D.W. Gregory

D.W. Gregory

D.W. Gregory is an award-winning writer whose plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens and with a comedic twist. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for her most produced work, RADIUM GIRLS, about the famous case of industrial poisoning. Radium Girls has received more than 2,00 productions in the United States and abroad. Other plays...
D.W. Gregory is an award-winning writer whose plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens and with a comedic twist. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for her most produced work, RADIUM GIRLS, about the famous case of industrial poisoning. Radium Girls has received more than 2,00 productions in the United States and abroad. Other plays include MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN, a National New Play Network rolling world premiere (Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Shadowland Stages, New Jersey Rep); MOLUMBY’S MILLION (Iron Age Theatre), nominated for a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance; A THING OF BEAUTY, winner of the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s 2023 Charles Getchell New Play Award; THE GOOD DAUGHTER and OCTOBER 1962 (New Jersey Rep); and a new musical, THE YELLOW STOCKING PLAY, with composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp, which won awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical in CreateTheater’s 2023 New Works Festival. Gregory’s plays have been developed through the support of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), NNPN, the Playwrights’ Center, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the HBMG Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and New York University’s New Plays for Young Audiences. A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, Gregory is an affiliated writer with The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and an affiliated artist with NNPN. Gregory also writes for youth theatre (SALVATION ROAD, PENNY CANDY) and makes occasional appearances as a teaching artist. For six years in a row, Dramatics Magazine named RADIUM GIRLS among the 10 Most Produced Plays in American High School Theatre.

Plays

  • THE OTHER AMERICAN
    Based on true events, The Other American is the story of Stan Glickman, a promising American art student ensnared in one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War. One night in a Paris café, after a political debate with an American tourist, Stan spirals into a mysterious mental breakdown. His life is shattered; he never paints again. Twenty-five years later, he discovers why: The tourist was a CIA operative and...
    Based on true events, The Other American is the story of Stan Glickman, a promising American art student ensnared in one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War. One night in a Paris café, after a political debate with an American tourist, Stan spirals into a mysterious mental breakdown. His life is shattered; he never paints again. Twenty-five years later, he discovers why: The tourist was a CIA operative and the drink he bought Stan was laced with a mega-dose of LSD. When Stan realizes he was an unwitting subject in a secret CIA experiment in mind control, he is determined to track down the man who poisoned him and hold him accountable. But The Other American is about much more than one man’s quest for justice—it is also about the high human price we pay when we allow our government to reduce its citizens—or any individual—to some expendable “other.”
  • A THING OF BEAUTY
    Oscar Wilde meets the Marx Brothers is this gender-bending comedy about art, greed and censorship in 1950s New England.

    What is the purpose of art? Is it to elevate our miserable little lives or shatter our stupid assumptions? Maybe both, as the leading citizens of a sleepy seaside resort discover when first prize in their community art competition goes to an anonymous nude. While the judges...
    Oscar Wilde meets the Marx Brothers is this gender-bending comedy about art, greed and censorship in 1950s New England.

    What is the purpose of art? Is it to elevate our miserable little lives or shatter our stupid assumptions? Maybe both, as the leading citizens of a sleepy seaside resort discover when first prize in their community art competition goes to an anonymous nude. While the judges congratulate themselves on their progressive tastes, the competition's wealthy sponsor, Mrs. Leonard C. Bouffant, is horrified. But horror turns to outrage when she discovers the unnamed artist is the mailman who keeps losing her deliveries. As she lobbies the judges for a "more appropriate" winner--"something involving daisies or an old barn" --- an influential New York art critic arrives on the scene, hell-bent on championing the work of this formerly unknown "artist of the people."
  • MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN MAN
    A Soviet journalist with the gift of total recall. A psychologist seeking to rehabilitate herself. A government censor with a secret past. Over two decades their fates become entwined as victims and collaborators in Stalin’s campaign to rewrite public memory.

