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...
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: The Robertassey, (Roberta's odyssey) a comedy about grief, at the Women’s Playwrights Initiative, Ivoryton Playhouse, CT. A new play/dance/romance, Silent Dancer, opens in Spring 2019 at the Salt Lake Acting Company, and later at BStreet Theatre, Sacramento. She wrote the screenplay for the independent feature, Downtown Express. She is Playwrightin-Residence at the Salt Lake Acting Company.

Plays

  • The Robertassey (Roberta's odyssey)
    Roberta’s trip to Ireland becomes a surreal odyssey when the airlines loses her suitcase containing her father’s ashes. A comedy about grief, the destruction of nature, the universe’s indifference, filial obligation, forgiveness, and power of love.
  • 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.
    ...
    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.


  • 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.
  • EIN STEIN One Stone
    EIN STEIN dramatically explores the scientific and emotional dynamics between Albert Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Maric.
    The play is set in Mileva's imagination and memory, based on an imaginary conversation she has with her daughter Lieserl.
    Albert and Mileva are students together at the polytechnic, where she is the only woman in the physics department. They work together on the...
    EIN STEIN dramatically explores the scientific and emotional dynamics between Albert Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Maric.
    The play is set in Mileva's imagination and memory, based on an imaginary conversation she has with her daughter Lieserl.
    Albert and Mileva are students together at the polytechnic, where she is the only woman in the physics department. They work together on the ideas which ultimately became the famous paper, The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, although her name never appears in the published document. The play dramatizes groundbreaking scientific thinking conflicting with very traditional gender stereotypes – and the tragic consequences which ensue. Mileva becomes pregnant before they marry, and their child, a daughter named Lieserl – disappears. No one knows what happened to her.

    The multiple worlds and theories of time which Albert and Mileva discussed and explored are theatrically represented in the character of Lieserl, who appears in this play as a 12-14 year old girl who says she “continues to exist on a string somewhere in the cosmos of the cosmos.” She is a kind of ghost, a manifestation of the universe which Einstein described. In this, she is both a tragic figure, and a glorious version of the miraculous, cosmic possibilities envisioned by her parents.

  • 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 naive, white, Irish-American maid named Rosie Quinn, who works for the most famous couple in New York, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda had black maids growing up in Montgomery, Alabama. She tells Rosie...
    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 naive, white, Irish-American maid named Rosie Quinn, who works for the most famous couple in New York, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda had black maids growing up in Montgomery, Alabama. She tells Rosie that the Irish and African Americans are the same -- mysterious and primitive. When Rosie quotes this to Perry, the African-American piano player she's in love with, he becomes angry in ways Rosie does't understand. She does't understand the pain of racism, and she doesn't understand homophobia -- her beloved brother Michael is a World War I veteran and a closeted gay man. Rosie and Michael have danced on street corners for pennies since they were kids. Now they have dreams of becoming the next Fred and Adelle Astaire. Rosie's education, or, as she puts it, "How it was... what I lived, loved, learned and lost" is the story of SILENT DANCER.
  • 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.
  • 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...
    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.