Kyle John Schmidt | Ingram New Works Playwright


As we gear up for our annual Ingram New Works Festival (happening May 4-14, don’t miss it!), we want to introduce you to our three 2015-16 Lab Playwrights: Jonathan Alexandratos, Helen Banner, Edith Freni, and Kyle John Schmidt. Since October, our lab playwrights have gathered here in Nashville each month with our Resident Playwright Nate Eppler to create, critique, read and write… and rewrite. Mainly to rewrite. And now the final product is almost here! Their months of hard work will be realized with our incredible Nashville actors giving staged readings of their new plays for you, our wonderful audience. So before you come to the Festival, we want you to get to know our 2015-16 Lab Playwrights. Please meet Kyle John Schmidt.

What is your favorite thing about Nashville so far? 

Kyle: The people!  Everyone has been so friendly AND interesting.

What do you think of Nashville actors?

A DREAM! They throw themselves into these characters and ask really smart questions.

How is this different than you expected?  

The pressure!  There's something really unnerving about having a bunch of strangers in a new city read a play that you're still working on.  But, as Billie Jean King once said, pressure is a privilege. So it's been a tremendous privilege and a wonderful experience.

How is this different than your usual process?

I have never gotten to see so many actors play a role.  I think I've gotten to hear 20 different actors dive into the play.  And what's cool is that each person has taught me something important about the character that I wouldn't have learned alone.  It's been fascinating to see how their interpretations are different and how sometimes they are the similar.  It teaches me what the character is signaling and what things that may be in the writing that I'm consciously aware of.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a playwright? 

Dog dancer!

Describe one thing that is present in all of your plays.

I used to work at a truck stop off I-80 and it always shows up in my plays.

Describe one thing you are very excited about in your Lab play.

My actresses!  I've got a wonderful cast of six funny and feisty ladies who tear into their roles.  It's really fun to watch!

Describe one thing you are very excited about in someone else’s Lab play.

The unexpected!  Every time we read one of these plays, something unexpected happens. It's fascinating to see what a writer has changed between drafts and how the actors interpret it off the page.  I'm always surprised and it's always exciting.

Kyle Schmidt Ingram New Works Playwright
Kyle Schmidt Ingram New Works Playwright

About Kyle John Schmidt

Kyle John Schmidt is a writer from Montezuma, Iowa. His plays have been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville (Take 10 Apprentice Showcase and the Humana Festival), Crashbox Theatre, the Kid Magicians, Play-in-a-Bar, the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, Theatre Southwest, Pittsburgh New Works Festival, University of Texas New Theatre, the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival, and read at the Stage West New Play Festival. He has been a finalist for the Humana Festival, PlayPenn, the Lark’s Playwrights’ Week, and the Princess Grace Award. Furthermore, Kyle is a winner of the Heideman Award and a recipient of the Theatre Masters Award. He received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers.

His Play The Secretary

Ruby runs a small-town gun company that aims to protect women by helping them protect themselves. But as production begins on the company’s newest model, guns start going off- and no one’s pulling the trigger. This exciting new play is a quirky, offbeat comedy for a world that’s up in arms.

Ready to see The Secretary and the rest of the new plays in our Ingram New Works Festival? Get all the details, and your tickets, here.