“Inspiration is for amateurs.”
— artist Chuck Close
Duane Kelly is the author of nine full-length plays. Productions: Visiting Cezanne (Burien Actors Theatre, 2019), Visiting Cezanne (Red Rover Theatre Company, 2018), Escorting Tom (Burien Actors Theatre, 2017), Das Ende (Red Rover Theatre Company, 2017). His plays have had readings at Last Frontier Theatre Conference (Alaska) with Edward Albee, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference (Idaho), Key City Theatre (Pt. Townsend, WA), and ACT Theatre (Seattle); and in New York, at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, and id Theatre. He co-founded Red Rover Theatre Company, which performs new plays in Seattle’s fringe venues. Duane is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and for eight years served as the Guild’s regional representative for Washington state.
(photo: on a set of Visiting Cezanne)
2021 Visiting Cezanne will be produced in August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest theatre festival, attracting half a million visitors. This production had been planned for 2020 but that Festival was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Presented on the Alba stage at Hill Street Theatre by artists from Glasgow. 24 performances, Aug. 6-29, 2021.
2021 Patrimony will be produced in Seattle at 18th & Union Arts Space. 8 performances, mid-March.
2020 Working on a commission of a new play about the deep friendship between Enlightenment philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith. Working title, Enquiry Concerning Immortality.
2020 Working on new play about robots and AI in the near future.
2020 Writing history book about 19th century emigration and the settlement of the Utah territory.
2020 Visiting Cezanne translated into French
2019 Visiting Cezanne produced by Burien Actors Theatre as part of its mainstage season. Feb. 15 – March 10. Mok Moser director.
2019 Completed Patrimony, a new play about fathers and sons.
2018 Visiting Cezanne, a play about Paul Cezanne, his gardener, and artistic struggles, produced by Red Rover Theatre Company at 18th & Union Arts Space in Seattle. Andrew McGinn director.
2017 Produced Banned Together. Excerpts from plays and musicals that have been subject to censorship in the U.S. are performed to bring attention to the problem of censorship. Presented by Dramatists Legal Defense Fund. Allison Narver director. Sept. 25, ACT Theatre, Seattle.
2017 Das Ende translated into German
2017 Escorting Tom, a marital drama, produced at Burien Actors Theatre (near Seattle), after winning first place in that company’s 2017 Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival. Calen Winn director.
2017 Das Ende, a play about Richard Wagner and the Ring operas, produced by Red Rover Theatre Company at 18th & Union Arts Space in Seattle. Kelly McMahon director.
2017 Escorting Tom was a semifinalist selection for American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) NewPlayFest.
2016 Das Ende had a public reading, presented by Seattle Playwrights Circle at Elliott Bay Books, Nov. 6.
2016 Co-founded Red Rover Theatre Company, with playwright John C. Davenport
2016 Escorting Tom had a public reading, presented by Playfest festival, Port Townsend, WA, March 13.
2015 Escorting Tom had a public reading, presented by Seattle Playwrights Circle at Elliott Bay Books, Dec. 6.
2015 Moderated panel of Stephen Schwartz, Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Doug Wright, Amanda Green, and Christopher Ashley (Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse) at Dramatists Guild national conference in La Jolla, CA.
2015 Escorting Tom was a semifinalist selection for 2015 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
2014 Escorting Tom had a public reading at ACT Theatre, Seattle, Oct. 21.
2013 Served as a moderator at the national conference of the Dramatists Guild, in Chicago, interviewing playwright David Ives about his career.
2011 Rousseau and Hobbes had a public reading at ACT Theatre Nov. 21.
2011 Reconceived and rewrote Rousseau and Hobbes, a play about the 1994 Rwandan genocide and primate field research first written in 1999.
2011 Served as a moderator at Playwrights in Mind: A National Conversation, the first national conference of the Dramatists Guild; interviewed Todd London, Artistic Director of New Dramatists.
2011 Future Imperfect was a finalist for 2011 Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland, OR. 4 plays were chosen from 10 finalists, selected from 200 submissions.
2010 Travelled to Rwanda and Uganda for two weeks of research as preparation for rewriting Rousseau and Hobbes.
2010 Completed Future Imperfect, a full-length comedy about a family trying to unite after the mother’s death. Had public readings at id Theater (NY) Sept. 20 and at ACT Theatre (Seattle) June 17.
2010 A Dying Wish was a semifinalist for 2010 NAAA Double X Play Reading Festival, London, England. 400 scripts were submitted.
2010 The Thing With Feathers was a finalist for 2010 Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland, OR. 4 plays were chosen from 10 finalists, selected from 200 submissions.
2010 The Thing With Feathers was a semifinalist selection for 2010 FutureFest new play festival, Dayton, OH. 6 plays were chosen from 12 semifinalists, selected from 390 submissions.
2010 A Dying Wish had a reading Feb. 15 at id Theater’s Sit In! reading series in New York.
2010-2017 Served as Regional Representative for Washington state for Dramatists Guild of America.
2009 The Thing With Feathers had a reading Nov. 11 at Lark Play Development Center in New York.
2009 The Thing With Feathers was one of six plays developed at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, June 8-21, in Idaho.
2009 The Thing With Feathers was a semifinalist selection for 2009 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
2007 Completed The Thing With Feathers, a full-length play about a Vietnam War vet fighting to save his failing coffee farm in Costa Rica.
2005 Wrote short story, Pochta.
2003 Completed play A Dying Wish, a full-length family drama.
2001 Rousseau and Hobbes, as a result of a juried selection process, received a staged reading at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference with Edward Albee, in Alaska.
2001 Rousseau and Hobbes, as a result of a juried selection process, received a staged reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York. Reading was part of that theatre’s First Light Festival.
1999 Completed Rousseau and Hobbes, a full-length play about genocide and primate research in Rwanda and Uganda.
2009-2017 Dramatists Guild regional representative for state of Washington
2003 Produced Equity production of Betrothal, written by Lanford Wilson
Dramatists Guild of America
Theatre Puget Sound
Founder and Chairman of Salmon Bay Events, a company that produced Northwest Flower & Garden Show and San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. Sold shows 2009. Also magazine founder and publisher 1979-2000.
Member of Board of Trustees, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, a non-profit organization supporting San Francisco Botanical Garden (in Golden Gate Park).
Chaired Strategic Directions Committee.
Member of Board of Directors, American Horticultural Society (Alexandria, Virginia)
Member of Board of Directors, The Arboretum Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting Washington Park Arboretum, a 200-acre arboretum in Seattle; chaired various committees including Long-Range Planning Committee. Served as Foundation President 1993-1995.
University of Washington, B.A. – English Literature, 1973