Appalachian Playwriting Festival This Weekend!

Happening here at Parkway Playhouse on September 8-10, 2023, the Appalachian Playwriting Festival is a celebration of Appalachian Culture. It is a preservation of the stories, people, and traditions that make our community so wonderful. This festival is an opportunity to give back by offering a microphone to those voices telling the stories of our home and heart. Our 2023 festival will include 3 plays, presented as staged readings. One script from this festival will be chosen to be produced on our stage in 2024.

🗨️ Meet our playwrights! We reached out to the playwrights of these scripts to find out more about them and their plays. Read their interviews here. 

Written by Pam Kingsley, Minister of Sorrow takes place in 1937. Emma is a pack-saddle librarian who came to her calling by way of a painful route. We learn of her life as she shares some of her favorite people in stories.


This reading will feature performers Alesa Bryant and Tegan Anders, musician Aaron Ybarra playing the guitar and cigar box guitar, and is directed by Noah Summers.

Written by Kyle R. Thomas, Clocks are Like Angels takes place in a small town in East Tennessee in 1933, when the Tennessee Valley Authority rolled in and started buying up land and displacing families. The story opens with a family burying their fifth baby, and later they find out that they have to dig up and rebury their dead as part of their forced move, which is just unthinkable. Twists and turns and betrayals ensue, leading to a tragic ending.


This reading will feature performers Faith Creech, Jered Shultz, Alesa Bryant, Colby Martin, and Hayden Price, and is directed by Erika Tyner.

Written by Nedra Pezold Roberts, They Must Be Women Now explores multiple social issues, from gender and race to marriage and class/caste. Like her ancient precursor Antigone, Charleen (alias Sweet Tea) has a big mouth that gets her into trouble—specifically, fired from her high-powered job in Atlanta where she was feeling demeaned by men. Unemployment sends her home to Half Way, Georgia, and to her mother, the feisty owner of Miss Althea’s Bridal Boutique and Bail Bonds; Althea’s business partner, Olivia; the imperious Lurleen and her daughter Betsy, pregnant by her “passing” fiancé Trey; and Althea’s long-haul trucker husband, Skip.


This reading will feature performers Jamie Knox, Emily Tucker, Roberta Whiteside, Jeremy Holden, Lily Bartleson, Barbie Angell, Starr Thurber and is directed by Jamie Knox.

Playwriting Workshop

Join the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival for their Page-to-Stage Playwriting Workshop happening September 8, 2023 here at Parkway Playhouse!


For any author that has ever heard “Wow, your story would make a great play (or movie)” have we got something for you! New this year is a very special Parkway Playhouse / Carolina Mountains Literary Festival collaboration.


This workshop will be taught by Kyle R. Thomas, one of our Appalachian Playwriting Festival playwrights! In this class writers will explore works that were successfully (or unsuccessfully) adapted to the stage and take a deep dive into what material makes a great fit for the theater. Authors of all genres are welcome! For more information about Kyle, or to register for the workshop, visit