Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey is a playwright, musician, teacher, and pop-culture critic who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin's M.F.A. Playwriting program in 2020. He's currently based in Brooklyn after a stint teaching playwriting at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Dan was a 2022 Semi-Finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship's...
Dan Caffrey is a playwright, musician, teacher, and pop-culture critic who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin's M.F.A. Playwriting program in 2020. He's currently based in Brooklyn after a stint teaching playwriting at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Dan was a 2022 Semi-Finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship's 2021 Theatre Prize, has been both a Finalist and Semi-Finalist at the O'Neill, a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Awards Playwriting Fellowship, a Semi-Finalist for The Civilians' R&D Group, a Resident Artist at Tofte Lake Center, an M.F.A. Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, an artist in The Orchard Project's Liveness Lab, and his work has been published in several anthologies by Smith & Kraus, including The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2021. His plays have recently been developed by The Workshop Theater, American Records, Mixily Presents, JOOK in Memphis, Jarrott Productions in Austin, Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, and Pegasus PlayLab at the University of Central Florida. His play "A Seed" was part of the 46th Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, produced by Concord Theatricals. His play "Duckass" is part of this year's festival, running August 17th–20th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York.

Before attending UT, Dan was active in the Chicago theatre scene for over a decade, founding Tympanic Theatre and working with a variety of companies around the city as a writer, director, and performer, including The Ruckus, Chicago Dramatists, the side project, WildClaw, Victory Gardens, The Paper Machete, Genesis Ensemble, and Hot Kitchen Collective. Recent productions include his adaptation of The Frog Prince with Jarrott Productions (nominated for 11 B. Iden Payne Awards and winner of four) and his Lord of the Flies sequel Sow and Suckling, which was produced by UT Austin in spring of 2020, directed by Liz Fisher.

Dan has also written for a variety of pop-culture publications, including The A.V. Club, Consequence, Pitchfork, and Vox. His first book, Radiohead FAQ, is currently available from Backbeat Books (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield). He co-hosts The Losers' Club: A Stephen King Podcast (recipient of the Silver Bolo Award For Excellence In Horror Media) and Halloweenies: A Horror Franchise podcast, in addition to recording music with Mae Shults under the name Methodist Hospital. Dean of American Rock Critics Robert Christgau hailed their debut album, Giants, as one of the best of 2018.

Plays

  • The Amphibians
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2020/2021
    Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Awards Playwriting Fellowship, 2021

    Set thirteen years in the future, The Amphibians takes place in west central Florida shortly after we've passed the point of no return in the fight against climate change. When two high-schoolers unearth a wondrous discovery in the woods, they learn...
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2020/2021
    Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Awards Playwriting Fellowship, 2021

    Set thirteen years in the future, The Amphibians takes place in west central Florida shortly after we've passed the point of no return in the fight against climate change. When two high-schoolers unearth a wondrous discovery in the woods, they learn hard lessons about the evolution of friendship and what it means to take care of something at the end of the world.
  • Kaiju
    Semi-Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2021

    Two 250-foot-tall monsters debate the morality of the destruction they just caused. A group of human theatergoers argues after a play they just watched. Destruction becomes a means of conversation and conversation becomes a means of destruction in this satire of monster movies, post-show talkbacks, and both the power and self-cannibalization of theatre.
  • Untitled Vampire Play
    Semi-Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2022

    It's the day after Halloween. Two teenage siblings sort through their candy haul as they worry about their father sleeping in the next room. A play about generational depression, classic monster movies, and growing up in Florida.
  • Matawan
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2013

    In the summer of 1916, a series of fatal shark attacks terrorized the New Jersey Shore. Further inland, a polio epidemic plagued Philadelphia, while the cloud of World War I loomed over the Nation. As the forces of nature, disease and war close in, characters who struggle to change must face a creature whose evolution has led to...
    Finalist, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2013

    In the summer of 1916, a series of fatal shark attacks terrorized the New Jersey Shore. Further inland, a polio epidemic plagued Philadelphia, while the cloud of World War I loomed over the Nation. As the forces of nature, disease and war close in, characters who struggle to change must face a creature whose evolution has led to millions of years of survival. Spanning several cities, the infinite depths of the ocean and the point of view of the shark herself, Matawan examines how our internal anxieties are often just as terrifying as our national catastrophes.
  • Sow and Suckling
    30 years after the events of Lord of the Flies, the book’s characters have grown comfortably into their 40s—or so they think. After a Christmas Eve dinner goes horribly wrong, the violence from their youth threatens to overrun their families and carefully constructed lives. At turns a riff on a classic piece of literature, an extremely dark comedy and a middle-aged horror story, Sow and Suckling posits that...
    30 years after the events of Lord of the Flies, the book’s characters have grown comfortably into their 40s—or so they think. After a Christmas Eve dinner goes horribly wrong, the violence from their youth threatens to overrun their families and carefully constructed lives. At turns a riff on a classic piece of literature, an extremely dark comedy and a middle-aged horror story, Sow and Suckling posits that repression only leads to further savagery.
  • The Frog Prince
    An updated version of the Grimm's fairytale that views the story through the lens of witchcraft, sex pests, and performative vulnerability.
  • A Seed
    Top 30, 46th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, 2021

    In a future where all the trees have rocketed into the sky, two teenagers find hope in an unlikely source.
  • Morality Play
    In the middle of an ancient desert, a young woman seeks the services of a mysterious doctor.
  • Wound Woman
    While searching for her daughter in a swamp, a young woman seeks help from a mysterious entity.
  • Duckass
    Top 30, 47th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, 2022

    Inspired by the horror shorts of EC Comics, Duckass focuses on two sisters who invite a local boy to their family's storm cellar.
  • Gospel Hour
    CO-WRITTEN WITH DREW CAFFREY: Inspired by Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper," Gospel Hour catches a police officer parked on the side of the highway, reflecting on his past misdeeds in a moment of severe crisis.
  • Glamour
    A young woman interrogates a loved one who has returned from deep space.