Haiku You: Great Plains Theatre Conference

by Eliza Bent

in American Theatre magazine,Meet the Members

Post image for Haiku You:  Great Plains Theatre Conference

I recently returned from the Great Plains Theatre Conference in lovely Omaha, Nebraska and for me it was a half-week filled with readings, workshops, full productions and meeting new people.

Part of what was so nice about the experience was the lack of posturing or posing among participants. Perhaps that had to do with the fact that nearly everyone (except for me) was there for a whole week. As a result, impressions were able to form and build over the course of a week as opposed to being crammed into two days with business cards being hastily exchanged and shoved into bottomless totebags. I’ve been telling people that the Great Plains Theatre Conference had an adult summer theatre camp vibe and a welcome one at that. Laid back and putting the playwright first, it was a cool event to be a part of and one I recommend for playwrights of any emerging/emerged status.

And now, like I did in the Humana Festival post (check out the article in the July/Aug issue): A few haikus for you.

Oh Omaha. You
City I’ve not yet seen stuck
On campus was I.

Trees, bees allergies
Middle West, your pollen is
So strong in my nose!

Play readings help play-
wrights. Open ears. Wide eyes. Please,
feed me talkback please?

Love full productions.
This way the play is alive.
Development: done!

Are you a playwright?
Are you coming back next year?
Adult theatre camp.

That’s all for now. I’ll be writing in full about the Great Plains Theatre Conference in a yet-to-be-determined issue of American Theatre magazine. And as for the summer camp vibe: Did any readers ever attend summer theatre camps? What was your experience like? Are there other conferences/festivals out there that have a calm and collected feel to them?


Eliza Bent is an Associate Editor at American Theatre Magazine. When she’s not writing about theatre she likes making theatre.

  • Linda Bannister

    Hi Eliza,
    We were there too! It was summer camp, with great counselors and campers!
    Love your Haiku,
    Linda Bannister and James E. Hurd, Jr.

  • Ebent

    Dear Linda and James,

    Thanks for the message and glad to hear that you liked the haikus and camp analogies. Was it your first year there and did you have plays being presented or were you there as actors/audience members? I had to leave mid-week but hope to return with a play next year and stay the whole time. Will you be back next summer?



  • Liz Maestri

    Bent! This is awesome and sounds like it was a lot of fun. Love the haikus too.