Stephenson, R. Rex

Rex as Mark Twain in 2010

R. Rex Stephenson


1973 to present: Ferrum College Drama Department
Rank: Professor since 1989

1966-69: 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



Wicca. In online journal Nantahala: A Review of Writing and Photography in Appalachia. Issue 1:01. Nov. 2001.  

Kipling’s Just So Stories and Just So Storiesthe Musical, with music Emily Rose Tucker. Venice, FL: Eldridge, 2006.
Grandmother Tales: Mutsmag and Ashpet, Traditional Tales from the Blue Ridge Mountains. New Plays for Children, 2004.
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Salt Lake City, UT: Encore Performance Publishing, 2004.
The Prince and the Pauper: Based on the Mark Twain Classic.
Orem, UT:  Encore, 2002.
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.

The Adventures of Huck Finn, with music by Jon Cohn and C. Michael Perry. Adapted from Mark Twain. Encore, 2002.
A Christmas Carol.
 Adapted from Charles Dickens. I. E. Clark, 2001.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
. Eldridge, 2000.
And the Rains Came. . . And Came
New Plays for Children, 2000.
Glorious Son of York: A Play for Two or More People about King Richard III. Orem, UT:  Encore Publishing, 2000.

Jack’s Adventures with the King’s Girl. Encore Performance Publishing, 1999.
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. New Plays for Children, 1998.
Too Free for Me. Encore Publishing, 1998. (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.
Eldridge, 2009.

Galileo: Man of Science
, with co-author Mike Trochim.
New Plays for Children, 1996.
Treasure Island. I. E. Clark, 1995.
The Jack TalesI. E. Clark, 1991.
“The Jack Tales,” in Eight Plays for Youth, ed. by Christian Moe, Lang, 1991.
The Liberated Cinderella. I. E. Clark, 1973.

Other Publications:

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.

Jack and the King’s Girl,” in 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. (New York:  Longman, 1990). Full text 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).

“Jack and the Hainted House,” in Nellie McCaslin’s Creative Drama in the Classroom and Beyond(Boston: Allyn & Bacon, editions 4-8. In story form with guidelines for dramatization.)

Jack and his Lump of Silver,” in ALCA-Lines: Journal of the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia, vol. VI (Fall 1999): 6-7. Full text reprinted at this link in AppLit.

“Feedback and Follow Up” (with John Hodgson). Virginia English Bulletin, Spring 1995.

The Script as Story Theatre.”1994. Reprinted in AppLit.

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

“Why Do I Do It.” Geriatric Nursing, Winter 1987.

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

ADDITIONAL THEATRICAL AND SCHOLARLY EXPERIENCEProducer/Director, Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre (summer, since 1978)Producer/writer/director of Ferrum College Jack Tale Players since 1975Director of over 150 playsWriter/producer of over 25 playsActor in over 100 playsProducer/writer/director of 8 stateside USO tours for Veterans Administration Medical CentersProduced 48-minute video, The Jack Tales Performing Live, Media Link Productions

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

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

Performances and presentations at theatre conferences since 1982

Recipient of IUPUI National Youth Theatre Playwrighting Competition award for “Excellence in Playwrighting” for Jack’s Adventures with the King’s Girl in 1996

Recipient of 2007 Sara Spencer Child Drama Award, Southeastern Theatre Conference

Working with Rex and the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre was almost dream-like. I acted as a Dramaturg in 2002 for their production of MY TRAVELS WITH CECIL a delightful historical play about the origins of the music of the Appalachians. The next summer he asked me to write the score for his new version of DANIEL! I jumped at the chance. It was a whirlwind journey. I arrived at the auditions having only seen act one and the music was finished for that act. Upon arrival Rex presented me with the second act and I wrote seven songs in a week before rehearsals started. I love pressure and it pushes me to be creative. I acted as the director of the production and musical director and also accompanied the performances. It was sheer delight. Rex was always there to support and help me in my varied tasks. And the professionals I worked with were some of the best I have ever met. Thanks, Rex!



Adventures of Huck Finn (with Jon Cohn)