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Posted on Thu. May. 29, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

NE Indiana Playwright Festival winner 'Whispers to the Moon' full of emotion

Winning play will be presented beginning Friday as part of the festival

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Playwright fest

What: The fifth annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival features a staged production of the winning play, “Whispers to the Moon,” written by Kris Bauske. The play is about a woman and man (both married to others) who have met at the same hotel on the Riviera every August for 42 years. This year's rendezvous is different, however: The woman's adult daughter shows up unannounced, and the mother decides it's time to end the affair.

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and June 6, 7, 13 and 14; 2 p.m. Sunday and June 8 and 15; and 7:30 p.m. June 5.

Where: ArtsLab theatre, Auer Center for Arts and Culture, 300 E. Main St.

Cost: $26 general admission; $17 youth; $22 senior Sundays; and $43 for a reception starting at 6:30 p.m. followed by the show on Saturday. Buy tickets online at and click on Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival, or call 424-5220.

Etc.: The festival features other events:

•Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies will attend the post-show reception for “Whispers to the Moon on Friday,” will speak at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Arts United Center, followed by an hors d' oeuvres reception, and will lead the post-show discussions after the performance of “Whispers to the Moon” on Saturday.

•A reading of the second-place play, “Tinfoil Memories” by Emily Farris, will be at 10 a.m., followed by a discussion led by Director Thom Hofrichter.

•A reading of the third-place play, “The Teapot Collector” by Jack Petersen, will be 10 a.m. Sunday, with a discussion afterward led by Director Steve Sarratore.

•For more information on the playwright festival, go to NEIPFBrochure.pdf.


When Kris Bauske was at a reading of her play “Whispers to the Moon,” she noticed the guy sitting next to her was shaking. When she sneaked another look, she discovered he was sobbing.

“Part of me was going, 'Yes!'” she said.

Although she hated that the man was so upset, it was good to know her play had touched an emotional nerve with somebody.

Fort Wayne Civic Theatre is staging “Whispers to the Moon” as part of its fifth annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival. Bauske's play won first place.

She now lives in Orlando, Fla., but grew up in southwest Michigan and spent summers in northern Indiana.

Bauske describes “Whispers to the Moon” as a “struggle between true love and duty.”

The story is about a woman and man, each married to someone else, who get together in Monaco once a year for two weeks to continue an affair. They've done this for 42 years, but when the woman's adult daughter shows up unexpectedly, everything changes. In addition, the woman is getting too old to travel, and the man has a heart condition.

“It certainly starts out with comedic moments and ends with a more emotional statement,” Bauske said.

She says she likes to loosen up the audience with laughter at the beginning of the play.

Bauske says she's always been a writer; even as far back as second grade, teachers were asking her to help other students with writing. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in English, she became a technical writer. But she changed her career path after having children.

When her daughter was age 8, she was in a play, and Bauske became interested in reading scripts. “Some of this stuff is just terrible,” she said.

So she decided to write her own play, titled “A Good Old Fashioned, Redneck Country Christmas.” It was published by Baker's Plays in March 2009 and has been adapted for the stage as a musical and is being considered for cinematic production.

She has written several other plays and is a member of the Dramatist's Guild of America, the International Centre for Women Playwrights and has won or been a finalist in numerous competitions.

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