Town & Gown’s Stillwater Short Play Festival is celebrating its 11th year of exciting productions and yet another opportunity to give back to the Stillwater community. The festival consists of eight short plays of approximately 10-15 minutes in length and runs for one weekend of two performances – Saturday, August 12 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, August 13 at 2:30 PM.  This year’s lineup includes the following plays:

The Yanks are Coming, written by Hank Kimmel of Atlanta, Georgia
Choices, written by James McLindon of Northampton, Massachusetts
Moon Rabbit, written by Mark A. Fisher of Tehachapi, California
The Naughty List, written by Robert J. LeBlanc of Newburyport, Massachusetts
Bad Idea, written by Brian Cox of Detroit, Michigan
L’art est Pour Tout le Monde, written by Matthew Hanf of Elk Grove, California
Family by Numbers, written by Arianna Rose of Delray Beach, Florida
The New Me, written by Richard Pauli of Annapolis, Maryland

Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door for each performance.  As an extra bit of fun, the festival’s “Stuff the Shorts” campaign will give audience members the opportunity to “vote” for their favorite play(s) by dropping cash or checks into a pair of boxer shorts designated for each play.  This will determine the People's Choice Award, which will be announced at the close of the Sunday performance.  

The Stillwater Short Play Festival is a labor of love for its organizers and performers. The festival’s producer, Deborah Sutton, sends out a call for scripts each year, and after the submission period is closed, Town & Gown readers begin the task of selecting eight plays for performance. This year saw well over 200 plays submitted from a long list of distinguished playwrights from all over the United States and as far away as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The festival functions each year as both a showcase for a wonderful storytelling medium and an outreach to the Stillwater community. As in all previous years, a local nonprofit charity will receive 100% of the proceeds from each performance as well as all the proceeds from the “Stuff the Shorts” voting.  The Early Childhood Coalition of Stillwater was chosen as this year’s recipient.  The ECC is dedicated to the support of children in the critical years from birth to age 5.  As Laura Shellhammer, Child Development Specialist with the ECC, explains, “The Early Childhood Coalition is honored to be the recipient of the proceeds from the Town and Gown 2023 Short Play Festival.  ECC is a local non-profit whose mission is to foster communities' efforts in promoting healthy growth and development in young children.”

Its primary program, HealthySteps, serves over 2,000 families each year and provides funding for staff, children’s books, and more.  The ECC also collaborates with other community organizations, including partnering with the Stillwater library on their Storywalks and parent education programs and bringing the Babymobile to Stillwater, which provides formula and diapers for families.  The Coalition works to unite the community by bringing together area agencies, physicians, schools, non-profits, businesses, and individuals to make Stillwater a truly family-friendly community.

HealthySteps is based in a pediatrician’s office and works with doctors and staff to help families identify, understand, and manage parenting challenges related to feeding, behavior, sleep, development, and adapting to life with a young child.  The HealthySteps Specialist joins the family in the exam room to discuss typical development and behaviors and common stressors, and to explore strategies to address the family’s and child’s needs. This team approach empowers parents to use the most helpful information, tools, and services during this crucial time in their child’s brain development. 

In addition, the ECC administers its Better Brain Campaign, specifically designed to improve developmental outcomes for babies and toddlers.  It aims to improve the lives of Stillwater’s families by ensuring that all parents and caregivers can learn simple ways to make the most of the time they spend with children from birth to 3 years old.

Anyone interested in finding out more information about the ECC and its programs can visit or e-mail  Additional information about the Stillwater Shorts Festival is available on the Town & Gown Web site at or the theater’s Facebook page at

For more information on this and other fantastic events happening around the Stillwater community, check out our marketing partner, Visit Stillwater, at or on Facebook at