Jacqueline Goldfinger

Jacqueline Goldfinger

Jacqueline Goldfinger (she/they) grew up in rural North Florida with a love of music and storytelling. Today, she is an award-winning opera and choral librettist, playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist who seeks out unique collaborations, working across disciplines to create singular works of theater and opera. She works nationally and internationally on performative texts which interweave humor and...
Jacqueline Goldfinger (she/they) grew up in rural North Florida with a love of music and storytelling. Today, she is an award-winning opera and choral librettist, playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist who seeks out unique collaborations, working across disciplines to create singular works of theater and opera. She works nationally and internationally on performative texts which interweave humor and heartbreak, speaking to our shared humanity while honoring the nuanced identities of each character. She is an Affiliated Artist at the BMI Lehman Engel Workshop, New Georges, Opera America, and the National New Play Network. She holds a BA from Agnes Scott College and a MFA from the University of Southern California.

Her opera and choral libretti have been performed and broadcast around the world. Her new opera, Alice Tierney, with Composer Dr. Melissa Dunphy won the Opera America Discovery Grant and the Schlichting Commission. It will world premiere at Oberlin Opera and then will move to Opera Columbus in 2023.

Her plays have won the Yale Drama Prize, Smith Prize, Generations Award, Brown Martin Award, and Barrymore Award. Her plays have been on The Kilroy’s List. She’s been a Finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award, Henley Award, Woodward-Newman Award, and received a Special Citation from the McNally Award. She has been nominated for the James Tait Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Horton Foote Prize, Weissberger Award, among others.

Her work has been produced by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Court Theatre (New Zealand), École nationale de théâtre (Canada), Decameron Opera Project, Resonance Works, San Diego Opera, La Jolla Playhouse, Without Walls Festival, FringeArts, Perseverance Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, and others. Her plays have been developed at The National Theater (UK), New Georges, La Mama (Umbria & NYC), Sewanee Writers Conference, McCarter Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Disquiet (Portugal) and others. Her choral work has been performed and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 (UK), Voces8 (UK), St. Martin in the Fields (UK), Amuse Singers NYC, Mendelssohn Choruses all over the U.S., and others.

Her creative work has been published by Yale Press, Edition Peters, Concord Theatricals (formerly Samuel French), Playscripts, Smith & Krause, Mormolyke Press, Stage Partners, Applause Cinema & Theater Books, and Blackbird Literary Journal. Her creative work has been supported by Yaddo, National Endowment for the Arts, Millay Colony, Sloan Foundation, Orchard Project, Drama League, Granada Artist Residency, Independence Foundation Fellowship, among others.

As a dramaturg, she has worked with La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Native Voices, PlayPenn, New Village Arts, and others. In 2021-2022, she is the LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) International Conference Chair.

Her academic writing on the performing arts includes her two books, Playwriting with Purpose and Writing Adaptations and Translations for the Stage (co-written with Allison Horsley), published by Routledge. She has also written articles for The Dramatist, Journal of Theory and Dramatic Criticism, August Wilson Journal, TCG’s Audience Revolution Series, and others. She has moderated panels and interviews for Innovations in Socially Distant Performance at Princeton University, Kelly Writer’s House at University of Pennsylvania, Alliance for Jewish Theatre National Conference, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas International Conference, What's Next in the Arts: Creative Conversations Symposium, Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, and others.

She has taught playwriting and dramaturgy at Temple University (MFA/MA), University of Pennsylvania (undergraduate), Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (National Theatre Institute), University of California, Davis (graduate), Dramatists Guild (Dramatists Guild Institute), Rutgers Writers Conference (public), and others. She co-founded The Foundry in Philadelphia with playwrights Michael Hollinger and Quinn Eli. The Foundry is a playwright mentorship and development organization which helps diversify the field by offering opportunities to promising emerging writers for free. She was awarded a Special Citation for Teaching and Mentoring by LMDA (the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) in 2019.

She is a member of professional organizations including ATHE, LMDA, Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, and the Alliance for Jewish Theatre.

Plays

  • The Grand Lady: The Lives and Loves of Sandra Day O'Connor *BRAND NEW PLAY*
    This 80 minute, no intermission, no set, one-woman-show takes place on the night that O'Connor must make the decision to either stay on the Supreme Court and put her husband in a nursing home due to worsening Alzheimer's or to hand in her retirement letter to the President and take care of the love of her life as his health declines. Throughout the show, we learn about the adventurous, incredible,...
    This 80 minute, no intermission, no set, one-woman-show takes place on the night that O'Connor must make the decision to either stay on the Supreme Court and put her husband in a nursing home due to worsening Alzheimer's or to hand in her retirement letter to the President and take care of the love of her life as his health declines. Throughout the show, we learn about the adventurous, incredible, determined life of the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, while also delving into her personal love story with the partner who put his ambitions aside to support hers and to raise their family. BRAND NEW PLAY!
  • Backwards Forwards Back *BRAND NEW PLAY*
    One Person Show

    80 minutes, no intermission.

    Backwards Forwards Back is a poetic and electric one-person show which explores the affects of PTSD and the new virtual reality technologies we are using to re-calibrate the body and brain of soldiers returning from War.

    In our story, a soldier returns from Iraq, has a PTSD break with reality, and almost kills their...
    One Person Show

    80 minutes, no intermission.

    Backwards Forwards Back is a poetic and electric one-person show which explores the affects of PTSD and the new virtual reality technologies we are using to re-calibrate the body and brain of soldiers returning from War.

    In our story, a soldier returns from Iraq, has a PTSD break with reality, and almost kills their nephew. Forced into Virtual Reality Therapy by their family, the soldier learns both about the therapy and that vulnerability is a strength at home rather than a liability, as it was in the field. They relearn how to live peacefully at home even though they will always carry the scars of war with them.

    Developed with support from the Sloan Foundation.
  • Titus Andronicus: The Queen of the Goths
    Titus Andronicus: Queen of the Goths is inspired by Shakespeare’s infamous and bloody epic.

    A fierce retelling of "Titus Andronicus" from the captured Queen’s point of view set in the untamed wilds of Florida during the Victorian Age. "Titus Andronicus: Queen of the Goths" explores the performance of gender, the effects of PTSD, and how to get a gallon of blood out of an...
    Titus Andronicus: Queen of the Goths is inspired by Shakespeare’s infamous and bloody epic.

    A fierce retelling of "Titus Andronicus" from the captured Queen’s point of view set in the untamed wilds of Florida during the Victorian Age. "Titus Andronicus: Queen of the Goths" explores the performance of gender, the effects of PTSD, and how to get a gallon of blood out of an exquisite Brooks Brothers suit. Perfect for fans of the original "Titus Andronicus" and Verdi’s "Falstaff" as well as films like Tarantino’s "Inglourious Basterds" and books like Morrison’s "Beloved."
  • Babel
    “Babel” is a dark comedy set in the near future. Two couples are having trouble getting pregnant and the lengths they go to in order to have a baby raises the specter of eugenics, explores the societal value of a baby, and asks us what we are willing to risk for love. If you like Booker’s “Black Mirror,” Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go,” or Haley’s “The Nether,” then this play is for you. It requires four...
    “Babel” is a dark comedy set in the near future. Two couples are having trouble getting pregnant and the lengths they go to in order to have a baby raises the specter of eugenics, explores the societal value of a baby, and asks us what we are willing to risk for love. If you like Booker’s “Black Mirror,” Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go,” or Haley’s “The Nether,” then this play is for you. It requires four characters (3F,1M) and a flexile set.
  • Bottle Fly
    Winner of the 2017 Yale Drama Prize and a Finalist at the 2018 International Book Awards, Bottle Fly is set in a bar in the Florida Everglades. This biting, brutally funny multigenerational family drama concerns a Gulf Coast couple, their disabled young ward, two lesbian tenants, and the bonds that bind them all together. It is a powerful story born out of the playwright’s own experiences with the rapidly...
    Winner of the 2017 Yale Drama Prize and a Finalist at the 2018 International Book Awards, Bottle Fly is set in a bar in the Florida Everglades. This biting, brutally funny multigenerational family drama concerns a Gulf Coast couple, their disabled young ward, two lesbian tenants, and the bonds that bind them all together. It is a powerful story born out of the playwright’s own experiences with the rapidly changing social environment of rural Florida, where long-standing traditions and beliefs can collide, sometimes dangerously, with new ideas of personhood, identity, and self-realization.
  • Click (Stage Version)
    A techno-thriller that begins when a young woman is raped at a fraternity and ends in a future where corporations promise a new body with the swipe of a screen, CLICK follows a hacktivist named Fresh who turns industrial espionage into high art. As this virtual Banksy takes over the global imagination, the man who stole her life develops a technology that sends the two of them on a collision course at the heart...
    A techno-thriller that begins when a young woman is raped at a fraternity and ends in a future where corporations promise a new body with the swipe of a screen, CLICK follows a hacktivist named Fresh who turns industrial espionage into high art. As this virtual Banksy takes over the global imagination, the man who stole her life develops a technology that sends the two of them on a collision course at the heart of the corporate empire, where innovation comes at any cost. A cyberpunk drama for the #MeToo era, a story of trauma, transformation and reclaiming who you are. (5-12 Characters, Diverse Casting, Flexible Set) This play is meant to be individualized for each community, so changes in pronouns and cultural references are permissible.
  • The Arsonists
    When starting over means setting fire to what you know and love. THE ARSONISTS is a lyrical, powerhouse drama about a father-daughter arson team set in the Florida swamp lands and inspired by ELECTRA. Read the free preview on Samuel French: https://www.samuelfrench.com/s/63176/the-arsonists Read press and see more information about previous productions: https://jacqueline-goldfinger.squarespace.com
  • Skin and Bone
    In Skin & Bone, Goldfinger returns to her roots as a Southern Gothic storyteller to spin a darkly comic tale of a set of twin cannibal grandmothers, Midge and Madge, and the love of their life. "Skin & Bone" explores the absurd adherence to the time honored traditions that destroy you.
  • The Little Mermaid (for ages 5+)
    A new adaptation of THE LITTLE MERMAID for ages 5+. A Classic Fable of Love, Music, and Adventure from the timeless tale by Hans Christian Anderson. This adaptation of MERMAID focuses on finding true friendship and the power of love. In order to make it fun for younger audiences, this adaptation is told by a present day family using multi-sensory and story theater techniques.
  • Edie and Mae
    The water’s gone. Mae can hear the future rushing back, maybe. Edie fell in love at first sight, definitely. A love story of two women at the edge of the world, reaching through the pipes for one last drop of salvation. (30 minute one-act for two female performers)
  • Love, Sometimes
    A romantic screwball comedy about a couple who meet on the one year anniversary of their divorce. (10 minute play, 1 male and 1 female performer)
  • A Wind in the Door
    Adapted from the bestselling novel by Madeleine L'Engle, A WIND IN THE DOOR, it will be published by Stage Partners in 2022: https://www.yourstagepartners.com
  • The Terrible Girls
    A Southern Gothic Horror Play. Read at Playscripts: https://www.playscripts.com/play/2205
  • People of the Light
    A wandering preacher is embroiled in the passions and politics of a swampy Florida outpost ruled with a macabre sense of justice by two rival sisters during the Great Depression. "People of the Light" is a darkly comic look at balancing ambition, ideals, and faith in a time of crisis.