Lavinia Roberts

Lavinia Roberts

Lavinia Roberts is a published and award-winning playwright, puppet designer, and arts educator. She has over fifty plays for school and community theatres published with Applause Books, Beldon Worship Resources, Big Dog Plays, Brooklyn Publishers, Heuer Publishing, Plays; The Drama Magazine for Young People, Pioneer Drama, Smith and Kraus, and Standard Publishing.

Her curriculum book, "A...
Lavinia Roberts is a published and award-winning playwright, puppet designer, and arts educator. She has over fifty plays for school and community theatres published with Applause Books, Beldon Worship Resources, Big Dog Plays, Brooklyn Publishers, Heuer Publishing, Plays; The Drama Magazine for Young People, Pioneer Drama, Smith and Kraus, and Standard Publishing.

Her curriculum book, "A Little Drama; Playful Activities for Young Children" is published with Redleaf Press.

Her work has been performed in all 50 states and internationally in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Her play "Counting Skunks," won the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Playwriting Award at the Castillo Theatre in New York City.

Her play "Eaten Voices" won $5000 and best production in festival at the Thespis Theatre Festival in New York City. Eaten Voices went on to productions with The New Alchemists in Seattle, the Bread and Roses Theatre in London, and with Gadfly Productions in Minneapolis.

She was a member of the Women’s Writers Lab at the New Perspective Theatre in New York City.

Her work has been featured in New York City at HERE Arts Center, Galapagos Art Space, The Metropolitan Playhouse, in the New York Fringe Festival, and other spaces. She has directed her work in NYC at The Secret Theatre, Dixon Place, The Brick, The Bushwick Starr, the Sheen Center, and The Tank.

She has taught puppetry, visual art, and theatre with various arts organizations in New York City including Arts Connection, Project Art, Trinity Church Wall Street, Saint David’s School, and Writers Theatre of New Jersey, and Hartley House.

In Kansas, she has taught at The Lawrence Arts Center, The William Inge Center for the Arts, and at the Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy.

She also devised performances with young people in the Philippines and Thailand while there on artist residencies, collaborating and learning from local arts educators.

Lavinia also creates masks and puppets for film and theatre. Her work has been shown in New York City at Frontrunner Gallery, The Brooklyn Fireproof, Urban Glass, on Governors Island, and other spaces.

She has done artist residencies at the Arts Students League at Vyt (Sparkill, NY), The Center for Books Arts (NYC, NY), The Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, KS), The Midwest Dramatists Center (Kansas City, KS), Newnan ArtRez (Newnan, GA), onelove NOLA (New Orleans, LA), Paul Artspace (St. Louis, MO), Escape to Create (Seaside, FL), Salina Art Center (Salina, KS), Surel’s Place (Boise, ID), Urban Glass (NYC, NY), and Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY).

She has a MA in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities from New York University and BFA in Fine Art from the University of Kansas.

Plays

  • Miss Austen's Choice
    Aspiring novelist and romantic, Jane Austen, accepts an invitation to visit old family friends at Manydown Park. There, she is thrown together with the vastly different Harris Biggs-Withers and presented with a choice, a singular opportunity, that could change the course of her and her family's life.
  • Louisa May Alcott's War
    December 1862. The American Civil War has begun. Louisa May Alcott has experienced some success writing sexy thrillers under pseudonyms, but longs for life experience to fuel her writing. The young abolitionist enlists and is called to duty, as a nurse in Union Hotel Hospital, in Washington DC. Leaving her beloved sisters behind, Alcott faces dire conditions and male colleagues who don’t feel women have any...
    December 1862. The American Civil War has begun. Louisa May Alcott has experienced some success writing sexy thrillers under pseudonyms, but longs for life experience to fuel her writing. The young abolitionist enlists and is called to duty, as a nurse in Union Hotel Hospital, in Washington DC. Leaving her beloved sisters behind, Alcott faces dire conditions and male colleagues who don’t feel women have any place at the hospital. Yet, she employs strength, compassion, warmth, and wit to tend to the injured and dying Union soldiers, despite the horrific working conditions. The nurses are even able to provide the wounded men with Christmas festivities. Yet, when Louisa contracts typhoid, the battle for her life begins. Louisa May Alcott’s War is a story of love and loss, and how one of America’s most beloved writers is forever changed by her experience as a nurse during the Civil War.
  • Raise Less Corn and More Hell! Annie Diggs: A Prairie Populist
    Annie Diggs, journalist, orator, poet, advocate of women’s rights, temperance worker, and populist advocate, brainstorms various potential headlines for her newspaper, The Kansas Liberal, and shares key moments of her life and work as an activist. A 45 minute one woman show exploring the Populism Movement in the United States during the 1890s. 5 minute & 10 minute versions also available.
  • Poor People
    A stage adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel "Poor Folk."

