John Minigan

John Minigan

John is a recent Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing and New Repertory Theatre Next Voices Fellow.
He has had new work commissioned by Gloucester Stage Company, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Hey Jonté Productions.
He is the winner of the 2023 Broadway World Award for Best New Play professionally produced in Boston, the 2022 Judith Royer Award for Excellence...
John is a recent Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing and New Repertory Theatre Next Voices Fellow.
He has had new work commissioned by Gloucester Stage Company, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and Hey Jonté Productions.
He is the winner of the 2023 Broadway World Award for Best New Play professionally produced in Boston, the 2022 Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center/Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the 2022 Louise Wigglesworth Excellence in Playwriting Award from The Lab Theater of Florida, a 2020 winner of the New American Voices Festival, a 2019 Clauder Competition Gold Prize winner, a finalist for the 2018 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, a finalist for the 2014 Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a nominee for the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script produced in Boston in 2023, 2019, and 2015.
His plays have been presented by Circle Repertory Company, Urban Stages, Hey Jonte!, Centastage, Greater Boston Stage Company, Gloucester Stage Company, Moonbox Productions, New World Theatre, Clockwise, Good Company Theatre, and others.
He has developed new work at the Utah Shakespearean Festival's New American Playwrights Project, New Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage Company, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Dayton Playhouse, and Vermont Actors' Rep.
John is a five-time winner of the Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, winner of the Nantucket Short Play Contest, the KNOCK International Short Play Competition, the Rover Dramawerks Competition, the Longwood 0-60 Competition, and the 8-Minute Madness Festival in New York City.
He teaches Theater Education at Emerson College and serves as Dramatists Guild Ambassador for the Boston area.

Plays

  • Queen of Sad Mischance
    2022 Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Playwriting, ATHE/Kennedy Center

    A play about academia, race, power and belonging.

    Intense bi-racial college senior Kym thinks she’s lucked into the perfect resume-builder: a research assistantship helping white feminist scholar Beverly Norden finish her ground-breaking book on Shakespeare’s Queen Margaret before Alzheimer’s makes the task...
    2022 Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Playwriting, ATHE/Kennedy Center

    A play about academia, race, power and belonging.

    Intense bi-racial college senior Kym thinks she’s lucked into the perfect resume-builder: a research assistantship helping white feminist scholar Beverly Norden finish her ground-breaking book on Shakespeare’s Queen Margaret before Alzheimer’s makes the task impossible. As Kym learns that more than Beverly’s failing memory stands in the way of both the book and the carefully-planned trajectory of her own future career, she has to use her own understanding of the Margaret story to find a new path forward.



  • Breaking the Shakespeare Code
    FULL LENGTH: Anna arrives in a college rehearsal hall, hoping to get advice from intimidating acting instructor Curt about landing the lead in a professional production of Romeo and Juliet. Once he agrees to help, they embark on sixteen years of emotional entanglements that reshape both of their lives.

    Elliott Norton Award Nomination, Best New Script, 2014
    First Runner-Up, Arthur Stone...
    FULL LENGTH: Anna arrives in a college rehearsal hall, hoping to get advice from intimidating acting instructor Curt about landing the lead in a professional production of Romeo and Juliet. Once he agrees to help, they embark on sixteen years of emotional entanglements that reshape both of their lives.

    Elliott Norton Award Nomination, Best New Script, 2014
    First Runner-Up, Arthur Stone Prize, 2007
    Weissberger Award Nomination, 2006
  • Noir Hamlet
    FULL LENGTH. A Boston Globe Critics' Pick, EDGEMedia Best of Boston Theatre 2018, Elliot Norton Best New Script Nominee

    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a...
    FULL LENGTH. A Boston Globe Critics' Pick, EDGEMedia Best of Boston Theatre 2018, Elliot Norton Best New Script Nominee

    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • Noir Hamlet -- Festival Version
    55 MINUTE VERSION
    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and...
    55 MINUTE VERSION
    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • Covenant
    Currently under development with Boston's Moonbox Productions

