Professor Emeritus of Drama

Jack Tale Players 2012
Playwright/director Rex Stephenson performing with Jack Tale Players in 2012

e-mail icon  rexs1943@gmail.com Phone:
(540) 489-6284 (home)
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Links Resume Publications Additional Experience Awards

AppLit Bibliography of Publications by and about R. Rex Stephenson

The Jack Tale Players and Jack Tale Storytellers Web Site

Study Guides for Jack Tales Dramas

"Capturing Characters on Stage for the College and Community: An Interview with Playwright Rex Stephenson"
   in Virginia Libraries web site

Appalachian Storytelling Event. Virginia Tech 2013

30th Anniversary of Jack Tales to be Celebrated Dec. 9th. Press release

"Play it Again and Again." Article by Laurie Edwards on BRDT, 2010Too Free for Me 1979

R. Rex Stephenson Honored at Start of 25th BRDT Season. Press release with photos

Old Michie Theatre to Present Stephenson’s Treasure Island. Jan. 2005 press release

Too Free for Me Concludes BRDT Anniversary Season. Review by Lana A. Whited

BRDT Revives First Play for 25th Season. Press Release on Too Free for Me

Theatre Department puts on Grandmother Tales. Short review in The Tartan, Radford U, 12/09/03

The Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre: A Recipe for Success (article in Stage of The Art magazine, 2002)

Strong Women in Appalachian Folktale Dramatizations by R. Rex Stephenson (article in AppLit)

Press Release on The World is My Parish (October 2002)

Press Release on Dec. 2001 Production of Treasure Island

Productions of Stephenson Adaptation of The Jungle Book at Radford University

Author Information at Eldridge Plays Web Site

Ferrum College Press Release Index
Includes photos of
The Odd Couple, Waiting in the Wings, etc.



2014-18: Adjunct Professor, Radford University, teaching playwrighting"The Hainted House enrichment camp performance

2014-18: Ferrum College Summer Enrichment Camp, drama instructor

1973-2012: Ferrum College Drama Department
Rank: Professor 1989-2012. Professor Emeritus, 2013-

Also taught drama at Bretton Hall Academy of the Performing Arts for NYU summer abroad program,
Longwood College, and University of Virginia extension graduate courses in Abingdon and Roanoke

1966-73: Teaching high school and junior high English, government, speech, and drama


Ph. D., New York University, Education/Theatre, 1984
M. A., Indiana State University, Speech/Theatre, 1973
B. S., Ball State University, Social Science and Speech/Drama, 1964


List of Complete Plays and Tales (2018 pdf at this link)
Just So Stories


Radio play The Cricket on the Hearth, with Jody D. Brown. Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2018.
The World of Snow White. Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2016.
Kipling's Just So Stories and Just So Storiesthe Musical, with music by Emily Rose Tucker. Eldridge, 2007.
Grandmother Tales: Mutsmag and Ashpet, Traditional Tales from the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2004. Rpt. Dramatic, 2012.
Jack in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2004. Reprint Eldridge.
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. 2004. Reprint Eldridge.
The Prince and the Pauper: Based on the Mark Twain Classic.
Revised reprint Eldridge [2012].
My Travels with Cecil. Encore, 2002. About British ballad collector Cecil Sharp's visit to Franklin County, VA in 1918.

The Three Old Women's Bet. I. E. Clark, 2002. Reprint Dramatic Publishing.
The Adventures of Huck Finn, with music by Jon Cohn and C. Michael Perry. 2002. Reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals [2013].
A Christmas Carol.
 Adapted from Charles Dickens. I. E. Clark, 2001. Reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2018.
Wicca. In online journal Nantahala: A Review of Writing and Photography in Appalachia. Issue 1:01. Nov. 2001.  
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Eldridge, 2000.Grandmother Tales
And the Rains Came. . . And Came
, 2000. Reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2013.

Glorious Son of York: A Play for Two or More People about King Richard III. Revised reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2016.
Jack’s Adventures with the King’s Girl.
Reprint Eldridge.
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book
, 1998. Reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2013.
Too Free for Me. Encore Publishing, 1998.
Reprint Eldridge. Award-winning play based on local history.
The Vision: A Play about John Wesley and the Founding of Kingswood School, with co-author Mike Trochim, 1998.
Alice in Wonderland, with music by Jon Cohn. 1997. Revised with new music by Emily Rose Tucker.
Eldridge, 2009.

Galileo: Man of Science, with co-author Mike Trochim, 1996. Rpt. Dramatic Publishing.
Treasure Island. I. E. Clark, 1995. Reprint Dramatic Publishing.
The Jack Tales. I. E. Clark, 1991. Reprint Dramatic Publishing.
"The Jack Tales," in Eight Plays for Youth. Ed. Christian Moe and R. Eugene Jackson. Lang, 1991.
The Liberated Cinderella. I. E. Clark, 1974. Reprint Leicester Bay Theatricals, 2018.

