Karissa Murrell Myers

Karissa Murrell Myers

KARISSA MURRELL MYERS (she/her/hers) is a Filipino American theatre artist based in Chicago, where she works as a playwright, actor, producer, and casting director. An O'Neill Finalist, her plays have been developed and/or produced at Goodman Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, American Blues Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Oregon Contemporary...
KARISSA MURRELL MYERS (she/her/hers) is a Filipino American theatre artist based in Chicago, where she works as a playwright, actor, producer, and casting director. An O'Neill Finalist, her plays have been developed and/or produced at Goodman Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, American Blues Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Oregon Contemporary Theatre, City Theatre, Boise Contemporary Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, Avalanche Theatre, and Bramble Theatre Company, where she is the Artistic Director. MFA from University of Hawaii, BA from Boise State University, and proud graduate of The School at Steppenwolf 2019. Member of the Dramatist Guild and SAG-AFTRA.

Plays

  • BLACK BEAR ISLAND
    Finalist - O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (2024)
    Semi-Finalist - Blue Ink Awards (2024)

    When her estranged childhood sweetheart mysteriously dies, Amitra returns home after a sixteen year absence to Black Bear Island, which legend says is haunted by a monstrous man-killing bear. As she searches for the truth, the forest begins to engulf the house and her past begins to...
    Finalist - O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (2024)
    Semi-Finalist - Blue Ink Awards (2024)

    When her estranged childhood sweetheart mysteriously dies, Amitra returns home after a sixteen year absence to Black Bear Island, which legend says is haunted by a monstrous man-killing bear. As she searches for the truth, the forest begins to engulf the house and her past begins to collide with the present as her memory starts to unfog. This gothic, magical realistic thriller explores regret, the unreliableness of our own memories, and the paths we choose to become who we are.
  • ON THE GREENBELT
    Nominee - Outstanding New Work, The Joseph Jefferson Awards (2023)
    Nominee - The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2022)
    Semi-Finalist - Blue Ink Awards (2021)

    Jules saw something terrible in the Idaho hospital the night her mom died, but she’ll never say what it was. Not to her ex, Olivia, and especially not to her brother, Jake, who keeps trying to convince her to go with him to the...
    Nominee - Outstanding New Work, The Joseph Jefferson Awards (2023)
    Nominee - The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2022)
    Semi-Finalist - Blue Ink Awards (2021)

    Jules saw something terrible in the Idaho hospital the night her mom died, but she’ll never say what it was. Not to her ex, Olivia, and especially not to her brother, Jake, who keeps trying to convince her to go with him to the Greenbelt to spread their mom’s ashes with their father, Alan. But try as she might, Jules can’t shake the memories of the past that haunt her like a gin soaked hangover, and as the day unravels the past events surrounding her mother’s death come to light. A serio-comic play that jumps between past and present, On the Greenbelt is an exploration of Family, Love, Memory and the Question of “How do we process grief?” Content warning: physical violence, murder, substance abuse.
  • BLOOD OF MY MOTHER'S
    Semi-Finalist - Blue Ink Awards (2022)

    Christmas Eve, 1997. A pregnant college student flees to her older sister's house, where she must choose to either abandon her baby or her American dream. But sometimes, the place you run to for safety turns out to be the most dangerous place of all.
  • THE RED FORTUNE COOKIE
    Reese is a simple man who just wants the surprise wedding he's planning for his girlfriend to go off without a hitch this weekend. But when a hot air balloon full of blood crashes in his backyard the same day his apparently-not-dead aunt and bad tempered little sister show up looking for a stolen family heirloom, mayhem ensues. This kick-in-the-teeth farce explores true love, family ties, and suburban ennui.
  • HOW TO MURDER THE SUPER SCARY PREDATORY HIGH INTEREST STUDENT LOANS THAT HAVE SADDLED AN ENTIRE GENERATION WITH SO MUCH DEBT NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO BUY A HOUSE OR HAVE KIDS; or, WHY CAN’T YOU JUST STOP BUYING AVOCADO TOAST
    An out-of-work retail worker agrees to become an assassin and "take out" a disgusting blackmailer in order to pay off her overwhelming student loans and start a new life, despite the fact she has absolutely no idea what she's doing and is probably the worst person possible for this job.
  • HOW DO WE NAVIGATE SPACE?
    How Do We Navigate Space? explores the experiences of Chicagoans navigating through our current, drastically-changed world. The piece is inspired by surveys submitted by Chicago residents sharing their experiences during 2020. It expresses a non-linear story of our diverse and complex city in the search for connection.

    This play was commissioned and developed by Strawdog Theatre Company.
  • FRAGMENTED
    FRAGMENTED tells the story of K, a hapa (half Asian) girl growing up in Idaho who is following the rules of her conservative community: marriage, house, planning for kids. But her desire to be an actor burns in her heart, against her husband’s wishes. She decides to leave her hometown and her toxic marriage, and moves to Hawaii to get her masters in performance. After that, her entire life changes as she seeks...
    FRAGMENTED tells the story of K, a hapa (half Asian) girl growing up in Idaho who is following the rules of her conservative community: marriage, house, planning for kids. But her desire to be an actor burns in her heart, against her husband’s wishes. She decides to leave her hometown and her toxic marriage, and moves to Hawaii to get her masters in performance. After that, her entire life changes as she seeks to find out her true identity. Told in a series of explosive vignettes, this play explores family, politics, and the challenges and joys of being multicultural in America.
  • Search for an Ending
    Three screenwriters try to find the perfect ending for the strong female lead of their upcoming film - but easier said than done.

    Written for PlayGround-Chicago (2022)
  • Stress Awareness Month
    To celebrate Stress Awareness Month, a meditation coach/social media influencer comes to the zen center at Gorgon Games' corporate office. Her purpose? To guide the company's leadership through a special seminar to increase their clarity and productivity, and decrease their stress. But will it work?

    Commissioned and written for Broken Nose Theatre's 2022 Bechdel Fest
  • The Devil's Garden
    Someone has planted marijuana in the church garden. Wild accusations are flung as five women gather in a church basement to solve the mystery of who among them is responsible.
  • PINK*BLUE*GREEN
    Three women return to their old school with a score to settle.

    Written and commissioned for American Blues Theatre's 2021 RIPPED FESTIVAL.
  • Jury Selection
    Jesse is in Florida, defending one of the most hated men in America. When his ex Raina surprises him with a job offer in Chicago, will he take it? Based on the real life events surrounding the trial of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.

    Written and selected for American Blues Theatre's 2022 RIPPED FESTIVAL
  • The Sacred Duty of Ornaments
    A ragtag bunch of ornaments find themselves all alone on a fake Christmas tree and must decide whether to perform their sacred duty and spread holiday spirit - or not.

    Written for PlayGround-Chicago 2022
  • The Club
    Joanie is trying to win the approval of her fiance's family by getting her rescue dog into the most exclusive doggy daycare in the city, but will they accept her?

    Written for PlayGround-Chicago 2022