About us

Yes, it’s the guy with the beard and the woman with the laugh.

John Belden and Wendy Carson have been seen all over the central Indiana theatre scene for more than 20 years. Through hundreds of plays, musicals, cabarets and other performances, they acted like superfans and wrote critiques and praises of the various shows for the Greenfield Daily Reporter, EastOfIndy (dotcom, now gone), The Word/Eagle, and their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Now that they are independent, they set up this place to help spread the word about the good things happening on stages in and around Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, John and Wendy love games — board games, party games, card games, and even those geeky role-playing and miniatures battle games. So, here we occasionally wax poetic on our favorite pastime, as well as places to play, like GenCon and local conventions.

You’ll also see us refer to the site as PWJW or #PWJW. Forgive us, younger readers, for our attempts to be hip, but it does make a nice shorthand.

Text on this site is copyright 2015 through current year by John Lyle Belden and Wendy C. Carson. Photos and illustrations are mostly by other parties.


John Lyle Belden

Twitter: @indybeldar. Born in Arkansas numerous years ago, John moved to Indy with Wendy in 2001. He’s not an actor, but has been on a few stages: growing up playing piano, a season with the Arkansas 4-H Performing Arts Troupe, a couple of semesters in the University of Arkansas concert choir and a chorus role in “HMS Pinafore,” some Vampire Live-Action Role-Play, a couple of skits at InConJunction sci-fi convention, as well as a role in a Play-A-Part fundraiser at Buck Creek Players and as a disembodied voice (playing a theatre critic, of course) at Oaklandon Civic Theatre. Since growing that beard, he has done some work for the North Pole, and he and Wendy are the official Gnomes of Indy’s GermanFest.

Wendy C. Carson

Twitter: @PenGwenity. A mysterious woman, she’ll write a clever bio here eventually.

“Doug & Carlotta”

You may notice that’s the username that updates the site. Turns out WordPress already has a “John and Wendy” (probably in Neverland) so we chose the next best thing. It’s a pair of aliases we’ve used a couple of times — short answer is, when you see dougandcarlotta, its us!

Long answer is: (John speaking) Once upon a time, at a play I was reviewing, I saw that a seat near me was reserved for a person who had been critical of how I edited her club news items on the paper’s lifestyle page. I noted to Wendy that she knew and likely cursed my name, but had never seen me in person. So, to avoid any uncomfortable encounter, we decided — half jokingly — that we would use aliases, and “Doug” and “Carlotta” were the first names we thought of. We told a few friends about this later, and they were amused enough to talk us into using the names on nametags at an arts event the next week. So if you are afraid we’ll be hard-edged critics out to say mean things about your play, relax, it’s just Doug and Carlotta, a couple of theatre-loving Hoosiers just seeking to be entertained.


Email us at playswithjohnandwendy@gmail.com

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