Dorian Palumbo

Dorian Palumbo

Dorian Palumbo is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts' Dramatic Writing Program, where she studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner Tad Mosel. She is also an alumna of Columbia University Teachers College, (M.A. - teaching writing), and the MBA program at NYU's Stern School of Business (Entertainment Marketing). Her comedy Carnegie Hill was optioned for Broadway by Tony winning producer John O’Boyle...
Dorian Palumbo is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts' Dramatic Writing Program, where she studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner Tad Mosel. She is also an alumna of Columbia University Teachers College, (M.A. - teaching writing), and the MBA program at NYU's Stern School of Business (Entertainment Marketing). Her comedy Carnegie Hill was optioned for Broadway by Tony winning producer John O’Boyle (Radio Golf, Is He Dead, A Catered Affair, LaCage Aux Folles (2010) [Tony Award]) after being produced at Clockwise Theatre, Chicago.
Dorian was a semi-finalist in the Final Draft “Big Break” Screenwriting Competition with her screenplay Just Three Things, a script which was also a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival and a Semi-Finalist in Scriptapalooza 2015. Other screenplays written by Dorian which have reached quarter finals in top competitions; Gone, Daddy, Gone (comic drama 2005, Scriptapalooza and AFF), In the Pines (sci-fi thriller, 2006 AFF), and Choosy Mothers, a female ensemble comedy about the Austin Texas Rock Music scene (2011, Scriptapalooza).

Dorian studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York, which was founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, and directed a short film, The Mentor starring Terasa Livingstone. She was Associate Producer on the independent feature film Anne B. Real which features performances by Carlos Leon ("Empire"), Mike Starr ("Dumb and Dumber", "Ed") and Ernie Hudson ("Oz").

Most recently, Dorian’s supernatural comedy drama “Once, and Again” was a Second Rounder at Austin in 2016; she is represented in New York by attorney Jason Baruch, Partner, Sendroff and Baruch, and in the U.K. by attorney Alan Moss, Partner, Harbottle & Lewis. Dorian has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1986

Plays

  • Divination
    New Jersey Seashore/ Present Day - Tara Cornfeld, (20’s to 30’s, Chinese American) has a high stress job, and turns to a local spiritualist class in “Mediumship and Divination”, held at boardwalk crystal shop. The workshop is taught by a flighty Scottish medium and ex-flower child, Geri Wheatcroft (50’s to 60’s), who ultimately shows Tara that the past isn’t necessarily prologue, that knowing the future, even...
    New Jersey Seashore/ Present Day - Tara Cornfeld, (20’s to 30’s, Chinese American) has a high stress job, and turns to a local spiritualist class in “Mediumship and Divination”, held at boardwalk crystal shop. The workshop is taught by a flighty Scottish medium and ex-flower child, Geri Wheatcroft (50’s to 60’s), who ultimately shows Tara that the past isn’t necessarily prologue, that knowing the future, even if you can, doesn’t help much, and that peace of mind is the first tool in coping with the present. Divination is an ensemble female comedy for six actresses and one, simple set.
  • The Grave, The Fan, The Wife
    Die hard fan Samara is caught decorating the grave of her favorite actor by the actor's wife, who has, of course, an entirely different perspective on what he should be remembered for.
  • The Actor's Fans
    Valerie admires her favorite actor for his talent; Stacey just wants to sleep with him. Outside a theater where he's directing a performance, Valerie does her best to prevent Stacey from achieving her goal and keep her away from their idol.
  • The Softer Stone
    Present Day/New York City – Martha Forehand, 40’s, needs a job. Her ex refuses to pay alimony, and designing costumes for best friend Annette’s drag king extravaganzas doesn’t pay the bills.

    Hedge fund manager and expat Brit Rupert Coombes, 50’s to 60’s, hires Martha as a temporary research assistant – based on her colorful resume, and without interviewing a single other candidate. The...
    Present Day/New York City – Martha Forehand, 40’s, needs a job. Her ex refuses to pay alimony, and designing costumes for best friend Annette’s drag king extravaganzas doesn’t pay the bills.

    Hedge fund manager and expat Brit Rupert Coombes, 50’s to 60’s, hires Martha as a temporary research assistant – based on her colorful resume, and without interviewing a single other candidate. The mystery is soon solved – Rupert is a transvestite. Forbidden from cross-dressing by his wife, Louisa, Rupert sees his association with costumer Martha as an opportunity.

    Louisa discovers Martha has been making clothes for Rupert, encouraging him to be free and dress “en femme.” Louisa also, quite rightly, deduces that Martha and Rupert have developed feelings for each other.

    Martha and Rupert are in bed when he reveals that he would like to “be” Ruby, his alter ego, as often and in as many contexts as possible. Martha begins to realize what that means to him, and what it might come to mean for her. When they return to the office, Martha breaks with Rupert.

    As Louisa begins to press Rupert for a divorce, Martha changes her mind about having a relationship with Rupert, and comes back together with him, and with “Ruby”, to give it a serious try.

    Ruby and Martha are getting ready to go to a party, interacting with the ease and familiarity of a long-partnered couple. Martha then discovers a bottle of over-the-counter hormones Rupert has been secretly taking. They have a huge fight, ending with Rupert storming out on his own dressed as Ruby. When Martha tracks him down she finds that he’s been hurt – his purse stolen and his head bloodied.

    In the hospital, the actress who has played Annette and Young Rupert now plays a doctor who happens to be of indeterminate gender. Rupert reveals the circumstances under which he was attacked – and also tells Martha that he’s decided to go home to his wife.

    At the office, Rupert brings luggage containing the last vestiges of Ruby. He allows Martha to help him dispose of them once and for all. Martha resigns her job and they say goodbye.

    Back at Martha’s apartment, some months later, Martha has turned her place into somewhat of a shrine, refurbishing Ruby’s old wardrobe. Rupert returns to Martha’s apartment to apologize – he’s come out to his children, and his wife has once again thrown him out. This is by no means any kind of a happily ever after – rather, it’s a reunion of friends who agree to complicate each other’s lives just a little longer.
  • Cong
    Set in 1987. Comedy. – Two young American women, hitchhiking in Ireland, are picked up by a young Irishman who may, or may not, be a member of the IRA.

    Ann-Marie Cataldo and Elyse (Leecy) Golden are just touring Ireland for the first time. Ann-Marie is a bit overly fascinated with the “troubles” in the North, where they’ve just come down from. All Elyse is interested in is meeting Irish men...
    Set in 1987. Comedy. – Two young American women, hitchhiking in Ireland, are picked up by a young Irishman who may, or may not, be a member of the IRA.

    Ann-Marie Cataldo and Elyse (Leecy) Golden are just touring Ireland for the first time. Ann-Marie is a bit overly fascinated with the “troubles” in the North, where they’ve just come down from. All Elyse is interested in is meeting Irish men and having a good time.

    When they meet Joseph, very agitated, very opinionated, and on a mission of some sort he’s loathe to disclose, the young women begin to realize that trying to be a tourist in someone else’s political conflict isn’t necessarily a good idea.

    The play begins as the two young women are sitting by the side of a lonely bogland road in county Mayo, waiting for a ride. Their reminiscences lead to a flashback showing Leecy trying to seduce an Irish bartender in front of his girlfriend and getting them both in trouble.

    Back on the road, they begin to discuss the political situations they’ve had a very surface experience of while up in the North. Ann-Marie has been trying to make sense of the “troubles”, but Leecy is more concerned with having a good time.

    Another flashback shows Ann-Marie chatting with some locals in a café and revealing that she’s not terribly sophisticated compared to her friend, Leecy’s bad behavior notwithstanding. A Blind Irishman warns her against believing what she reads and advises her to open her eyes and observe – advice she comes to take seriously.

    Back on the road, they decide to do a “creative visualization” to try and conjure up a driver. We flashback once again, this time to see the driver, Joseph Deegan, 30’s. Joseph is at a phone box and seems to have just come from a botched crime of some sort, but is only concerned that his woman not find out he’s failed.

    Ann-Marie and Elyse are picked up by Joseph, who just seems like a flirtatious Irishman who has something of a dark side. The action from this point takes place in and out of the car. Leecy ends up antagonizing Joseph by teasing him sexually, while Ann-Marie infuriates him by sniffing around whatever contraband he seems to be carrying in the trunk of the car. He pulls a knife on Leecy, and Am counters by hitting him with her backpack and accidentally forcing his arm back far enough to stab himself near the eye. The girls bargain with him that they’ll take him to get treatment if he’ll consent to be tied up and placed into the back of the car.

    Once Joseph is subdued, the girls drive the car toward the village of “Cong”, where a garda (policeman) finally takes Joseph and the car into custody. In the trunk there was, indeed, an IRA bomb, sans detonator, and the girls watch stunned as the army incinerate the gelignite, disassemble the bomb, and muse about how their hoped-for fun-filled vacation went terribly wrong.
  • Carnegie Hill
    Present Day/New York City – Erica Gallo, (30’s to 40’s,) is a rather marginally successful real estate saleswoman at an agency where only superior performance will do. Faced with the loss of her job, Erica decides to use some dirt she has on her nemesis, super saleswoman Megan Foley, (20’s), to try to get ahead.

    When the story opens, Erica and best friend, receptionist Mercedes DeLeon (20’s)...
    Present Day/New York City – Erica Gallo, (30’s to 40’s,) is a rather marginally successful real estate saleswoman at an agency where only superior performance will do. Faced with the loss of her job, Erica decides to use some dirt she has on her nemesis, super saleswoman Megan Foley, (20’s), to try to get ahead.

    When the story opens, Erica and best friend, receptionist Mercedes DeLeon (20’s) are waiting for customers as various other saleswomen arrive and settle down for a weekend’s work. First up is Heide Becker (50’s), super chic and somewhat underhanded, who tries to swipe a customer from Erica before insulting all and sundry. Erica’s mentor Wanda (50’s) also arrives, expressing concerns about Erica’s poor sales performance and warning her she’s certain to be fired unless she improves. Kyon Bradley (Korean American, 30’s), also arrives, Heide’s uneasy mentee and resident vegetarian. Last to arrive is Megan, one of those individuals blessed by unusual luck, born to wealth and seemingly unflappable. When Erica loses a customer to Megan simply because the customer recognized Megan as an old schoolmate, Erica insists that Megan owes her a favor.

    Megan later refuses to allow Erica to call in her favor, but while offering her the consolation prize of babysitting an open house or two, Erica discovers that Megan is trying to keep a very large commission out of the firm’s grasp.

    In order to prove that Megan is up to something shady, Erica has to betray the trust of poor Mercedes, who is the only one with keys to the agents’ desks containing their paperwork and leads. Erica gets the evidence against Megan that she needs, but her betrayal puts Mercedes job at risk.

    Erica offers Megan’s score up to Heide as a trophy in exchange for the very favor she asked of Megan – getting invited to an open house at one of New York’s most exclusive buildings. In order to do it, Heide puts Kyon, her own mentee, at a disadvantage.

    Enter Sheila Buckland, co-owner of the agency. (60’s) When all of these sketchy dealings finally come to light, and all of the sales floor finally admit to all of the things that all of them have done to betray each other, things explode. But instead of firing Erica, Sheila rewards her for playing the game just as she might have. Erica, shocked at how far all of them have sunk, and how much farther she may be asked to go, quits.

    Erica returns to the agency to collect her things, and finally does made it up with Mercedes. She’s learned her lesson, and both of them have arrived at a place where they can make decisions with some integrity and morality, even if they’re not the most lucrative.

    Carnegie Hill is about women mentoring other women, both properly and improperly, when a great deal of money is involved. It’s a look at what a post-feminist business world can offer women, what pitfalls they can still encounter, and the friendships and relationships they risk when they feel they have to play dirty.