He's a talented actor and a well-loved theater educator, to be sure. But we're proudest of Dwayne Hartford's remarkable body of work as a playwright. Hartford, the associate artist and playwright in residence at Childsplay, only began writing in 2000, yet his work, often developed through Childsplay's Whiteman New Plays Program, has been consistently engaging, thought-provoking, and even controversial. His plays — which often tour the country after making their debuts in the Valley — have earned accolades far and wide. His Eric and Elliot received the Distinguished Play award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education in 2005; The Imaginators was produced and aired by local PBS affiliate KAET; and Hartford's adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities was developed through the National Endowment for the Arts and NYU's New Plays for Young Audiences program. Season before last, his The Color of Stars knocked us out with its frank commentary on America's wartime attitudes, and this last season he continued his winning streak with an adaptation of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, based on Kate DiCamillo's popular novel, that was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. We hear that this talented playwright is busy at work on an adaptation of a classic and long-loved children's story, and we can't wait to see what he does with it.