Skip navigation

School of Performing and Visual Arts

Blaine Quarnstrom Playwright Series

Page Content

Nov. 16-17, 2023

USM English and theatre students will spend three days learning the ropes from this year's Playwright-in-Residence, Arlene Hutton, as part of the Blaine Quarnstrom Playwrights Series.

Hutton will host:

  • Two public Q&A sessions on the playwright's working methods and on industry trends;
  • A public staged reading of a scene from the playwright’s work.

The playwright will also host writing workshops for students in the Departments of English & Theatre. We encourage student participants of all levels with interests in creative writing for theatre to sign-up. If interested in attending, please contact Dr. David Coley at david.coleyFREEMississippi


Meet Arlene Hutton

Arlene Hutton

Arlene Hutton is best known as the author of The Nibroc Trilogy, which includes Last Train to Nibroc (New York Drama League Best Play nomination), See Rock City (Spirit of America Award) and Gulf View Drive (LA Weekly and Ovation Award nominations).

Regional credits include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, B Street Theatre, Kitchen Theatre, Echo Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Chester Theatre. She is a three-time winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival and a seven-time finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Ten-Minute Play Contest.

Her short plays include 40 Stat. 76, Man in the Basement, and Closing Costs, all for The Barrow Group’s SHORT STUFF, and, for Fast and FAB, Intermission, After Intermission, Vociferation and Mourning Star (written for and performed by Lynn Cohen).

Hutton’s full-length plays and one-acts have been produced at regional theatres and colleges around the country, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for FringeNYC, and at theatres in NYC and abroad. A member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and an alumna of New Dramatists, Hutton has been a respondent for short plays for KC/ACTF. 


Thursday, Nov. 16

Time Event Location
7:30-9:30 p.m.    

Opening Q&A

Hutton wrote one of the shows USM Theatre produced last fall, As It Is In Heaven. The opening Q&A will focus on the playwright's working methods and will be moderated by a faculty member.

TAD Building - Hartwig Theatre

Friday, Nov. 17

Time Event Location
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Q&A on State of American Theatre

A detailed Q&A session moderated by a faculty member with the Playwright-In-Residence.

TAD Building - Hartwig Theatre
7:30-9:30 p.m.    

Staged Readings with Q&A 

The playwright will host staged reading of her work, along with a Q&A Session.

TAD Building - Hartwig Theatre


About the Series

Founded in 2006, The Blaine Quarnstrom Playwrights Series fosters the writing of dramatic literature by students from both the Theatre and English programs. The goal of the Series is to foster student writing through Q&A sessions and creative writing workshops led by a leading American playwright. Over a single weekend, the playwright in residence structures four consecutive writing workshops derived from personal writing methods and techniques. In the past these sessions have focused on format writing for ten-minute plays, crafting expressive dialogue, and conceiving and developing effective structure and engaging characters.