Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey graduated from UT Austin’s M.F.A. Playwriting program in 2020. He's been shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship's Theatre Prize, a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, a Semi-Finalist for The Civilians' R&D Group, a Finalist and Semi-Finalist at the O’Neill (for his plays Matawan, The Tusk Hunters, The Amphibians, and Kaiju), a Semi-Finalist for the Garry...
Dan Caffrey graduated from UT Austin’s M.F.A. Playwriting program in 2020. He's been shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship's Theatre Prize, a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, a Semi-Finalist for The Civilians' R&D Group, a Finalist and Semi-Finalist at the O’Neill (for his plays Matawan, The Tusk Hunters, The Amphibians, and Kaiju), a Semi-Finalist for the Garry Marshall New Works Festival, an M.F.A. Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Resident Artist at Tofte Lake Center, and his work has been published by Smith & Kraus, including an excerpt in The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2021 anthology. His short play "A Seed" was part of the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival that same year, and his work has recently been developed by The Workshop Theater, American Records, Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Pegasus PlayLab at UCF, and JOOK in Memphis. He's currently a Playwriting Instructor at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

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 sites, including Consequence of Sound, The A.V. Club, Pitchfork, and Vox. He co-hosts The Losers’ Club: A Stephen King Podcast and Halloweenies: A Horror Franchise Podcast, in addition to recording music with Mae Shults under the name Methodist Hospital. Their debut LP, Giants, was hailed by “Dean of American Rock Critics” Robert Christgau as one of the best albums of 2018. His first nonfiction book, Radiohead FAQ, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in March 2021.

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, the need to be validated, the power of theatre, and post-show talkbacks.
  • 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
    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.