Somerset Community College English Instructors Participate in Writing Play Performed on Broadway | SCC

Somerset Community College English Instructors Participate in Writing Play Performed on Broadway

Above: Members of the Kentucky Women Playwrights Seminar (KWPS), including Somerset Community College English instructors Brenda White and Betty Peterson (far right), gather in New York after watching the seminars latest work, Shh!, performed on Broadway.
Brenda White and Betty Peterson, English instructors at Somerset Community College and members of the Kentucky Women Playwrights Seminar (KWPS), were recently in New York, New York to see the seminars latest work, Shh!, performed on Broadway. Shh! is directed by Dr. Deborah Martin, Associate Professor of Theatre amp; Film at Berea College. The play was performed at the Dramatists Guild as part of the NYC Friday Night Footlights Series on Broadway, Friday evening, May 23, 2014.

A collaborative work by nine Kentucky women playwrights, including White and Peterson, Shh! explores the theme of secrets, risks taken and lives transformed in surprising ways. Shh! weaves the threads of long hidden secrets through a tapestry of omissions, half-truths, deceptions and misperceptions that test the very fabric of human relationships: three old friends who think they know each other so well learn otherwise, siblings slip a truth and the tables are turned, a soul is laid bare when the truth trickles out, garage cleaning-day unearths more than junk and dirt, threatening the relationship of father and daughter, siblings sabotage the others best intentions while coping with their mothers illness, mans best friend has a lot to say about being a canine in a humane world and so the unraveling goes. Each ten-minute play examines the question of whether the truth can really set us free, and if so, from what or whom, and at what price. Members of the KWPS are already at work on the next collaborative piece, loosely based on the art of nineteenth century Impressionists such as Monet, Degas, and Renoir.

Kentucky Women Playwrights Seminar brings together Kentucky women writers to explore the genre of playwriting. It fosters strong working relationships, creating a collaborative environment in which the writers can be inspired creatively and develop their craft. It seeks opportunities both local and worldwide in which to showcase the writers work so that Kentucky may be recognized as a haven for strong women playwrights. The Kentucky Women Playwrights Seminar, led by Trish Ayers, began in 2005 and has hosted several productions since its inception. Playwrights contributing to Shh! are: Trish Ayers, Karen Devere, Lacey Gresham, Kristin Hornsby, Betty Peterson, Donna R. Phillips, Patricia Watkins, Brenda K. White and Glenda Dent White.

Eight of the nine KWPS members were in attendance at the premier of the concert performance thanks to funding from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as from a number of generous patrons of the arts. The audience enjoyed the groups unusual collaborative piece; unusual in the sense that each of the nine playwrights wrote her own ten-minute play based on a common theme, rather than in the usual sense of group collaboration. Grand Marais Playhouse, a community theatre in Minnesota, has expressed interest in the work, and KWPS leader, Trish Ayers, is in contact with the artistic director there about taking the play to Minnesota.

For more information about Shh! or to schedule a performance, contact Trish Ayers at or by calling (859) 200-1975.