Meet the Publisher

Hello! I'm Joe Gallagher.  I've been Publisher & CEO of Mushroom Cloud Press since I started it in 2000 at the age of 18.  We've been providing resources and support for Speech & Debate coaches and students around the country ever since.

My time as a speech & debate competitor transformed me from a shy kid to an outgoing, creative individual. I was lucky enough to learn the art and skill of interp from my coaches at Trinity Preparatory School, Darcy Butrimas and Dean Rhodes, as well as many amazing instructors at UTNIF, FFI, and Bradley SFI.  Later, as a mentor to younger teammates and as a coach, I was able to further refine my understanding of squeezing a memorable, technically brilliant performance into a scant 10 minutes. 

I started Mushroom Cloud Press as a way to publish a couple plays I had written based on improv performances and rehearsal exercises.  Coaches who had seen them asked if I would consider having them published so their kids could perform them, and I found it wasn't too hard to set up as a publisher.  All you needed was $100 and a printer!  Soon, other former competitors who had written short plays e-mailed me, asking if I'd consider publishing their plays as well.  It wasn't long until I had stacks of 20 different plays in my dorm room, stapled together and ready to be mailed as soon as I got a chance between classes to get to the post office.  If it took a week or two for me to get you your plays back then, I'm sorry! It was a one man show.

Now, over 15 years later, I've made a lot of friends around the country, and we are fortunate enough to feature plays by dozens of authors, many of which are debut publications. I'm proud of my small contributions to students' own journeys as competitors, and the services I can offer to coaches and educators looking for ways to get the best materials at a low price.  If there's anything I can do for you, e-mail me! I love to chat about speech & debate.

No matter if you're a parent, student, or coach, I wish you and your team good luck in your next round.  Or, as I always said to my teammates when they were headed into a big performance—have fun! That's the most important part.





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