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Our Playwrighting Group


Theatre Conspiracy is committed to producing and promoting the work of the next generation of great playwright.

This also means developing the work of our local playwrights by providing an artistic home where they can hone their craft and develop their latest works. Led by our artistic staff, the Group is composed of seven Southwest Florida writers. The Group meets on a weekly basis December – September giving writers the opportunity to discuss their current projects and offer each other constructive feedback in a supportive environment. The goal for each writer is to complete a new play by the end of the session, which is then given a public staged reading.


Our current Group members include:


Fay Graetz: Has always appreciated a good story and, while living abroad, began spinning her own tales in letters home. After receiving encouraging comments on the dialogue of her short stories, She turned to playwriting. “On the Hard,” (two acts) was produced in 2008 at the Purple Heart Theatre, Fort Myers Beach. A staged reading of “Wind Farm” (two acts) occurred in 2014 and was a semi-finalist of the 2015 Ashland News Play Festival. “3 By The Sea” (three one-act plays) received a staged reading in 2013.  A staged reading of “Facing Up” (two acts) was held in 2012. She has received awards for fiction from The Florida Weekly and from the Gulf Coast Writer’s Association and was awarded a seat at the Gulf Coast University Sanibel Writer’s Conference 2008 and 2012. Fay is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and a member of The Dramatists Guild of America. www.newplayexchange.org/users/3981/fay-ellen-graetz


Robert Hilliard Robert Hilliard has been a member of the Theatre Conspiracy playwriting group since its inception in 2010. Six of his full-length and seven of his one-act plays have been given full productions or directed readings in regional, community and university theatres. He has worked in professional theatre as a writer, producer, director, designer and performer, the latter as a member of Actors Equity, in commercial and public radio and television, and was a New York newspaper drama critic. He is former Chief of Public Broadcasting at the Federal Communications Commission. A Columbia University Ph.D., he has taught theatre, including playwriting, as a university dean and professor. He is author or co-author of more than 35 books, some of which, as well as some of his plays, are based on his experiences as a World War II Purple Heart combat infantry veteran and in helping save the lives of thousands of Holocaust survivors at the end of the war.


Stephen Hooper Stephen E. Hooper has been involved in theater as an actor and director for over 30 years. Favorite roles include Col. Jessup in “A Few Good Men” (Peninsula Players); Mittler in “Dispatches From Hell” (Theatre Conspiracy); Ernie Cusack in “Rumors” (Florida Rep); and Harding in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Lab Theater). Stephen last directed “The Whale” at Theatre Conspiracy, and is a proud member of Theatre Conspiracy Playwrights.


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Wally Kain: Born in Nebraska and grew up in Yonkers, New York. He got degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School with a Korean era break with the 82nd Airborne Division. Wally’s first career was in the world of patents, copyrights and trade secrets. He was drawn from this to paint and write on Sanibel Island. Writing for island newspapers led to elective office and two terms as mayor of Sanibel. He has two published novels, The Nunca Riddle and The Red Column. A Fly in the Butter, true stories about growing up in the 1930s and 40s, was published in 2012. His plays Homecoming for Sergeant Porter, The Gray and the Blue and The Marriage Counselor were finalists in the Naples Players New Play Contests for 2008, and 2014. His short plays have been read on the stages of Lee County Alliance for the Arts, and BIG Arts of Sanibel.


Robert Maxeiner After medical school (University of Minnesota) and specialty training in surgery (Mayo Clinic), Bob practiced surgery in Minneapolis. He founded a multispecialty group, Surgical Consultants, that still provides general, vascular and thoracic surgery in the Minneapolis area. Bob served as a medical officer in the USNavy, and with the US Marines in Korea. In his new life in Florida, he has written poetry, drama and fiction. Recently published is Wild Asparagus, a collection of short stories. Soon to be published (Bluewater Press) is his most recent novel, The Transplant Web. With the Theater Conspiracy Playwrights he has developed the two-act play Belief.


John Repa Studied Playwrighting at SIU at Carbondale and graduated Columbia College Chicago in 1990. Wrote his first script in grade school when he found out that a group book report could be done as a staged scene- but his group had read Jack London’s White Fang. Starting as stage crew and scenic designer, he has a very practical approach to staging. Having worked extensively as an actor, he has a strong sense of what an actor can do onstage to captivate an audience. He seeks to combine thoughtful theater with a quirky sense of humor that provides heartfelt laughs during a performance and something deeper to think about later.


Louise Wigglesworth. After earning a Master of Arts degree in Theater from Catholic University in DC, Louise taught English and Drama at the secondary and college levels in her native New Jersey. Louise was a Fellow of the Geraldine R. Dodge Program for Teachers and Playwrights for six years, during which she had workshops and summer residencies with professional playwrights, actors and directors in the NYC area, then took the lessons learned back to the classroom. Relocating to Florida 10 years ago she continued to teach playwriting at Sugden Theatre in Naples and at The Laboratory Theater of Florida in Fort Myers. Along with writing she has acted and directed in area theaters, believing that directing and performing helps the playwright to better understand problems involved in writing for the stage. Louise is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Her plays can be read on the New Play Exchange, https://newplayexchange.org/users/3413/louise-wigglesworth





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Alliance for the Arts

The Alliance for the Arts is the officially designated Arts organization for Lee County charged with the mission to “facilitate and nurture the creation, development, promotion and education of arts and culture in Lee County”.

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