    Long before ‘fake news’ was an Internet meme, it was called propaganda. And in the Soviet Union, circa 1938, it was the grease that kept...
    A Soviet journalist with the gift of total recall. A psychologist seeking to rehabilitate herself. A government censor with a secret past. Over two decades their fates become entwined as victims and collaborators in Stalin’s campaign to rewrite public memory.

    Long before ‘fake news’ was an Internet meme, it was called propaganda. And in the Soviet Union, circa 1938, it was the grease that kept Stalin’s machinery of terror in motion. By taking us to this world, where justice is arbitrary and freedom as we think of it does not exist, Memoirs of a Forgotten Man forces the audience to consider the fragility of democracy in an era when facts are fungible and history is whatever Dear Leader says it is.
  • THE YELLOW STOCKING PLAY - A new musical
    Book by D.W. Gregory. Lyrics by Sarah Knapp. Music by Steven M. Alper

    The show must go on—even if you can’t recognize it.

    Twelfth Night is the inspiration for this quick-change musical comedy about a 17th Century Shakespeare troupe embarked on a disastrous tour of the Continent. Food poisoning, drowning, duels and avalanches befall the actors one by one--until only four of them...
    Book by D.W. Gregory. Lyrics by Sarah Knapp. Music by Steven M. Alper

    The show must go on—even if you can’t recognize it.

    Twelfth Night is the inspiration for this quick-change musical comedy about a 17th Century Shakespeare troupe embarked on a disastrous tour of the Continent. Food poisoning, drowning, duels and avalanches befall the actors one by one--until only four of them remain. Minutes before the curtain rises on their next-to-final show, the ingénue elopes with the town innkeeper, leaving a company of three to pull off the most frantic play in the repertoire. But her lover, Gropio, is too heart-broken to go on, while her confidante, Tremolo, just refuses to kiss a man. It falls to Simpatica, the leading lady, to recast and revise on the fly. Her biggest challenge is how to keep the backstage drama from spoiling the onstage comedy. But the show must go on. Even if you can't recognize it.
  • DESIGN
    Len and Claire sense they are in for some seriously bad karma when his offhand remark at a party inspires the break-up of long-married friends. But when the universe delivers that karma in the form of a sniper stalking their once peaceful suburban neighborhood, both couples are forced to reconsider the trade-offs they've made in life and love.

    A Post-9/11 comedy about surviving and thriving in a world with no guarantees.
  • SALVATION ROAD - LARGE CAST VERSION
    Now available from Dramatic Publishing! When his hip older sister disappears with members of a fundamentalist church, 17-year-old Cliff Kozak struggles to hold it all together, pretending that he isn't hurt by her decision to cut him out of her life. But a year later, a chance sighting of Denise at a New Jersey strip mall leads Cliff and his best buddy on a road trip into the heart of a deepening mystery...
    Now available from Dramatic Publishing! When his hip older sister disappears with members of a fundamentalist church, 17-year-old Cliff Kozak struggles to hold it all together, pretending that he isn't hurt by her decision to cut him out of her life. But a year later, a chance sighting of Denise at a New Jersey strip mall leads Cliff and his best buddy on a road trip into the heart of a deepening mystery. Why would a smart and talented girl like Denise fall for the hollow promises of a sleazy preacher? Could it be that blind faith is just another term for a desperate need to belong?

    This version of the play is adapted for educational theatre and has been performed with 12 to 16 actors.

    "A moving and well-crafted play ... stirs emotions and engenders thought that will occupy audiences long after the stage is bare."

