Stephen Taft will transition into retirement at the end of the spring 2022 academic semester and looks forward to focusing on playwriting full-time. For the last 21 years he has been a faculty member in the Department of Theatre at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The first fourteen years of his career was a balance of administrative work, artistic work and teaching. He has previously served UNI as Head of the Department of Theatre, Acting Head of the Department of Art and as Director of Education and Special Projects for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Other leadership positions have included Head of the Performing Arts Department (Theatre and Dance) at The University of Louisiana-Lafayette and as Chair of the Department of Theatre at LaGrange College in Georgia. Steve received his Ph.D. in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Theatre with concentrations in Arts Management and Directing from Texas Tech University, a Master of Arts in Theatre from Missouri State University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Missouri majoring in Theatre and Speech with a minor in Dance. For more biographical info go to: www.stevetaft.com
A newly retired couple take their fantasy trip to Italy only to discover the coronavirus and divorce are in the air. On the eve of their return to the United States, Italy is on lockdown (confinamento) and they are stranded – together. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Will they survive the coronavirus? Will they survive each other? Time will tell.
It’s late May 2020. Tempers are rising and South Minneapolis is in flames following the killing of George Floyd. What happens when a young white woman unexpectedly meets an African-American man in a Minneapolis park the day after a violent protest in Minneapolis? "Apples and Elephants" explores life perspectives as diverse as our society in an attempt to discover common ground in these unsettling times.
Once upon a time being “nice” or “kind” may have appeared to have similar meanings. Today, these two four-letter words appear to mean something quite different. With the aid of a middle-aged woman (Joy), a young man (Trevor) and an imaginary dog (Bob), "Nice and Kind" explores the difference between being nice and kind in a humorous and heartfelt way.
In this (loosely-based) adaptation of Antigone, a tiny isolated nation is only a threat to itself. It has been ruled by Kings for generations. There is no oil or other resources the outside world may crave. The military has no nuclear weapons to use as a potential offensive weapon. In recent years the economy has faltered and more recently, modern communications have been greatly affected by a war involving two brothers vying for the throne. Now, it is time for the next chapter
"Apples and Elephants" was selected to be a part of the University of Northern Iowa's "Cultivating Justice: A Quest Towards Racial Equality" program during the spring 2021 semester and the 2021-22 academic year.
My short play, "Nice and Kind" received a staged reading at the 5th Annual International Short Play Festival in Orange County, NY in August of 2021. It was first produced at the First Run Theatre's short play festival Spectrum 2021 in St. Louis in October of 2021. "Nice and Kind" was also a finalist in the Lakeshore Players Theater 17th Annual Ten-Minute Playwriting Contest. It was then produced at the Weathervane Theatre 8x10 Festival in Akron, Ohio in January of 2022 and will be produced in July of 2022 at the Gulfport Community Players 21st Summer One-Act Competition in Florida. Many thanks to all of these theatre companies.