bio / CV






Kenley S. Smith

Biography

   Kenley Smith lives and writes in Nashville, TN. He is the director of Tennessee Playwrights Studio, a new developmental lab for in-state dramatists. He founded Studio Roanoke, a not-for-profit Virginia theatre that specialized in the development and production of new works from 2009 to 2012.  He also was an Ingram playwright-in-residence at Nashville Repertory Theatre for the 2011-12 season and served as artistic associate for The Writing Room at Nashville Rep from 2015-2017.  

    His full-length play, "Akuma-Shin," was a MainStage selection of the 2015 Great Plains Theatre Conference and premieres in March at Sacred Fools Theatre Company in Los Angeles.  “Empires of Eternal Void," developed through the Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Lab, was a MainStage Selection at the 2013 GPTC.  “Devil Sedan” was featured in 2008 at GPTC and has been produced by Baby D Productions in Omaha and by Studio Roanoke, as well as a professional production in 2013 at Playhouse Nashville.  “Devil Sedan” won first place at the Barter Theatre’s 2008 Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights and took top honors in the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Joe McCabe Memorial Playwriting Competition in 2009.  “Shade of the Trees,” a 2010 Barter finalist, went up at Studio Roanoke in August, 2009, and his “Famous Bobby Pence” trilogy – consisting of “Devil Sedan,” “Twelve Stations of the Cross” and “The Brand New Testament” – was produced there in 2010-11.  “Monkey Wrench” was produced at Studio Roanoke in April, 2012. 

   In addition to several readings, Kenley directed two full-length plays at Studio Roanoke – his own “The Brand New Testament” and Ben R. Williams’ “Man With Wings.”

   Kenley’s fiction has won contests sponsored by Mountain State Press and the Abingdon (VA) Highlands Festival.  From 1989 to 2000, he was president and chief instructor of Car Guys, Inc., a firm that teaches high-performance driving techniques.

   Kenley earned an M.F.A. in Playwriting and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, both from Hollins University.  He has taught playwriting at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA, and at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference.

 
Production Credits
(Full productions unless otherwise noted)
(Click on links to see that production's page)

"Akuma-shin" (UPCOMING)
Scott Leggett, dir.
Sacred Fools Theatre Company
Los Angeles, CA
March 30-April 28, 2018

"Rats Love the Taste" / staged reading
Kenley Smith, dir.
Actors Bridge Ensemble
Nashville, TN
July 1, 2017

"Empires of Eternal Void"
Mark Schnitzler, dir.
University of Memphis
November 19-20, 2016

"Maidens" / staged reading
Kenley Smith, dir.
Nashville Repertory Theatre
December 15, 2015

"Kicking" / staged reading
Mercedes Matchinske, dir.
Sideshow Fringe Festival / Belmont Black Box Theatre
Nashville, TN
July 19, 2015

"Harry Potter and the Closet of Repressed Memories" / staged reading
Michael Roark, dir.
Ten Minute Playground
Nashville, TN
June 21, 2015

"Akuma-shin"  / MainStage play reading
Matt Gutschick, dir.
Great Plains Theatre Conference
Omaha, NE
May 28, 2015

"Empires of Eternal Void" / staged reading
Andy Kanies, dir.
Spaghetti Theatre
Nashville, TN
March 27-30, 2014

"Men of Extremity" / staged reading 
Darren Michael, dir.
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
February 9, 2014


"Devil Sedan" 
Brandy Austin, dir.
The Theatre School / DePaul University
Chicago, IL
October 28 - November 1, 2013


"This Is Tokyo" / staged reading 
Phil Perry, dir.
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
October 13, 2013


"Devil Sedan" 
Christopher Bosen, dir.

