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Lanford Wilson Conference – Call for Proposals

Call for paper and/or panel proposals for “Missouri Self-Taught: Lanford Wilson and the American Drama,” an interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Missouri Department of Theatre, April 26-29, 2018. This conference is in conjunction with the University of Missouri Press publication of Lanford Wilson: Early Stories, Sketches, and Poems, edited by David A. Crespy, a new production of The Rimers of Eldritch presented by the university theatre department, and the University of Missouri Libraries’ recent acquisition of the Lanford Wilson Collection, an archive that is available to conference attendees for research and study. Registration is free.

Topic: Lanford Wilson and the American Drama

We are seeking essays that explore Wilson’s distinctly American voice in both urban and pastoral settings, his dramatic structure (from experimental to commercial), his position at the forefront of writing LGBTQ characters (mainstream to fringe), and his diverse subject matter (e.g., love and marriage, race in America, science and history, war and the atomic age, and violence on stage).

In addition, we welcome essays that explore the history and praxis of Wilson’s plays in any of the following areas:

  • Wilson’s work with the Circle Repertory Theatre, including his mentorship of other playwrights
  • Dramaturgical perspectives, both specific to his Missouri and mid-Western heritage, and as a self-taught artist
  • Wilson’s experimental work in the early years of the Off-off Broadway movement
  • Wilson’s work on Broadway as a commercial playwright
  • Acting, directorial, and design concepts of Lanford Wilson plays and productions
  • His interest in “outsider” art and his own background as a graphic artist

We encourage submissions from undergraduate and graduate students, as well as established scholars or theatre professionals from any approach (e.g., theatre history, performance studies, literary theory, and criticism), as well as those who have worked with Mr. Wilson in any of the above activities.  The Conference is facilitated by the MU Graduate Theatre Organization.

Former New York City Circle Repertory Theatre members Marshall W. Mason, the Tony® Award-winning director of Lanford Wilson’s plays; artistic director Tanya Berezin; Emmy award-winning playwright Mary Sue Price; and founding director of Circle Rep Lab, Danny Irvine, will attend the conference as keynote speakers.

Please contact David Crespy (CrespyD@missouri.edu) for queries, proposals, and/or submissions.

Deadline for submission of paper and/or panel proposals: November 15, 2017. Registration is free.