Deborah Zoe Laufer

Deborah Zoe Laufer

Deborah Zoe Laufer’s plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Stage, and The Humana Festival. Informed Consent, an Alfred P. Sloan/EST commission appeared at The Duke Theatre in NYC in 2015, a co-production of Primary Stages and EST. It was a NYTimes Critic’s Pick. Her play End Days received an NNPN rolling...
Deborah Zoe Laufer’s plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Stage, and The Humana Festival. Informed Consent, an Alfred P. Sloan/EST commission appeared at The Duke Theatre in NYC in 2015, a co-production of Primary Stages and EST. It was a NYTimes Critic’s Pick. Her play End Days received an NNPN rolling world premiere, won The ATCA Steinberg citation, and has received over 70 productions around the country, and in Germany, Russia and Australia. Other plays include Leveling Up, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Sirens, Meta, The Gulf of Westchester, Miniatures, Fortune, and, most recently, Be Here Now, commissioned and produced by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Window Treatment, a collaboration with composer Daniel Green, produced in NYC by Premieres, Inner Voices, both in 2018.

Deb is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, the Lilly Award, and grants and commissions from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Edgerton Foundation, The National New Play Network, the NEA, and the LeCompte du Nouy grant from the Lincoln Center Foundation.  Her plays are published by Samuel French, Smith and Kraus, and Playscripts, and have been developed at The Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Missoula Colony, The Cherry Lane Alternative, The Dramatists Guild Fellowship Program, New Georges, The Lark Play Development Center, Asolo Repertory Theatre, PlayLab, and the Baltic Playwrights Conference.  She is a graduate of Juilliard, an alumna of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
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Plays

  • BE HERE NOW
    Bari’s always been a bit of an angry, depressed misanthrope. And losing her job teaching nihilism in New York to work at the local fulfillment center in her rural hometown has sent her into despair. But lately her recurring headaches manifest bizarre, ecstatic, almost religious experiences, and they’re changing her entire view of life. She’s in love! She’s almost… happy! When she finds out they’re also killing...
    Bari’s always been a bit of an angry, depressed misanthrope. And losing her job teaching nihilism in New York to work at the local fulfillment center in her rural hometown has sent her into despair. But lately her recurring headaches manifest bizarre, ecstatic, almost religious experiences, and they’re changing her entire view of life. She’s in love! She’s almost… happy! When she finds out they’re also killing her, she must decide whether it’s better to live a short, joyful life, or risk a lifetime of misery. And she must also ask herself… what’s it all for anyway?
  • The Three Sisters of Weehawken
    Olga, Masha and Irina have dreamt of returning to their childhood home of Manhattan all their lives. There It lies, gleaming, a mere ferry ride away from their provincial home in Weehawken, New Jersey. Though their sister-in-law, Natasha, tries valiantly to help them realize their dream with offers of work, tickets, maps, guidebooks, even anti-depressants, old patterns are hard to break. And that fifteen-...
    Olga, Masha and Irina have dreamt of returning to their childhood home of Manhattan all their lives. There It lies, gleaming, a mere ferry ride away from their provincial home in Weehawken, New Jersey. Though their sister-in-law, Natasha, tries valiantly to help them realize their dream with offers of work, tickets, maps, guidebooks, even anti-depressants, old patterns are hard to break. And that fifteen-minute ferry ride may as well be a mission to Mars. As they remain, decade after decade stretching into old age, the walls of their world move in tighter and tighter, until it becomes nearly impossible to move at all, borrowing as much from Beckett as Checkhov, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, wonders at the forces that keep us from following our dreams, and begs the question -- how little can one live, and still have lived “a life”?
  • End Days
    Sixteen year old Rachel Stein is having a bad year. Her father hasn’t changed out of his pajamas since 9/11. Her mother has begun a close, personal relationship with Jesus. Her new neightbor, a sixteen-year-old Elvis impersonator, has fallen for her hard. And the Apocalypse is coming Wednesday.
    Her only hope is that Stephen Hawking will save them all.
  • Leveling Up
    How do you straddle the fuzzy line between reality and virtual reality when you’re playing video games 20 hours a day? Ian, Zan, and Chuck are two years out of college when the government comes looking for expert gamers to launch remote missiles. And the bombs and the guns and the screams and the victories look so much like the ones on their Xbox.
  • Fortune
    Maude, a lonely, surly, storefront psychic has accepted that love is not in the cards for her. She can see the future and knows this to be true. But when Jeremy, a despondent love-hungry accountant threatens to kill himself if she sees no love for him, she must wrestle with fate, and in changing his destiny, change her own.
  • Out of Sterno
    Dotty’s life in Sterno with her husband Hamel is absolutely perfect! It’s a fairy tale, it really is. True, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone, but Dotty is so very happy to spend her days watching video re-enactments of the day they first met.
    When a phone call from a mysterious woman threatens to tear her world asunder, Dotty must...
    Dotty’s life in Sterno with her husband Hamel is absolutely perfect! It’s a fairy tale, it really is. True, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone, but Dotty is so very happy to spend her days watching video re-enactments of the day they first met.
    When a phone call from a mysterious woman threatens to tear her world asunder, Dotty must venture out into the vast city of Sterno, and try to discover what it is to be a “real” woman.
  • The Last Schwartz
    The Cherry Orchard takes a holiday in the Catskills as the Schwartz family congregates, maybe for the last time, on the one-year anniversary of their father’s death.
  • Sirens
    When Sam Abrams first fell in love with Rose he wrote her a song — a song that has been covered by every recording artist and translated to every language. It is heard in every elevator and on every cell phone ringtone. For twenty-five years, Sam has been trying to write the next song – to no avail.

