R202. Realism Is Dead/Long Live Realism: Resistance and Acceptance of a Dramatic Form

Grand Salon C, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Four playwrights, who also direct, present and discuss challenges and approaches to using Realism in the plays they write and choose to produce. We will examine the validity and opportunities that arise from both embracing and denying Realism as a mode of representation on stage. We will discuss how Realism can be limiting in craft to young writers and ways to combat the fatigue of only “writing what you know.”


Andy Pederson's plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis, Vermont, and other places. He is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild and an alumnus of Goddard College’s MFA program, and is resident playwright of the Saltbox Theatre Collective. He teaches at Concordia University Chicago.

Jayme McGhan's twenty-one full-length plays have been produced and developed across the country. He currently serves as the director of the School of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University. He is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. He holds an MFA in playwriting from UNLV.

Deborah Jordan is associate professor of acting at Jacksonville University, Florida. She served as playwright-in-residence at The Seven Devil’s Playwrighting Conference in Idaho, and she is currently working on a one-woman show, Ian Stories or My Life in Hell, about raising a son with Asperger's Syndrome.

Craig Thornton's absurd play The High Cost of Heating was selected as the runner-up in the Yale Drama Series Prize for 2015. He has a BFA from NYU, MFA from Goddard College, and teaches dramatic writing at Syracuse University. His play In My Shoes was featured in a CNN news story.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside