Kathleen Cahill

Kathleen Cahill

Kathleen Cahill’s awards include three Edgerton Foundation Awards, the Jane Chambers Playwrighting Award, two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Playwrighting Awards, a MassachusettsArtists Foundation Award, a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for theArts New American Works Grant, and a Drama League Award. Her play Charm (NNPN Showcase) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; her play The Persian Quarter...
Kathleen Cahill’s awards include three Edgerton Foundation Awards, the Jane Chambers Playwrighting Award, two Connecticut Commission on the Arts Playwrighting Awards, a MassachusettsArtists Foundation Award, a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for theArts New American Works Grant, and a Drama League Award. Her play Charm (NNPN Showcase) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; her play The Persian Quarter was nominated for a Steinberg Award.(Both published by Dramatic Publishing.) Her produced musicals include Friendship of the Sea (North Shore Music Theatre) Dakota Sky;(Olney Theatre) an opera, Clara, two opera/cabarets, A Tale of Two Cities: Paris and Berlin in the Twenties (Maryland Center for the Performing Arts), a comic opera cabaret, Fatal Song (most recently Utah Opera) and Perdida, the Winter’s Tale set in Mexico.(most recently Catholic University, DC and the Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City. Published by Dramatic Publishing.) Her plays include the comedy, Course 86B in the Catalogue (Salt Lake Acting Company) The Still Time (Georgia Rep/ Porchlight Theatre, Chicago) the comedy, Women Who Love Science Too Much (Porchlight Theatre and NPR Radio) Joy Forever (Cleveland Public, Firehouse Theatre, Massachusetts) Charm ( National New Play Network Festival, Salt Lake Acting Company premiere, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Dallas; Orlando Shakespeare; Taffety Punk, Washington D.C. among others) The Persian Quarter ( Salt Lake Acting Company, Merrimack Rep.) Harbur Gate, an NNPN commission. (Salt Lake Acting Company, 16thstreet theatre, Chicago) Upcoming: Henry, Louise and Henri at Women’s Playwrights Initiative, Ivoryton Playhouse, CT. A new play/dance/romance, Silent Dancer, is being developed by the Salt Lake Acting Company, Ballet West and BStreet Theatre, Sacramento. She wrote the screenplay for the independent feature, Downtown Express. She is Playwrightin-Residence at the Salt Lake Acting Company.

