Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey

Dan Caffrey is a playwright and pop-culture critic currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting through the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance. His play Matawan was a Finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2013, and his play The Tusk Hunters was a Semi-Finalist in 2015. He was also an MFA Scholar at the 2018 Sewanee Writers' Conference. His short and...
Dan Caffrey is a playwright and pop-culture critic currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting through the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance. His play Matawan was a Finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2013, and his play The Tusk Hunters was a Semi-Finalist in 2015. He was also an MFA Scholar at the 2018 Sewanee Writers' Conference. His short and full-length scripts have been produced throughout Chicago and elsewhere, including Northlight, The Ruckus (where he was an Ensemble Member), the side project (where he was an Associate Artist), The Paper Machete, Hot Kitchen Collective, The One-Minute Play Festival, Endstation Theatre Company, The E.M.P. Collective, and Tympanic Theatre Company, where he served as Artistic Director from 2007 to 2015. His pop-culture writing has appeared on The A.V. Club, CBR, Pitchfork, Vox, and Consequence of Sound, where he's one of the hosts of The Losers' Club: A Stephen King Podcast and Halloweenies: A Horror Franchise Podcast.

Plays

  • Matawan
    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...
    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
    NOTE: SCRIPT STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. 30 years after the events of Lord of the Flies, several of the book's characters have grown comfortably into middle age—or so they think. After a Christmas dinner goes horribly wrong, the violence from their youth threatens to overrun their carefully constructed lives. Both a riff on a classic piece of literature and an extremely dark comedy, Sow and Suckling posits that...
    NOTE: SCRIPT STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. 30 years after the events of Lord of the Flies, several of the book's characters have grown comfortably into middle age—or so they think. After a Christmas dinner goes horribly wrong, the violence from their youth threatens to overrun their carefully constructed lives. Both a riff on a classic piece of literature and an extremely dark comedy, Sow and Suckling posits that repression only leads to further savagery.
  • 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.
  • A Seed
    In a future where all the trees have rocketed into the sky, two teenagers find salvation in an unlikely source.
  • Extinction Fantasies
    The rural town of Tarker has been quarantined following the outbreak of a devastating plague. In this series of playlets, we meet several characters who have become trapped in their own community—a father and daughter, two high-schoolers, and a couple in the middle of a divorce.
  • 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.
  • Morality Play
    In the middle of an ancient desert, a young woman seeks the services of a mysterious doctor.
  • Flypaper
    An Artistic Director pays one last visit to her theatre company on the eve of its closing.
  • Gretel
    In this dark subversion of a fairytale, a little girl's allegiance gets torn between her brother and her new caretaker.
  • Folkfire
    CO-WRITTEN WITH DAN PFLEEGOR: A series of out-of-control forest fires reunite two iconic characters from American folklore.
  • Warhead
    NOTE: SCRIPT STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. In a war-torn nation, five women transport a missile through the jungle, with hopes of having their community's first missile parade.
  • Sandalwood
    When a young man blazes a trail of blood and destruction throughout the American West, his father embarks on a quest to stop him. But as he makes his way through the ghost towns his son has visited, he questions how evil the boy's intentions truly are, and if his terrible acts are somehow bringing him closer to humanity. Blending conventions of classic Western cinema with shades of Cormac McCarthy and even...
    When a young man blazes a trail of blood and destruction throughout the American West, his father embarks on a quest to stop him. But as he makes his way through the ghost towns his son has visited, he questions how evil the boy's intentions truly are, and if his terrible acts are somehow bringing him closer to humanity. Blending conventions of classic Western cinema with shades of Cormac McCarthy and even Pinocchio, Sandalwood explores the genetic inheritance of sin and violence.
  • Glamour
