; at academic, professional and community theatre venues; as well as in the HotInk! New Play Festival in New York City. Her first play won the Margot Jones Playwriting Competition from Texas Woman’s University.
  • In Start the Party by Glendora Davis, a gala fund raiser serves as a backdrop for a husband and wife to finally confront the painful issues they have for so long been avoiding. Davis’ play Lullaby was a winner at the Johnson County Community College juried contest as well as a finalist in the short play competition at Penn Valley Community College. She provides original material for drama camps, mystery theatres and corporate sponsors.
  • When the dogs of war get loose, havoc reigns.  The young may serve with brave distinction, but at what cost to them and those they love?  Nancy Parks explores these themes Can Anyone Hear Me. Parks has had numerous plays produced locally; she is a winner of the Rockhurst University Plays in Progress Competition for her play Crossing White Sound. Parks also won a regional Emmy for her work on a local children’s television news show.
  • In Pieces by Lezlie Revelle, a young woman, eager for her soldier husband to return from assignment, gets more than she bargained for when he arrives home unexpectantly. Revelle’s plays have been produced at the Kansas City Women’s Playwriting Festival, The Barn Players Annual 6×10 Festival, and the Kansas City Fringe Festival.  In New York, her full length play Black Ice secured a spot at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, and her short comedy The New Chili won Best of Show at the 2013 April Short Play Lab.

One Comment

  1. Annie Newcomer says:

    How do I submit my 10 minute play for the festival? Sincerely, Annie Newcomer

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