The Playwrights Workshop



Actors Michael Fiori, left, Alex Jackson and Angelina Koczuk perform in the play “Loophole.”

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Nancy Matican-Bock


Gordon England, 63, wondered what he would do after he retired as an engineer in Brevard County. Soon after, he began writing books and short stories.

“Why don’t you write a play?” said his wife, Annie England, an actress at Surfside Playhouse.

He researched playwriting and became a member of the Playwrights Workshop in Cocoa. He now is the coordinator for the club with more than 40 members.

England explained the process of the group.

Plays are submitted by any club member. A review committee determines if the play is ready for reading at a monthly meeting. Upon group approval, three plays are selected for a showing at Surfside Playhouse. At that production, the audience scores the plays for best writing.

“Not all members are playwrights,” he said. “Productions take different skill sets. There are 35 actors in the group, six directors, 20 people are readers and 10 playwrights.”

England said it is rewarding to see his work produced into a play.

“What makes it wonderful for me as a writer is to watch my words transformed to real life on the stage through the work of actors and directors. This makes all the pain and agony of writing worth it.”

Arlan Ropp, 83, a founding member of Playwrights Workshop and former theater director at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College), started producing plays with a group of students and interested playwrights in 1985 to get their plays on stage. That group later became the Playwrights Workshop.

William Moseley, also a founding member and playwright, has won eight Bencich Playwriting Awards given to the best new script of a season produced by the Playwrights Workshop.

England extended the invitation for anyone interested.

“We are an open club and anybody with an interest in playwriting can join.”

The next play productions will be 8 p.m. Friday, May 11; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13 at Surfside Playhouse at 301 Ramp Road in Cocoa Beach.

Meetings for the Playwrights Workshop are held from 3 to 5 p.m. the last Saturday of the month at the Central Brevard Public Library at 308 Forrest Ave. in Cocoa. The next meeting will be May 19 since the last Saturday of May conflicts with Memorial Day weekend. 

For information, call 321-961-1988 or go to the website