Five Plays by Trish Ayers, Shan Ayers, Dr. Vivian J. Dorsett, Jim Hetrick, and Coni Koepfinger

In this collection, Ayers, Dorsett, Hetrick and Koepfinger pen works that expose the power of healing. Each of these five plays uniquely addresses the importance of interpersonal relationships through simple friendships or clinical settings. Spotlight Healing sets its survivors center stage.

  • The Labyrinth of Tears by Trish Ayers
  • How Many Times?  by Shan Ayers
  • Desperadas! by Dr. Vivian J. Dorsett
  • The Cultivation of Succulents by Jim Hetrick
  • Therapist by Coni Koepfinger

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About the Playwrights

Trish Ayers
Shan Ayers

Shan and Trish Ayers began their playwriting journey when they co-wrote “Circle of Voices,” in 1995, which received a full production at Berea College in Kentucky. Together, they created Mountain Spirit Puppets, with Trish as company playwright and Shan as lead puppet-maker and lead puppeteer. Shan also led a group of students on a two-week performance tour in Japan, where they performed Trish’s plays in the style of Japanese Bunraku Theatre, by invitation, on numerous stages at the Iida International Puppet Festival. In addition, Mountain Spirit Puppets performed in, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Iowa.

Shan Ayers spent his 36-year career as a college professor, theatre maker, and scholar. He has edited two collections of plays; “Scenes from the Common Wealth; Short Plays and Monologues by Kentucky Women,” and “The Nibroc Trilogy; plays by Arlene Hutton,” both available on His plays, in addition to “How Many Times?”, which was read on an episode of AirPlay, include “Draped in Honor,” produced as part of the Berea Quilt Extravaganza, and “With Nowhere to Go,” which received a reading at the Ten-Tucky Festival at the Bard”s Town Theatre in Louisville, KY. He taught playwriting, domestically, and on three separate study abroad trips to Italy, where students’ works were read on the stage of the ruins of the Roman Theatre at Ostia Antica. 

Trish Ayers was the founder and director of Kentucky Women Playwrights Seminar (KWPS) and hosted “In the Crib” a monthly radio show as part of the OnAir Players. She has had play readings/productions throughout the United States and Internationally. Her play “Judging Quilts” has had a number of readings and was selected to be produced as part of the Ten-Tucky Festival and the (Berea) Quilt Extravaganza. She was a finalist in the EstroGenius Festival with the play, “Painting the Egress,” which was published in “Scenes from the Common Wealth; Short Plays and Monologues by Kentucky Women.” Her plays and her work with playwrights have received awards and honors throughout her years including the 2011 Sallie Bingham Award given by the Kentucky Foundation for Women.  She has received numerous grants for her individual work and her work with KWPS.  Recently she completed a commission of a one-act play for the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop. 

Dr. Vivian J. Dorsett

Dr. Dorsett’s inception of Desperadas began in her undergrad playwriting class and this is her first play to be professionally published. During graduate school she discovered Applied Theatre techniques, Forum Theatre, Playback Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed. Discovering ways to utilize theatre techniques while working with at risk teens, communities, educational theatre as well as social and political issues. Her theatre profession includes playwriting, performing and designing at Universities and community theatre. Her educational scripts have been used alongside classroom curriculum, community performances as well as toured across the state of Texas at several child welfare and juvenile conferences. Her specialty is representing underserved populations. Her last acting performance was participating in a community production of Vagina Monologues. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce and Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She still dreams of having an arts school specifically for children from foster care. Dr. Dorsett’s childhood was spent growing up in foster care until she graduated high school. 

Jim Hetrick

Born in Middletown, CT, Jim spent his first eighteen years growing up in Portland, CT. He had a strict Catholic education by Sisters of Mercy in grammar school, The Xavierian Brothers in high school and Jesuit Priests in college.

After that, he was a middle school and high school English and literature teacher, an stage actor and director, a homesteader in Maine, and he is currently a retired man of leisure living in The Quiet Corner of northeast Connecticut.

Since Jim is, by his own admission, a procrastinator and a perfectionist, his semi-autobiographical play, The Cultivation of Succulents, is a labor of love that took five years to write, and he is honored to have the work included in this anthology.

Coni Koepfinger

Winner of the 2021 Olwen Wymark Theatre Award by the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, Coni Koepfinger is the host of AIRPLAY, a weekly virtual theatre program now in its 12th season that brings the voices of artists, actors, playwrights from all over the world together. Also via new media, Koepfinger has created DETERMINED WOMEN, a monthly feature that interviews women who share stories to encourage and inspire. In addition to teaching theatre and composition at prominent universities like Carnegie Mellon, Penn State and Point Park University, Koepfinger is an internationally published and produced playwright, poet, and librettist. Coni is a Media Advisor for the Lifeboat Foundation who recently published her play, Get the Message in their Visions of the Future anthology 2016; a contributing writer for the Center of Conscious Creativity in LA; a Member of The Dramatists Guild, and  ; a former board member of the International Center for Women Playwrights; and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Recent work includes three new powerful pieces with her writing partner Joe Izen: including Eve of Beltane -a fresh look at political corruption in the face of ancient Celtic mythology that was given a 29 hr AEA staged reading at Broadway Bound Festival (2019),; Schoolhouse -an ultramodern musical that takes the young victim of a school shooting through a magical journey into an imaginary schoolhouse to find compassion and joy;  and the new age musical,  Kingdom Come, where technology meets its match in matchmaking with TED, the world’s first transhuman who falls in love with boss only to reveal a bigger, brighter picture for all humanity. She has written well over 40 plays, short stories, books and commissions such as Takin’ It Back a ten-minute play for THE ME TOO PROJECT in Harlem, and Playing House a commissioned one-act about Bella Abzug for the UNTOLD STORIES OF JEWISH WOMEN and Playing Fate which was accepted for New Blood Series at Theatre for the New City. In 2020 Koepfinger’s work virtually all over, with a new full-length, My Dinner with Mary, which was read online for The Producer’s Circle in March, and was recently streamed live from The Player’s Club in NYC. It will be produced at Theatre for the New City in their 2023 season. Simon Says, won placement in PLAYBILL’S Virtual Theatre Festival 2020 and is slated for Manhattan Rep’s STORIES film competition in 2021. In the NYC pipeline, JOSIE IN THE BARDO will open at The Chain Theatre in April 2022.


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