Industry News

David Rousculp Wins in Playwright Competition

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – David E. Rousculp, general manager of E. Harper & Son Funeral Home in New Haven, Indiana, recently won second place in the 8th Annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival.

“My Dead Clown,” originally was written as a screenplay and won second place Best Comedy Short in The Indie Gathering International Film Festival, Cleveland, in 2005. Though it never made it to the silver screen, many fans suggested it could be written into a play, including comedian Tim Conway.

It wasn’t until Rousculp returned to the funeral directing profession, after being a sales rep for Batesville and Aurora casket companies, that he considered taking another look at the script.

“It was exciting to bring the characters back to life after putting them away for so long. I had forgotten how fun this story could be”, Rousculp said.

“My Dead Clown” is about a funeral director who lives above the funeral home and is at the top of his game when his wife tragically dies. Consumed in grief he is at a point where the owner of the funeral home is forced to let him go if he makes one more mistake. Bill, the funeral director, assures the owner he’ll straighten up and can handle running things while he is away. Unfortunately, a clown dies in an explosion and Bill accidently embalms him using holy water. The clown, “Dingy,” rises from the dead and threatens Bill's career immediately and to make things worse, Death shows up to correct things but the clown plays tricks on him and Death leaves upset and without Dingy. Ironically, it is up to this clown to save the day and Bill.

The Festival will be held March 18 at the Fort Wayne Civic Center, Fort Wayne where My Dead Clown, will be read by actors at 2 p.m. followed by Rousculp answering questions from the audience.

“I’m delighted and honored to be one of the winners and look forward to the all-day event this coming March,” Rousculp said.

Rousculp, a licensed funeral director for 31 years, graduated from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1984. He has been very involved with theater, television and film since childhood. Rousculp is not only performer, but also has a strong background in photography, sound, set design, voice over, improv, writing and directing.

“Writing is what I do when I can for now. I’m running a funeral home doing 150 calls by myself and I don’t have to tell anyone in the business that there is no free time,” Rousculp said, adding that he has several scripts in the works and hopes to be in more competitions soon.

Posted Feb. 22, 2017


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