Plays

  • SILENT DANCER
    SILENT DANCER is a play/dance/romance – where the characters express themselves in dialogue and also in dance/movement. It is set in New York City in 1921, and tells the story of an 18-year old maid named Rosie Quinn,naïve, ambitious, determined to live her dreams. She and her brother Michael danced on street corners when they were children. Now they are hoping to have a dancing career in the city’s...
    SILENT DANCER is a play/dance/romance – where the characters express themselves in dialogue and also in dance/movement. It is set in New York City in 1921, and tells the story of an 18-year old maid named Rosie Quinn,naïve, ambitious, determined to live her dreams. She and her brother Michael danced on street corners when they were children. Now they are hoping to have a dancing career in the city’s burgeoning silent movie business. Michael is a veteran of WWI, and a closeted gay man, who will be made to suffer when he dares to express who he really is. Rosie breaks the rules when she has a passionate relationship with a talented African-American piano player/composer named Perry, who knows too well that their romance is dangerous. The racism of the era both adds to their fascination with each other and breaks them apart.Rosie works as a maid for a famous New York couple, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. She and Zelda develop an off-balance sisterhood of shared secrets and Zelda, for her part, starts to feel a sense of envy for what she sees as Rosie’s greater emotional and sexual freedom. What happens to these characters, icons of their era, is the story of SILENT DANCER, as it moves in and out of time. They tell us what is going to happen to them in the future: Scott Fitzgerald, for example, in the midst of his triumphant fame and fortune, knows that he will die of alcoholism at the age of 44. Perry will tell us that after he left Rosie and New York City for Chicago, he met up with and toured with Louis Armstrong --and that he never knew about the daughter he had with Rosie. And Rosie herself shows us how she began her career as a dancer in the silent movies – never famous, but always present. “You can still see me,” she tells us, “on Youtube.” SILENT DANCER expresses the reality and the dream, the desires, errors and facts of the eternal present, and the revelations of the arc of time, in the life of characters in this very American story.
  • SONG OF THE SHIRT BY NATHAN GREY
    An imaginatively told story based on actual events in the 19th century. Plumy Gray, a girl working in a cotton mill in Massachusetts is unknowingly, but intimately connected to a slave in Virginia. A song is the thread weaving the characters together like a piece of cotton cloth in this theatrical American tale of lust, greed and redemption.
  • HENRY, LOUISE and HENRI
    Henry and Louise, long married, are travelling in France. Louise steals a painting by Henri Matisse.
  • HARBUR GATE
    Five soldiers -- two men and three women -- are traveling on the same convoy in northern Iraq at the height of the war. A hidden event before their journey even began, tests their warriors' code-- and their humanity-- in ways they could never have imagined.
  • Course 86B In The Catalogue
    SYNOPSIS: COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE is a comedic riff on evolution and time. It is set in a remote corner of an arid western state, and tells the story of Stevie Stuart, a paleontologist who is teaching a course on the history of life on earth, at an obscure community college in the desert. Her lectures are constantly being interrupted by: her soon-to-be ex husband Bill, a womanizing financier who lost...
    SYNOPSIS: COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE is a comedic riff on evolution and time. It is set in a remote corner of an arid western state, and tells the story of Stevie Stuart, a paleontologist who is teaching a course on the history of life on earth, at an obscure community college in the desert. Her lectures are constantly being interrupted by: her soon-to-be ex husband Bill, a womanizing financier who lost his job in the financial meltdown, and is now living in a remodeled chicken coop, hoping to win her back so they can start a family – “evolution is just romance by another name” he says.; her best student, Dell, who is a genius at anatomical drawing, but seems to be from a previous century; and Dell’s boy friend, Sterling, an ambitious young man who lives in a tree and isn’t fully Homosapien. In this part of the country, everyone lives in the present, but the present isn’t the same for everyone. Stevie Stuart, who is ever-ready when it comes to fieldwork, makes one astonishing discovery after another as she hikes out of town, “off the dirt road.” She finds a 500-million year old fossil called opabinia, which represents a vanished, unique life form, and when she discovers the ancient, petrified bones and teeth of ardipithecus, an early hominid, she starts to believe that life itself began here in this obscure deserted corner of the planet. Maybe it did. But first, Stevie’s existence as a scientist and a woman are put to the ultimate test when she loses first her evidence, and then her life…. perhaps not to be re-discovered for another 6, 000 years.
  • CHARM
    It is set in the 1840’s, about people who actually existed: a remarkable woman, Margaret Fuller, and her relationships with many of the great literary figures of her time—Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne—men whose works we know well. But the past is an invention, and therefore the characters glide between worlds: they live in and out of history, in and out of the past. The...
    It is set in the 1840’s, about people who actually existed: a remarkable woman, Margaret Fuller, and her relationships with many of the great literary figures of her time—Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne—men whose works we know well. But the past is an invention, and therefore the characters glide between worlds: they live in and out of history, in and out of the past. The play is about writers, people who made worlds out of words. The language of the play is rich. It is also full of anachronisms. Margaret Fuller was a woman ahead of her time, and so she sometimes uses the language of our time, and dreams our dreams. On another level, CHARM is about several famous men, and one forgotten woman. It is a play about who history remembers and who it forgets, and why. It is a surreal comedy of manners, a play about what men and women want from each other, the difficulties of communication, and how we are inhibited or freed by the manners and conventions of our time. It’s also about American Transcendentalism, the belief in the freedom of the human spirit to transcend the confines of history and time. I believe great writing can free the soul. The writings of the Transcendentalists continue to inspire me, and I believe we need them more than ever now, as our towers of greed crumble around us.