The Performing Arts Managers Conference (PAMC) is quickly approaching, and this year it takes place in Kansas City, Mo. You may not know this—and I didn’t until yesterday—that Kansas City is home to a flourishing playwright scene.
“Much of the activity is coming from small theater companies—the Fishtank Performance Studio, the Living Room and the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre—but the annual KC Fringe Festival has also become an incubator for playwrights,” Robert Trussell wrote for The Kansas City Star. “In addition, new theater groups have popped up, including Play On Productions and Melting Pot KC, with the goal of staging original work by Kansas City writers.”
This is not the first time Kansas City has experienced a creative surge.
“There is a precedent for such an explosion of creativity here: the jazz era,” Trussell wrote. “In the 1920s and ’30s, musicians from across the country gathered here. They formed bands or joined orchestras. Some of them thought they were just passing through but stayed. They knew each other. They played together and listened to one another’s music. And they absorbed musical ideas in a melting pot of styles. Now we’re seeing something like that in the theater community.”
I like that line: “They played together and listened to one another’s music.” That’s similar to a conference. You attend so that you can listen, learn, and interact with one another. For PAMC, it’s not just another conference, it’s a community.