This month, the Smokehouse Players, a theater group out of Northwest Arkansas, hosted the first ever NWA Playwrights Festival, a spotlight series of staged readings from local playwrights. And the best part? All proceeds from the festival benefitted Magdalene Serenity House!


The Smokehouse Players was founded in 2017 by Terry Vaughan and Tim Gilster. Over the last five years, the duo hosted several actors and directors at the Smokehouse to perform the works of local playwrights. Earlier this year, the group featured A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters and successfully raised $10,000 for Magdalene Serenity House.


This month’s festival kicked off on June 14th and lasted an entire week, featuring different playwrights, actors and musicians from the area every evening. All local residents were welcomed to attend this free event at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse to celebrate our local artists.


Although the event was free to the public, the Smokehouse Players collected donations to benefit Magdalene Serenity House. At the completion of the festival, thanks to the generosity and support of our amazing community and an anonymous matching donor, $9000 was raised!


“The Smokehouse Players have been a tremendous source of support for Magdalene Serenity House,” said April Bachrodt, the executive director of Magdalene. “We are beyond grateful for their generosity and long-standing commitment to helping us rebuild the lives of women who have experienced trauma, sexual exploitation, addiction, and incarceration. It takes a community to heal, and we look forward to continuing this incredible partnership!”


The Smokehouse Players’ next production will be Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by Jules Taylor, and featuring Juliette Robinson, Bryan Guarino, Tim Gilster, and Terry Vaughan. The event is set for November 10th through 12th with donations from the NOVEMBER 10th show benefitting Magdalene Serenity House. We hope to see you there!

To learn more about how you can support Magdalene Serenity House, contact or