About Us| Overview

The Premiere Playwrights’ Theatre of the Desert

Script2Stage2Screen (S2S2S) was formed in 2010 with the basic idea of introducing original plays. Over time, it has evolved into a diverse performing arts organization with the mission of highlighting social justice, families, gender equality, human dignity, and the joy and humor of life. Every season we perform a wonderful mix of comedy and drama that is sure to engage you and hold you spellbound. We are proud to present the work of a fine selection of playwrights from across the country.

S2S2S’s staged readings are special because they differ from formal staged readings. Our actors are not sitting behind music stands. They are up and moving. Props and costume pieces are used to give the audience a more complete experience with each play. Our actors are members of the community from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are experienced actors. For others it is their first time on stage. All have a love for the theatre and a willingness to give their time and talent to create an experience you will enjoy and remember.

The writers whose work you will see all submit their plays in the spring of each year for consideration by S2S2S’s New Works Committee. The Committee selects scripts based on the quality of the writing and how well the stories support the community we serve and the Unitarian Universalist principles upon which we were founded:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
  • We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

By committing to original and responsible work and collaborating with the entire artistic community of the Coachella Valley, we believe we’re forging a new path for performing arts organizations of the 21st century and we hope you will join us!   Here’s how!

About S2S2S | Executive Committee

Steve Fisher

Artistic Director

Steve is a native of Mississippi. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis on theater, from Mississippi State University, Starkville. Since moving to the desert in 1989, he has been involved with numerous Coachella Valley theaters, including Desert Rose Playhouse, Palm Canyon Theatre and Desert TheatreWorks.

Steve was on the Desert Theatre League’s (DTL) board of directors for a number of years, and served as its president.  He has won several DTL awards for acting and directing plus two special awards: the Michael Grossman Most Inspirational Award and the Sidney Harmon Award for Advancing Theater Excellence.


Shirley LeMaster

Company Manager

Having performed in theatre most of her life—in New Orleans, Memphis, Oklahoma and locally—Shirley has been active with S2S2S since its inception. She won Desert Theatre League’s (DTL) Best Actress in a staged reading award in its first year. With S2S2S, she has been in more than 25 staged readings and two “indie” movies, garnering numerous DTL nominations. DTL also nominated Shirley for her work with Desert Theatreworks and Palm Canyon Theatre. She has worked with Dezart Performs and performed in numerous dinner-theatre shows.

She served on the DTL board for several years, and was president of Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert (UUCOD), serving it for almost 10 years. A retired corporate director, Shirley enjoys theatre, bridge, book clubs, world travel and “life here in Paradise.”


Terry LeMaster

Terry LeMaster


Degreed in the sciences, Terry spent his career in food-manufacturing as a food scientist. He also has been with S2S2S since its inception, acting in numerous shows and receiving several DTL nominations.  He learned new skills while working as sound and lighting assistant on two S2S2S movies.

Along with his wife Shirley, he acts as liaison to the UUCOD board of directors, without whose support S2S2S would not exist. An amateur oenophile, he has volunteered with HOA boards, Mission Hills C.O.P.S, and charitable boards, including the board of the Desert Winds Freedom Band and as first VP on the UUCOD board. He and Shirley are retired, and love traveling and cooking.


Hal O'Connell

Margaret Manson

Business Manager

Margaret began her career in higher education teaching English as a Second Language to newly arrived refugees and immigrants and ended it as Vice President of Academic Affairs at a California Community College. But her real love was and is, literature from poetry to plays. She is an avid theater lover having attended theater productions in Los Angeles for decades as a season ticket holder. She has attended numerous shows on Broadway and a memorable Shakespeare Festival in Utah. She has made a special effort to introduce her grandchildren to theater by taking them to their first Broadway plays. Margaret is also a film buff having taken several courses on film. She has designed and facilitated two film seminars at UUCOD on Film Through a Cultural Lens and A Brief History of Black Hollywood. She looks forward to getting to know the Coachella Valley theater community through S2S2S.


Hal O'Connell

Hal O’Connell

Media Relations

Hal recently retired from a career as an international diversity and inclusion consultant. Since moving to the Coachella Valley in 2001, he has been an active volunteer and logged more than 4,000 hours with the Desert AIDS project’s Revivals thrift shop. He has also worked with most of the valley’s theater companies, both on and off-stage. In years past, Hal has appeared on stage in San Francisco and in Paris with the New American Theater Company. An avid game-show contestant, Hal has appeared on Wheel of Fortune and The $100,000 Pyramid among others. He is a winner of two Desert Theater League acting awards.


Hal O'Connell

Sandy Sladen


Sandy vividly remembers attending her first Broadway play, The Sound of Music, at about age 6. She was smitten, and the movie of the same name remains her favorite movie of all time. Sandy acted in a few plays in high school and after graduating worked as a stagehand in the oldest summer theater in New Hampshire where her parents had also acted. As an adult she has continued to enjoy going to the theater from community theater to Broadway including a period of time as a season ticket holder at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Sandy’s career involved working for and consulting with a variety of non-profit organizations. She has also served on several non-profit Boards as well as serving as President of the Board for the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, MA. Sandy moved to Palm Springs in 2019 and has been a member and volunteer at UUCOD ever since.


Hal O'Connell

Jim Swanson


Jim Swanson is a retired Language Arts educator who for thirty-five years taught American Literature, composition and creative writing to high school students.  In 1978 he authored a creative writing teaching package published by EMC entitled: Creative Writing: The whole Kit and Caboodle, which included activities, writing exercises, and a book of poems and photographs, 142 Ways to Make a Poem, as models for writing. His biography, Sports and All That Jazz: The Percy Hughes Story, published by Nodin Press of Minneapolis went on sale on September 17,, 2011.  He’s self-published three novels and plays clarinet in Desert Winds Concert Band in Palm Springs.  In Minneapolis he served as chair of the Plymouth Center, a progressive Christian movement for three years.  He and his wife, Lavonne, have been members of UUCOD since 2018.


Hal O'Connell

Lavonne Swanson


Lavonne Swanson is now retired but at one time enjoyed a career in arts management and later in social services.  While she does not have personal experience in performing on stage, she has always had an enthusiastic love of the performing arts as well as visual arts.  Minneapolis, Minnesota is well known for its theatre scene and while living there Lavonne worked on audience development and supported the Guthrie Theatre, Walker Art Center, Jungle Theatre and so many other creative arts groups.  She and her husband now live year-round in Palm Desert, California.