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New from Routledge!


Edited by Hillary Haft Bucs & Charissa Menefee


The book provides access to the innovative practices developed by seasoned playwriting teachers from around the world who are also actors, improv performers, and theatre directors. Borrowing from the embodied art of acting and the inventive practice of improvisation, the exercises in this book will engage readers in performance-based methods that lead to the creation of fully imagined characters, dynamic relationships, and vivid drama. Step-by-step guidelines for exercises, as well as application and coaching advice, will support successful lesson planning and classroom implementation for playwriting students at all levels, as well as individual study of dynamic, embodied writing practices.

EP book cover

"You know the way a story
deepens as you get further in,
the way the truth—
the complex and maybe hidden truth—
of a story emerges
during the actual telling?"

from "Sounder Bite"      by Charissa Menefee

Our Antigone by Charissa Menefee
Visit the PLAYS page to see photos from recent productions of  Our Antigone and Sarah's Poem.  Read Grounds for Play in Some Scripts Literary Magazine and other plays on the New Play Exchange.

See the POETRY page for links to order When I Stopped Counting, anthologies Surprised by Joy, Telepoem Booth: Missed Calls and Other Poetry, The Poeming Pigeon: In the News, and The 2016 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry & Medicine Anthology.

See The EcoTheatre Lab page for upcoming events.

Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 went on tour, sharing seventeen performances in ten locations, and featuring The Art of Climate Planning exhibit.

Climate Change Theatre Action 2019, produced by ISU Theatre, in partnership with The EcoTheatre Lab and the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment, reached hundreds of people through performances at Fisher Theatre, Parks Library, Ames Public Library, and Ames City Hall.
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There is still time to see Aerial, my project in the Telling Tales: Exploring Narrative Art in the Permanent Collection exhibit at the Brunnier Art Museum! See it before July 23.


Read "Tiny Portraits of Men" in Pirene's Fountain and "The Poet Parents" in Plainsongs.

Read "Get the Story" in Footnote.

Read "Hovering," "Alien," and "Entrances and Exits" in Switchgrass Review.


Read "Future Stores" and "The Poet Ponders Porridge" in The Wild Word.

Read my essay about producing Climate Change Theatre Action in Lighting the Way: An Anthology of Short Plays about the Climate Crisis.

Now available: Pretty Lucky featured in 105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance, edited by John Capecci and Irene Ziegler (Smith & Kraus).















Code Red Playwrights

Family and Take Cover part of readings for Code Red: Faith.  Mystic Vision Players' April production is postponed.

Little Black Dress INK's special Onstage On-Air holiday podcast features "Gifts" as part of a discussion about O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." 

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Slobber & Snarl featured in Ludlow Charlington's Doghouse, with proceeds supporting pet adoption. Order here.

Iowa Enemy selected for Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Commission.

Promotion and You Came Back featured in  Anchorage Community Theatre's Virtual Short Play Festival.

Sarah's Poem featured in the Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival.
The EcoTheatre Lab marches in Climate Crisis Parade in Des Moines prior to Iowa caucuses.
Grounds for Play in Some Scripts Literary Magazine

Paid Off in 45's 24 at Theatre Unbound in the Twin Cities.

​​Lydia's Plan honored as Best Play in the 2018 Theatre Lawrence Short Play Festival and a finalist for the Old Library Play Festival.

Your Soup, Sir was part of Paula Vogel's Ubu Roi Bake-Off at The Playwrights' Center (Minneapolis) on Presidents' Day.

"Get the Story" named finalist for The Charter Oak Award for Best Historical.

Marked Cards named finalist in the Ivoryton Women's Theatre Initiative.

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Playwright Power: E.M. Lewis, Paula Cizmar, Elaine Romero, Charissa Menefee, and Tira Palmquist talk eco-theatre in Portland at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference.

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