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Deborah Percy's Biography

Member Info

Kalamazoo, Michigan
(William) Arnold "Arnie" Johnston, February 27, 1993.
Oct 2008

Deborah Ann Percy earned the MFA in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. She writes and publishes both fiction and drama. Her plays, including her full-length serious comedy Dream Time, and those written in collaboration with her husband, Arnold Johnston, have won many awards and productions nationwide, including numerous stagings by Love Creek Productions and AAI Productions in NYC. Ms. Percy and her husband have together won the Sunset Center Festival of Firsts, the Dogwood and Market House national one-act contests, and the Writer's Digest Playwriting Competition. Ms. Percy was principal of Maple Street Magnet School, a Center for the Arts, in the Kalamazoo Public Schools from 1997 until 2007, when she retired to devote herself full-time to writing. She won a major Middle Start grant from the Kellogg Foundation and a Federal grant to establish the Maple Street Magnet School. Her work for KPS was recognized with a KPS Medallion of Excellence. She has taught creative writing for Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and Kalamazoo Community College. Winner of major playwriting grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Gilmore Foundation, she was named as a 1999 recipient of Kalamazoo's Community Medal of the Arts. Ms. Percy is also a member of the Dramatists Guild and has been a resident playwright with AAI Productions and Kalamazoo's Actors and Playwrights Initiative (API).

Commissioned by API, Percy and Johnston's full-length play Traveling to Tulum had its highly successful world premiere production at Kalamazoo's Epic Center in March-April 2000. Since 2001 ten of their radio dramas have been broadcast on WMUK-FM as part of the Kalamazoo Arts Council's All Ears Theatre series. Percy and Johnston's translations (in collaboration with Dona Roşu) of two long one-acts-Night of the Passions and Sons of Cain-by Romanian playwright Hristache Popescu were published in Bucharest (1999) by Editura HP, as was an English-Romanian edition of her and Johnston's full-length play Rasputin in New York (with Romanian translation by Dona Roşu and Luciana Costea). Rasputin was also produced to critical acclaim in 1999 by the Whole Art Theatre at Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Lake Auditorium and by Love Creek Productions at New York City's Theatre Row Studios. In 2004 their full-length play Small Slam-part of a "Detroit trilogy" that includes Beyond Sex and the award-winning The Zamboni Situation-received a New York staging by Developing Act Theatre Company and, in revised form, a reading at the Kalamazoo Civic's Suzanne D. Parish Theatre. Their edited anthology The Art of the One-Act (New Issues Press) appeared in 2007. Their most recent writing projects for the stage are a full-length translation/adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker and a historical drama, Out in the Forty-Five, about Scotland's Jacobite Rebellion. A new translation with Dona Roşu, Popescu's long one-act Epilog, will appear in 2009, as will a Roşu-Costea translation of Percy and Johnston's Beyond Sex. Duets: Love is Strange, a collection of Johnston and Percy's one-act plays, is forthcoming from March Street Press.


Charles Dickens; Ernest Hemingway; David Mamet; Jane Austen; Athol Fugard

Upcoming Works

Duets: Love Is Strange, a collection of one-acts (with Arnold Johnston), March Street Press
Epilog, a one-act play by Hristache Popescu, translated from the Romanian with Arnold Johnston and Dona Rosu, Editura HP, Bucharest.
Beyond Sex, a full-length play (with Arnold Johnston); also in Romanian edition, translated by Dona Rosu and Luciana Costea, Editura HP.

Recommended Links


March Street Press; New Issues Poetry & Prose; Editura HP; Editura Mica Valahie