Independence Community College Library houses the Inge Collection - available for free viewing, year around.
The William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, Kansas celebrates the accomplishments of nationally renowned playwrights. Independence was the hometown of William Inge, who passed away in 1973, and was the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of the play "Picnic" and Academy Award winning screenwriter of the movie "Splendor in the Grass."
The Inge Festival was founded in 1981 and brings together actors, directors, theater buffs and writers from across the United States. Each year, the festival recognizes a Honoree Playwright. In 2010, the playwright is Paula Vogel, who received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "How I Learned to Drive." Her other plays include "The Long Christmas Ride Home," "The Mineola Twins," "The Baltimore Waltz," (nomination for Pulitzer Prize in Drama), "Hot N Throbbing," "Desdemona," "And Baby Makes Seven" and "The Oldest Profession."
In addition to evening performances by professionals from Broadway and Hollywood, the Inge Festival includes workshops, panel discussions, a scholars conference, tours on William Inge's Independence, and social events. In "Scenes at the Inge House," there is a 45 minute performance of short scenes at the historic Inge House.
The Inge Festival is open to the general public and you can participate a little or a lot. In 2009, I attended the "Scenes," ($5) took the tour of Inge's Independence ($5) and viewed the exhibits in the Inge collection (free). But you can attend plays ($20-30) or purchase passes to all events on a single day or the entire festival for $195, including all three evening performances, daytime panels, and two meals.
Note: these prices are for the 2010, 29th Annual Festival.
For the rest of the year, you can tour the Inge Collection at the Independence Community College for free whenever the library is open. My favorite parts of the one room display were the original posters from William Inge's plays and movies, and the charactertures which he drew.
copyright 2009-2010 by Keith Stokes