Alyson Mead

Alyson Mead

Alyson Mead studied at Yale, the Slade School of Art in London, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and with iO West, UCB and Tectonic Theatre Project. Her plays include THE FLORA AND FAUNA (Princess Grace Award finalist, Henley-Rose Award winner, Bridge Initiative New Work winner, American Stage’s 21st Century Voices winner, Apollo Theater Chicago, The Tank, WAM Theatre, Magnolia Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre,...
Alyson Mead studied at Yale, the Slade School of Art in London, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and with iO West, UCB and Tectonic Theatre Project. Her plays include THE FLORA AND FAUNA (Princess Grace Award finalist, Henley-Rose Award winner, Bridge Initiative New Work winner, American Stage’s 21st Century Voices winner, Apollo Theater Chicago, The Tank, WAM Theatre, Magnolia Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Capital Rep NEXT ACT! New Play Summit, Project Playwright semi-finalist), THE PULSE PROJECT (Steppenwolf, Emerald Theatre, Stage Q), THE QUALITY OF MERCY (Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival semi-finalist, Elephant Theatre, Skylight Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Winterfest), THE HONOR SYSTEM (Cimientos/IATI Theater finalist, Manhattan Theatre Works’ Newborn Festival semi-finalist, Pasadena Playhouse), THE FLOWER (Kenneth Branagh Award for New Dramatic Writing finalist, NEWvember New Plays Festival finalist, Rough Writers New Play Fest), STORIES WE TELL AROUND THE FIRE (National Winter Playwrights Retreat workshop) and PUNK ROCK MOM (Venus Theatre), among others.

Alyson's fiction, essays and articles have appeared in over forty publications, including Salon, In These Times, Bitch, BUST, Whole Life Times, Bustle, Punk Planet, MSN, The Sun, AOL's That's Fit, MSNBC, AOL, Tapestry, Stylus, Clackamas Literary Review, Midnight Graffiti, Girls on Film, and the New York Daily News, among others. She's received the Columbine Award for Screenwriting, the Roy W. Dean Filmmaking Grant, and awards from Writer’s Digest, Indie Excellence, Writers Block and USA Book News, and been named a semi-finalist for the Nicholl Screenplay Competition and the Austin Heart of Screenwriting Competition. She's also the bestselling author of four books, including Searching for Sassy: An L.A. Phone Psychic's Tales of Life, Lust & Love, which is being developed for television by the producers of USA Network's PSYCH.

Alyson was awarded residencies and fellowships through Ragdale, Marble House Project, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, La Porte Peinte, Can Serrat and the Women’s International Study Center, among others, and her work has been developed and commissioned by Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Center San Francisco, 360repco, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project. She’s published by Original Works Publishing and Smith & Kraus, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Ammunition Theatre’s Writing Workshop, the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Playwriting Unit and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative.

Plays

  • 45 Lear
    It's time for 45 Lear to name a successor -- not that he's ever going to grow old mind you, because he's perfect just the way he is, and looking younger every day -- and has to choose between his three daughters. But when one after the other disappoints him, he has to search for adoration he knows he deserves from a larger and potentially more threatening enemy. This adaptation of Shakespeare...
    It's time for 45 Lear to name a successor -- not that he's ever going to grow old mind you, because he's perfect just the way he is, and looking younger every day -- and has to choose between his three daughters. But when one after the other disappoints him, he has to search for adoration he knows he deserves from a larger and potentially more threatening enemy. This adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear is timely, funny and a break from all the drama in the real world.
  • Swings and Roundabouts
    Onofre is a young mixed race man whose death sends a small border town into chaos. Sex, love, life and death co-exist in a battle of wills as two families vie for power amidst deportations, immigration battles and struggles to survive in a confusing and hostile world.
  • The Gray Hours
    The Gray Hours is a full-length play detailing the life, work and activism of playwright Lorraine Hansberry. From her upper-class beginnings on the South Side of Chicago to her meteoric rise as a playwright and activist in New York, the play explores her influences and identification in the black community, personal relationships with the “young, gifted and black” intelligentsia, and social awakening during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • The Flora and Fauna
    Ginnie and Adele have been friends for decades, helping each other navigate through life’s twists and turns. But when an inescapable event arises, they’re forced to confront the dark secret of how they met, and deal with forces trying to separate them in a way they never thought possible. The Flora and Fauna is a modern, #MeToo-inflected drama about unconditional love, loss, and the lengths we’d go to for one...
    Ginnie and Adele have been friends for decades, helping each other navigate through life’s twists and turns. But when an inescapable event arises, they’re forced to confront the dark secret of how they met, and deal with forces trying to separate them in a way they never thought possible. The Flora and Fauna is a modern, #MeToo-inflected drama about unconditional love, loss, and the lengths we’d go to for one another. In order to move forward, sometimes you’ve got to go back.
  • Stories We Tell Around the Fire
    As siblings Natalie, Jeannie and Jacob gather to support their mother through eye surgery, a quaint fall bonfire begins to rage out of control, threatening to reveal secrets about their home, relationships and identity. Stories We Tell Around the Fire is a searing drama about family, truth and what we do to keep it all together.
  • The Pulse Project
    A full-length play comprised of monologues inspired by people who died in, lived through, and are moving on from the Pulse shootings of June 2016.
    (Created by Sherry Bokser, Thom Fogarty, Alyson Mead & Amy Merrill)
  • The Taming of the Dude
    The Taming of the Dude is an updated and gender-fluid version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, set in the world of Tindr, casual hook-ups, gay marriage, trans culture and utter fixation on taming the physical form to attract others.
  • The Quality of Mercy
    Athalia Johnson is a 20-something African American woman whose college education hasn’t bought her much in the way of gainful employment. She’s tasked with taking care of her younger brother while her parents work the late shift, and finds herself unsure of her own path in life. When she finds herself drifting into an affair with a married white cop, she knows it’ll never work out, but she is drawn to the power...
    Athalia Johnson is a 20-something African American woman whose college education hasn’t bought her much in the way of gainful employment. She’s tasked with taking care of her younger brother while her parents work the late shift, and finds herself unsure of her own path in life. When she finds herself drifting into an affair with a married white cop, she knows it’ll never work out, but she is drawn to the power it affords. Meanwhile, an unarmed black teenager is shot, and Jonah disappears with some friends from the neighborhood. As she races against the clock, struggling to save him from ruining his life, Athalia has to make some difficult decisions about own existence, and find the quality of mercy within her.
  • Punk Rock Mom
    JAMIE FONTAINE is a former punk rocker and single mother to JOAN OLIVETTE. Though she's lost a little eyeliner and a lot of black leather along the way, Jamie still has the spirit of the music. When Joan makes a startling announcement, Jamie has to find her daughter's birth father and come to terms with the fact that she'll be a grandmother soon. What does it mean to age when you don't feel...
    JAMIE FONTAINE is a former punk rocker and single mother to JOAN OLIVETTE. Though she's lost a little eyeliner and a lot of black leather along the way, Jamie still has the spirit of the music. When Joan makes a startling announcement, Jamie has to find her daughter's birth father and come to terms with the fact that she'll be a grandmother soon. What does it mean to age when you don't feel old? And how can you bridge the generation gap when you're the one who needs to grow up?

