David Robson

David Robson

David Robson is an award-winning playwright whose work for the stage has been hailed as "compelling", "forceful", and "gut-wrenching" by the New York Times, and "an important contribution to contemporary theater" by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Plays include WITHOUT CONSENT, BIRTHRIGHT (PlayPenn Semi-finalist), THE PASSION OF M., CLAY WARRIOR, MULEHEADED, AFTER BIRTH OF A...
David Robson is an award-winning playwright whose work for the stage has been hailed as "compelling", "forceful", and "gut-wrenching" by the New York Times, and "an important contribution to contemporary theater" by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Plays include WITHOUT CONSENT, BIRTHRIGHT (PlayPenn Semi-finalist), THE PASSION OF M., CLAY WARRIOR, MULEHEADED, AFTER BIRTH OF A NATION (Best Playwright Award, Broadway World), PRICELESS, PLAYING THE ASSASSIN (Philadelphia Critics' Award Nomination for Best New Play), PLAYING LENI (co-written with John Stanton), A FEW SMALL REPAIRS, MAN MEASURES MAN (Barrymore Nomination), AFTER DENMARK, and OUT OF PLACE (Julie Harris Playwriting Award Finalist). His work has been seen at Penguin Rep, TheaterWorks Hartford, Delaware Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Act II Playhouse, Madhouse Theater, Yellow Taxi Productions, City Theater Company, and Theater Catalyst, among others. He was recently named Delaware's Best Playwright, and is the recipient of the Hotel Obligado Audience Choice Award for New Work and two playwriting fellowships and two grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts. Play development: Bated Breath Theatre (Hartford), Lark (NYC), White Pines Productions (Philadelphia), Great Plains Theatre Conference (Omaha), Last Frontier Theatre Conference (Valdez, Alaska), and New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL). His plays and monologues are published by Smith and Kraus and Original Works Publishing. David is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild and a former playwright in residence at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City. He is also the author of more than 20 books for young adults, including Shakespeare's Globe Theater, The Murder of Emmett Till, and The Black Arts Movement. He earned an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, an MS in English Education from St. Joseph's University, and a BA in Communications from Temple University.

