Claudia Barnett

Claudia Barnett

Claudia Barnett writes experimental plays about women and history and science, and she’s currently at work on a new script—Kingdom (a play about Snow White and climate change)—as a Tennessee Playwrights Studio Fellow. Her work has been developed and performed at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival, the MultiStages New Works Finalist Festival, Nashville Repertory...
Claudia Barnett writes experimental plays about women and history and science, and she’s currently at work on a new script—Kingdom (a play about Snow White and climate change)—as a Tennessee Playwrights Studio Fellow. Her work has been developed and performed at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival, the MultiStages New Works Finalist Festival, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Stage Left Theatre, Venus Theatre, the Women’s Work Festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and the Women's Voices Theater Festival. Her short play Palooka won the Andaluz Award Jury Prize and was included in Fusion Theatre's The Seven: Strange Bedfellows in 2016. She teaches playwriting at Middle Tennessee State University and is the author of I Love You Terribly: Six Plays (2012) and No. 731 Degraw-street, Brooklyn, or Emily Dickinson’s Sister: A Play in Two Acts (2015), both published by Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Plays

  • Aglaonike's Tiger
    Aglaonike, the first female astronomer, could predict lunar eclipses, but her science was suspect because she was a woman. She therefore billed herself as a sorceress and claimed she could draw down the moon. Inspired by her unsung history, this coming-of-age play follows the protagonist through a series of challenges, both magical and scientific. Drawing on ancient Greek traditions and postmodern performance...
    Aglaonike, the first female astronomer, could predict lunar eclipses, but her science was suspect because she was a woman. She therefore billed herself as a sorceress and claimed she could draw down the moon. Inspired by her unsung history, this coming-of-age play follows the protagonist through a series of challenges, both magical and scientific. Drawing on ancient Greek traditions and postmodern performance trends, Aglaonike’s Tiger is stylized and visual and uses puppets and masks to explore political, ecological, and scientific themes.
  • Don't Kill the Angels
    At the intersection between two worlds—a coastal home at once sheltered and safe and also broken, slipping into the sea—an enchanted couple, artist and scientist, evolve into prophet and monster, seer and dream. As the drama drifts between times, a feckless fairy godmother hovers, her spells abortive; buzzards shadow windows with angel wings; and a nine-lived sloth plays housecat. Inspired by the poetry of John...
    At the intersection between two worlds—a coastal home at once sheltered and safe and also broken, slipping into the sea—an enchanted couple, artist and scientist, evolve into prophet and monster, seer and dream. As the drama drifts between times, a feckless fairy godmother hovers, her spells abortive; buzzards shadow windows with angel wings; and a nine-lived sloth plays housecat. Inspired by the poetry of John Keats, the paintings of Henry Fuseli, mythology, and neuroscience, Don’t Kill the Angels leads its audience on a journey through the haunted mind.
    Don't Kill the Angels was a finalist for Strange Sun Theater's Greenhouse 2015/2016: Science and Art.
  • Kingdom (a play about Snow White and climate change)
    Inspired by the true story of a Norwegian valley that never sees winter sun, Kingdom (a play about Snow White and climate change) traces a hundred years of environmental hubris, including attempts to split atoms, tame a waterfall, and transmute air, culminating in a radical act of community as an artist conducts sunlight onto town square. Kingdom presents history as a parable, focusing on a blind girl who...
    Inspired by the true story of a Norwegian valley that never sees winter sun, Kingdom (a play about Snow White and climate change) traces a hundred years of environmental hubris, including attempts to split atoms, tame a waterfall, and transmute air, culminating in a radical act of community as an artist conducts sunlight onto town square. Kingdom presents history as a parable, focusing on a blind girl who thrives in darkness and the personified conflict between natural history and unnatural selection.
  • No. 731 Degraw-street, Brooklyn, or Emily Dickinson's Sister
    Kate Stoddard murdered Charles Goodrich in 1873–after he told her they weren’t really married and had her evicted from his Brooklyn brownstone in a blizzard. Kate’s struggles to maintain her sanity and her identity, both before and after she shot her one true love three times in the head, are the subject of this play, which moves backwards and forwards through time and invokes a poetry of madness. This script...
    Kate Stoddard murdered Charles Goodrich in 1873–after he told her they weren’t really married and had her evicted from his Brooklyn brownstone in a blizzard. Kate’s struggles to maintain her sanity and her identity, both before and after she shot her one true love three times in the head, are the subject of this play, which moves backwards and forwards through time and invokes a poetry of madness. This script is published by Carnegie Mellon University Press.
  • Witches Vanish
    In a series of stylized, highly visual vignettes employing puppetry, poetry, and surrealism, the weïrd sisters from Macbeth explore the stories of women who disappear, whether by choice or force. Inspired by history, astronomy, and Shakespeare, Witches Vanish examines the nature of change and the value of human life.
  • After (another tango play)
    A couple sidestep, twist, careen, and sway as they disentangle themselves.
  • Highway 16
    Highway 16 is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, inspired by numerous (real) vanishing women in British Columbia. In this coming-of-age play, Granny is a brothel keeper and the Wolf may be Red’s fairy godmother. The cast includes three women, one of whom is a wolf.
  • Mice into Horses
    In this mouse-eyed view of “Cinderella,” a rodent mother grooms her daughters to attend the ball, but the dutiful stepdaughter wins the mouse prince.