Librarian ‘flick’ nabs top rung

     (NWPR-IN) – To the point, “Discom-BOOB-ulated” is a play about a young woman and breast cancer and how she copes with the series of medical treatments and those onslaught unrestrained feelings. Written by Denise Buhr, she garnered 1st Place in the 2nd Annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival, which will share center stage at the Allen County Public Library during the 3-day festival from Friday, June 3 through the 5th.

Playwright Buhr

     During the showing, “The Timekeepers” by Dan Clancy, who is a playwright of international acclaim, will serve as the guest moderator, leading the post show talk as well as a participant in the panel discussions, will also conduct a workshop. The Clancy play is the featured production and will be directed by John Tolley, formerly from the First Presbyterian Theatre.

     In addition, the other chosen winning works went to Ruth Tyndall Baker, 2nd Place for “Knitters Row,” where she recalls the sounds of the looms of the Wayne Knitting Mills during her growing up years. And in the 3rd Place, “Struggling For My Sanity” by Rachael Kooi is a play which encompasses her interests in comparative religions, history, philosophy and psychology. Her style is a performing work that projects a sophisticated look while turning sarcasm into an art form. Both of these winners will present a stage reading of their scripts, whereas Buhr will perform a full production of her play.

     Established in 2009, the Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival is part of the Fort Wayne Civic Growth Initiative Campaign.  The 2010 winners were: 1st place: “The Ladies in Cabin 10” by Nancy Carlson; 2nd place: “Papillons”, Ruth Tyndall Baker; 3rd place: “Asleep in the Arms of God”, Jay Duffer; and Honorable Mentions went to “The Door”, Chad Kennerk and “Profanity” by Chris Colcord.


     In her years at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, Denise Buhr has been penning plays and followed an education path to hone the craft at Indiana University, where she acquired a Bachelor’s degree in English with a major study focus in dramatic forms of literature; and later Masters in library science, which led to employment at the Allen County Public Library. 

     On her marquee of plays, “Just Good Sense” was written for the ACPL Players, and was the first of ten melodramas she would write for them, including the “Hiss and Boo Revue,” which were all performed at festivals in the Indiana region. The next plays to follow were one-acts written at the Pulse Opera House in Warren, Indiana as well as a play for the Sophia’s Portico in Fort Wayne about midwifery. A recent work that has some ties to her years in the service, “Fighting Words: A Dialogue on Women in Combat,” was a staged reading that looked at the role of women in the military throughout the history of the United States. Currently, playwright Buhr has in development plays on the Civil War, girls and baseball and the life of a former IPFW faculty.

     As a librarian at IPFW’s Helmke Library, she works with the department of the School of Visual and Performing Arts and also serves as the interim archivist.  She lives on a small farm and is an avid baker and collector of old cookbooks.

Ruth Tyndall Baker

     Ruth Tyndall Baker is devoted to her playwright profession full time and some of her favorite works, “Summer Storms, “Winter Skies” and “Knitters Row” all revolve around her Indiana roots. Other local productions are:  “A Christmas Key” and “Al Capone & Me.”  Ruth’s “Papillons” also took 2nd place in the 1st annual playwright festival and welcomes and encourages your feedback at

Rachael Kooi

     Rachael “Rosie” Kooi is putting her Bachelors of Arts degree to work on the East Coast pursuing a career in theatre. Her interest in the theatre stems from father, who worked as a community and college Technical Director. That influence led to her belief that she could create better characters and write better engaging stories than those she has seen in movies, including the books she has read. According to her, she has not given up becoming the female Orson Wells because the search for her own “Citizen Kane” is an ongoing journey.

Published by on January 2011. Filed under Art-in-Performance Section, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed