2020 DivaFest Shows

Dates: April 17-18-19 and 24-25-26


A Sundered Heart

Carol Stamile: Playwright Bio:  Carol Stamile - A lover of theatre since her mother took her to see her  first Broadway play, Fiddler on the Roof with Zero Mostel. Carol has had her play Moon Beneath Her Feet performed in IndyFringe Theater's 2018 Divafest and her play Transcendtal Blues produced at 2017 Short Play festival.

Show Description: Malcolm and Lola's  marriage was once filled with love, hope and fantasy. Now they survive on the lam in a brutal dystopian society. Can they get back to where they once were? Will society?

Genre:  Drama


A Dry Rosé; A Lesbian Love Story Or Something Very Similar

Missy Koonce, Playwright Bio:  Missy Koonce has been a bar owner (bar Natasha), cabaret singer, music producer, theatre producer, actress, choreographer, director, emcee and mentor. Although you probably have never heard of Missy Koonce, she means to change that! Missy recently moved to Indy via Kansas City; there she worked primarily as a Director/Choreographer, but also worked in virtually every theatrical venue in some capacity. Missy is also known for performing in, coordinating entertainment AND hosting a myriad of “Not-For-Profit” events.

Show Description:  "A Dry Rosé; A Lesbian Love Story Or Something Very Similar" is A Coming of (Older) Age Story. This comic play follows the lives of four women, over forty, navigating their way through the new relationship rules of the modern world. As women of a certain age; how do we meet people? how do we connect? how do we work this damn dating app?!?

Genre:  Comedy 


“I Am the One Who”

Allison Ballard : Playwright Bio:  "Allison Ballard lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana where she works as an independently contracted writer and performance artist. She has over 25 years of experience performing/creating/directing interdisciplinary performance work.

Since 2008, Allison has worked for the University of Saint Francis as Director of the Jesters, a performing arts program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Allison is also a performing member of Fort Wayne Taiko, a drumming and movement ensemble based on Japanese tradition. She also works as an outreach artist for the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, teaching movement and rhythm programs to children, youth, adults and people with special needs. 

Allison was a featured artist in Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne’s 2014 and 2015 fundraising campaign and received an individual artist grant from the Indiana Arts Commission in 2013. She has a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Psychotherapy (Columbia College Chicago, 2003). She is also certified as a Music Together® teacher, as a Drum Circle Facilitator (Arthur Hull Village Music Circles and Health RhythmsÔ) and in Orff Schulwerk, Levels I and II (Anderson University School of Music, 2008 and 2011).  

Show Description: Your average Midwestern American mom: raising kids, paying bills and living a life that barely works. She triggers open the trap door to childhood trauma and discovers a fragmented psyche...and remembers her promise to anchor light. Using the transforming powers of love, humor and empty whiskey barrels, she becomes whole. 

Genre:  Performance Art


“Honk Squawk Love”

Paige Scott : Playwright Bio

Paige Scott is an Indianapolis based performance artist and frequent Indyfringe contributor and patron where she has been featured in many Indyfringe hits such as Great Bike RaceBOTHoly FicusDrankspeare and Jollyship the Whiz Bang. Primarily a musical theatre playwright her most recent collaboration with KT Peterson, Razor Creek, will be put on its feet in the 2020 Iowa New Play Festival in May. She recently served on the writing team for the Phoenix Xmas show "Winston's Big Day." Most notably, her Bronte based musical J. Eyre was voted "Best Original Work" by Broadway World Indianapolis in 2018. As an artist, her core themes in every piece she works on are connection and finding romance in the mundane. As a first-time DivaFest participant, she is thrilled to be sharing these thoughts with you. Thank you for supporting live and local theatre!

The Play:   

Title: Honk Squawk Love

Playwright: Paige Scott

Set in the mundane atmosphere of a corporate processing center, a feisty IT specialist meets his match when he is imprinted on by a grumpy goose who resides on the grounds. Honk Squawk Love is a love letter to the misunderstood agent of evil, the Branta Canadensis, also know as The Canada Goose.

Genre: Rom-Com, puppets

Warnings: PG-13, herbal cigarettes. 


Fast Facts – celebrating 11 years of producing women stories

DivaFest is a juried playwrighting festival sponsored by the IndyFringe. Nationally, only 19% of published plays have been written by women. We are seeking to change that.

Over the past ten years, DivaFest has fostered the growth of new works, new audiences, new performing companies, and new fringe festival shows. 

Historically, for as long as there have been live performances, theater has been dominated by male playwrights. It's time for that to change

Why is this important to support women playwrights?

As playwright Rebecca Gilman (whose play Boy Meets Girl is currently on stage at IndyFringe) wrote in a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, "Because playwrights, directors, designers and actors shape the stories we tell in the theater and the stories we tell become the world we live in. If the stories of one group are hierarchized above those of another, that signals to the world that the rest of us are not nearly as important ... At a time when women are finally speaking out about systemic harassment, violence and silencing, the hierarchizing of men's stories over ours can be downright dangerous."

A few years ago, a catchy initiative was launched called 50/50 by 20/20. The League of Professional Theatre Women co-sponsored this call to action along with The Women's Project and New Perspectives Theatre. Their goal was to work proactively for parity for professional women playwrights, directors and designers. And how is that going, you ask, as 2020 draws near.


50/50 is still a long ways off 

According to a survey by American Theatre magazine, just 21% of plays presented by regional theater companies in the 2015-16 season had female authors. In the magazine's 2017 survey, they reported that the number had increased to 26%. The most recent article said, "Plays authored by men constituted 57 percent of all productions, down from 62 percent last year, and plays by women comprise 30 percent, up from last year's 26 (plays co-written by men and women take up the slack, this year comprising 13 percent)."

How is IndyFringe doing?

45% of all entries received for the annual festival in 2020 are from women.

DivaFest now in its eleventh year has featured 159 female playwrights who have shared in $100K of box office receipts.   

10% of playwrights were African American.

20 shows went through development and into the annual festival.


OnyxFest, now in its tenth year has featured 50 playwrights who shared in $60K in box office receipts.


Our partnership with the Indiana Writers Center includes producing the Ten Minute Play Festival featuring seven plays produced in association with seven local theatre companies.  

In 2020  there were over 60 applications received for the Ten Minute Play Festival.

Eight playwrights at the Writer’s Centre have written and produced shows for the annual IndyFringe Fest over the past six years.


The importance of DivaFest:

  • Develop and present voices not often heard as well as showcase the work of established voices.
  • Help new playwrights learn the processes of play production: write the play, pass jury for acceptance, work with production team, market and evaluate.
  • Engage new and established audiences in the art and craft of production
  • Bring new excitement to theatre and grow DivaFest as a center for Indiana women playwrights.
  • Attract regional and national media coverage

We wish to recognize the contribution of Rita Kohn and Marion Garmel for their untiring service to women playwrights.


Comedy, Drama, Performance Art
Adult Content, Adult Language, Violence