Other Publications:
The United States of Storytelling cover

"Jack and his Lump of Silver," in The United States of Storytelling: Folktales and True Stories from the Eastern States. Ed. Dan Keding. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2010. Originally published in Blue Ridge Traditions July 1995. Reprinted in ALCA-Lines: Journal of the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia, vol. VI (Fall 1999): 6-7. Reprinted at this link in AppLit, 2001.

"Mutsmag," in AppLit, 2002. An online picture book adaptation, illustrated by children in grades K-3, Franklin County, VA. Script in Crosscurrents of Children's Literature: An Anthology of Texts and Criticism, Oxford UP, 2006.

"Jack and the Giants," in AppLit, 2010.

Nellie McCaslin book cover"Jack and the Hainted House," in Nellie McCaslin’s Creative Drama in the Classroom and Beyond. Allyn & Bacon, editions 4-8, 1984-2006. In story form with guidelines for dramatization.

"Jack and the King's Girl." ALCA-Lines: Journal of the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia, vol. IX (2001): 14-15. Also published with guidelines for dramatizing with children, in Nellie McCaslin’s Creative Drama in the Classroom, 5th ed. Longman, 1990. Reprinted at this link in AppLit.

"Teacher Resource Guide" for Galileo: Man of Science (with Jon Cohn, Kara-Beth Oliver, Madison Williams, Donna Speidel, and Mike Trochim). In Nellie McCaslin’s Creative Drama in the Classroom, 7th ed. NY: Longman, 2000.

Review of Jack and the Devil’s Purse: Scottish Traveller Tales by Duncan Williamson. Appalachian Journal 39 (Summer/Fall 2012): 356-58.

"The Making of a Musical," with Emily Rose Tucker. Aquila Review 1 (Fall 2008): 61-67.

"Aurand, the Mentor." In Aurand Harris Remembered: A Monograph Celebrating America's Giant Playwright for Little People. Ed. Olin Corey. Anchorage Press, 1999. pp. 29-30.

"Feedback and Follow Up," with John Hodgson. Virginia English Bulletin, Spring 1995.

"The Script as Story Theatre," from "Teachers' Guide for Use in Conjunction with the Performance of Jack Tales" (Hurt, VA: Artistic Printing, 1994). Reprinted with other study guides on dramatizing folktales, in AppLit.

"A Way to Begin: The Narrative Story Expansion." Virginia English Bulletin, Spring 1992.i

"Not All Road Shows Tour Europe: Lukewarm Coffee and Endless Roads are Overshadowed by the Audience’s Response." Geriatric Nursing, Winter 1987.

"The Folk Tales of the Eastern Blue Ridge," with Jody Brown. In Blue Ridge Parkway: Agent of Transition. Appalachian Consortium Press, 1986. pp. 167-72.

"The Jack Tales of the Southern Appalachian Area." Ferrum Review, Spring 1976.


Producer/Director, Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre 1979-2012

Producer/writer/director of Ferrum College Jack Tale Players 1975-2012

Writer/producer of over 60 plays

Director of over 150 plays

Actor in over 100 plays

Producer/writer/director of 8 stateside USO tours for Veterans Administration Medical Centers 1978-82

Produced 48-minute video, The Jack Tales Performing Live, Media Link Productions, and other educational videos

Conducted many workshops for teachers and students on creative drama, storytelling, and uses of folktales

Presentations at Virginia Humanities Conferences, 1996, 1998, and 2012; Biennial Conferences on Modern Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature, 1997 and 2001; Appalachian Teachers' Network Conference, 2001; Children's Literature Association Conference 2011, on dramatic adaptations of folklore and literature

Performances and presentations at theatre conferences since 1982


Winner of Floyd [VA] Community Theatre Guild Playwriting Competition, 2017, for Stories My Kinfolk Told to Me

Award for Outstanding Teaching in Appalachia,1990, the University of Kentucky

Award in National Archives One-Act Playwriting Competition for Charity for All

American Alliance for Theatre and Education award in Unpublished Play Reading Project, 1995, for Too Free for MeFaculty Commendation 2010

IUPUI National Youth Theatre Playwrighting Competition award for "Excellence in Playwrighting"
for Jack's Adventures with the King's Girl, 1996

ECTC Theatric Excellent Award, 1997

Sara Spencer Child Drama Award, Southeastern Theatre Conference, 2007

Ferrum College Faculty Resolution Commemorating 35th Anniversary of the Jack Tale Players, December 2010 (photo at right)

Ferrum College Cheatham Fellowship for research, 1999 and 2002

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