Edith Freni

Edith Freni

Edith Freni holds both her BFA and MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing. Her work has been produced and developed in New York and nationally at theaters including STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY, LABYRINTH THEATRE COMPANY, ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATER and EST WEST; PARTIAL COMFORT PRODUCTIONS, the WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL, NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP, ACTOR'S EXPRESS (Atlanta), PROFILE THEATER COMPANY (...
Edith Freni holds both her BFA and MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing. Her work has been produced and developed in New York and nationally at theaters including STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY, LABYRINTH THEATRE COMPANY, ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATER and EST WEST; PARTIAL COMFORT PRODUCTIONS, the WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL, NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP, ACTOR'S EXPRESS (Atlanta), PROFILE THEATER COMPANY (Portland, OR) and NASHVILLE REPERTORY THEATRE. Edith is a three-time nominee for the prestigious PONY AWARD and a two-time finalist for the JEROME FELLOWSHIP. Her play Total Power Exchange was a finalist for the 2017 Blue Ink Playwriting Award given by American Blues Theater in Chicago. It was also nominated for the 2013 L. ARNOLD WEISSBERGER AWARD and the 2014 KILROY'S LIST. In 2014, Edith was nominated for the HUMANITAS PRIZE and the FRANCESCA PRIMUS AWARD for her play Buena Vista. Edith was a long-time member of Youngblood and is also a member of Obie-winning Partial Comfort Productions. Her work is published by Playscripts, DPS, Smith & Krauss and Applause. She was the inaugural Emory University Playwriting Fellow from 2014-16. Edith was a 2015-16 Ingram New Works Lab resident playwright at Nashville Repertory Theater and the recipient of a New Territories Playwriting Residency at Serenbe Playhouse in January 2016, and a fellowship at the 2016 Sewanee Writers' Conference. She is currently serving as the 2016-18 Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

