Gwen’s upbringing in Louisiana and Alabama and her strong sense of self are reflected in her award-winning plays. Her writings all have a Southern flavor and embrace the strong unconventional women of the region. Storming down the river roads of Mobile County and Caddo Parish offered many encounters with the women who fought for their way of life.
Now residing in Houston, Gwen can be found behind-the-scenes supporting numerous theatre companies. She has served on two play-reading committees, lending her voice to their festivals. Since 2018, Gwen has also served as a playwright mentor to high school seniors selected for the annual Student Playwright Festival—a scholarship competition through Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. that showcases the talents of young up-and-coming Houston playwrights by taking their plays from the page to the stage.
In 2017, Gwen won Queensbury Theatre’s New Works playwriting competition for her original script, Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo which premiered in 2018 after a 12-month development process. Gwen’s other works have been produced at the 2019 Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre 8 Tens @ 8 Festival, the 2017 Midwest Dramatists Conference, the 2015 Scriptwriters Houston10 x 10 Showcase, the 2012 Scriptwriters Houston Fifth Annual Museum Plays and Theatre Suburbia (Houston) 2010 Season.
Gwen is a member of Scriptwriters Houston, Dramatists Guild and New Play Exchange. She is available for consulting and can be reached through the contact form below.
Shakin’ the Blue Flamingo (7F)
Seven lovely, and often cantankerous, Southern lesbians volunteer to plan the first LGBT prom for the local high school in the Deep South. The thirty years of life since college has not dulled the jealousy and unrequited love of a few of the old friends. A successful sorority sister returns to town determined to rekindle the romance of the woman she has loved all of her life. As prom night arrives, plans unravel, infidelities are revealed and the sorority sisters are forced to confront their fears and unspoken dreams.
Sing Me to the Other Side (4F/2M)
The May 14, 1961, Mother's Day celebration in Bynum, Alabama, planned by the adult children of Lorean Stephens, is overshadowed by the attack of white supremacists on a Greyhound bus bound for Anniston, carrying not only Freedom Riders, but also Lorean's youngest daughter. The convictions of the Stephens' family are put to the test when plans unravel, secrets are revealed and the stranded bus is firebombed on the side of the road. No one is prepared for the impact of the hate and injustice growing in Calhoun County. Lorean Stephens will always remember this Mother’s Day.
Tattoos and Tater (5F/1M)
Opal Jones, a “gonna-have-it-my-way” Texas woman, ruthlessly pursues an “old maid” clerk in her grocery store to marry her only son, Duane. When Opal realizes that Charley, the “old maid” clerk, has no interest in marrying Duane or any other man, she inflicts her wrath on Charley and her family by financing the theft of Charley’s dog and threatening closure of the tattoo parlor. Duane rescues Tater and escapes the clutches of his mother. Opal, determined to prevail at all costs, is stopped by a force far greater than herself.
Waiting to Be Mended (6F/2M)
Glorie Whitman, a middle-aged Southern woman, struggles to sustain a childless marriage to a man driven by the opinions and values of a fundamentalist pastor and his flock. Glorie, haunted to locate the child of her deceased sister, suspects the new boarder at her home is that child. Elmer, Glorie’s husband, suspects the boarder is gay and attacks her and another woman as they dance in the empty church parking lot. Glorie vows to protect the young woman from her husband's hatred and violence at all costs.
Clean-up on Aisle Seven (3F/1M)
An absent father reluctantly agrees to drive his daughter to a discount grocery store to pick up a much needed prescription for the daughter’s grandmother. While waiting for the daughter to finish her shopping, the father reveals his abusive nature as he strikes out at his daughter and the women who rescue her.
In Flight (1F/1M)
Edgar, a Texas gentleman, restlessly views bird prints at a museum. Fern, an avid bird watcher, tries to enjoy the same print and notices Edgar’s discomfort. As introductions are made, it becomes clear that Edgar, a lifetime member of Ducks Unlimited, and Fern, a lifetime member of the Audubon Society, view birds from very different perspectives. Common ground is reached as they discover the beauty of quail.
Jornada del Muerto (1F/1M)
A good Samaritan stops to help a beaten, bruised and bloodied man struggling to rise from a busy urban sidewalk. Having aided this undeterred broken soul on his last journey, the Samaritan is unexpectedly comforted by the Christ-like man.
O The Wild Charge (3F/1M)
Two years after Alice died, her sister contacts Peggy, Alice’s old friend, to demand the return of Alice’s ashes. Peggy braces for Lana’s arrival and the ensuing battle over Alice’s ashes and her Rolex. Lana, on the verge of a divorce, is determined to take what she believes is hers. Peggy and Lana battle over Alice's life and the dark memories. The wake of destruction left by Alice as she raced with drugs and alcohol propels Peggy and Lana to finally share the price each paid to love her.