John J. Kelly
John J. Kelly


DeLand resident John J. Kelly has won the Kentucky New Play Series for his 10-minute play Legacies of War, about what happens when an unexpected letter brings back a Vietnam vet’s memories he’d rather forget. The series is sponsored annually by the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop in Fort Mitchell. 

After a long career as an actor and director, Kelly has turned, in more recent years, to playwriting. His 2016 full-length play WC – War Crimes won the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Contest.

Other works by Kelly have been published, anthologized and performed by theaters across the country and around the world.

It all began with Are You in Earnest? based upon Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

They Come and Come was performed at Metropolitan Playhouse in New York City, and We Are Not Animals played at Cultural DC’s Source Festival in Washington, D.C. Some Enchanted Evening was performed at New York’s 92nd Street Y.

Among the Quick and the Dead premiered in New York, but was also performed in Kentucky and Chicago. 

Kelly’s most recent work, And the Glory, which follows the premiere of Handel’s Messiah in 1742 Dublin, was seen locally at The Villages.


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