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Playwrights Incubator

Playwrights Incubator

The application is now open for the 2024-2025 season!
Submissions are due March 31, 2024.

The MAC Theater Playwrights Incubator is a program for first-time playwrights to see their work realized on the stage.

Finding theaters to produce new or unpublished plays can be an obstacle for any new playwright. The MAC Theater Playwrights Incubator is a structured program that aims to discover and support, through workshop and production, new stage plays by first time, unpublished regional playwrights.

These plays are small cast shows with one to six characters. Selected playwrights will work with two mentors who are experienced theater artists to fine-tune their plays over the course of several months and prepare the script for production.

After regular writing evaluations and the script is ready, the mentors will work with the MAC to find a director and assist her or him in casting the show with appropriate actors. One or more readings with a select focus group audience will include a feedback-response process, and the end result is a completed script, ready for debut performance for a live audience on stage at the Marion Art Center.

Any new writer who has not yet been published or had a play produced is invited to submit her or his script or outline for consideration. There is no cost to participate in this program. Selected applicants are required to sign an agreement with the MAC Theater, outlining expectations and a commitment to the program. Playwrights must be available to meet on site with mentors, for readings and all aspects of the production process including auditions, rehearsals, tech work and performances.

The selected playwright for the 2024-2025 program will be announced by early May. Please send any questions to

Applications are due by March 31, 2024.


About MAC Theater
On Stage Now



Kate Fishman

Sound & Lighting Technician
Steven McManus

Kiah Allaire
Pippa Asker
Allison Donelan
John Heavey
Suzie Kokkins
Cynthia Latham
Jennifer Palmer
Gary Sousa
Geoff Sullivan
Susan Sullivan
Karrie Szatek

Recent Directors
Pippa Asker
Linda Costa
Kate Fishman
John Heavey
Stephanie LeBlanc
Shelia McManus
Jennifer Palmer
Jacob Sherburne
Rick Sherburne
Kate Sorensen-Young
Gary Sousa
Donn Tyler
Maura Van Voris
Richard Van Voris

Our 2023-24 Featured Playwright
Stella Ferra, All the Frozen Ones

Stella Ferra is an actor, playwright, director, and dramaturg. She is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at Playwrights Horizons, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and Stonestreet Studios. Stella was selected for New York Theatre Workshop’s Mind the Gap Playwriting Program, acted as a dramaturg for The Tank’s Mr. Electric, and her play, Brushing Her Hair, was featured in Naked Angels’ Young Writers Festival. Stella hopes to thrive in all aspects of the arts and to have a long, successful, and impactful career in theater.

2023-2024 Playwrights Incubator Mentors

John Heavey has directed plays and musicals at the high school level for the past 45 years. For the past 27 years, John has been one of the drama directors at Tabor Academy where he has also been an English teacher and dorm parent. John has acted in numerous community theater productions at the Vokes Players in Wayland, MA. In the past four years at the MAC, John has appeared as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, the minister in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and various roles in Be My Baby. In 2021, John staged a dramatic reading of LZ Bravo: Letters Home from Vietnam (a show he designed) in May at the bandstand in Marion. In August, John directed Cedar Beach, one of two MAC shows to appear last summer at Bicentennial Park.


Kate Fishman, a cofounder of the incubator, has been active in community theater for twenty years as a director, actor and administrator in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. She has chaired the MAC Theater committee for the last nine years. As an integral part of the MAC’s theatrical programming, she and the committee have increased community outreach, performance education and business collaboration. Kate has directed many plays for the MAC Theater - too many to name! She is also serving as director for All the Frozen Ones and the current MTPI season.


Our 2022-23 Playwright
Cynthia Krause, An Hour with Eleanor

Cynthia Krause has been involved with amateur theater since 1989 when she played Mrs. Fezziwig in the production of Scrooge at her local theater, The Players of Utica in New Hartford, New York. From there she went on to perform in Social Security, A Little Night Music (Madame Armfeldt), several A.R. Gurney plays such as The Dining Room, Ancestral Voices, and Love Letters (Melissa). She also served a President of Players during her time there. One of her favorite roles with Players was that of Jane Austen in a play entitled The Novelist. In the early 2000’s she became involved with The Snarks, an amateur acting group with the Amateur Comedy Club in New York City. She acted in numerous productions there and played the lead in an Agatha Christie play, which she greatly enjoyed.

Krause's interest in theater is a central theme in her life. In addition to acting, she has led groups to Broadway plays for over last twenty five years, and for over twenty years she has organized and led two play reading groups where only "the Great Plays" are read and discussed.

Krause is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in History and and M.S in Education. She divides her time between Westport Harbor, MA and New York City, also visiting her daughter and family in Mattapoisett, plus nine grandchildren up and down the East Coast. She is very thankful to be involved with the MAC Theater Playwrights Incubator project and to see what her play Eleanor will look like after ten years of wondering how to move the play forward.

2022-2023-24 Playwrights Incubator Mentors & Directors

Maura Barry Van Voris has a lifetime of theater experience, She has been teaching both technical theater and the performing arts for over 16 years in both the UK and USA and has been head of technical theater in two different schools as well as Head of Drama at The Gunnery. Van Voris received a BFA in Actor Training from The Hartt School of Music, Dance and Theater with a focus on Shakespeare and movement-based theater. She has been directing for 18 years and has over 100 shows under her belt. In 2010 Maura was intricately involved in The New Play Festival at Hartford Stage. She has worked with numerous theater companies which include, The Gamm Theatre, Hartford Stage, Shakespeare on the Rock, and The Glass Horse Project. Previous roles performed include  Eurydice in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream, and Marina in Pericles. Maura has also produced and directed over hundred children’s theatre shows at Tabor Academy Summer Program and directed the summer touring production of Much Ado About Nothing for The Glass Horse Project. Maura is delighted to bring new theater to the community through the MAC Theater's Playwrights Incubator program. She believes theatre should be a creative, collaborative, and transformative process and envisions that these new works will inspire and empower the audience.

Richard Van Voris “Van” has been around the theater world for many years, most notable as the technical director and lighting design instructor at Tabor Academy for thirty years prior to his recent retirement a few years ago. Before Tabor, Van worked as a designer and tech for professional theater in Boston, New York, and Vancouver as well as many shows at the Gamm in Providence.. He also directed shows at Tabor including Metamorphose and In the Wings, both of which toured England and Ireland as part of the Ellesmere College theater exchange program. Van notes “This show has been special for me because I  got to spend some time working with my lovely daughter Maura in this mentoring process.

MAC Theater Playwrights Incubator Cofounders

Anabel Costa, a cofounder of the incubator, is a freelance writer and an avid friend of the theater. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2021 where she studied playwriting and journalism, and is currently working on her first novel. She is excited to help launch the MAC Theater Playwrights Incubator!

Kate Fishman, a cofounder of the incubator, has been active in community theater for twenty years as a director, actor and administrator in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. She has chaired the MAC Theater committee for the last nine years. As an integral part of the MAC’s theatrical programming, she and the committee have increased community outreach, performance education and business collaboration.


The MAC Theater celebrates diversity and seeks people of all backgrounds regardless of age, race, creed, or national origin. All are welcome!