Muncie Playwright

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From Nebo Mountain

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A Brief Autobiography of Flo M. Lapin

Florence Flo Lapin was born and raised in Middletown America: literally, because it was the city of Muncie, Indiana, that sociologist team Lyn & Lyn selected to represent the typical American town. Fittingly, Flo grew up in one of Middletown's most middling of districts called, Normal City; Normal City boasted Normal College, and, five Balls. The Ball brothers, a generously philanthropic family, gave Muncie just about everything it needed to even be a city. However, the normalcy that attracted the sociologists, Flo Lapin found bland beyond repair. Shortly after completing the requisite college degree, she fled from such middleness to the Left Bank in Paris: where she taught English at Berlitz, wrote Beatnik poetry, studied the Parisian equivalent of Method acting, and, completely lost sight of Normal City.

Amazingly, years later, with a Doctor of Education degree in hand, Flo did come home again, taught at Normal College, which had transfigured into Ball State University, where she was astonished to find a Center for Middletown Studies: and, thereupon was stung by her theater/writing bugs to explore the upside-down of Middletown. The first result was, Voices From A Little City: Muncie Elegy #1. Next, she co-wrote a musical, Bells, its setting the teachers room at Heartland High School; simultaneously she co-founded Heartland Stage Company as a non-profit vehicle for grant-writing. Lapin then co-founded the Middletown Arts Project (MAP)whose singular mission is to develop works of Indiana performing artists; she then wrote, directed and produced, From Nebo Mountain, a three-act drama about a veritable American Don Quixote, Muncies mayor and newspaper editor, George Dale. Meanwhile, Lapin created The Middletown Series, docudramas about Middletown from the Flapper era through World War II.

Flo and friends transformed a popular Muncie greasy spoon into a black-box theater venue named, GoldSpace. There, Flo directed its first production, Madge Dishmans Shedtown, a play set in Muncies blue-collar neighborhood. Lapin is completing her cycle of plays, The Fabric of Middletown, and continuing to produce the works of Hoosier playwrights and composers at GoldSpace Theater for MAP.