Shakespeare Festival St Louis - In the Park

The Confluence Regional Writers Project was developed in 2018. Our goal is to further foster a regional culture of playwriting by providing support and inspiration to emerging playwrights in St. Louis and its radiating regions through a Playwriting Fellowship, an Emerging Playwrights Cohort, and new plays commissioned and developed by the Festival.

Confluence New Play Festival

2019 Cohort Staged Readings | November 20-23
Learn more about the first year of the Festival here.

Now introducing the second Confluence Regional Writers Project Cohort

November 2019 – November 2020

2020 Cohort Members

Elizabeth Archer (Chicago, IL) hails from Edmonton, Alberta, and holds an MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage from Northwestern University, a BA in English from Fordham, and an Associate’s Degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts East. She is a graduate of The Second City Chicago’s Musical Improv and Improv Conservatories. A book of Ukrainian folk verses she compiled and edited was published by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, University of Alberta and is now used as part of the curricula at Ukrainian bilingual schools in Western Canada. In June 2014, her play Old Gray Devil was performed as a part of the Source Festival (Washington, D.C.). In December 2014, her play Both Sides, Now received a staged reading at Chicago Dramatists and was also performed as part of the 2015 Source Festival.

Myah L. Gary (Carbondale, IL) is a playwright-health educator from Carbondale, Illinois. She is an interdisciplinary doctoral student in Health Education and Theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her plays focus on creating a dialog around health and social issues. Myah is the author of the full length plays, Blemished Brown Beauties, Jesus in the Ivory Tower, The Woman Who and Penetrate. In 2018, she wrote, directed and produced the full-length children’s musical Kendall Saves the Day as part of The Creative Academic Performing Arts Academy (T.C.A.P.A.A) program that she founded. In June 2019, her piece Blood Memory was performed at a Valiant Theater summit (Chicago, IL). Most recently, her full-length play, Blemished Brown Beauties was performed as a staged reading at The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Rob Maesaka (St. Louis, MO) was born and raised in New York City with a passion for theatre.  He came to St. Louis to attend Washington University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and then his Masters of Arts in Theatre.  Since the days of being a professional student, Rob has taught at Wydown Middle School in the Clayton School District for the past 25 years — 9 years of drama and 16 years of Literacy.  Rob’s playwriting career began with adapting classic stories to be performed at school.  The first adaption of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” which was written with musical collaborator Jerry Estes was published by Shawnee Press.  Other adaptations include Around the World in 80 Days, The Prince and the Pauper, Treasure Island, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, and The Canterville Ghost. 

List of Past Participants

2019 Cohort
Shualee Cook (St. Louis, MO)
Kristin Idaszak (Chicago, IL)
Mariah L. Richardson (St. Louis, MO)
Carter W. Lewis (St. Louis, MO), 2019 Fellow


2020 Cohort members have committed to:
•  Attend a weekend retreat in October 2019 in St. Louis. 
•  Travel to St. Louis once monthly, November 2019 through November 2020, for writing sessions, workshops, and mentorship activities.
•  Complete a full-length play for a public reading in November of 2020. 

The Confluence Regional Writers Project is not reserved for adaptations of Shakespeare, or work related to Shakespeare. 

Special consideration will be given to playwrights who are interested in doing community-based playwriting based on interviews and research, in the spirit of Cornerstone Theatre, The Civilians, or our own Shakespeare in the Streets

Diversity is one of our leading values, in terms of race, gender identification, age, and relative physical ability. 

To learn more about our first cohort look here.

Project Director

Nancy Bell is the author of six Shakespeare in the Streets adaptations, two of which received St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards for Outstanding New Play. She has also written two plays for children inspired by Shakespeare for the Shakespeare Festival Education Program and for the St. Louis Symphony. Nancy was also recognized in 2017 with the St. Louis Visionary Award.  She is the Program Director of Theatre at Saint Louis University


The Confluence Regional Writers Project is generously funded by Sondra & Dorsey Ellis.