    -- Arts Louisville

    more information at www.salvationroadplay.com
  • Three Rings, No Diamonds - a 10-minute comedy
    A relationship coach encounters her most difficult client, a real guy kind of guy -- the kind of guy who is not shy about being a guy--meaning he's desperately in need of her counsel, which he'll probably ignore.
  • Some Kind of Holiday - a 10-minute absurdity
    Years in captivity strain perceptions of time and metaphors for a long-married couple, but an unexpected delivery triggers a calendar--as well as an attitude--adjustment. A 10-minute comedy for the stir crazy.
  • Her Place in the World - an Entertainment
    Adam's immortal, diabolical first wife Lilith makes her appearance again, wreaking havoc among his descendants, now atoning for their sins in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. For 3W, 1-2 M, running time approx. 15 minutes.
  • The Five Cent Girl - A 10-minute mystery
    Officer Billy Collier is about to swing for the murder of his own police captain . Why'd he do it? He won't say. But Billy's friend and fellow officer J.D. Springer has a theory, and to test it, he comes to the scene of the crime--a seedy pub in an Irish slum, where the beer is 10 cents a pint and a nickel more buys a dance with a pretty girl named Sile.
  • DIRTY PICTURES
    Colorado 1982: Thwarted lust and bruised ambition rule in Dan Briggs’ bar. Judy, the quick-witted bartender, never lets her disability get in the way of what she wants – except when it comes to Dan, who only has eyes for Bonnie, a comely waitress with dreams of becoming a Playboy centerfold. Unknown to Dan, Bonnie’s ticket to fame relies on an elaborate scheme--cooked up by his best buddy Chet--involving a...
    Colorado 1982: Thwarted lust and bruised ambition rule in Dan Briggs’ bar. Judy, the quick-witted bartender, never lets her disability get in the way of what she wants – except when it comes to Dan, who only has eyes for Bonnie, a comely waitress with dreams of becoming a Playboy centerfold. Unknown to Dan, Bonnie’s ticket to fame relies on an elaborate scheme--cooked up by his best buddy Chet--involving a classic motorcycle and a secret photo shoot. Chet’s plans seems to be working out – until 21 nudie photos of Bonnie fall into the wrong hands. A screwball comedy about redefining beauty in an image-obsessed culture.



  • OCTOBER 1962
    Fourteen-year-old Jeannie Timmons and her little sister Nan are fascinated by the boy down the street--but he's not just any teenager with a motorcycle. He's a convicted killer whose return to the old neighborhood has sent their mother into a panic and their father into an unexplained crisis of conscience. How far will their parents go to protect them from a danger that might not quite exist? Set...
    Fourteen-year-old Jeannie Timmons and her little sister Nan are fascinated by the boy down the street--but he's not just any teenager with a motorcycle. He's a convicted killer whose return to the old neighborhood has sent their mother into a panic and their father into an unexplained crisis of conscience. How far will their parents go to protect them from a danger that might not quite exist? Set during a time of Cold War paranoia, this comic drama explores the necessity of deceit in the pursuit of absolute security.
  • SALVATION ROAD - SMALL CAST VERSION
    When his hip older sister disappears with members of a fundamentalist church, 17-year-old Cliff Kozak struggles to hold it all together, pretending that he isn't hurt by her decision to cut him out of her life. But a year later, a chance sighting of Denise at a New Jersey strip mall propels Cliff and his best buddy on a road trip into the heart of a deepening mystery. Why would a smart and talented girl...
    When his hip older sister disappears with members of a fundamentalist church, 17-year-old Cliff Kozak struggles to hold it all together, pretending that he isn't hurt by her decision to cut him out of her life. But a year later, a chance sighting of Denise at a New Jersey strip mall propels Cliff and his best buddy on a road trip into the heart of a deepening mystery. Why would a smart and talented girl like Denise fall for the hollow promises of a sleazy preacher? Could it be that blind faith is just another term for a desperate need to belong?

    RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
  • THE GOOD DAUGHTER
    Set in the years before and after World War I, The Good Daughter is an epic story of three Missouri farm women torn between family duty and the desires of their own hearts. Shades of Lear color this story of Ned Owen, a pious widower, whose dearest hope is to see his daughters settled, each according to their proper place in the world, and the family farm carried on by one of their sons. But the eldest, Esther...
    Set in the years before and after World War I, The Good Daughter is an epic story of three Missouri farm women torn between family duty and the desires of their own hearts. Shades of Lear color this story of Ned Owen, a pious widower, whose dearest hope is to see his daughters settled, each according to their proper place in the world, and the family farm carried on by one of their sons. But the eldest, Esther, can never marry; a bout with childhood polio has left her lame, and “no man,” Ned says, “wants a crippled girl.” Rachel, the youngest at fourteen, is still too much a child to think about marriage. That leaves middle daughter Cassie to fulfill Ned’s dreams. His pick for her is a neighboring farmer, a sweet dullard of little conversation and no imagination. Cassie longs for true romance. And one hot summer day it arrives—in the form of a merchant’s son, who has returned to the valley to peddle a radical new idea: Flood control. “The day is gone,” he declares, “when farmers have to live at the mercy of the river.” But Ned is not convinced. He knows that God made the river to flood—and any man who interferes with God’s work can only bring ruin.
  • RADIUM GIRLS - FULL LENGTH
    Available from Dramatic Publishing: In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder,...
    Available from Dramatic Publishing: In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 9 to 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and myriad interested bystanders. Called a "powerful" and "engrossing" drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science. Available from Dramatic Publishing, Radium Girls has had more than 1,800 productions since its premiere. The list below is a small sampling. Radium Girls is a popular title for high school, university, and community theatre. With flexible casting, it provides multiple strong roles for females. For six years in a row, it has been one of the 10 most produced plays in U.S. high schools, according to Dramatics Magazine.

  • THE GOOD GIRL IS GONE
    All hell breaks loose in the Bender household the day Mama runs off with that no-good lowlife Wayne Hargrove. Papa can't believe she's gone, but Lulu just shrugs it off, while Ginny sees Mama everywhere she isn't. Absence makes the head go cloudy, so Papa begins to see clues of a kidnapping in the farewell note Mama left behind, while Ginny follows Mama through a plate-glass window. Is it any...
    All hell breaks loose in the Bender household the day Mama runs off with that no-good lowlife Wayne Hargrove. Papa can't believe she's gone, but Lulu just shrugs it off, while Ginny sees Mama everywhere she isn't. Absence makes the head go cloudy, so Papa begins to see clues of a kidnapping in the farewell note Mama left behind, while Ginny follows Mama through a plate-glass window. Is it any wonder Lulu find herself strangely attracted to the exhausted, pill-popping medical intern treating her sister? But all that is merely prologue to the biggest test of Lulu's life: the day that Mama walks back into it. Alone in a motel room far from home, finally determined to free herself of a bad love match, Lulu is forced to extract the truth from Mama: Exactly what did happen that day outside the A&P so many years before? And why, after all this time, can't Lulu let go of the nagging fear that somehow, some way, it was all her fault? A dark comedy that careens wildly from pathos to hilarity, The Good Girl Is Gone pokes at the bruised heart of the American family to examine the power of memory to torment and heal. Running time: 80 minutes.

    "A playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke." - The New York Times

  • The Savage Sex, or Madam Poisson's Guide to Health, Wealth and Murder
    The allure of the attractive and witty Madame Poisson is too strong for any man in the village to resist. It seems a new suitor is seen walking through her door every other day, but only one man notices the suitors never leave. Will Inspector Idiot finally discover her secret, or will he, too, fall victim to her fatal charms? Reading copy available online from Playscripts.com
  • The Sudden Sixties
    When Hannah Winter loses her footing in a hotel lobby, the gentleman who helps her up turns out to be the boyfriend she left behind 40 years earlier. Now, after nearly a lifetime of self-sacrifice, Hannah is in the mood to rebel. The Sudden Sixties is adapted by permission of and special arrangement with the Edna Ferber Estate.

    Running time: 25 minutes.