2014 Fall Playmaking: Original plays about to be written!

Isaac and Anna. Tree and Leaf.

Isaac and Anna. Tree and Leaf.

Get ready for 10 fresh plays written by 10 kids from all over Chattanooga!  ACTED BY REAL GROWN-UPS!

And Check out our CAUSEWAY profile….

The Muse of Fire Project 




All shows at the Chattanooga Public Library

1001 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

to contribute, volunteer or for more information send us an email at themuseoffireproject@gmail.com

Thanks for your patience while we upgrade our website!






FRIDAY APRIL 4 at 7 pm

SATURDAY APRIL  5 at 3 AND 7 pm.

Suggested Donation ONLY $10!


to reserve seats – musetixreservations@gmail.com

leave your name, how many seats (up to 4), and which performance.  You will receive confirmation by e-mail. Pay at the door.

(Thanks for your patience as we update our website.)


The Muse of Fire Project invites you to join us for a special screening:


SATURDAY, November 2 at 6 pm

The Carmike Majestic 12

311 Broad Street Chattanooga TN


Come see Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Asa Butterfied, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin and


This is a special fundraiser for The Muse of Fire Project. Extremely limited seating $50.00/person. All proceeds go to The Muse of Fire Project programs. For more information or to RSVP  Caroline von Kessler cvonkessler1@comcast.net or Kay Sanford kaysanford@gmail.com

Kids write. Adults Act. Communities come together.

If you are unable to attend but would like to contribute to TMOFP please see our “DONATE” button on the right side of this page.

All contributions are tax deductible.


Happy Holidays from The Muse of Fire Project!

 Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

from The Muse of Fire Project! 

We have had a wonderful year and we’re excited to begin again on January 14 with ten new kid playwrights from different neighborhoods around Chattanooga! 

Look for shows at The Downtown Public Library on April 12 and 13, 2013!

Hit the Button and Help us raise $20,000 to keep TMOFP programming FREE for kids.

Hit the DONATE button above to make a tax-deductible year-end contribution*.  Your donation helps provide ten 2.5 hour classes including materials to ten kids from all around Chattanooga. They’ll work with adults to write ten original short plays, then your money helps us fully produce these plays – including lights, music, costumes, sets and props. Over twenty theater artists and good-hearted souls come together to make these kids voices heard in front of a live audience of nearly 100 people per show.  But we can’t do it without you!

You can help! Hit the Button, help us continue the work we do!

Thank you!

Stevie Ray, Kate and all The Musers!

 * The Donate Button takes you to a secure link on the Choose Chattanooga website.  Choose Chattanooga is our fiscal sponsor and will process all payments on our behalf.  Be sure to select The Muse of Fire Project in the “Apply to Fund” box. Thanks!

A Year In…


30 kids have written 30 original ten-minute plays that an audience of more than 400 people has been privileged to see.  Over 40 actors from a wide variety of backgrounds have had the wondrous task of becoming dragons, sharks, cheetahs, robots, dolphins, penguins, cruel lions, innocent zebras, doughnut-seeking aliens, stuffed-bears, kids, birds, socks and imaginative creatures of all kinds.  The Downtown Public Library has been transformed into an incubator of creativity and a show palace on four different occasions.  More than 50 volunteers have gotten together, rolled up their sleeves and said “Let’s put on a show!” and Chattanooga has experienced some of the best entertainment around.  Period.

And we just got started.

It has been a little more than a year since our first production.  The time has gone fast and the work has been fun, intense and there have been a lot of moving parts, but to say what I get to do is rewarding doesn’t do it justice.  It is the most rewarding work I do.  (Even more than my film and stage work.)  I am thankful.  I am honored.

I get to be there when a kid is struggling with what is inside her head and doesn’t quite know how to get it on to the paper in front of her, yet, with encouragement, she perseveres and creates a story. And I get to be there when that idea she struggled with comes to life on a stage under lights with grown-up actors in costumes speaking her lines and singing songs she has written.  I get to see this playwright take in the audience celebrating her work.  And I get to be there when she takes her bow.  It is an awesome experience for her – but selfishly, vicariously – for me also.  This is about giving a kid a chance at success – and I feel successful when she does.  This goes for all 30 Playwrights we have worked with this year.  And this has been a successful year.  How cool is that?

So on we go, into the wild blue yonder of the next year.  Many more exciting things to do. Many more young Playwrights.  And the more we get their stories out, the more our community grows and comes together.



Look for The Muse of Fire Project’s brand-new, original summer project: “A Shakespeare Mash-Up!” original theater pieces form Shakespeare, interviews and family stories!  Coming Summer 2012.






The Hard Part

We have one class left. All the plays are supposed to be written by next Wednesday.  Some kids are very close to being finished and will have no trouble, others will need extra one-on-one sessions. I wonder if I am doing a decent job of helping them get to the finish line. Are they really taking this stuff in?  Have we challenged them to write their best possible plays?  Do they care?  For some reason, during the last few sessions it felt harder to get my points across to the class than other times in the past.  A friend of mine says that this is good – that I am in a growing/learning place.  I hope she’s right.

We have less than a month before the big shows.  There are a lot of moving parts that need to be pulled together to make it work and right now, that is daunting.  We have sets to build, props to make, word to spread, tickets to sell, programs to make, goodies to bake etc. etc

But before any of it can be done we have plays to be made, (then cast, and rehearsed…)

So, it is this place I have to live in as a Producer/Director – and as an artist.  It is the place of the unknown.  The place that seems impossible.  It is uncomfortable and overwhelming, and at times seems like “why bother?”  Too much work – too little pay.  It’s also a little scary – maybe it will fail.  Maybe we haven’t helped these kids learn anything.  Maybe we are big fakes and everyone will find out…

But – after having been in the professional theater for nearly 20 years – I have learned a little thing or two:  Work. Trust.

Work and Trust. Trust and Work. Trust in the Work. It is all we have.  We work and move forward a little bit everyday – even on those frustrating days when it seems like there is no magic in it, that the muse (of fire) has left the building for good, (or burned it down and skipped town.)

It will come together.  I believe in the power of this work and that it will be wonderful.  I trust in it, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Trust and Work.  Oh – and -that I don’t do this for me – it’s for the kids.  If I can keep that in mind, no matter how hard it seems now, the magic will be there.