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The Confluence Regional Writers Project was developed in 2018. Our goal is to further foster a regional culture of playwriting by providing support and inspiration to emerging playwrights in St. Louis and its radiating regions through a Playwriting Fellowship, an Emerging Playwrights Cohort, and new plays commissioned and developed by the Festival.

This program is specifically designed to give playwrights a chance to get feedback, collaboration, public readings of their new work and a dedicated space to develop their skills with others in the field. Diversity is one of our leading values, in terms of race, gender identification, age, and relative physical ability.

2021 Emerging Playwright Cohort

The Festival awarded three residencies to emerging playwrights who are residents of Missouri or Illinois for the third annual Confluence Writers Project.

Courtney Bailey (St. Louis, MO)
Melda Beaty (Chicago, IL)
Delaney Piggins (St. Louis, MO)

As part of the program, Cohort members will:

  • Participate in a weekend retreat near St. Louis, if deemed safe and desirable.
  • Meet monthly, either teleconference or in-person for daylong writing sessions, workshops, and mentorship activities.
  • Participate in a knowledge-sharing opportunity for students in our Shakespeare Squadron youth program during one masterclass workshop in Spring 2021.
  • Complete a full-length play for a public reading in January of 2022 during the Confluence New Play Festival (Cohort playwrights must be available for at least five days during that time for rehearsal and performance of their work.)
  • Receive a $3,000 stipend.

Meet The Emerging Playwrights

Meet Nancy Bell, Program Director

Nancy is the author of six Shakespeare in the Streets adaptations, two of which received St. Louis Theatre Circle Awards for Outstanding New Play. She has also written two plays for children inspired by Shakespeare for the Shakespeare Festival Education Program and for the St. Louis Symphony. Nancy was also recognized in 2017 with the St. Louis Visionary Award.  She is the Program Director of Theatre at Saint Louis University.


Contact Nancy Bell at

The inaugural Confluence Regional Writers Project was generously funded by Sondra & Dorsey Ellis.