The Writers

 

Ron Gephart

A retired educator and semi-retired actor/director. Since retiring from Southwest Tennessee Community College he has been pursuing his life-long interest in writing more earnestly. Three variations of his play, Some Day for a Crown, based on his father’s early onset Alzheimer’s disease, have been produced.  Click on the globe under the picture to see his stories, plays, pictures, resume, and links to other work.

Ron’s current interest is in live radio theatre. Sound effects, video, select props and costumes, and actors with scripts give writers a chance to “test drive” their plays and screenplays. After watching most of the films in Piano Man Pictures/Black Lodge Cinematic Panic Film Festival, Ron selected a story from his collection called Shards: Tales of Gas and Glass from the Great Black Swamp, as a good candidate for test driving a script with a small cast and creepy sound effects.  

Big Imagine Studio in Atlanta is releasing a feature film this year that was written for Ron as the lead character. The character is described as a “jaded, washed up, bitter, unemployed college teacher and writer.” Go figure. Check out the Vimeo button under the photo.

Ron’s wife Karen is the Principal at Immaculate Concception Cathedral School, a job she took on 9 years ago after retiring from the Memphis City Schools as the Orff Music Supervisor. Their two adult children, Alex and Julia, also live in Memphis.

Ron is the 2011 recipient of the Eugart Yearian award for lifetime distinguished achievement in Memphis Theatre.

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Natalie Parker-Lawrence

(MA--Linguistics, University of Memphis; MFA--Creative Writing [creative nonfiction/playwriting], University of New Orleans) Now a Training Instructor for the Caregiver Center at the VA Medical Center, she was an instructor in the Communication department at the University of Memphis for eight years and taught AP English Literature, AP World History, Theatre and French in several Memphis high schools for forty years. At Houston High School, she produced the HHS Shakespeare Festival and administered the Tully Daniel Jr. Theatre Scholarships for dozens of students who went on to major in English, theatre, film, or communications.

Parker-Lawrence received the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities from Humanities Tennessee. She used this award to attend Sewanee’s Writers’ Conference in playwriting. She also won the Susan B. Anthony Award by the Shelby County Educational Association for her writing on women’s issues.

Rock Paper Scissors, Parker-Lawrence’s first play, was produced at TheatreWorks in 1997. Rhodes College produced Earlybirds in 2000, Playwright’s Forum in 2000, and Adelphi University (NY) in 2009. The Women’s Playwright’s Initiative staged a regional reading in Orlando (FL) of Upright Position in October 2008, as the first runner-up out of 70 plays. The Just-Passing-By Theatre Company in association with The Morris Theatre Guild (Chicago-area) produced Bob War in 2011. She worked as the assistant director/dramaturg for Wit at the University of Memphis. This production won the Ostrander for best ensemble college production in 2012. Her other plays which have earned staged readings at the University of Memphis include Neither Honey Nor Vinegar and Pack Up the Moon.

I Bet They’re Asleep All Over America got its first reading in 2008 in Montpellier, France. The Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis gave the play its second reading at Circuit Playhouse in 2012, leading to a production by the Our Own Voices Troupe at TheatreWorks in 2013. The San Miguel’s Second Annual International Festival (Mexico) of Ten-Minute Plays produced Night Watch (co-written with Nathan Feuerberg) in March 2014. In August 2014, The Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis produced a staged reading of A Box of Yellow Stars and put on a full production in November 2015. In February 2015, The Players Theatre produced Earlybirds, in New York City. In May 2016, Planting Firewood was given a reading in Nashville at the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, and in August, the Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis gave her four short works a reading under the umbrella title of Postcards From Memphis. In 2019, the Memphis Fringe Festival produced Earlybirds, and the Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis produced Postcards From Memphis. She is a member of Dramatists Guild of America.

Natalie Parker-Lawrence’s essays have appeared in Slice of Life Magazine, The Barefoot Review, Stone Highway Review, The Literary Bohemian, Knee-Jerk Magazine, Prime Number Magazine, Tata Nacho, Orion Magazine, Wildflower Magazine, Persephone Magazine, Edible Memphis, Southern Indiana Review, Unlikely Stories, Alimentum, The Ecotone Exchange, The Palimpsest Journal, The Commercial Appeal, World History Bulletin, and The Pinch. Her plays have been produced in Tennessee, Illinois, New York, and Florida. She lives with her husband in midtown Memphis.


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dawn lafon

Still teaching Latin after forty years, Dawn LaFon is pursuing a long-held dream of writing about what matters to her most, living on the street where she grew up, why everyone should take Latin and the importance of being kind (which is rule number one in her classroom).

  Dawn LaFon received a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. She used it to research the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum and how this humanized antiquity. She has received numerous teaching awards including the Memphis Rotary Award for Teaching Excellence and the Merita Award from the American Classical League.  She has National Board Certification.

          While she was a member of the AP Latin development committee and the exam redesign committee, Dawn was co-author with Sue Bonvellet of the “Teachers’ Manual for the AP Latin Exam”. She wrote and presented the first AP Latin Exam online teaching module for College Board.  In addition, she wrote the foreword for “Latin for the New Millennium Book II” textbook series.

     Dawn has written hundreds of college recommendations for her students at Kingsbury and White Station High Schools to schools all over the United States.  She has written for “Old Shelby County” and “Mysterious Ways” magazines.

    Dawn LaFon is thrilled to brag that she lives near both Broad Avenue and Crosstown Concourse, the two coolest places to be in Memphis these days.