top of page

Highview Play Center
New Play Festival

Act 1

1. First Impression by Michelle Lori

Directed by Bailey Preston


Bea: Melissa Bowen

Alex: Ryan Lash

Cal: Abby Braune

Drew: Nicole Greenwood


2. Night Train by Rachel White

Directed by Bailey Preston


Ernie: Jerry Ross

Annalise: Laura Krauser


3. Be my Escape by Clarity Hagan

Directed by Tory Parker

Original music composed by Brennen Amonett


Sadie: Bernadette Stone

Abigail: Devin Johnson


4. I’m at a Loss by Erik Moth

Directed by Taylor Vetter


Playwright: Nicole Greenwood

Ensemble: Rosemary Sims

Ensemble: Lucas Rogers


5. Closer One September Morning by Martin French

Directed by Marc McHone


Anna: Laura Krauser 

Jennsy: Ciera Imani

Neil Diamond: Janice Walter

Act 2

1. Uncle Sam by Blake Cox

Directed by Ashley Taylor


Sam: Lucas Rogers

Man: Ryan Watson 

Woman: Melissa Bowen 

Boy: Bernadette Stone


2. Five-Five-Five by Jeremy Beck

Directed by Angela Miller


Steve: Darren McGee

Ricky: Darien Dean


3. Baggage Claim by Erin Fitzgerald

Directed by Ashley Taylor


Gray: Abby Braune

Violet: Devin Johnson


4. Radio Play by Cisco Montgomery

Directed by Neil Brewer


Operator: Ciera Imani

Scanner/Caller 4: Rosemary Sims

Caller 1/2/5: Darien Dean

Caller 3: Janice Walter


5. Feng Shui by Taylor Vetter

Directed by Angela Miller


James: Griffin Cobb

Kevin: Jerry Ross 

Carole: Felicia Stewart

Production Team

Producing Director: Emily Grimany

Light and Sound Designer: Taylor Torsky

Technical Support: Jill Schierbaum

Production Stage Manager: Jay Padilla-Hayter

Rehearsal Stage Manager: Roz Howlett

Play Selection Committee: Emily Grimany, Ben Gierhart, Paula Lockhart, Tory Parker

Photographer: Hailey Woodward

Thank you to the Metro Council for their continued support!

Check out these other great shows!

Spamalot Square .png


Jeremy Beck.jpg

Jeremy Beck, he/him (Five-Five-Five) is a Louisville-based writer and composer who has worked with Kentucky Shakespeare, the University of Louisville Department of Theatre Arts, Duke Drama, the National Shakespeare Company, and TADA! Youth Theater. He studied playwriting with Yussef El Guindi.


Blake Cox, he/him (Uncle Sam) is more used to having words put in HIS mouth, often spouting lines and lyrics while treading many a board in productions with esteemed theatre companies such as Faith Works Studios, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, CenterStage at the JCC, the Hardin County PAC, the Hardin County Playhouse, Company Outcast, and Teatro Tercera Llamada. He grew up near Brandenburg, KY, and currently resides in Shepherdsville, KY. He is an alumnus of the Governor’s School for the Arts program (Vocal Music) and received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Western Kentucky University. He can sometimes be found walking around Lake Nevin in Bernheim Arborteum listening to new popular music or cast recordings and using various surfaces to prop his phone in order to capture photographs of the artist in nature. He aspires to continue writing for the theatre, his main goal being completing the two full-length musicals that are perfectly (un)written in his head.


Erin Fitzgerald, she/her (Baggage Claim) is a community arts enthusiast and writer of stories, songs, and snapshots. In addition to her own creative projects, she has contributed and performed music and live sound for productions with Commonwealth Theatre Center’s Blue Apple Outreach, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, and Pandora Productions. She was a member of Derby City Playwrights (DCP) for seasons 4, 5, and 6. Her musical play Good Grief - which was written and presented as a reading during DCP season 4 - has since been produced as a virtual production by Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. Erin has also recently co-written a short musical play as part of a triptych for The Chicken Coop Theatre, which is planned for production in 2023. She is currently in the revision process for her multi-media musical play InQuest, the initial draft of which was completed during DCP season 6. Erin currently lives in Louisville and works in Lexington, and is grateful to be connected to creative communities across Kentucky.


Martin French, he/him (Closer One September Morning) lives in Southern Indiana but comes originally from Ireland. He has worked as a theatre professional for several years, in Louisville and previously in Dublin, London, and Finland. He has directed and devised numerous theatre productions locally. He has had a number of short plays produced locally, at both the Inhuman Festival of Undead Theatre, and at the Tentucky Festival of 10 Minute Plays. He has also adapted some early modern classics for The Chamber Theatre. His writing is frequently to be found on where he regularly publishes tiny science fiction stories, as well as pop-examinations of Shakespeare and James Joyce.

Headshot 2021 - Smaller File.png

Clarity Hagan, she/they (Be my Escape) is a playwright and theater artist from Louisville. They are  particularly interested in storytelling which lifts up under-heard voices and invites engagement, not only in its content, but also in the creative ways in which that work is produced and presented. Their staged readings and short plays have been seen across Louisville, and their full-length play The Moth and the Masked Man was produced at the MeX Theater in the Kentucky Center in November 2022. Clare has worked as properties director with Kentucky Shakespeare, a playwright with the Derby City Playwrights,  a company member and Programs Manager with Looking for Lilith, and as an educator with Drama by George, Looking for Lilith Theater Company, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

MichelleLori1 copy.jpg

Michelle Lori, she/her (First Impression) is a Louisville theatre artist who has performed with many community and semiprofessional theatres in Louisville and Southern Indiana. She helped devise, write, and assistant direct THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HOLMES (2022), and helped devise and performed in AROUND THE WORLD OF 80 DAYS (2019), both directed by Martin French. She has also recently joined the artistic team of The Chamber Theatre.


Cisco Montgomery, he/him (Radio Play) His work has been seen at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati, and in Louisville at Actors Theatre, the Kentucky Center, Vault 1031 Armored Car Theater, and in Winston-Salem, NC and National Black Theatre Festival. His full-length plays include: “Booty of the Year”, a powerful tale of love, revenge and sibling rivalry between two sisters who are professional wrestlers; “Murder the Devil”, unlikely heroes, a black street gang, foil a homegrown terrorist plot and set a hostage free; “Black Herman Rises from the Grave”, master magician uses a buried alive illusion in attempt to pull off the miraculous and cheat the grave. The short plays include: “Kin Under the Skin”, a courtroom farce about reparations for American slavery; “Radio Play”, a drama involving a police dispatcher deluged with prank calls before being challenged to save the life of a drowning motorist; and “Godforsaken”, a comedy involving a televangelist who suffers a crisis of faith and goes on sacrilegious rant on live TV.


Erik Moth, he/him (I’m at a Loss) is 2020 BFA Acting (Musical Theatre) Graduate from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He lives in Louisville, Ky where he graduated from DuPont Manual High/Youth Performing Arts School as a theatre major. He studied playwrighting there for 3 years with Brian Hinds at YPAS. During his time there, Erik had multiple shows produced in New Works at YPAS. His play, I’m at a Loss was a part of Summer Playwrights Festival 8 at The Road Theatre in North Hollywood. As a screenwriter, his web-show: next best thing, is available on YouTube with Yours Truly Creative. He currently works as a voice teacher with Louisville Academy of Fine Arts, and an acting teacher with Classic Melodies Performance Institute.

Taylor Vetter.jpeg

Taylor Vetter, she/her (Feng Shui; director, I’m at a Loss)  is a hairstylist, writer, avid gardener, wife, and mom.


Rachel White, she/her (Night Train) has had readings, workshops, and productions with the Equity Library Theatre of New York, AboutFACE—Ireland, the Playwrights Gallery, and Tangent Theatre Company. In Louisville, she has had productions with Derby City Playwrights, the Bard’s Town, Louisville Improvisors, Marrow Street Theater, and Theatre [502]. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Playwrights Gallery of NYC.