    How do we become entrenched in the beliefs we hold? What can get us to walk away when those beliefs lead to chaos and destruction?
    Federal agent Jordan’s mission to infiltrate and report on an apocalyptic religious community has ended in disaster. Questions from an unseen interrogator trigger memories of Jordan's time...
    Currently under development with Boston's Moonbox Productions

    How do we become entrenched in the beliefs we hold? What can get us to walk away when those beliefs lead to chaos and destruction?
    Federal agent Jordan’s mission to infiltrate and report on an apocalyptic religious community has ended in disaster. Questions from an unseen interrogator trigger memories of Jordan's time undercover, trace the roots of her choices to a family tragedy, and force her to decide whether the beliefs that guided her life are any less dangerous than the beliefs of those in the group.
  • Concordance
    FULL LENGTH: Where is the line between faith and madness?

    Armed with only a butter knife, 18th century Bible scholar Alexander Cruden attempts to cut his way to freedom from London’s notorious Bethnal Green madhouse. He is interrupted when Christiana, a sixteen-year-old blind girl, invades his cell. Although she has arrived merely to avoid the sexual advances of the madhouse under-keeper, she...
    FULL LENGTH: Where is the line between faith and madness?

    Armed with only a butter knife, 18th century Bible scholar Alexander Cruden attempts to cut his way to freedom from London’s notorious Bethnal Green madhouse. He is interrupted when Christiana, a sixteen-year-old blind girl, invades his cell. Although she has arrived merely to avoid the sexual advances of the madhouse under-keeper, she discovers that the roots of Alexander’s madness reach back to a haunting secret he has worked for decades to escape.

    Script published and licensed by Smith Scripts. Link in the sidebar.

    Five actors portray 22 characters.

    New American Playwrights Project Finalist, 2013
    PlayPenn Semifinalist, 2013
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    A Solo Adaptation -- BroadwayWorld.com 2023 Best New Play Winner, Boston/Professional Division

    How dangerous is it when tales of our history are manipulated, and how can we learn to judge what’s true and what’s false?

    In an abandoned and possibly haunted tavern in Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving tells the cautionary tale of overconfident schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, beautiful and...
    A Solo Adaptation -- BroadwayWorld.com 2023 Best New Play Winner, Boston/Professional Division

    How dangerous is it when tales of our history are manipulated, and how can we learn to judge what’s true and what’s false?

    In an abandoned and possibly haunted tavern in Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving tells the cautionary tale of overconfident schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, beautiful and sly Katrina Van Tassel, burly prankster Brom Bones, and (perhaps) the terrifying Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
  • Renovation
    FULL-LENGTH, SEEKING DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
    What will you do to lift a curse?

    Ridge Giannelli and his wife Beth have bought and moved into the house his immigrant grandparents owned in the 1920s, but the house seems haunted and the family seems cursed: Their son Jeff has a mysterious and possibly fatal illness, Beth has been unable to leave the house she never wanted to move to, and Ridge...
    FULL-LENGTH, SEEKING DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
    What will you do to lift a curse?

    Ridge Giannelli and his wife Beth have bought and moved into the house his immigrant grandparents owned in the 1920s, but the house seems haunted and the family seems cursed: Their son Jeff has a mysterious and possibly fatal illness, Beth has been unable to leave the house she never wanted to move to, and Ridge had taken on debts that risk not only the house but the ever-expanding chain of Eurokitchen stores he runs. When the ghost of Ridge’s grandmother demands that Ridge find what was lost on her voyage from Italy, he discovers that he can only lift the curse, free his grandmother from the house, and claim the home as his by acknowledging and restoring the losses the family has tried for generations to forget.
  • Sarai's Knife
    SEEKING PARTNERS FOR DEVELOPMENT
    When first-year art teacher and biracial collage artist Sarai is asked to investigate the possibly racist vandalism of Black student Jaeda’s photograph, her increasingly complex connection with Jaeda forces her to examine her own history, question her place in the predominantly white exam school in which she teaches, and redefine the nature and purpose of her own art.
  • (re)Dressing Miss Havisham
    Full-length solo play, commissioned by Hey Jonte! Productions.

