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Identity Crisis

10th Annual!

The Plays

This year, we present Montana Short Cuts, The Indys, and a new play reading.

Montana Short Cuts

Ten-minute plays on the theme "Identity Crisis."

A Nissan Maxima Sort of Thing by Rebecca Ryland​

All the Lost Fathers by Steve Palmer​

Clown Memo by Emily Walborn​

Gun Man by Barry Stambaugh

Tetrachromacy by Leigh Ann Ruggiero ​

Unwritten by Lily Hoelscher

Who is Joe Hill? by Ross Peter Nelson​

The Indys

The Indys are three independently-produced short plays performed together in a single evening.

The Interview by Rebecca Ryland

True Story by Steve Palmer

Wolves and Pigs 2050  by Theresa Cardiello

New Play Reading

A staged reading of a new play, Saint J, by Ross Peter Nelson will be performed one night of the Fest and followed by a feedback session so the audience can give feedback to the author.

The Writers
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Theresa Cardiello moved west from the flatlands to the mountains decades ago and has filled her Montana days with art of one form or another.  She took a break from teaching art classes and piano lessons during the Covid season and took a dive into another art form - creative writing.  

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Lily Hoelscher is is a fourth-year student at Carroll College pursuing her undergraduate degrees in Theatre and Spanish. Originally from Oregon, she acted in community theatre productions for several years before coming to Helena, where she continues to be active both onstage and behind the scenes. An aspiring writer and musician, she recently collaborated with a classmate and faculty advisor to create an interactive murder mystery.


Ross Peter Nelson has a creative writing MFA from the University of New Orleans and his work has appeared on three continents and won awards in Washington, Nevada, and Louisiana. In addition to his dramatic work, he has published two computer books and short fiction. He is an associate producer of the Last Chance New Play Fest and president of Raven's Feather Productions. 


Steven Palmer is an actor, playwright, and ceramic artist. He has a degree in Art and Theatre from MSU. His works have been produced in Montana and Washington, and he has appeared as an actor in productions by Grand Street Theatre and Helena Theatre Company.


Leigh Ann Ruggiero is a novelist, playwright, and Assistant Professor of English at MSU-Billings. Her debut novel, Unfollowers, won the Juniper Prize for Fiction in 2021 and went on to win the National Indie Excellence Award for Multicultural Fiction and the Foreword INDIES Silver Award for Literary Fiction. Leigh Ann's most recent work onstage includes the roles of Serena in Legally Blonde: The Musical and Frederick in Pirates of Penzance; they also directed The Magic Flute, adapting it for a punk aesthetic at the University of Providence.


Rebecca Ryland holds an MFA in Acting/Directing and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She has performed in Equity theatre and directed professionally for the past 30 years. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway, at colleges & universities and at community theatres across the U.S. and Canada. She is the owner of Heartland Plays, Inc. and the founder of ETC.


Barry Stambaugh moved to Helena in 2014 from Austin, Texas with his partner Vicki, who’s from Butte. Barry has acted in several Grandstreet plays, and in the Fest, including Ross Peter Nelson’s Colter’s HellGun Man is Barry’s 7th produced Short Cut. Big thanks and hugs to Vicki

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Emily Yuko Walborn received her MA in Playwriting from the University of Manchester in Manchester, UK. Her plays include Beta Bitches, Trout Aquarium, Kantan, Logical Conspiracies, and 11pm Bus to Fargo. Her work has been produced by Stomping Ground Art House, Box of Tricks Theatre, The Old Library Theatre, Manchester Drama Society, Middlebury College, and The Fled Collective. Her play LOGICAL CONSPIRACIES was the winner of Old Library Theatre’s One Act Play Festival. Emily is a member of the Montana Playwrights Network, the Playwrights’ Center, and the Dramatist Guild.

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