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Posted on: January 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Kissane chosen as 2020 Piedmont Laureate

Photo of Tamara Kissane

Tamara Kissane, a Durham-based dramatist and audio fiction writer, has been selected as the region’s 2020 Piedmont Laureate. During 2020, Kissane will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing. Co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, the Piedmont Laureate program’s mission is to “promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region.”

The program focuses on a different literary form each year, including poetry, novels, creative non-fiction, drama/screenwriting, children’s literature, short fiction, speculative fiction, and mystery fiction.

“Tamara Kissane is a flexible artist who wears many hats – actor, director, theatre producer – but it is quite clear that writing is her true artistic gift and calling,” says NC State University Theatre Production Director Rachel Klem. “Her true super-power lies in her use of rhythm. She is masterful in creating theatre that is dramatic and immersive as well as an exceptional experience for the listener.”

As Piedmont Laureate, Kissane will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. Her duties will include presenting public readings and workshops, participating at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of the work of dramatists in literature.

A schedule of the Laureate’s 2020 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website at  

Tamara Kissane has been a playwright in Durham since 2002.  Her stage-plays have been produced by both hands theatre company, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and Women’s Theatre Festival. Her stage-plays, The New Colossus and Master Builder were commissioned and performed by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern in 2016 & 2018.  She is the host of Artist Soapbox, a weekly podcast featuring original audio fiction and interviews with Triangle/NC artists about their creative process.  She has worked with University Theatre at NC State, Manbites Dog Theater, The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, Duke Theatre Studies, Transactors Improv, Summer Sisters, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, Archipelago and both hands theatre company.

“I hope the 2020 Piedmont Laureate programming deepens the appreciation of emerging and established playwrights in our community, as well as offering inspiration and encouragement to new writers,” says Kissane.  “I am passionate about the talent in this community and sharing our regional voices with the broader world.”

Kissane will be officially recognized as the 2020 Piedmont Laureate at the State of Arts and Culture in Wake County, at the North Carolina Museum of History on January 29, 2020. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Piedmont Laureate program, visit; contact Katie Murray, arts commission director for the Orange County, at or 919-245-2335; or contact any of the other sponsoring agencies.


Created in 1985 as the official government agency on the arts by a Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs and advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. As the Designated County Partner of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985, the OCAC is responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county.  Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.

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