Stage East’s inaugural Jay Skriletz Playwriting Initiative came to a satisfying end over two nights of staged readings on May 6th & 7th. Wilder Fray Short, the winning playwright, had warm regards for his time in Eastport workshopping his play In the 45th

The initiative included a week-long workshop led by Stage East’s artistic director, Mark Macey. The readings included actors Lindy Weston (stage directions & announcer), Damon Weston (Jeffrey), Jnana Hodson (Steward), and Macey (Arnold). Short also received a $1,000 prize to forward his writing career as part of the initiative. 

Lindy Weston (from left), Mark Macey, Damon Weston and Jnana Hodson were readers of the award-winning play, ‘In the 45th’, by Wilder Fray Short.

“That a theater of our size is able to offer this program is remarkable,” Macey said, “To provide such a robust opportunity to young, Maine-based artists is the highlight of my work with Stage East, not mention a fitting tribute to Jay Skriletz, who was a dedicated playwright and an integral part of our organization’s history.” 

Macey and Short engage with EAC audience members during a lively talkback after the staged reading of Short’s ‘In the 45th.’ 

The program relies on ticket revenue from the readings as well as donations from generous patrons. Those interested in supporting the program are asked to please make a donation to Stage East with a note specifying that the funds should be allocated to the Skriletz Playwriting Initiative. Donations may be made online at, or checks (made out to Stage East) may be sent by mail to Stage East, PO Box 264, Eastport, ME 04631.