    An actor with the mind of a criminologist investigates the mystery of Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham -- her life, death, and legacy -- while also, as an unmarried woman in her 40s, stepping into the role of that most famous of "spinsters." Can we learn the truth of what happened, and can we learn the difference between...
    Full-length solo play, commissioned by Hey Jonte! Productions.

    An actor with the mind of a criminologist investigates the mystery of Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham -- her life, death, and legacy -- while also, as an unmarried woman in her 40s, stepping into the role of that most famous of "spinsters." Can we learn the truth of what happened, and can we learn the difference between being independent and being alone?
  • The Merchant of Venice Beach
    FULL-LENGTH with SONGS

    When your fathers raised you on lies, how do you find the truth?

    Law school graduate Portia wants a life of passion that will make her forget her guilt over inheriting her father’s coal fortune while also solving the puzzle of her sexuality. Jess wants to find a level of success comparable to her father’s real estate prowess while proving that her activist...
    FULL-LENGTH with SONGS

    When your fathers raised you on lies, how do you find the truth?

    Law school graduate Portia wants a life of passion that will make her forget her guilt over inheriting her father’s coal fortune while also solving the puzzle of her sexuality. Jess wants to find a level of success comparable to her father’s real estate prowess while proving that her activist boyfriend is lying about climate change. Taali wants to find a someone or something to show her the true shape of the world after the death of her father, a flat-earther, while trying to understand why her relationship with her boyfriend is unsatisfying.

    The potential loss of Venice Beach’s historic gay bar Rialto to rising seas, Jess’s father’s unscrupulous real estate dealings, and the machinations of a MAGA-hat-wearing, gay-bashing trespasser bring the quests of these three young women together in ways that provide each with love and a way to move beyond their fathers’ belief systems.
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  • Noir Hamlet - Radio version
    One-hour radio play: There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold...
    One-hour radio play: There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • The Castle of Otranto
    FULL LENGTH: When a giant helmet falls from the sky to kill his son Conrad and enormous body parts begin to appear in his castle, Prince Manfred must scramble to divorce his wife, marry his son’s fiancée and produce a male heir before an ancient prophecy is fulfilled. Unfortunately for Manfred, young peasant Theodore arrives and wins the hearts of both the fiancée and Manfred’s daughter. Manfred’s wife...
    FULL LENGTH: When a giant helmet falls from the sky to kill his son Conrad and enormous body parts begin to appear in his castle, Prince Manfred must scramble to divorce his wife, marry his son’s fiancée and produce a male heir before an ancient prophecy is fulfilled. Unfortunately for Manfred, young peasant Theodore arrives and wins the hearts of both the fiancée and Manfred’s daughter. Manfred’s wife Hippolita, Father Jerome and even the Knight of the Gigantic Saber try to convince Manfred to give up the castle before more disaster strikes, but all quickly discover that Theodore is more than he seems and dark fates await them all.

    Adapted from the first Gothic novel by Horace Walpole.
  • Closing Doors
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY: When fourth-grade teacher Sandra is called on the carpet by old friend and Assistant Principal Valerie for breaking protocol in an active shooter drill, they must decide how they can save both their friendship and their students.

    Best 10-Minute Plays 2021, Smith & Kraus
    2020 Finalist for National Award for Short Playwriting, City Theatre Miami
    2020 Finalist for...
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY: When fourth-grade teacher Sandra is called on the carpet by old friend and Assistant Principal Valerie for breaking protocol in an active shooter drill, they must decide how they can save both their friendship and their students.

    Best 10-Minute Plays 2021, Smith & Kraus
    2020 Finalist for National Award for Short Playwriting, City Theatre Miami
    2020 Finalist for Sam French/Concord Theatricals OOB Festival
    First Place/Honegger Prize, Firehouse Center for the Arts New Works Festival, 2019
    Best Play Award, North Park Playwrights Festival
  • A Monogamy of Swans
    TEN-MINUTE: After breaking up with her fiancé Jimmie, Ellie has gone to Boston’s Public Garden to kill the swans. Violet, her ex, arrives with a better alternative.