Neil Brewer, he/him (Radio Play) has been involved in local theatre for the past 15 years.  He is very excited for the opportunity to bring local art to life on stage.  Locally, he has directed productions of The Zoo Story, Almost, Maine, Fool For Love, and The Pillowman.  He would like to thank The Highview Arts Center, the entire cast and crew, his wife, Rebecca, and Emily Grimany for the opportunity to work with this fantastic group of artists.


Marc McHone, he/him (Closer One September Morning) is a local actor who is excited to be  directing his first show in Louisville. He has previously directed shows in Shelbyville Kentucky and Muncie Indiana. Marc has a BS in Musical Theater from Ball State University.

Tory Parker.jpeg

Tory Parker, she/her (Be my Escape) is originally from West Virginia, graduated from Centre College, and now works at the Fund for the Arts. In Louisville, she’s worked and performed with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Claddagh Theatre Company, the Chamber Theatre, Bellarmine University, Wayward Actors Company, Derby City Playwrights, Company Outcast, Highview Arts Center and director Emily Grimany. As a playwright, her original works appeared in the National Women’s Theatre Festival in their 2020 and 2021 Fringe Festivals. She is a founding artist of queer theatre collaborative three witches shakespeare and a reviewer of local theatrical productions for Arts-Louisville. 


Bailey Preston, she/her (First Impression and Night Train) holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts (Acting) from Beloit College and studied Theatre Performance at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. She directed ten-minute plays for several theatre companies in Lexington, KY and is thrilled to direct in Louisville for the first time at Highview Arts Center. Recently, she played 11 characters in A Tuna Christmas (Company OutCast) and she can also be seen on stage improvising with several Louisville improv groups.

ashleytaylor_photo (1).png

Ashley Taylor, they/she (Baggage Claim and Uncle Sam) is thrilled to make her directing debut with two fantastic plays for Highview’s New Play Festival. What a gift to work with such a talented community of writers, actors, directors, and production staff. Ashley is the founding director of River City Revue (poetry performance and writing workshops) and the author of The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (part of a chaplet series by queer and trans poets from Damaged Goods Press, 2019). In 2020, their poetry writing was honored with an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a Lambda Literary Fellowship Award from Sundress Academy for the Arts. Ashley holds a BA and MA in English, MFA in Writing, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Special Education. You can find their poems in Tiny Spoon, Yes Poetry, Crab Fat Magazine, Vagabond City, Transom, Peculiar, and Out/Cast.

Angela Miller Bio Headshot.jpg

Angela Miller, she/her (Feng Shui and Five-Five-Five) would like to extend her thanks to you for supporting Highview Arts Center inaugural New Play Festival. After working several years at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Angela completed her Masters degree and Artist-in-Residency in Australia. She then moved to Louisville in 2009 where she currently teaches at Bellarmine University. Locally, some favorites that Angela has had the pleasure of directing include Church & State, Sylvia and Proof (Louisville Repertory Company), The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged) (Little Colonel Players) and Women on Fire (Bunbury Theatre). Angela has also served as the Co-Coordinator of the TEDxBellarmineU annual conference for the past five years. She is an Associate Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Many heartfelt thanks to all those working on this production. Love to her family and Jeff.


Anchor 1
MelissaBowen_Headshot2 - Melissa O. Bowen.jpg

Melissa Bowen, she/her (First Impression and Uncle Sam) is a transient military spouse and dance teacher turned actor, and has worked with various theatres around Louisville in the last year.  She is also a company member with AMBO Dance Theatre, and is excited to venture into film with multiple projects shooting this spring.

headshot - Abby Braune.jpg

Abby Braune, she/her (First Impression and Baggage Claim) is excited to be a part of Highview Art Center’s New Play Festival. She has participated in community theatre in the Louisville area since 2009. She was most recently seen as Carol/Aunt Sylvia in The Kings of Christmas, the final performance on the Bard’s Town’s stage. Abby is so thrilled that the Louisville community continues to prioritize and support the arts and local artists.

