Clarinda Ross

Clarinda Ross

Clarinda Ross is a widely produced, award-winning playwright. Her most recent work, Love, M., received a streaming production in 2021 during the pandemic at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, GA (NNPN Core Member), in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and is currently under consideration for future in-person world premiere productions. Love, M. is an epistolary play based on interviews with mothers and...
Clarinda Ross is a widely produced, award-winning playwright. Her most recent work, Love, M., received a streaming production in 2021 during the pandemic at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, GA (NNPN Core Member), in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and is currently under consideration for future in-person world premiere productions. Love, M. is an epistolary play based on interviews with mothers and sons and AIDS activists at the dawn of the AIDS pandemic, and was published by The Kenyon Review. Clarinda’s newest play, currently in development, is #gunsense, which grapples with the issue of rampant gun violence in this country. The play draws heavily from her experiences with guns growing up in North Carolina, and her college professor/NRA member father and family’s relationship to guns. Her first play, From My Grandmother's Grandmother Unto Me (Grandmother), was developed with an NEA Individual Artist Grant with the Alliance Theatre, and the Foxfire Fund Literary Magazine, and has toured the U.S. extensively. Grandmother is based on the oral histories emanating from Clarinda’s matrilineal line dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Her second play, Spit Like a Big Girl is based on the journals of her late father, and her journey as the mother of a disabled child. The play premiered at the Rubicon Theater in Los Angeles and was subsequently produced at multiple theaters, including the Barter Theatre of Virginia (LORT), and was published by Applause Theatre Books’ Best Plays from Theatre Festivals 2015, edited by John Patrick Bray. Her screenplay adaptation of Lee Smith's novel, Family Linen was a 2015 finalist for the Meryl Streep/NYWITF Lab. Clarinda was named the 2014 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Ms. Ross is also a veteran professional actor, is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and a SoCal Ambassador for the Dramatists’ Guild. She is married to the actor/producer Googy Gress, they have three children Clara, Frank, and Gus. They split their time between California and North Carolina. She recently was conferred an MFA from UC Riverside Palm Desert’s Writing for Performance program .www.ClarindaRoss.com

Plays

  • Love, M.
    Told through letters, Love, M. is the story of two mothers at the dawn of AIDS. Atlanta socialite Deborah writes to her son, Chris, who is pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. Myrtle, a southern Baptist, writes to her son, Timothy, an idealistic young lawyer. With humor and humanity, and the AIDS Quilt as backdrop, Love, M. weaves the abiding threads of the healing power of love, as the characters piece...
    Told through letters, Love, M. is the story of two mothers at the dawn of AIDS. Atlanta socialite Deborah writes to her son, Chris, who is pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. Myrtle, a southern Baptist, writes to her son, Timothy, an idealistic young lawyer. With humor and humanity, and the AIDS Quilt as backdrop, Love, M. weaves the abiding threads of the healing power of love, as the characters piece their way towards acceptance.
    Click Kenyon Review link for published script & to listen to a professional SoundCloud recording of the play taped in L.A.
  • #gunsense
    "#gunsense" is a series of stories that speak to the heart of America’s gun debate. Stories from today are set against the backdrop of what sensible gun ownership looked like a generation ago. The healthy father/daughter relationship that includes a love of sport-shooting is juxtaposed with non-linear scenes of today’s epidemic of gun violence. The play calls for common sense gun reform without...
    "#gunsense" is a series of stories that speak to the heart of America’s gun debate. Stories from today are set against the backdrop of what sensible gun ownership looked like a generation ago. The healthy father/daughter relationship that includes a love of sport-shooting is juxtaposed with non-linear scenes of today’s epidemic of gun violence. The play calls for common sense gun reform without demonizing responsible sportsmen and gun owners.

    The main storyline, that of the father and daughter, takes place over a period of years from 1976 -1994 and ends on the hopeful note of the Assault Weapons ban authored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein being signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Scenes of the harsh realities of today’s gun violence epidemic pierce the quiet beauty of the scenes from the past. By examining the not too distant past, audiences can hopefully see a way forward.
  • From My Grandmother's Grandmother Unto Me
    Take a trip through the mountains of Appalachia, stop on Fannie's front porch and meet her children, and her children's children. In the tradition of southern storytelling, "From My Grandmother's Grandmother Unto Me" tells the joys and sorrows of five generations of women in author's family with honesty and humor. Common historical events such as the World Wars are related in...
    Take a trip through the mountains of Appalachia, stop on Fannie's front porch and meet her children, and her children's children. In the tradition of southern storytelling, "From My Grandmother's Grandmother Unto Me" tells the joys and sorrows of five generations of women in author's family with honesty and humor. Common historical events such as the World Wars are related in personal terms. The play is a testament to the power of storytelling and how it can shape the lives of future generations.
  • Spit Like A Big Girl
    In this funny, poignant, and highly personal family memoir, Ross takes us on a humorous journey through the back-roads of her southern childhood. Inspired by the discovery of her father’s journals after his untimely death. Ms. Ross examines the colorful personalities of her college professor parents, and the many people she meets on her way to adulthood. Her parents and grandparents give her an appreciation...
    In this funny, poignant, and highly personal family memoir, Ross takes us on a humorous journey through the back-roads of her southern childhood. Inspired by the discovery of her father’s journals after his untimely death. Ms. Ross examines the colorful personalities of her college professor parents, and the many people she meets on her way to adulthood. Her parents and grandparents give her an appreciation for the simple things in life. Most importantly, the play expresses how well her parents’ lessons have served her as the mother of a disabled child. In SPIT LIKE A BIG GIRL Ross becomes a “big girl” a southern Mama with enough “spit” to allow her own special daughter to move into an adult group-living home and become a "big girl" in her own right.
  • Terrible Tragedy/Redux
    Accidents occur when out of practice grandparents are watching their grandchild with wildly different responses from law enforcement.
  • You Slay Me, a brief romance
    When a sexy collector of rare knives and other items returns home to her younger man, her appraisal of his commitment to their relationship in this modern world, with all its distractions, is sharply honed.
  • Restraining Order or God Is Among Us
    An angry estranged husband plays God with his soon to be ex-wife and her sister.
  • Grace
    Based on actual events, GRACE is a historical fiction that examines what it means to forgive the unforgivable.
  • ilysm
    A devoted mom playfully texts back and forth with her child and her husband on the day of the tragic 2015 shooting in San Bernardino at a center for the developmentally disabled. The audience is left to ponder how big a hole is left in the lives of family members who've lost someone to gun violence.