    * Winner, Actress of the Year (Deborah Randall), DC Metro Arts
  • Witch Hunt
    When a secretive client hires witch sisters Abigail, Sally and Wentworth to track down a disgraced film producer named Harvey and the famous playwright trying to capture his story, the term witch hunt takes on a brand new meaning.
  • The Preferred Narrative
    Bill Dooley is a film executive who’s made his reputation giving the people what they want -- blockbuster after blockbuster. When he meets two hot new screenwriters on the rise, it’s just another project for him. But as his influence begins to wane at the studio, and his ambitious assistant plans her next move up the ladder, the four find themselves locked in a battle of wits to put the story they most desire on screen.
  • The Honor System
    An unthinkable act has affected three generations of women in the same family differently, but decades later, all of them are still addicted to their secrets. As Iwona Babiak lies dying in a New York hospital, her daughter Dani and granddaughter Yvonne try to make her as comfortable as possible. But weeks of waiting only strip away the layers of deceit that have been accumulating for years. Over the course of...
    An unthinkable act has affected three generations of women in the same family differently, but decades later, all of them are still addicted to their secrets. As Iwona Babiak lies dying in a New York hospital, her daughter Dani and granddaughter Yvonne try to make her as comfortable as possible. But weeks of waiting only strip away the layers of deceit that have been accumulating for years. Over the course of the play, each woman finds her own way to cope with what the mind won't accept, and stumbles a little closer to healing.

    * Semi-Finalist Manhattan Theatre Works’ Newborn Festival, 2015
  • The Flower
    “The Flower” explores the concept of otherness, from decades of misunderstanding that have accompanied artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings to two modern day women finding it difficult to fit into what’s expected of them. As Annie’s trying to teach her students how to see critically, she’s undergoing second thoughts about her relationship, while Gilly’s not sure how to express some new and confusing feelings.
  • The Other F Word
    Ever thought you needed special products based on your gender, sexual orientation, or race? Think again!

    Four strangers meet one afternoon at a focus group tasked with marketing new writing implements to women. Each has a unique story to tell, but will they find common ground at the conference table, or allow their beliefs to divide them forever? Hilarious, moving and ultimately empowering, THE...
    Ever thought you needed special products based on your gender, sexual orientation, or race? Think again!

    Four strangers meet one afternoon at a focus group tasked with marketing new writing implements to women. Each has a unique story to tell, but will they find common ground at the conference table, or allow their beliefs to divide them forever? Hilarious, moving and ultimately empowering, THE OTHER F WORD relates the story of what happens when people that have never met before decide to put people before marketing.
  • Coyote Nightmare
    HELEN CHASTAIN wakes up one morning to find a strange man in her bed, a killer hangover … and a brand new tattoo. The man in her bed (GREG MASTERS) is easily 20 years older, and she can't remember his name, or how they met. Greg wants to take Helen out for breakfast, but her father (THOMAS CHASTAIN), a respected academic and author, will be here any minute. And she can't have a tattoo.
    ...
    HELEN CHASTAIN wakes up one morning to find a strange man in her bed, a killer hangover … and a brand new tattoo. The man in her bed (GREG MASTERS) is easily 20 years older, and she can't remember his name, or how they met. Greg wants to take Helen out for breakfast, but her father (THOMAS CHASTAIN), a respected academic and author, will be here any minute. And she can't have a tattoo.

    Helen is furious that Greg let her get inked up while they were drunk, but he's been with her all night and swears it's not true. Thomas shows up just as the second and third tattoo mysteriously show up on Helen's body, then a fourth, fifth and sixth. What's causing them? And, more importantly, how will Helen reclaim her body?

    * Semi-Finalist Wordsmyth Theater Reading Series (2013) & Runner-Up Writers Block International Writing Competition (2011)
  • Lil Boo
    Late one evening in a North Carolina hair salon, three stylists are up to more than just beautification. But can they keep each other’s secrets, and get through a dark and stormy night?

    * Finalist Collective: 10 Play Festival (2014) & Winner University of Houston 10-Minute Play Festival (2014)