Staged reading set for Coe Playwriting Competition winner "The Secretary"

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-04-13 11:47:01 - General

Kyle John SchmidtThe Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will present a staged reading of the first-prize winner in the 2017 Coe Playwriting Competition. The reading of "The Secretary" by playwright Kyle John Schmidt will take place in Dows Theatre on Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public, with a discussion to follow the reading.

"The Secretary" is an offbeat comedy about safety, survival and guns for a world that's up in arms. The production will feature Theatre Cedar Rapids actors Cheryl Moon Thomason and Marty Norton, who be joining Caroline Price from the Cornell theatre faculty, Karla Steffens-Moran from the Coe rhetoric faculty, and three Coe students for the presentation.

In "The Secretary," Ruby runs a small-town gun company that aims to protect women by helping them protect themselves. With products like The Bridesmaid, The Babysitter and The Mallwalker, each of the company's guns is named after a woman who used a gun and saved a life - more often than not, her own. When an elderly secretary at the local high school confronts a threat in her office with six bullets, Ruby responds by naming her latest gun after the reluctant hero: "The Secretary." But as production begins on "The Secretary," guns start going off all around town - and no one's pulling the trigger.

"The idea for 'The Secretary' began germinating a couple years ago after the Sandy Hook tragedy where a lone gunman broke into an elementary school and murdered dozens of children and teachers," said Schmidt. "While the entire country was embroiled in a debate about gun control, I became consumed by what was happening in my hometown."

Schmidt is a writer from Montezuma, Iowa. His plays have been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville (Take 10 Apprentice Showcase and the Humana Festival), Crashbox Theatre, the Kid Magicians, Play-in-a-Bar, the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, University of Texas New Theatre, and the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival. His full-length plays have received readings at Capital Stage, Stage West and Nashville Repertory Theatre, and have been finalists for the Humana Festival, PlayPenn, the Lark's Playwrights' Week and the Princess Grace Award. Furthermore, Kyle was co-winner of the 2010 Heideman Award and is a former member of the Ingram New Play Lab. He received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers.

For more information, call 319-399-8605.