    Set in St. Petersburg in 1846, "Poor People" offers an episodic narrative, intertwining symbolism, surrealism, and realism. The play tells the story of Makar Devushkin, a middle ­aged clerk, who despite his poverty remains a human with an endearingly bumbling, optimistic outlook and humor. Makar’s existence is...
    A stage adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel "Poor Folk."

    Set in St. Petersburg in 1846, "Poor People" offers an episodic narrative, intertwining symbolism, surrealism, and realism. The play tells the story of Makar Devushkin, a middle ­aged clerk, who despite his poverty remains a human with an endearingly bumbling, optimistic outlook and humor. Makar’s existence is transformed when Varvara Dobroselova, a young seamstress and Makar’s distant relation, enters his life. The two develop a platonic relationship, which they use as a shield when forced to face unscrupulous relatives, unwelcome sexual advances, contempt at work, sickness, and hard labor. "Poor People," celebrates the resilience of the human spirit when circumstances seem insurmountable.

    Theatre is Easy says that "Poor People," is told “With clear-eyed compassion and unflinching emotional truth,” and Fringe Review says the play “draws shockingly strong parallels between 19th century St. Petersburg and 21st century New York. The struggle to make it through today. The struggle to imagine a bright tomorrow.”
  • [Un]Earthed
    Myra and her father are lucky. They are some of the few refugees to make it to an alien refugee camp, after the destruction of Earth. There, they struggle to build a new life and reunite with Myra’s mother. Myra attends school, designed to teach her, and other displaced refugees from Earth, the mathematical language of this alien society. At the refugee camp, Myra meets Ekon, and together, these “two...
    Myra and her father are lucky. They are some of the few refugees to make it to an alien refugee camp, after the destruction of Earth. There, they struggle to build a new life and reunite with Myra’s mother. Myra attends school, designed to teach her, and other displaced refugees from Earth, the mathematical language of this alien society. At the refugee camp, Myra meets Ekon, and together, these “two Gadflys” question their new education, reluctant to embrace this new alien culture and abandon all identity as “People of Earth.” Together, they secretly begin their own school. One that teaches the history and culture of the peoples of Earth, one where it’s pupils and teachers are one in the same; refugees sharing their stories from their now ruined planet. Yet, their new “school,” might attract an unusual friend, and bring these two worlds, closer together.
  • Eaten Voices
    A little girl, Leona is trapped in night. She meets a child, and decides that she must be the Moon’s Child. Together, they travel through night, a place of stories, song, dance, and mystery, heading towards day.
  • Counting Skunks
    What can you do when the traditional family fails you? You can create a new kind of family. Gracie, a high school senior in Parsons, Kansas, flees her abusive father to live with her older half-sister, only to find her sister living in a compromised situation. This is the story of a tenacious teenage girl on a winding road to finding dignity and love.
  • Darn It! Darla! : A Ten-Minute Comedy
    A now grown up childhood sitcom star struggles to find meaningful work for women in Hollywood with little assistance from her talent manager.
  • After Dark: A Ten-Minute Drama
    Set in a farmhouse in Kansas, Judith, in her late sixties must process her grief with her teenage granddaughter, Annette.
  • The Divorcee Shower: A Ten-Minute Comedy
    Andrea is commemorating her divorce with a party to remember.
  • Eternal Flowers: A Ten-Minute Drama
    A young ghost hunter explores the home of a recently deceased old women, accompanied by his older sibling, recently returned from service in Iraq.
  • The Twine
    This longer one-act explores the nature of memory, the subconscious mind, loss, and how we perceive and experience love. A pugnacious young woman hunts a deadly minotaur through a treacherous labyrinth. Her only companion is a strange, silent women carrying a ball of twine. She encounters various characters from Greek mythology, including a half-mad Orpheus, Daedalus brewing a potion to create the chemical...
    This longer one-act explores the nature of memory, the subconscious mind, loss, and how we perceive and experience love. A pugnacious young woman hunts a deadly minotaur through a treacherous labyrinth. Her only companion is a strange, silent women carrying a ball of twine. She encounters various characters from Greek mythology, including a half-mad Orpheus, Daedalus brewing a potion to create the chemical sensation of love, and a drag king Aphrodite. As she stumbles deeper into her unconscious mind, she must confront the pain and grief of the loss of the woman she loves and the monster of her own making.