Ryan Bernsten

Ryan Bernsten

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Oxford’s Dramatic Writing Master’s program. He is the writer of ATLANTIC – a collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and his alma mater Northwestern University – which won critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Other works include DREAM TICKET (Players Theatre, off-Broadway) which was recommended by the Huffington Post and Time Out New...
Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Oxford’s Dramatic Writing Master’s program. He is the writer of ATLANTIC – a collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and his alma mater Northwestern University – which won critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Other works include DREAM TICKET (Players Theatre, off-Broadway) which was recommended by the Huffington Post and Time Out New York and won the NY Fringe Excellence Award, BAD PRESS (Cherry Lane Theatre), THE NEW ORDER (Oxford University Dramatic Society, Corkscrew Theatre Festival), his one-man show CAMPAIGN/NO GAIN about his experience working in 2016 politics which was performed internationally, and his newest play WE ARE BLOOD was a finalist for the Rave Theatre Festival. He is the librettist on the upcoming musical HIP-HOP FRANKENSTEIN. Ryan has been published in USA Today, The Oxford Political Review, Zagat, The Infatuation, and The Oxymoron, and worked with CONAN and The Onion. He is the host of the “50 States of Mind” Podcast, which has listeners in over 40 countries and been featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Kansas City NPR. More at ryanbernsten.com.

Plays

  • We Are Blood
    FINALIST: Rave Theatre Festival
    A recently widowed New Yorker and her son return to her estranged sister's Thanksgiving in rural Missouri requesting a debt be repaid. Over the course of the visit, they uncover an unforeseen new family member, deep class resentments, and find themselves face to face with the demons that dwell among the strangers we call family.
  • Dream Ticket
    In this political satire recommended by TimeOut NY, Huffington Post, and The Producer’s Perspective, populist businesswoman Becky Roberts and maverick senator Les Sugarman compete for their party's presidential nomination—despite a history that wasn't strictly political. When media pressure forces them to run on the same team, their dream ticket becomes a nightmare.
  • Bad Press
    In this political satire, a former U.S. President recruits a national joke to run in the Democratic primary, hoping to sabotage her bland husband's competition and ensure victory. However, the media's hunger for drama has unintended consequences as the power couple attempts to harness the bad press for their own ends.
  • The New Order
    In this post-apocalyptic thriller, a widowed mother and daughter on a rural farm take in survivors as an act of goodness in a desolate world. All is well until the arrival of an other-worldly order of nomadic nuns. When rations run scare, the nuns begin imposing their strange doctrine on the house and when the tenants fight back, they find that their dogma is much deadlier than anticipated.
  • What Happened at Jimmy Carter's Funeral
    At Jimmy Carter's funeral, all living presidents and first ladies gather to pay their respects. During the eulogy of the current President, the Secret Service interrupts to tell the president there's been a terrorist attack. In the pandemonium, Don and the first lady Melania are escorted out, but closely tailed by the other living presidents and first ladies. In a secret bunker at Naval Observatory...
    At Jimmy Carter's funeral, all living presidents and first ladies gather to pay their respects. During the eulogy of the current President, the Secret Service interrupts to tell the president there's been a terrorist attack. In the pandemonium, Don and the first lady Melania are escorted out, but closely tailed by the other living presidents and first ladies. In a secret bunker at Naval Observatory across the street, Don, Melania, Hillary, Bill, Barry, Michelle, Laura, and George all wait for more information. When they discover a box of vintage wine, they begin to drink and hash out old grievances. When Michelle gets claustrophobic and panics she convinces herself that perhaps they are all actually dead and in some version of Sartre’s hell. In light of the catastrophe and (aided by wine) each of the U.S. Presidents is confronted with their legacy and mortality in this political comedy about death, joy, and how hell is not only other people, but your own choices.
  • Novel
    Two ambitious authors are accepted into an experimental writing program helmed by a horror novelist who uses unconventional methods to probe their psyches in pursuit of a masterpiece.