Plays

  • Female Beginner
    On the night of an important fundraising dinner for her father's reelection campaign, 18 year-old "Golden Child" Amelia challenges the content of a speech she's been asked to give in his honor. Daddy insists that she must do the speech as written but Amelia demands that they revise the ending. When she reveals her reasons for the last minute change, Daddy is forced to justify the...
    On the night of an important fundraising dinner for her father's reelection campaign, 18 year-old "Golden Child" Amelia challenges the content of a speech she's been asked to give in his honor. Daddy insists that she must do the speech as written but Amelia demands that they revise the ending. When she reveals her reasons for the last minute change, Daddy is forced to justify the foundational myths of their family's local political dynasty or risk exposure.
  • THE MYSTIC (Book of the Rewards of Life Part One)
    Little Hildy is a 12-year old girl living in the Kingdom of Germany at the beginning of the 12th century. She might be experiencing religious visions. It’s also possible that she just suffers from bad migraines. Either way, Little Hildy is becoming a nuisance and if she can’t keep those visions a secret, her parents may send her away to live in a convent. Anima is a senior citizen living in an American suburb...
    Little Hildy is a 12-year old girl living in the Kingdom of Germany at the beginning of the 12th century. She might be experiencing religious visions. It’s also possible that she just suffers from bad migraines. Either way, Little Hildy is becoming a nuisance and if she can’t keep those visions a secret, her parents may send her away to live in a convent. Anima is a senior citizen living in an American suburb at the beginning of the 21st century. She might be channeling the spirit of Hildegard von Bingen. It’s also possible that Anima is succumbing to dementia. Either way, Anima is becoming a nuisance and if she can’t convince her two adult children that she’s of sound mind, they may send her away to live in a senior living community. THE MYSTIC follows Little Hildy and Anima on interconnected journeys towards enlightenment and immortality via a fragmented narrative that is equal parts morality play, dancehall Vaudeville and post-modern family drama.
  • Coming at You From the Cockpit
    M is a woman on a business trip, flying from the Southern Regional Office to her company's Northern headquarters. All she wants to do is sleep but her seat mate, Chatty Cathy, a nervous flier, won't stop talking. When Cathy brings M's attention to her one piece of carry-on luggage--a mysterious black box she's holding in her lap--the boundary between M's internal and external world...
    M is a woman on a business trip, flying from the Southern Regional Office to her company's Northern headquarters. All she wants to do is sleep but her seat mate, Chatty Cathy, a nervous flier, won't stop talking. When Cathy brings M's attention to her one piece of carry-on luggage--a mysterious black box she's holding in her lap--the boundary between M's internal and external world becomes paper thin, as does the distinction between M and all of her fellow passengers. In this dreamy epic about the particular difficulties of loving and being loved in an age when feeling anything has become a liability, the threat of death by disaster is at an all time high and M must reconcile her deepest, darkest fears and insecurities from an uncomfortable cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.
  • This Is About You
    This is about YOU, a woman in her late twenties working at a swim-with-the-dolphins facility in Key Largo, Florida, where her sessions with a very traumatized show dolphin are going from bad to worse. When she's not focused on the fish, You busies herself with the details of her best-friend's love life--a life she wants desperately to be at the center of. He is the youngest director of the world'...
    This is about YOU, a woman in her late twenties working at a swim-with-the-dolphins facility in Key Largo, Florida, where her sessions with a very traumatized show dolphin are going from bad to worse. When she's not focused on the fish, You busies herself with the details of her best-friend's love life--a life she wants desperately to be at the center of. He is the youngest director of the world's only underwater research facility. A man with more education than You, more potential for mobility than You and more secrets than You could have ever imagined. This is about what happens when You tries to run his life in the hopes that he will fall for her and ultimately realizes that the situation she has been attempting to manufacture is not at all what she really needs.
  • Hurricane
    Annie shows up unannounced at Bebe’s house in the flat wasteland of Homestead, Florida after claiming to have bonked on a long bike ride south from Miami. She's really there to confront Bebe about why she hasn't been returning her phone calls. Bebe doesn't really have time for this. She's five months pregnant with her second child, busy with home reno projects and at war with an avocado tree...
    Annie shows up unannounced at Bebe’s house in the flat wasteland of Homestead, Florida after claiming to have bonked on a long bike ride south from Miami. She's really there to confront Bebe about why she hasn't been returning her phone calls. Bebe doesn't really have time for this. She's five months pregnant with her second child, busy with home reno projects and at war with an avocado tree that won’t stop dropping rock hard fruit onto her battered rooftop. But Annie's not going anywhere until she gets an explanation from her estranged childhood partner in crime. What follows is an examination of the complicated nature of long-term female friendships; the sexual competitiveness and shifts in allegiance of pre-pubescence and the danger of teaching young women to idolize male authority figures often to the exclusion of their female peers.
  • The Stroke
    Adam and Maya have been trying to have a baby for years. The day before a last-ditch in-vitro attempt, Adam receives a troubling call from Maya’s institutionalized sister who urges him not to go through with it. Adam wants answers but Maya just wants to have a nice night in with her folks. When Maya's parents arrive for their weekly family dinner date with some exciting news for the happy couple, Adam...
    Adam and Maya have been trying to have a baby for years. The day before a last-ditch in-vitro attempt, Adam receives a troubling call from Maya’s institutionalized sister who urges him not to go through with it. Adam wants answers but Maya just wants to have a nice night in with her folks. When Maya's parents arrive for their weekly family dinner date with some exciting news for the happy couple, Adam realizes that the woman he thought he married may not be the woman he's married to. THE STROKE is a very dark, very twisty, very funny play about the depths of denial and the desperate quest to create for ourselves the family we never had.
  • A Work of Pure Fiction
    Aristophanes is a 23-year old struggling comic playwright living the artist’s life in 5th century BCE Athens. When he is offered a commission from the Archon of Athens to write a play skewering his best friend, Socrates, Aristophanes must decide if the possibility of fame is worth the loss of his one true friend. A Work of Pure Fiction is just that: a fictional account of how one of the greatest plays of the...
    Aristophanes is a 23-year old struggling comic playwright living the artist’s life in 5th century BCE Athens. When he is offered a commission from the Archon of Athens to write a play skewering his best friend, Socrates, Aristophanes must decide if the possibility of fame is worth the loss of his one true friend. A Work of Pure Fiction is just that: a fictional account of how one of the greatest plays of the Golden Age might also have been used as a powerful indictment against one of the greatest minds of recorded time.
  • Bacchae
    Dionysus has returned to Thebes, the place of his birth, expecting all the honors that befit a God. But his cousin, the boy-king Pentheus, refuses to acknowledge his existence. After leading all the free women of Thebes up to Mount Cithaeron and whipping them into a drug-induced, lustful frenzy, Dionysus appears disguised as an Asian mystic to four slave women who are desperate for change. With old King Cadmus...
    Dionysus has returned to Thebes, the place of his birth, expecting all the honors that befit a God. But his cousin, the boy-king Pentheus, refuses to acknowledge his existence. After leading all the free women of Thebes up to Mount Cithaeron and whipping them into a drug-induced, lustful frenzy, Dionysus appears disguised as an Asian mystic to four slave women who are desperate for change. With old King Cadmus, the blind prophet, Tiresias, and plenty of wine to assist in their efforts, these four well-intentioned women try to convince young Pentheus of their God’s true power. But Pentheus proves a hard nut to crack and his insolence might spell doom for all of Thebes. This transdaptation of Euripides’ classic play explores what happens when humans stop believing and start thinking they know anything about anything at all.
  • Total Power Exchange
    TOTAL POWER EXCHANGE is an intricate epic that investigates the connections between human trafficking, social networking and female self-esteem. It is a slightly dreamy compare-and-contrast exercise that looks at the way girls become women under extremely different circumstances. The play follows three young women: Nancy an overachieving middle-class American 20-something who operates a wildly successful blog...
    TOTAL POWER EXCHANGE is an intricate epic that investigates the connections between human trafficking, social networking and female self-esteem. It is a slightly dreamy compare-and-contrast exercise that looks at the way girls become women under extremely different circumstances. The play follows three young women: Nancy an overachieving middle-class American 20-something who operates a wildly successful blog and message board for obsessive Foodies; Yulya, a Ukrainian teenager desperate to find work in her native Kiev; and Nancy’s surly and somewhat mysterious building super, Olga, who pretends not to speak English and steers clear of interacting with her tenants.
  • Buena Vista
    When Noah shows up at his family’s isolated Colorado cabin, he discovers his estranged mother has been squatting there for months. Then Dad walks in—questioning the reason for his son’s retreat—and Noah’s weekend getaway turns into a bizarre, snowed-in family nightmare. A series of revelations ignite Buena Vista’s surreal conclusion, unfolding in a frozen wooden box at 12,000 feet above sea level.