IMG_4786 - Griffin Cobb.JPG

Griffin Cobb, he/him (Feng Shui) is a musician and private music instructor in Louisville who has enjoyed acting as a hobby since he was a kid. After spending the past five years focusing solely on music pursuits, he's excited to make his theatre return at Highview Arts Center!


Darien Dean, he/him (Five-Five-Five and Radio Play) has acted in various stage productions at commonwealth theatre, acted in significant other at wayward actors Company. Loves acting on stage, screen, and haunted attractions during the Halloween season. involved in The Professional wrestling business as an occasional pro wrestler and a pro wrestling manager. When not involved with theatrics he enjoys writing, photography, traveling, hanging out with his dog, making music, and movies with friends.


Ciera Imani, she/her (Closer One September Morning and Radio Play) is a proud native of Louisville, Kentucky. Ciera’s biggest role is playing the main character in a student short film titled “Honey”. She has also starred in other short films such as “Grey Matter” and “Cult 45”. In her most recent work, she played lead roles in work harassment training videos for the company “Alteristic”. Some other skills that Ciera possess includes singing, dancing and modeling. Ciera took classes with Michelle Danner Acting Studio, and also trained with John Casablancas Center. She is passionate about acting and looks forward to expanding her expertise in her career.

Nicole Greenwood, she/her (First Impression and I'm at a Loss

is delighted to be a part of the Highview Arts Center's New Play Festival.  Recent credits include Marcy in The Philadelphia with Bunbury Theatre, Straight Outta The Nursery with Company Outcast, and The Curse of Blue Moose with The Bard's Town Theater. Nicole also enjoys performing in improv and sketch comedy. 

Special thanks goes out to John Campbell Finnegan (Artistic Director for Bunbury Theatre) for the use of his typewriter in I'm At A Loss. 

Additional thanks to The Highview Arts Center and directors Bailey Preston and Taylor Vetter for allowing me to be a part of the New Play Festival and their respective plays. This has been an amazing experience. 

Devin-Johnson-Headshot-2 - Devin Lee Johnson (1).JPG

Devin Lee Johnson, she/her (Be my Escape and Baggage Claim) is delighted to be making her theatre debut in 2 productions at the New Play Festival. Devin has dedicated herself to the art of acting and musical theatre since moving to Louisville last year. She's currently studying Shakespeare at Commonwealth Theatre, where she’ll perform as Kate in a showcase of Taming of the Shrew, as well as receiving vocal training at Louisville Academy of Fine Arts. Having spent the last decade building her own retail business, this southeastern Kentucky native with the charming drawl is no stranger to following her passions.

DSCF6936 (1) - Laura Krauser.jpg

Laura Krauser, she/her (Night Train and Closer One September Morning) is thrilled to be returning to the stage after a decade of off-stage adventures. Her recent performance as Corrie Bratter in the Drama Studio's production of Barefoot in the Park marks her first return to the theater since her turn as Grizabella in Presentation Academy's Cats way back in 2011. Laura's theater experience includes her favorite roles as Martha Jefferson in 1776, Maria Rainier in the Sound of Music, Rose Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa, and the ensemble of Godspell.  When not rehearsing, you can find Laura exploring outside, talking about maps and geography, or traveling with her sweetie and champion Will B. She is proud to represent new theater works with brilliant new friends!

Ryan Lash (1).png

Ryan Lash, he/him (First Impression) is very happy to be making his first appearance at the Highview Arts Center. Past plays in which he has attempted acting include Talk Radio, The Diviners, Orphans, Frankenstein, Psycho Beach Party, The Outsiders, God’s Favorite, Betty's Summer Vacation, All in the Timing, The Graduate, Grand Giugnol shorts, Clybourne Park, Smart People, The Houseguests, Marvin's Room, The Zoo Story, A Tuna Christmas, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Grapes of Wrath, 13th of Paris, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Scrooge, Bent, Proof, In The Next Room, The Foreigner, Blue's Clues, Wizard of Oz, Too Much Too Much Too Many, HONK!, and many more. He would like to thank his wife and son for putting up with his ridiculous acting habit.