    Published by Applause Books in Go Play Outside
  • The Maltese Walter
    TEN-MINUTE: On the eve of his wedding day, mild-mannered accountant Walter visits therapist Dr. Eddy with a big problem: Walter’s fiancée refuses to marry him unless he gives up his superpower and secret identity: noir-Man, able to transform any moment into film noir. When fiancée Vera arrives, she and Dr. Eddy convince Walter to “go straight,” but the therapy takes a dark and unexpected turn. (10-minute)...
    TEN-MINUTE: On the eve of his wedding day, mild-mannered accountant Walter visits therapist Dr. Eddy with a big problem: Walter’s fiancée refuses to marry him unless he gives up his superpower and secret identity: noir-Man, able to transform any moment into film noir. When fiancée Vera arrives, she and Dr. Eddy convince Walter to “go straight,” but the therapy takes a dark and unexpected turn. (10-minute)

    Adapted as a short film, Noir-Man, but Asylum Giant in the UK
    Published in Best 10-Minute Plays of 2016, Smith & Kraus
    Samuel French OOB Festival Finalist 2015
    2014 Finalist, Heidemann Award, Actors Theatre of Louisville
    2014 First Place, Rover Dramawerks Contest
    2014 Winner (one of six), Longwood University 0-60 Contest
  • The Long Christmas Journey to Wellesley and Weston
    ONE-ACT: Over the course of 63 years, multiple generations of an Italian immigrant family take a Christmas car ride through time and place on their way to becoming an American family. A one-act in the style of Thornton Wilder.

    First Place/Honegger Prize, Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, 2015
  • Thank You, Two
    TEN-MINUTE PLAY FOR TEENS: On the closing night of their high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, light board operator Mia sound board operator Danny discover that the most important cues come in unexpected ways.
  • It's the Jews
    TEN-MINUTE: When playwright Arny Sibber meets with Artistic Director Stephie Moffeles to discuss the possible world premiere production of his much-workshopped Holocaust play, he discovers she has only one problem with the script. That problem? It’s the Jews.

    First Place, KNOCK International Short Play Competition, 2010
    "Best Playwright," 8-Minute Madness Festival, NYC, 2011...
    TEN-MINUTE: When playwright Arny Sibber meets with Artistic Director Stephie Moffeles to discuss the possible world premiere production of his much-workshopped Holocaust play, he discovers she has only one problem with the script. That problem? It’s the Jews.

    First Place, KNOCK International Short Play Competition, 2010
    "Best Playwright," 8-Minute Madness Festival, NYC, 2011
    Finalist, New American Short Play Competition (City Theatre, Miami), 2013
  • The Dobler Effect
    On an early morning at his retirement home, Lionel tries a grand Say Anything gesture to get the attention of attractive new resident Winnie, but Didi brings him back to reality and a more reasonable chance for love.
  • Family Planning
    TEN-MINUTE: When, on the morning after Trump's election, high school senior Angela tells her mother Bella about a pact she has made with three of her closest friends, Bella has to decide whether or not to adjust her moral compass to protect her daughter in the strange new world of Trump's America.
  • Danforth Street, January 6
    Ten-minute audio play: The insurrection unfolding miles away in Washington, D.C. changes the meaning and possibly the path of Laura and her elder neighbor Bea’s daily walk in their neighborhood.
    What happens when you have to turn a blind eye to your neighbors?
    And how far is too far?

    Included in the compilation, Walking Plays
  • Velas Votivas
    SIX MINUTE MONOLOGUE: The day after the 2017 shooting at St. Alphonsus in Fresno, a priest tries to find meaning in old rituals.
  • Lois Returns
    A one-person play for live or online performance: When Lois’ discovery that her boyfriend is the man of her dreams makes their relationship worse than ever, she proposes a solution to her therapist.
  • A Dateless Bargain with Engrossing Death
    What are you gonna do when Death comes for you? If you’re an accomplished database manager, you might just find a way.
  • No Regrets
    When Charlene’s workday begins with voicemails from a nightmare client, she knows it will take all of her wits to solve their problem.
  • Easter at the Entrée Gold
    ONE-ACT: Although Peter has been sent by their school’s headmaster to give incapacitated Leverett a ride home from Montreal, he learns that Leverett, dressed in drag, has a different plan in mind. Peter attempts to get Leverett ready to return to the states, but the older man reveals the sexual secret that has caused him to flee their school and kept him from returning on his own. As Peter probes for the truth...
    ONE-ACT: Although Peter has been sent by their school’s headmaster to give incapacitated Leverett a ride home from Montreal, he learns that Leverett, dressed in drag, has a different plan in mind. Peter attempts to get Leverett ready to return to the states, but the older man reveals the sexual secret that has caused him to flee their school and kept him from returning on his own. As Peter probes for the truth of Leverett’s transgressions, he discovers that Leverett’s goal has more to do with unearthing Peter’s secrets than in covering up his own.

