Ali Viterbi

Ali Viterbi

Ali Viterbi is a first-year MFA Playwriting student at UC San Diego, where she studies with Naomi Iizuka. Her plays have been produced across the globe, from New York City to Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from Yale in 2014 and received Yale's top playwriting prize. Ali's plays include Deadheads (The Owl and Cat Theatre, Australia; Lyra Theatre Company; Last Frontier Theatre Conference 2016,...
Ali Viterbi is a first-year MFA Playwriting student at UC San Diego, where she studies with Naomi Iizuka. Her plays have been produced across the globe, from New York City to Melbourne, Australia. She graduated from Yale in 2014 and received Yale's top playwriting prize. Ali's plays include Deadheads (The Owl and Cat Theatre, Australia; Lyra Theatre Company; Last Frontier Theatre Conference 2016, Alaska); Period Sisters (developed at Roundhouse Theater, Davenport Theatre, Drama League); Quick, Change (Drama League First Stage Residency, LFTC 2015, 13th Street Rep, Yale Playwrights Festival); Woman of Valor (San Diego REP); Shtetl Stories (Miller Theatre; commissioned by Centropa, starring members of the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof); Promised Land (Horizon Theater Company, Yale Playwrights Festival); In Every Generation (developed at Wildacres); and How He Learned to Love the Bomb (TinyRhino, Owl and Cat). Ali also completed a graduate certificate in Television Writing from UCLA.

Plays

  • Period Sisters
    “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” But to the sisters of Theta Beta (Chapter Beta Theta), the word “help” can mean many things. When sweet and self-conscious Joni rushes “Thay Bay,” an exclusive sorority in Southern California, she plunges into a world of Dirty Disney parties, aquamarine pancake bake-a-thons, and bulimia dream ballets, ultimately discovering the pain and...
    “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” But to the sisters of Theta Beta (Chapter Beta Theta), the word “help” can mean many things. When sweet and self-conscious Joni rushes “Thay Bay,” an exclusive sorority in Southern California, she plunges into a world of Dirty Disney parties, aquamarine pancake bake-a-thons, and bulimia dream ballets, ultimately discovering the pain and loneliness lurking beneath Theta Beta’s shiny veneer. Yet even while critiquing the highly traditional and inimitably American rituals of sorority life, Period Sisters embraces the redemptive power of female relationships. Theta Beta’s motto, “for each other,” becomes both a question and a challenge, as playwright Ali Viterbi explores what women owe other women, and what we each owe ourselves. A stylized and surreal theatrical work, Period Sisters mixes pop culture with pageantry, and superficial with sacred, to create a searing portrait of life as a young, 21st-century woman.
  • Deadheads
    This full-length, non-linear, two-actor play chronicles Sadie and Ethan’s twenty-year relationship as they follow the Grateful Dead across the country. As Sadie and Ethan travel from concert to concert, from crappy motel room to crappy motel room, the audience follows the triumphs and travails of their relationship. While they navigate issues from collegiate concerns to marital challenges, Sadie and Ethan fall...
    This full-length, non-linear, two-actor play chronicles Sadie and Ethan’s twenty-year relationship as they follow the Grateful Dead across the country. As Sadie and Ethan travel from concert to concert, from crappy motel room to crappy motel room, the audience follows the triumphs and travails of their relationship. While they navigate issues from collegiate concerns to marital challenges, Sadie and Ethan fall in and out of love with the Dead, as well as with each other. The play investigates how healthy relationships become abusive, and why people remain committed to each other over time. Played to the music of the Grateful Dead, Deadheads asks “Where does the time go” when you think you’re in love.
  • In Every Generation
    As the Levi-Katz patriarch Davide loses freedom over his body due to ALS, his wife, daughter, and two granddaughters gather to celebrate his last holiday of freedom. What happens over the course of the ritualistic meal, however, brings the notion of freedom to the forefront of the Levi-Katz family’s sense of identity. A generational debate ignites about ‘whiteness’ vs ‘otherness’ and ‘slavery’ vs ‘freedom’ in a...
    As the Levi-Katz patriarch Davide loses freedom over his body due to ALS, his wife, daughter, and two granddaughters gather to celebrate his last holiday of freedom. What happens over the course of the ritualistic meal, however, brings the notion of freedom to the forefront of the Levi-Katz family’s sense of identity. A generational debate ignites about ‘whiteness’ vs ‘otherness’ and ‘slavery’ vs ‘freedom’ in a contemporary Jewish landscape. But the structural confines of a traditional ‘family play’ are shattered, as this debate ignites a mythological journey through different languages, continents, and Passover Seders throughout generational Jewish history. And though the story always remains the same (for the most part), the family’s relationship to the act of storytelling changes. In In Every Generation, Ali posits: what happens to a people once they are no longer in danger? How does a community collectively adjust to freedom?
  • Quick, Change
    Quick, Change explores the decline of an aging actor as he portrays Richard III at a fictional, Tony-award winning summerstock theater festival. The play exposes the casualties of 'networking' and the way people use and dispose of others. Gabriel Fox, an actor past the prime of his career, finds himself at the Willow Theater Festival after suffering several major vocational blows, hoping to feel...
    Quick, Change explores the decline of an aging actor as he portrays Richard III at a fictional, Tony-award winning summerstock theater festival. The play exposes the casualties of 'networking' and the way people use and dispose of others. Gabriel Fox, an actor past the prime of his career, finds himself at the Willow Theater Festival after suffering several major vocational blows, hoping to feel successful and appreciated once again. As he pursues an affair with his twenty-one year old dresser Annie, Gabe feels increasingly intrigued by and connected to the self-loathing, power-hungry Richard. However, as he feels his notions of morality and success being encroached upon by the women in his life (his co-star Joan, Annie, and Beth), Gabe frantically tries to mark his territory and prove his authority, made worse by his alcoholic tendencies. In doing so, he ends up betraying them all. Though opening night of Richard III is a success, we are left with the final image of this shadow of a man, standing in the middle-of-nowhere, Wisconsin with nowhere to go and no one, not even the local bartender, to turn to. “There is no creature loves me;/ And if I die, no soul shall pity me.”
  • Shtetl Stories
    Commissioned by CENTROPA, the Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Shtetl Stories chronicles the lives of ten Lithuanian Holocaust survivors. Adapted verbatim from interviews that Centropa conducted, Shtetl Stories preserves the memory of the world that was destroyed--not just its destruction.
  • Joshua
    Anya’s boyfriend was Caleb’s best friend. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death, Anya and Caleb ditch school to go to the desert. And maybe fall in love. And maybe conjure a ghost. JOSHUA looks at that moment in time where life moves us from a place of youth and innocence into the place that will shape our adult selves. As we look back, how do we reconcile the missed opportunities, the things we...
    Anya’s boyfriend was Caleb’s best friend. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death, Anya and Caleb ditch school to go to the desert. And maybe fall in love. And maybe conjure a ghost. JOSHUA looks at that moment in time where life moves us from a place of youth and innocence into the place that will shape our adult selves. As we look back, how do we reconcile the missed opportunities, the things we didn’t say, the paths we didn’t take? And will they even matter to our older selves?
  • How He Learned to Love the Bomb
    The Cold War: November 1962. Adam and Eve fall in love... in a top-secret missile silo, three hundred feet under the ground.