Arkansas playwright Judy B. Goss earned a B.A. in theatre arts at Hendrix College, writing her honors thesis on “The Theatre of Federico Garcia Lorca.” She holds an M.A. in performance of literature from the University of Texas, Austin, which led to her adaptation of Eudora Welty’s “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies,” published in Group Performance of Literature. After directing theatre at the Southeast Arkansas Arts & Science Center, she taught creative dramatics and poetry writing as an Artist-in-Education in Little Rock. She earned the M.Ed. in secondary education at UALR and worked as a drama specialist at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School seventeen years, teaching drama and creative writing and sponsoring the literary magazine. With Parkview colleagues in acting and English, she created and developed the annual performance by Parkview drama students, “Tales of the Crypt,” now in its 24th year and drawing an audience of over 1,000 to Little Rock’s historic Mount Holly Cemetery.
Guiding creative students fueled her desire to write plays. In 2000, Goss received an Arkansas Arts Council playwriting fellowship for her first full-length play, Fault Lines, revised as Rapture. Over a decade and several scripts later, she wrote “T.O.T. for A.Y.P, or the Certifiable Teacher,” which revealed that it was time to leave teaching. Focused on playwriting, she participated 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. Subsequently, she was inspired by workshops led by Larry Herold and Kevin Kautzman, whom she met at Sewanee, and by Richard Schenkkan, offered by Theatre Squared during production of All the Way.
Her local network of theatre collaborators sustains her playwriting. The premiere production of First Farewell at Argenta Community Theater (ACT) was reviewed positively in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2011. The commissioned children’s play “Lost My Shoe to a Wallaroo,” was presented by Hendrix College Players to elementary students in 2013. In July, 2015, ACT commissioned Goss to write the premiere stage adaptation of the classic film Mrs. Miniver. ACT commissioned her adaptation of A Christmas Carol from Charles Dickens’s novel, and it premiered in December, 2017, played in 2018, and will continue annually produced by ACT as holiday entertainment in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock through 2021.
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre produced a public reading of her play Life Science as part of Plays in Progress on November 3, 2018.
Goss is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Theatre Communications Group.