Darren McGee, he/him (Five-Five-Five) entered theatre in 1985 at EKU where his double major (Computer Science and Theatre Arts) frequently drove him insane. He’s been fortunate enough to work with many local theatres (this is his first Highview Arts Center show), be cast in great roles and work with incredibly talented people. He also served 21 years as a member of Louisville Repertory Company.  Most recently, he performed in The Bard’s Town’s TenTucky Festival and Guys ‘n Dolls with Mind’s Eye Theater.  Some favorite roles he’s played are: Millet in Fuddy Meers, Brother Boy in Sordid Lives, one of the two actors in Greater Tuna, Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Paul Verral in Born Yesterday, the twins John and James in LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!, Matt in The Fantastiks, and Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace.


Lucas Rogers, he/him (Uncle Sam and I’m at a Loss) is returning to the stage after a seven year hiatus from acting after deciding to overcome his stutter. He is with the Bellarmine University Graduating Class of 2020 with a Bachelors in Communications & Design Art Technology and is working towards a Master's in Business Analytics. When he's not on stage, he works as a video marketer with Evy Media. He has been a part a local TEDx organization, TEDxBellarmineU, since 2018, and is also the director of the podcast, 'Dyslexics Untied! Podcast.'"


Jerry Ross, he/him (Night Train and Feng Shui) is excited to be making his first debut with Highview Arts Center. In 2020, Jerry began his journey with Commonwealth Theatre Center to focus on crafting himself into an experienced actor. Jerry holds a BA in Music from Western Kentucky University. He studied film for 2 years at the same school where he created and a held a part in several short films and projects. Jerry continues his work mostly with Commonwealth Theatre Center performing in adult acting showcases, and most recently, a staged reading of August: Osage County, directed by Paula O. Lockhart.

headshotred - Rosemary Sims.jpg

Rosemary Sims, she/her (I'm at a Loss and Radio Play) is a Louisville native who works as a full time Realtor in the greater Louisville/ Southern Indiana area. When she's not working, Rosemary enjoys singing in her church choir, traveling, and playing viola in the Louisville Civic orchestra. The New Play Festival is her theatrical debut!

Felicia Stewart - Felicia Stewart.jpg

Felicia Stewart, she/her (Feng Shui) is excited to make her debut at the Highview Arts Center in the New Play Festival. She recently has been in multiple productions at The Glema Mahr Center for the Arts in Madisonville, Kentucky, including Young Frankenstein, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Dixie Swim Club and The Play That Goes Wrong. Felicia has performed in several productions at the former Alley Theater in Louisville, as well as with The Alley’s improv group. When not on stage, she can be found in many feature films including Big Biting Pig Productions latest, It Lives In The Attic. On her off days, she enjoys writing and drinking wine. Felicia would like to thank the entire cast and crew for the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.


Bernadette “Bernie” Stone, she/her (Be my Escape and Uncle Sam) is delighted to join this talented team in bringing to life pieces that are both entertaining and imperative. Bernie is a social worker from Louisville, KY who enjoys spending time with family, theater and arts, traveling, cats, and all things eclectic. Bernie is an alumnus of Presentation Academy (2014) and the University of Louisville (2018, 2022).

Ryan W.jpg

Ryan Watson, he/him (Uncle Sam) is happy to join in the fun! He has been seen most recently at The Bard's Town either slinging drinks behind the bar or upstairs in the theatre for the annual Ten-Tucky festival of 10-minute plays. Ryan loves short plays and short play festivals, especially ones that feature local actors and local playwrights. They bring the theatre community together.

Steel Magnolias head shot.jpg

Janice Walter, she/her (Closer One September Morning and Radio Play) is excited to be part of Highview’s first New Play Festival, especially since she gets to play 2 very different roles: a hysterical 911 caller and one of her childhood musical crushes, Neil Diamond. She’s been around local theater for 20+ years, and if you don’t know her, she says, Pleased to meet ya, hope you enjoy the show! 

bottom of page