Judy B. Goss is an Arkansas playwright, born attuned to life’s dramas in Dallas, Texas. Her family moved to Conway, where she received a B.A. in theatre arts at Hendrix College and wrote an honors thesis: “The Theatre of Federico Garcia Lorca.” At the University of Texas, Austin, she focused on literary analysis and adapting scripts from poetry and fiction to earn the M.A. in oral interpretation of literature. Her adaptation of Eudora Welty’s “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies” was published shortly afterwards in Group Performance of Literature (Long, Hudson & Jeffrey). After directing theatre at the Southeast Arkansas Arts & Science Center, she married and taught creative dramatics and poetry writing as an Artist-in-Education in Little Rock. As her daughters grew, she earned the M.Ed. in secondary education at UALR, in order to teach drama at the new arts magnet high school: Parkview. Besides theatre classes, she taught creative writing and sponsored the literary magazine, which fueled her desire to write plays. Over a decade and several scripts later, she wrote “T.O.T. for A.Y.P, or the Certifiable Teacher,” which told her it was time to leave teaching. These days she enjoys playing in her own mountains of paperwork, and then riding bikes with her husband on the river trails.
She won awards for early one-acts in local contests and received an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship in 2000 for her first full-length play. Audiences responded to staged script readings with interest and questions as well as laughter and applause. She relished being accepted to participate in the playwrights’ workshops at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2009, 2010 and 2012 with mentors Lee Blessing, Beth Henley, Daisy Foote and Dan O’Brien, who gave challenging feedback on her plays. She was inspired by sharing script work at Sewanee with Larry Herold, Kevin Kautzman, Tory Stewart, C. S. Hanson, Jill Campbell, Jeanette Farr-Harkins, Scott Glander, Jessica Dickey, Mat Smart and other playwrights.
Her vital network of theatre collaborators encourages, questions and sustains her playwriting. The premiere production of First Farewell at Argenta Community Theater received a positive review in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2011, because it was well produced. The commissioned children’s play “Lost My Shoe to a Wallaroo,” was presented by Hendrix College Players to appreciative student audiences in 2013. Exciting work has begun on her current commission: a stage adaptation of the classic film Mrs. Miniver, which will premiere at Argenta Community Theater in July, 2015.