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Penny Mickelbury Penny Mickelbury Penny Mickelbury

Plays and Short Stories


Willie Agee Playhouse reading

Working Title Playwrights

One of the best things to happen to/for me since returning to Atlanta was discovering Working Title Playwrights! Not only did I find a place to hone my craft, but a place to stretch out and do things I'd not only never done, but had never considered—things like writing a play in 24 hours, or writing a one minute long play!

The 24-Hour Plays presented by Working Title Playwrights and Onstage Atlanta and produced by Topher Payne and Jill Patrick is quoted as "The Best 24 Hour Play Event Yet!" The legendary kamikaze theatre event played to a sold out house this year with standing room only! Woo-hoo! To recap—14 writers who have never worked together before were paired randomly. Once writing partners were chosen the playwrights had between the hours of 11pm and 6am to create a short play. The following morning directors arrived at 9am to cast the shows, followed by the arrival of actors. The cast and crew had between approx. 11am until the opening of the show at 8pm to create the finished product, a play produced in only 24 hours! The results of this wild experiment were:

The 24 Hour Plays is just one of the ways Working Title Playwrights tries to give back to the Atlanta theatre community, but it's also our biggest fundraising event of the year—a chance for those who believe in our mission to help support the work we do to make new plays happen in Atlanta and beyond.

Find out about the group

Location: Actor's Express
June 8, 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm
June 9, 8:00 pm

After two years of raging success, Actor's Express will partner with the NY-based One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) to bring The 3rd Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival back to the city in June! The festival will feature works by Johnny Drago, Topher Nixon Payne, Margaret Baldwin, Suehyla el-Attar, Addae Moon, Pamela Turner, Theroun Patterson, Karla Jennings, Neeley Gossett, Marki Shalloe, Steve Yockey, Lee Nowell, Phillip DePoy, Peter Hardy, Daryl Fazio, Hank Kimmel, Nathaniel Lachenmayer, Ralph Del Rosario, Vynnie Meli, Jon Ludwig, Amina S. McIntyre, Doug Graham, Nick Boretz, Paris Crayton III, Grant McGowen, Morgan McGowen, Megan Hayes, Mike Schatz, Travis Sharp, Matt Myers, Jordan Pulliam, Sherri Sutton, Michael Henry Harris, Robin Seidman, Greg Carraway, Gabriel Jason Dean, Jill Patrick, Pat Young, Annie Harrison, Matt Horgan, Jonida Beqo, Mia Kristin Smith, Terry Segal, Nicole Kemper, Patrick Morgan, Kathryn Walat, Jacob York, Steve Brown, Tuwanda Muhammad, Hilary King, Penny Mickelbury, & more!

WTP Announces the 2014 Ethel Woolson Lab Winners
Working Title Playwrights is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Ethel Woolson Lab Series—Annie Harrison Elliott, Patricia Henritze, Penny Micklebury, and Theroun D'arcy Patterson. These four playwrights will each receive a week-long developmental workshop with actors, director and dramaturg, culminating in a staged reading for the public at Alliance Theatre's 3rd Floor Black Box. The 2014 Resident Director is Justin Anderson, and Resident Dramaturg is Neeley Gossett.

The 2014 Ethel Woolson Scripts are:

Congratulations! It's going to be a great season!

Hush Now


by Penny Mickelbury

Harriette Adams has spent her entire adult life doing everything right, following all the rules: She goes to work every day, she keeps herself and her home neat and clean, she makes certain no one else hears the voices in her head. So what if she keeps herself to herself? She's a harmless woman "of a certain age." But Harriette is crazy and she knows it. She's always been crazy and she's always known it and she lives with it. Then, one day, two events occur that derail Harriette's well-ordered existence, and we watch a woman's descent into madness.

Directed by Justin Anderson. Dramaturgy by Neeley Gossett. With Donna Biscoe, Marguerite Hannah, Allan Edwards, Larry Davis, and Cordelle Cole.

From the dramaturg:
"Harriette Adams is far from a starlet; she is an aging, African American woman, a model employee, and a relatable, empathetic person, but like so many of us, she suffers from mental illness. In Hush Now, Micklebury examines the well-intended, yet flawed, mental healthcare system." (read more)

From the playwright:
"I've been told—warned—that Hush Now may be too intense for the stage, that the portrayal of the ravages of mental illness in such stark terms may make some audience members uncomfortable. As for that, whoever said, "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable," I agree with him, though my purpose in writing this play was not to cause discomfort but to foster thought and discussion." (read more)

Penny Mickelbury is a novelist, playwright and journalist who recently returned to her home town of Atlanta after a long absence during which she called D.C., New York, and Los Angeles home. She is the author of eleven published mystery novels, and her newest book, BELLE CITY, was just published by Whitepoint Press. It is her first non-mystery, and is set in an Atlanta-like city called Belle City, and like many Southern sagas, land and kin are central to the story. Penny is delighted to be back home—not just back in Atlanta but, thanks to Working Title Playwrights, back home to the theatre. The WTP family feels like a warm hug!

About the Ethel Woolson Lab:
Each year, up to four plays by WTP affiliate playwrights are competitively selected by an outside panel to be given readings as part of the Ethel Woolson Lab. Each chosen play/playwright is given a 15- to 30-hour developmental workshop through the course of one week, culminating in a rehearsed, staged reading for the public. Each selected playwright works with WTP's current dramaturg-in-residence for the EWL, and workshops are lead by the WTP director-in-residence. Learn more at workingtitleplaywrights.com.

Short Stories

Before I ever wrote a mystery novel or a stage play, I wrote short stories. I think most writers begin here, the idea being that it must be easier than writing longer form material. Wrong!!! The well-written short story demands practice, practice, practice—and requires skill and knowledge. After all, it still must have a beginning, middle and end, and tell a satisfying story, just as a novel must—but do all that in a mere twenty or thirty pages. I've penned my share of short stories. Several of the mysteries are published in anthologies:

I have completed a collection of non-mystery short stories that will be published some time next year. They are Women's stories—stories about the journeys of women's lives—and they take place in New York, D.C. and Atlanta.