    Sam and Rose are now celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a cruise in the...
    When Sam Abrams first fell in love with Rose he wrote her a song — a song that has been covered by every recording artist and translated to every language. It is heard in every elevator and on every cell phone ringtone. For twenty-five years, Sam has been trying to write the next song – to no avail.

    Sam and Rose are now celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a cruise in the Mediterranean. Sam hears the most beautiful music ever heard, jumps overboard, and winds up on the Siren’s island. There he must struggle with the seductions of the Siren, the terrors of middle age, and the tortures of creative failure. And he must find a way to get home and win his wife back.
  • Informed Consent
    With genomic breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, we can learn more about what our futures may hold than ever before. But how much should we know? And who gets to decide? Inspired by a recent court case between the Havasupai tribe and Arizona State University, Informed Consent takes us into the personal and national debate about science v. belief, and whether our DNA is our destiny.
  • Common App
    10 minute play -- Why won't Sam show his mom his college essay?
  • The Prom
    The darkest prom story ever.
  • Everybody Gets a Stick

    The gun control issue goes to kindergarten.
  • Little Red Riding Hood -- Grandmother's Revenge
    The big bad wolf comes in many forms...
    A feminist cautionary tale.​
  • 63 Years
    After 63 years of marriage, Mabel wants a trial separation, but why?
  • Evolution
    ​Lizzie is a cuttlefish, who has a deep yearning to climb out of the ocean and breath air! But nobody has ever done that before...
  • The Record -- 10 minute play
    Jim has been standing on one leg on a park bench for 99 days! He will break the world record! And he has gotten more attention from fans and the media than he ever got as an actor. It’s been thrilling. Now… how to convince his new bride that he should try for 100 weeks?
  • Saturday -- 10 minute play
    It is Saturday, Chaim is late to join his Minyan, and his Shabbos Goy has not sent the elevator to him! How can he persuade this ancient cleaning woman that, for him, pushing the elevator button himself is work and not allowed on his day of worship?
  • Now What
    A 20 minute play in which woman confronts her troll on a seemingly "blind date" Unproduced!