Constance Congdon | Naomi lizuka | Kira Obolensky | Mac Wellman

Constance Congdon

Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection Tales of the Lost Formicans and Other Plays. In addition to Tales of the Lost Formicans, which has had more than 200 productions, world-wide. Congdon's plays include: Casanova, Dog Opera, both produced at the Public Theatre, No Mercy (Humana Festival),Losing Father’s Body (Portland Stage (Maine), Lips, (Primary Stages), Native American, (Portland Stage (Maine), (Lyric Hammersmith Studio).

Her latest play, Paradise Street, was most recently workshopped at the JAW Festival at Portland Stage in Oregon. Three commissions from the American Conservatory Theater: A Mother, starring Olympia Dukakis, a new verse version of The Misanthrope, and a new adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid, were all produced by ACT and have gone on to other productions. Also at ACT: Moontel Six, a commission by the A.C.T. Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco’s Zeum and directed by Young Conservatory Director, Craig Slaight.The Automata Pietà, another YC commission, received its world premiere at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2002; Nightingales went to the Theatre Royale Bath’s Youth Theatre. Congdon’s No Mercy, and its companion piece, One Day Earlier; were part of the 2000 season devoted to Congdon at the Profile Theatre.

She has also written a number of opera libretti and seven plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. The Children of the Elvi, Congdon's epic and NOT suitable for children, finally received its premiere at the Key City Public Theater in 2007. Congdon’s plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo and Berlin. Her plays are published, mainly, by Broadway Plays Publishing. Samuel French published Dog Opera. A collection of four of her plays has been published by TCG, Inc. Her new verse version of Tartuffe will be included in the next Norton Anthology of Drama, and is out in a single-volume Norton Critical edition. She’s been writing a long time and can thank the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Arnold Weisberger Award, the Berilla Kerr Award, and, most recently, The Helen Merrill Award for making this more possible. She’s an alum of New Dramatists, member of The Dramatists Guild and of PEN. Congdon has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, but her home is as playwright-in-residence at Amherst College where she’s been teaching for a couple of decades.


Naomi lizuka

Naomi lizuka’s plays include Concerning Strange Devices From The Distant West, 3 Truths, Ghostwritten, After A Hundred Years, Strike-Slip, 36 Views, Anon(Ymous), Citizen 13559, Hamlet: Blood In The Brain (a collaboration with CalShakes and Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts), At The Vanishing Point, 17 Reasons Why, Polaroid Stories, Language Of Angels, War Of The Worlds (written in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company), Aloha, Say The Pretty Girls, Tattoo Girl and Skin.

Ms. lizuka’s plays have been produced by Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, the Guthrie, Cornerstone, the Intiman, Children’s Theater Company, the Kennedy Center, the Huntington Theater, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, GeVa, Laguna Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, the Public, Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts, Dallas Theatre Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Next Wave Festival”, Soho Rep, and the Edinburgh Festival. Her plays have been published by Overlook Press, Playscripts, Smith and Kraus; Dramatic Publishing, Sun and Moon Press, and TCG.

lizuka is an alumna of New Dramatists and the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, an Alpert Award, a Joyce Foundation Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist‑in‑Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Fellowship. She currently heads the MFA Playwriting program at the University of California, San Diego.


Kira Obolensky

Kira Obolensky is an award-winning playwright and writer who lives in Minneapolis. New work includes Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret, which premiered this summer in two international festivals; Raskol (commissioned and produced by Ten Thousand Things Theatre and featured on critics’ end of year lists); Cabinet of Wonders (produced by Gas and Electric Arts, Philadelphia; Open Eye Figure Theatre, Minneapolis; 2010 Barrymore nomination for Best New Play); Modern House, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburne Prize), and Lune, pronounced Loony, produced by B Street. Upcoming: Vasalisa, the Wise, commissioned and to be produced by Ten Thousand Things Theatre in the Spring of 2012.

Kira is a Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships and grants from the Henson Foundation, NEA and Irvine Foundations, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, le Comte du Nouys Foundation, and a Pew Theatre Initiative Grant. Her play Lobster Alice was a Kesselring Prize winner; The Adventures of Herculina received Honorable Mention/ Kesselring Prize. She attended Williams College and Juilliard’s Playwriting Program and recently completed an MFA in Fiction Writing at Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers.

She is the author of three published books about architecture and design and is the co-author of the national bestseller, The Not So Big House. Her novella, “The Anarchists Float to St. Louis,” won Quarterly West’s 2009 novella contest. A core writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Kira also teaches playwriting at the University of Minnesota and at Spalding University’s low residency MFA Program in Louisville, KY.


Mac Wellman

MAC WELLMAN’s recent work includes 3 2’s; or AFAR at Dixon Place in October 2011, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (with composer David Lang) at Montclair in the fall of 2006 (and elsewhere more recently), and 1965 UU for performer Paul Lazar, and directed by Stephen Mellor at the Chocolate Factory in the fall of 2008. He has received numerous honors, including NEA, Guggenheim, and Foundation of Contemporary Arts fellowships. In 2003 he received his third Obie, for lifetime Achievement. In 2006 his third novel, Q’s Q, was published by Green Integer, and in 2008 a volume of stories, A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds, was published by Trip Street Press as well as a new collection of plays The Difficulty of Crossing a Field from Minnesota Press. His books of poetry include Miniature (2002), Strange Elegies (2006) both from Roof Books, and Left Glove, just out from Solid Objects Press. He is Distinguished Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College.