Meet the Bard Ball performers


Master of Ceremonies

Josh got his start with the Bard as an intern at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London back in 2002.  Josh has been a part of AST since 2008.  Favorite roles include the Dromio twins in Comedy of Errors, Trinculo in The Tempest, and Carmen Ghia in The Producers.  For the past two seasons, Josh was also the playwright/producer/director/peformer of the 3-person version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and an orginal adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.  Josh has been a part of the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre for the past seven years, and is the founder of ImprovLittleRock.



Frank H. Thurmond grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where a pivotal early experience included the opportunity to work in Bill Clinton’s campaign headquarters during the 1992 presidential campaign. Thurmond studied English literature and Creative Writing at Southern Methodist University, later earning graduate degrees in Renaissance Drama from Oxford University. This was followed by several years of teaching English at the American College in Thessaloniki, Greece, before returning home to the United States to continue his teaching career. When his first screenplay was a finalist in a major film festival contest, Thurmond was invited to move to Los Angeles to pursue his interests in writing and filmmaking. After reading Brooke Halpin’s novel A Magical Mystery Tour, the truestory of an American teenage musician caught up in 1960’s ‘Beatlemania’, hecollaborated with Halpin on adapting this compelling story for the screen and is currently co-producing the project as a feature film due for general theatrical release next year.

Thurmond’s other work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the International Herald TribuneOxford Today magazine, the ArkansasDemocrat-Gazette, and in William Safire’s language book No Uncertain Terms (Simon & Schuster, 2003). He has recently completed writing a book-length memoir of his early experiences. Thurmond currently teaches literature at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.



Stewart was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After graduating from Hendrix College, he completed his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. A winner of both the Porter Prize and Worthen Prize, he is best-selling author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series of children’s novels, as well as the novel Flood Summer and several short stories. He lives in Little Rock with his wife Sarah Beth Estes and their two sons.


Base, Contagious Clouds

Graham Gordy completed his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing at NYU where he received the Goldberg Award for Playwriting.  His plays have been produced and performed by Naked Angels, The New Group, New York Stage and Film, The Drama Dept., and The Royal Court (London).  His screen credits include “War Eagle, Arkansas” and “The Love Guru.” His work has been published in “Oxford American,” “Imbibe Magazine,” “Arkansas Life,” and he writes a bi-weekly column for “The Arkansas Times.” His TV pilot “The Wreck” was recently purchased by AMC and his screenplay “The Slow Rise of Wesley Sinker” will (allegedly) be produced in 2011.


I Thought I was a Bottom, But it Turns Out I’m a Puck

Tyrone Jaeger, the Hendrix-Murphy Writer-in-Residence, was born in the Catskill Mountains, and has lived in Florida, Ireland, California, Colorado, Nebraska, and Arkansas. His creative work is published in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, in such journals as The Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, Indiana Review, Descant, the anthology Tartts: Incisive Fiction by Emerging Writers, and many others. With his computer-software-writing, fiber-arts-crafting, and multiple-instrument-playing wife, he resides in what was once a concrete batch plant in the Arkansas River Valley.


Shakespeare Ruined My Plans

U2 Be or Not To Be

The Conway Twitties sing love songs to fruit, obscure diseases, and rock and roll. They formed in 2009 when bandmates Julee Jaeger and Robin Becker discovered a mutual affection for distortion, genre, drama, and gimmick.


Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle?


Why Shakespeare Matters

Philip Martin is a columnist and film critic at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the author of The Artificial Southerner and The Shortstop’s Son, and the monkey in the nose cone of He lives in Hillcrest, with his wife Karen, two rescued terrier sisters Paris and Dublin, and Sherpa, an old Lhasa mix, demented as Lear.


Sabin is the Publisher of and contributing writer for The Oxford American magazine. He also serves as President of the Arkansas Committee on Foreign Relations, a state affiliate of the American Committees on Foreign Relations. Previously he was Associate Editor of the Arkansas Times and co-host of “Unconventional Wisdom,” a public affairs program on Arkansas public television. Before that, he was Director of Development for the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation in Little Rock. He also served as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.-01) in Washington, D.C. Selected as a 1998 Marshall Scholar, he earned an M.A. (Oxon) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University in 2000. During his time in England, he was the speechwriter to U.S. Ambassador Philip Lader at the American Embassy in London. Earlier he held internships at Foreign Affairs magazine in New York City and the White House. In 1998 he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas, where he was president of the student body. Sabin also was named a 1997 Truman Scholar, as well as a member of the 1998 USA Today All-American Academic Team.


Brownderville is a native of Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas, and teaches Creative Writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in the Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Measure, and several other journals and magazines. He was chosen for the 2007 Porter Prize by past winners, including Lewis Nordan, Donald Harington, and Leon Stokesbury, and is the youngest person ever to receive the award, given annually to a writer with an Arkansas connection. He was nominated on the strength of his book Deep Down in the Delta, a collection of his original poems interspersed with folktales hegathered in Arkansas. In 2008 Brownderville completed an MFA at the University of Mississippi.



Stephen Feldman joined the faculty at the University of Central Arkansas in 2001 after holding teaching positions at the University of Virginia, Penn State University, and DePauw University. Formerly a member of the Fetter and Rivanna String Quartets, Stephen also performed ascellist in the Quapaw and Sturgis String Quartets during his six years with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  He is a founding member of UCA’s faculty piano trio, the Diana Trio, andof Little Rock’s SOMA String Quartet.  Recent solo performances have included visits to the campuses of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Penn State University, and the Universityof Delaware, as well as concerts in Illinois, Missouri, and Connecticut. Feldman is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the Eastman School of Music, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


Little Rock’s Garland Recital have played years throughout the central Arkansas area in several different bands. The five piece features Phillip Rex Huddleston (vocals, lead), Lauren Kemp(vocals), Michael Inscoe (bass), Thom Asewicz (rhythm), and Patrick Rippy (drums). Performing covers in various genres from 60s pop to country folk, the group sets the stage for a great night of music.