The Nashville Writers Guild
HOW THE NASHVILLE WRITERS GUILD BEGAN
Printing Press Productions was founded by Playwrights Julian Watson, Callie Hilgenhurst, and Makai Keur, with the mission of giving talented creatives from middle Tennessee a platform to share their work with the community while striving to foster an environment of collaboration amongst its members.
The Nashville Writers Guild creatively evolved from the founding members initial goal, which had them working to produce an original play. Over the course of a semester, Watson, Keur and Hilgenhurst discussed how to make their dream a reality. Realizing that a play might not be feasible, given their separation by distance and academic schedules, they began to formulate other ways to achieve their shared vision for creating a space which encouraged collective writing for the performing arts.
In May of 2022, Printing Press Productions partnered with the Curb Center to start The Nashville Writers Guild. The group met weekly to write original short stories, scripts, and songs based on weekly themes which included “Summer”, “Missed Connections”, “Stargazing”, “Seasons”, “Chronology”, and “Heat”. The creative results of these workshops will be presented at a showcase performance.
Future plans call for Printing Press Productions to continue working with local writers to produce their creative writing.
MEET THE PRINTING PRESS PRODUCTIONS FOUNDERS
Callie is a playwright and songwriter, exhibited in her full-length musical, Again. She is a Vanderbilt University senior researching microplastics in the environment for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and The SyBBURE Searle Undergraduate Research Program. Callie enjoys collaborative songwriting and script writing with her friends and colleagues when she is not conducting research in the field.
Makai is an arranger/composer/producer/music director from Nashville, TN. He has worked for theater companies throughout the area, penning countless scores and a full-length musical. Makai has worked for Katy Perry, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban and the Presidential Inaugural Ball. He was selected as one of six national finalists for the American Theater Wing’s 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Award for Warstories: The Great Emu War, an original musical co-written with Justin Watson. Makai is currently finishing his undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music.
Julian’s passion for the arts has led him to study Television and Business at Columbia College Chicago. He was selected as one of six national finalists for the American Theater Wing’s 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Award for Warstories: The Great Emu War, an original musical co-written with Makai Keur. and his work has been published with Columbia College Chicago as well the University of Greenwich London as a part of a stage play anthology.
NASHVILLE WRITERS GUILD MEMBERS
J. AUSTIN DUKE
J. Austin is a filmmaker and writer based in Nashville. He is the executive chairman of 4077 Productions and a recurring cast member on Taylor Gentry’s Count Drahoon’s Feature of Fright. In 2011, while attending high school, J. Austin wrote his first published short story, “Gone Fishing”. While attending Middle Tennessee State University he wrote and directed multiple short films and web series culminating in his award winning short film Michael Schopenhauer and his thesis project, Apocalypse Then & Now, a documentary on the Vietnam War, before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in film and video production. He went on to earn a master’s degree in writing and directing from Lipscomb University, where he wrote and directed the short films Nashville’s Shadow and Super Dad, both of which have screened at multiple film festivals around the world. Friendship Theory, a film he directed in 2018, won the 54FilmFest Audience Choice Award.
Taylor is a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He started acting at the age of five, and since then has appeared in numerous theatrical plays, films, podcasts, and other independent media. He is the creator, writer, and producer of Count Drahoon’s Feature of Fright, a radio theatre style podcast in which Taylor and his cast perform tales of “fun, fright, and phenomena” as well as interview guests with horror related projects. In addition to performing, Taylor works for the TN Army National Guard assisting service members and their families.
Kolin is a local actor, writer, and amatuer silly guy. He recently graduated from Lipscomb University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. This past spring, Kolin staged a reading of his play, The Aviary, at Lipscomb. He is currently developing a new play, The Many Mysteries of Mabel Reese, a family drama/mystery, as well as a musical adaptation of the 1997 action-thriller Face Off. Kolin has appeared in Moon Pie commercials and hospital training videos, and onstage in When She Had Wings, Mamma Mia!, and Beauty and the Beast.
Cameron is an actor from Franklin, TN. He recently wrapped up productions of Peter and the Starcatcher and Godspell with Source One Five, a local community theater company.
Jay is a composer/arranger who is majoring in classical music composition at Belmont University. He has been composing for 4 years, but has only recently begun publishing his work. His first effort is The Waltz (for String Quintet and Oboe).
Brockwell is a singer-songwriter and teacher from Nashville who has been writing and releasing music for the past three years. He graduated with a music degree at Middle Tennessee State University and has a passion for writing songs, playing guitar and singing. Brockwell defines his sound as acoustic pop, which reflects his personality as an outgoing and positive person. He wants his music to be easy for people to listen and relate to, while being catchy enough to get stuck in someone’s head (in a good way).
Abby is a Nashville-based performer and educator, recently graduating from Lee University, majoring in Theatre Education and minoring in Musical Theatre. She will be starting her first year of teaching middle school drama this August. Her favorite roles include playing Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, B in When She Had Wings, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Cosette in Les Miserables.