PLAYWRITING BIOGRAPHY

Leroy Clark has written over 25 plays and had 21 productions in professional, community, and university theatres. Shootout at Keystone Canyon, based on an incident in Alaskan history, ran for 114 performances during the summers of 1985, 86 and 87 in Alaska. He won the Great Alaska Playrush with Like Father. The drama was given a staged reading at the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in San Francisco, and The Portland Stage Company in Maine. It was produced by Valley Performing Arts in Alaska as Of the Best Family.

The romantic drama, The Lady and the Gypsy, based on the life of actress/playwright Anna Cora Mowatt won the Jack Morrison Playwriting Fellowship, funded by the Kennedy Center, and was work shopped at the Shenandoah Valley Playwrights Retreat and produced by the Maine Masque Theatre at the University of Maine, directed by Edgar Allen Cyrus.

Rebel, the story of a rock singer and a small-town mechanic, won the 1988 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Award. The play was produced at the Neighborhood Playhouse in Atlanta, given a staged reading by the Out North Theatre in Alaska and produced at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The play won the 1992 Salt and Pepper Mime Company National Award and also ran for a month in Chicago at the Beat Kitchen.

Wichita Summer Theatre produced the romantic comedy Love, Mike in 1991, the historical play Wild Old Wichita in 1993 and the black gospel show Preacher Woman in 1995.

Shakespeare’s Journey is a romantic drama about Shakespeare’s struggle between career and family. The play was produced by J. David Blatt at Wichita State University Theatre in 1998. A staged reading of a revised draft with a new cast was done at the Region 5 Kennedy Center/

American College Theatre Festival at Iowa State University in 1999, directed by Aaron Cabell. The play won Clark the Kansas Arts Commission’s 1999 Playwriting Fellowship. Noted Columbia Professor, author and editor Howard Stein arranged for a reading of the play in New York in the summer of 1999. It was produced at Florida International University in April, 2001. A revised version with 4 cast changes was presented in October, 2001, and toured to the Florida State American College Theatre Festival. It was again performed in February, 2002, at the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus. It was produced at Oregon State University in May 2009.

Dracula, a new adaptation of the Bram Stoker’s classic thriller, is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the beginning of the jazz age. Into this Creole and Cajun culture in the courtyard behind Dr. Seward’s home, Dracula begins attacking his victims. Clark has mixed in voodoo rituals, drumming, Spring Carnivale strangers in masks, even comic characters such as Aunt Quincy who likes to drink as much as she likes to eat chocolates. Renfield, the evil count's fly-eating medium, is a black woman. The play was produced at Florida International University in Miami in 2004 and the Wichita Community Theatre in Kansas in 2007.

Holographic Tiger Eats Man Trespassing in Trailer Park is a ten-minute comedy about a man, Gavin Byrne, who comes to collect payment for a microwave purchased by Bessie Cline. Bessie and her daughter Flora terrify the man and drive him off. The play was one of eight winners produced by the Actors' Theatre of Santa Cruz for their 15th Annual Ten-Minute Play Contest

“Eight Tens @ 8" opened January 15, 2010, and ran for five weeks. The play was produced at Oregon State University in 2010.

Outburst is an unproduced drama about a small town high school history teacher. Early versions had two staged readings at Wichita State and was given a workshop production at the University of Alaska Anchorage under the title of 3 Points Not in a Straight Line in 1996. Clark put it aside for 5 or 6 years, and then rewrote it extensively. The new play under the title of Outburst was a finalist (4th place) in the 2004 New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest, a national competition dealing with diversity. The play was given two staged readings in 2005 at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre in New York. It was also one of the three winners of the 2005 International Playwriting Contest sponsored by the Pickled Little Theatre Company in Vancouver, Canada.

Other unproduced plays include Bunny’s Famdamily, July Sun, Iowa Johnny, The Chair Complication, Seductive Reasoning, and What’s the Truth about Joshua?

Bunny’s Famdamily is set outside July Sun is a comedy set in Wichita, Kansas, about a mother and her three grown daughters who discover a secret that changes their lives.

Iowa Johnny is set in a park in Alaska with two brothers who teach a lesson to an arrogant Army Sergeant.

What’s the Truth about Joshua? is set in Riverside Park in Manhattan and explores a paraplegic’s attempt to escape from his abusive mother.

Other produced plays are Minnow, Wine of This Year's Vintage, A Memory in Black and White, and Speak Soft Words.

Clark received two Hamlet Playwriting Awards for The Jungle Set and A Memory in Black and White. Other awards include a Shubert Playwriting Fellowship and a Citation from the Alaska State Legislature for directing and playwriting.

He has studied with John Orlock, Irene Fornes, John Sayles, Frank Moher, Lee Wochner, Bill Ballantyne and Jeffrey Sweet.

Clark is the author of two playwriting books:

Writing for the Stage: A Practical Playwriting Guide published by Allyn & Bacon, (September 23, 2005) 304 pages ISBN-10: 0205412971 and
ISBN-13: 978-0205412976 is available through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and other bookstores.

Praise for Writing for the Stage: A Practical Playwriting Guide
“I haven’t seen a more thorough text than Writing for the Stage. The exercises it suggests for student writers are ingenious and. . .of great benefit to anyone trying to develop the skills required to develop character, maintain audience interest and involvement, reveal exposition subtly, create a plausible and aesthetically satisfying plot structure, and so on. . . .”
—David Wagoner, University of Washington
“This book is distinguished and. . .is a superior and useful text because it is honest, very thorough, step-by-step, and comprehensive. It is wise about the way theatre works today. . . .”
—Richard Kalinoski, University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh
Practical Playwriting, published by Allyn & Bacon (May 2007) Paperback: 275 pages, ISBN-10: 0205530893 and ISBN-13: 978-0205530892 is also available through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and other bookstores.