Playhouse Nashville
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
August 1-11, 2013

"Empires of Eternal Void" / MainStage play reading
Doug Patterson, dir.
Great Plains Theatre Conference
Omaha, NE
May 31, 2013

"Godwin's Law" / staged reading 
Christopher Bosen, dir.
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
April 29, 2013

"Death in the Wires!" / staged reading 
Denice Hicks, dir.
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
Dec. 10, 2012

"Empires of Eternal Void" / staged reading
Dennis Delaney, dir.
ARTS/West
Athens, OH
Oct. 6, 2012

"Empires of Eternal Void" / staged reading
Lauren Shouse, dir.
Tennessee Repertory Theatre
Nashville, TN
May 30 and June 4, 2012

“Monkey Wrench" 
Will Coleman, dir.
Studio Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
April 11-22, 2012

The Brand New Testament
Kenley Smith, dir.
Studio Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
February 9-20, 2011

“The Barfly Kid”
Greenbrier Valley Theatre / New Voices Original Short Play Festival
Lewisburg, WV
February 4-12, 2011

Twelve Stations of the Cross
Cheryl Snodgrass, dir.
Studio Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
October 27 - November 7, 2010

“Shade of the Trees” / reading
Eugene Wolf, dir.
Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA
July 30, 2010

Devil Sedan
Lorie Obradovich, dir.
Studio Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
June 22-27, 2010

Shade of the Trees
Pat Wilhelms, dir.
Studio Roanoke
Roanoke, VA
August 25-30, 2009

"Twelve Stations of the Cross" / reading
Studio Roanoke / Exposed! Festival of New Works
Roanoke, VA
July 26, 2009

Devil Sedan
Lorie Obradovich, dir.
Baby D Productions
Omaha, NE
Jan. 9 - Feb. 1, 2009

“Shade of the Trees” / staged reading
Pat Wilhelms, dir.
Greene Memorial United Methodist Church, Roanoke, VA
August 27, 2008

“Devil Sedan” / reading
Katy Brown, dir.
Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA
August 5, 2008

“Devil Sedan” / featured play reading
Lorie Obradovich, dir.
Great Plains Theatre Conference, Omaha, NE
May 26, 2008

“The Barfly Kid”
Barhoppers
Staunton, VA
March 30-31 & April 6-7, 2008

“The Sun, the Sun”
Richard Washer, dir.
Mill Mountain Theatre / Overnight Sensations
Roanoke, VA
July 14, 2007

No Shame Theatre
Roanoke, VA
50+ five-minute pieces
August, 2006 - May, 2010

Playwriting Awards

"Akuma-Shin"
MainStage Selection, 2015 Great Plains Theatre Conference
Holland New Voices Award, 2015 GPTC

"Empires of Eternal Void"
MainStage Selection, 2013 Great Plains Theatre Conference
Holland New Voices Award, 2013 GPTC

“Devil Sedan”

First place, 2009 WV Writers, Inc., Joe McCabe Memorial
      Playwriting Award
First place, 2008 Appalachian Festival of Plays and
      Playwrights, Barter Theatre
Featured play, 2008 Great Plains Theatre Conference

“Twelve Stations of the Cross”
2009 Semifinalist, WordBRIDGE

“Shade of the Trees”
Finalist, 2010 Appalachian Festival of Plays and
     Playwrights, Barter Theatre

Directing Credits

"Toilet Snake" by Laura Crockarell
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
February 10, 2014


"Harley's Descent" by Christopher Bosen
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
October 14, 2013


“Carly's Little Friend” by Megan Seely
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
April 28, 2013

“Statistical Reasoning” by Margy Ragsdale
Ten Minute Playhouse
Street Theatre Company
Nashville, TN
December 9, 2012

“Man With Wings” by Ben R. Williams
Studio Roanoke
August 10-21, 2011

“Kong: A Goddamn 30-Foot Gorilla” by Adam Hahn
Studio Roanoke / Guerrilla Playhouse
July 10, 2011

“The New Testament” by Kenley Smith
Studio Roanoke
February 9-20, 2011

“The Pancake Defense” and “The High Road” by Alisha Dingus
Studio Roanoke Lunchbox Series
June 13, 2010

“unXmas Story” by Jeff Goode
Studio Roanoke Lunchbox Series
Dec. 9, 2009

“The Way to a Man’s Heart” by April Drummond
Studio Roanoke Lunchbox Series
June 10, 2009

Teaching

Director, Tennessee Playwrights Studio, 2017-present

Facilitator/Associate Artist, The Writing Room at Nashville Rep, 2015-2017

Theatre 279 (Playwriting), Randolph College, spring 2010

Presenter, Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, Jan. 2010

Education

Sewanee Writers' Conference, 2014

M.F.A. in Playwriting, Hollins University, 2009

M.A. in English/Creative Writing, Hollins College, 1982

B.A. in English/Journalism, Marshall University, 1980