    A young woman interrogates a loved one who has returned from deep space.
  • Wound Woman
    While searching for her daughter in a swamp, a young woman seeks help from a mysterious entity.
  • Haddonfield South
    A father and son spend a tense evening together in South Pasadena, the filming location of the original Halloween film.
  • From These Fatal Loins
    NOTE: SCRIPT STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. Spurred by a simple question—what if Romeo and Juliet really faked their deaths?—From These Fatal Loins sends the world's most famous star-crossed lovers on a crime spree that's equal parts Tarantino and tragedy. God only knows what happens next.
  • Orange Orbs
    Set in a Florida cornfield on Halloween Night, Orange Orbs follows two teenagers who find a baby abandoned in a pumpkin. As they try to return the child to its rightful guardian, they encounter two spectral figures and become entangled in a feud that’s older and bloodier than the fields themselves. Part southern gothic horror story and part coming-of-age tale, Orange Orbs examines how quickly terrifying events...
    Set in a Florida cornfield on Halloween Night, Orange Orbs follows two teenagers who find a baby abandoned in a pumpkin. As they try to return the child to its rightful guardian, they encounter two spectral figures and become entangled in a feud that’s older and bloodier than the fields themselves. Part southern gothic horror story and part coming-of-age tale, Orange Orbs examines how quickly terrifying events can force adolescents into adulthood.
  • Haddonfield
    NOTE: SCRIPT STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. On Halloween night, three friends gather for a horror-movie marathon. But as the cracks in their relationship begin to show, the world of their favorite horror franchise starts bleeding into reality. At turns surreal and macabre, Haddonfield asks "What happens when a friendship is based entirely on pop culture? What happens when all that's left is a movie?"
  • Gregor and the Squonk
    Set in a Pennsylvania forest during the dead of winter, Gregor and the Squonk centers around Gregor Courtepy, a buffoonish hunter deeply devoted to his wife, Margaret. After a countless number of plastic surgeries leaves her broken and self-loathing, Gregor enlists the help of their doctor to find a creature rumored to grant eternal beauty to whoever captures it. A modern fairy-tale that's equal parts...
    Set in a Pennsylvania forest during the dead of winter, Gregor and the Squonk centers around Gregor Courtepy, a buffoonish hunter deeply devoted to his wife, Margaret. After a countless number of plastic surgeries leaves her broken and self-loathing, Gregor enlists the help of their doctor to find a creature rumored to grant eternal beauty to whoever captures it. A modern fairy-tale that's equal parts touching and twisted, Gregor and the Squonk examines how far people are willing to go for the sake of beauty.
  • Little Triggers
    On a dark and blustery Christmas Eve, Martin has already said goodnight to his boss, and the office is almost quiet. All that's left is to wait for the printer repairman so he can go home. Little does he know that before the evening’s out, a series of mysterious strangers will force him to confront his ideas about success, happiness, and failure—and they’re starting with what’s hidden in the back of his desk drawer.
  • Ozma & Harriet
    In the early '90s, scientist Frank Younger invents the world's first android, Ozma. As Frank gets buried in his work and grows more distant from his family, Ozma relies on TGIF sitcoms for his education. In spite—or because—of the TV shows' wholesome subject matter, the android's life soon takes a dark turn into sex, violence, and other acts that are unquestionably human.
  • Fear That Belongs In A Sandbox
    A troubled young man confronts his fear of a puppet from a children's television show.
  • ALL HUNKS MUST DIE!!!!
    CO-WRITTEN WITH RANDALL COLBURN: A riff on bygone slasher films of the '70s and '80s, ALL HUNKS MUST DIE!!!! subverts the genre by turning a serial killer's eyes toward a group of aggressive, muscled young men. When Todd and his merry band of hunks spend a weekend in the country, they mysteriously begin getting picked off by a stranger clad in a horse mask. Is this the end of the hunks? Or will...
    CO-WRITTEN WITH RANDALL COLBURN: A riff on bygone slasher films of the '70s and '80s, ALL HUNKS MUST DIE!!!! subverts the genre by turning a serial killer's eyes toward a group of aggressive, muscled young men. When Todd and his merry band of hunks spend a weekend in the country, they mysteriously begin getting picked off by a stranger clad in a horse mask. Is this the end of the hunks? Or will they escape with their lives and toxic behavior intact???