    Published in Best American Short Plays 2016 by Applause Books and New England New Play Anthology
    Winner, Nor'Eastern Playwrights Contest
    Winner, Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, 2010
    Award of Excellence, Shakespeare in the 'Burg Contest, 2014
    Third Place, Nantucket Short Play Competition, 2014
  • The Noir Before Christmas
    When Mrs. Claus visits Jack Frost -- an elf turned private eye -- to find a missing Santa, Jack's case takes him on a sleigh ride involving his red-nosed ex Rudee, a sultry Vixen, and an unexpected gift from The Fat Man himself.
  • Conversation Starter
    Monologue: Edie suggests the best approach for handling the neo-Nazi hitting on you at the bar.
  • Friday Drinks
    One-act : When aging exotic dancer Sandy decides to leave the profession, she and her long-time fan Benny are compelled to reassess not only their connection but also the stories they have told each other and themselves. How will they determine the next step in their relationship?
  • Rising Sophomore
    After a few weeks quarantined at home, rising high school sophomore Gary reaches out to Jacob, a student he has bullied for years, to ask for support and a new relationship.

  • Unpacking
    Long time tenant Gabriela visits her new white neighbor Priscilla with what seems to be a welcoming gift. When the visit and the gift turn out to be more than gestures of welcome, Priscilla must confront her assumptions about her impact in the neighborhood, and Gabriela must decide how to use her anger productively.
  • Bedside Manners
    ONE-MINUTE PLAY: Sitting by her abusive father's deathbed, Alessandra finally confronts him. What does he hear?
  • Cadillac Wilson
    Cadillac explains sexual tension with an example from her family's trip to Greece.
  • Product Reveal
    TWO-MINUTE SOLO PLAY: Smith, an inventor, reveals a new product he feels will preserve his white Christian nation.
  • Privileged Information: The Dwarf Problem
    ONE-MINUTE PLAY: Right wing talk show host Tucker Mayflower's show tonight is focused on dwarfs. His guest? The world's tallest man.
  • Mother's Day
    A Lyric Stage Company of Boston Commission

    AUDIO PLAY: As a global pandemic begins to ease, recently widowed Ann Frances and her daughter Evie spend a Mother's Day afternoon walking Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. Their destination may be a North End bakery, but Evie's goal is to reconnect and begin to process their grief over the COVID-related death of Ann's husband.
  • Intentional Drowning
    A text for dramatic chorus in a changing climate
  • Tall Tales from Blackburn Tavern
    Commissioned by Gloucester Stage Company as part of the Gloucester 400+ Commemoration

    A group of actors and a bartender gather in the historic Blackburn Tavern to tell and re-enact tall tales from the 400+ years of settlements on Cape Ann, confronting the dangers inherent in trying to name things we haven't looked closely enough to understand.
  • An Emoji Named Desire
    With apologies to Tennessee Williams: Tom Stella must decide whether his internship at Emotr, an emoji company, will be with charismatic and overly passionate creative designer Blanchard DuBois or with hard-nosed marketing executive Ms. Stanley. Can Tom’s (or anybody’s) emotional life be contained in “a Lilliputian parcel of pixels”?
  • Tommy and Mary Spell Canajoharie
    Mary claims she’s had a vision and has pulled the car off the highway. Tommy has to convince her they need to get back on the road if they’re going to get to their destination in time to say good-bye to their father.