Plays

  • A Few Small Repairs
    Once two of the most glamorous members of America's privileged class now facing possible eviction from their Newport mansion by the Board of Health, "Big" and "Little" Alice protect, torment, lie and cling to each other. Loosely based on the true, bizarre life of mother and daughter Big and Little Edie Beale, this dark comedy lives somewhere between the longings, loves and delusions of...
    Once two of the most glamorous members of America's privileged class now facing possible eviction from their Newport mansion by the Board of Health, "Big" and "Little" Alice protect, torment, lie and cling to each other. Loosely based on the true, bizarre life of mother and daughter Big and Little Edie Beale, this dark comedy lives somewhere between the longings, loves and delusions of The Three Sisters and Sunset Boulevard.
  • After Birth of a Nation
    On the night of the first-ever White House movie screening, First Daughter Margaret Wilson must find a way to break with her past and become her own woman. Yet at the showing of the infamous epic The Birth of a Nation she is forced to fend off advances from a young minister, confront her own racial intolerance, and somehow live up to her duty to her father and to her country without completely losing her mind.
  • After Denmark
    The night after winning a prestigious award, Lyndon Sykes receives a mysterious letter suggesting he’s not quite who he thinks he is. In an attempt to find his past—which may be linked to controversial 19th century black leader Denmark Vesey—the young editor travels to the Deep South to confront questions of racism and belonging that will lead him to a clearer understanding of himself.
  • American Child
    Despite his brilliant design for a capital city along the Potomac River, Peter L’Enfant fights an uphill battle to build Washington, DC. Meanwhile, a century later, a distraught son’s discovery may hold the key to finally raising the dormant city and restoring the designer’s reputation. In the vein of 1776, American Child takes an intimate look at the courage and conflict that forged a new nation and one of its greatest cities.
  • Birthright
    In the year 2022, Republicans control all three branches of the federal government. Abortion has been outlawed; law-breakers can be imprisoned, or worse, for the crime of terminating a pregnancy. One desperate woman employs a mysterious young doctor who has agreed to perform the procedure at-home, thereby threatening both of their lives and forcing them to confront the darkest parts of the new American political landscape.
  • Clay Warrior
    While a child sex abuse scandal swirls around one of his former employees, a legendary college football coach fights accusations that he didn’t do enough to stop the crimes from taking place. Terminally ill and surrounded by his family, the coach must find a way to save his reputation and that of the university he helped build, while also coming to terms with his failures as a husband, a father, and role model before it’s too late.
  • Killing Neil LaBute
    A fledgling writer posts a review of provocateur playwright Neil LaBute´s work, and before long a tit-for-tat turns ugly.
  • Man Measures Man
    Two American doctors travel to a war zone to offer their services to desperate refugees. Into the chaos of the medical camp, a mysterious boy arrives, forcing the doctors to re-examine their actions and the personal ethics that guide them.
  • Muleheaded
    Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston attempt to collaborate on a Broadway play called Mule-bone, but shifting loyalties to their white patron; explosive conflicts with a close confidante; and smoldering jealousies lead to betrayals that threaten to destroy long-term friendships and budding careers.
  • Out of Place
    Robert Hassan, a Palestine-born American, returns home. There he meets two young lovers whose apparent dedication to the cause of a Palestinian state rekindles his own emotions. When he discovers that one of them is passing secrets to Israel, Robert is forced to reconcile his patriotism and his conscience.
  • The Passion of M.
    At the funeral of her husband, the former president of the United States, M. recalls her life before and after meeting the most incendiary and polarizing chief executive in the nation’s history. From her childhood in Communist Russia to her difficult stint as first lady, M. takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey through the joy, pain, and, ultimately, the triumph of a life lived alongside the most powerful man on earth.
  • Playing Leni (co-authored with John Stanton)
    A fictionalized account of the capture and arrest of Leni Riefenstahl, filmmaker and propagandist for the Third Reich during World War II. Her captor, an unnamed Allied soldier, must transport Riefenstahl to a detention center. Riefenstahl, however, believes this “trip through the countryside” is the perfect opportunity to create her cinematic masterwork. Writing and rewriting her story as they travel,...
    A fictionalized account of the capture and arrest of Leni Riefenstahl, filmmaker and propagandist for the Third Reich during World War II. Her captor, an unnamed Allied soldier, must transport Riefenstahl to a detention center. Riefenstahl, however, believes this “trip through the countryside” is the perfect opportunity to create her cinematic masterwork. Writing and rewriting her story as they travel, Riefenstahl comes face to face with the inescapable truths of war, privation, and death camps. The mystery soldier becomes jailer, confessor, and actor in Riefenstahl’s unending pursuit to produce, direct, and edit each piece of her life—blurring the lines between art and reality, ambition and conscience, innocence and culpability.
  • Playing the Assassin
    Decades ago, NFL star Frank Baker was dubbed “The Assassin” for his brutal tackles. Now, down on his luck, he’s offered the chance of a lifetime — an interview on CBS before the Super Bowl. But just when he thinks his luck has changed, Frank and his interviewer are blindsided by secrets and revelations. Inspired by a true story, this new play tackles the NFL’s thorniest issues: race, hero worship, violence and its repercussions.
  • Priceless
    The line between loyalty and betrayal is tested as two former schools chums try to sell a stolen painting by one of the world’s most famous artists. Their plan for a quick and easy score is complicated by a mysterious appraiser and by the all-consuming greed that drives each one of them.
  • Without Consent
    In an effort to make the last stages of her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease comfortable, the wife of an American comedy legend interviews a nurse practitioner for a job supervising his ongoing care. But in her palatial Main Line estate, the wife is confronted by her husband’s past as a sexual predator, and forced to reconcile decades of allegations against him with her willingness to look the other way.