Sam Chanse

Sam Chanse

Sam Chanse is the author of Trigger, Monument, or Four Sisters (A Sloth Play), The Opportunities of Extinction, Fruiting Bodies, The Other Instinct, What You Are Now, Lydia’s Funeral Video, about that whole dying thing, and Asian American Jesus. Her work has been developed and/or produced with the Lark, Ma-Yi Theater, Cherry Lane, Leviathan Lab, Ars Nova, Broken Nose, Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Project, and...
Sam Chanse is the author of Trigger, Monument, or Four Sisters (A Sloth Play), The Opportunities of Extinction, Fruiting Bodies, The Other Instinct, What You Are Now, Lydia’s Funeral Video, about that whole dying thing, and Asian American Jesus. Her work has been developed and/or produced with the Lark, Ma-Yi Theater, Cherry Lane, Leviathan Lab, Ars Nova, Broken Nose, Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Project, and the Ojai Playwrights’ Conference, and is published by Kaya Press (Lydia’s Funeral Video) and TCG (The Kilroys List).

She is a Lark Venturous Fellow, a resident playwright of New Dramatists, and a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

A former MacDowell Fellow, Cherry Lane Mentor Project Fellow, Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at The Lark, Sundance/Ucross Playwright Fellow, and Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, she has also received residencies from Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan, Ma-Yi/the Flea, Second Generation, Leviathan, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, the Civilians R&D Group, and the Lark’s New York Stage & Film Vassar Retreat.

She served for some years as artistic director of Kearny Street Workshop, and has led writing and theater workshops at various institutions and organizations, including Columbia University, NYU, KSW, and the Performing Arts Workshop.

Plays

  • Trigger
    When Lee recognizes childhood friend Allie in a video of a racist rant that goes viral, Lee's sister, Grace, urges her to reach out. As Lee becomes uncomfortably reacquainted with Allie, a volatile domestic situation and sudden crisis explode the world around her. In a time of heightened fear and anger, how can Lee connect with others, and contend with her own rage? A play about this country and this...
    When Lee recognizes childhood friend Allie in a video of a racist rant that goes viral, Lee's sister, Grace, urges her to reach out. As Lee becomes uncomfortably reacquainted with Allie, a volatile domestic situation and sudden crisis explode the world around her. In a time of heightened fear and anger, how can Lee connect with others, and contend with her own rage? A play about this country and this moment, the fury around and within us, and what happens next.
  • what you are now
    The daughter of a trauma survivor, Pia is driven by the desire to help free her mother from paralyzing fear memories – that’s why she became a neuroscientist. But the unexpected return of an old acquaintance triggers a storm of memory, forcing Pia to tangle with her own fears and paralysis, and pushing her to question deeply-held beliefs about her own past. How can changing our memories about who we were then change who we are now?
  • Monument, or Four Sisters (a sloth play)
    Connie is navigating a writers room as the only woman and person of color. Amy is studying -- and bearing painful witness to -- coral reefs imperiled by a warming climate. Mac is contending with community exile after leaving a beloved job under mysterious circumstances. Struggling in their individual spheres, the three sisters also struggle with the absence of a fourth sister they hope to somehow save: the...
    Connie is navigating a writers room as the only woman and person of color. Amy is studying -- and bearing painful witness to -- coral reefs imperiled by a warming climate. Mac is contending with community exile after leaving a beloved job under mysterious circumstances. Struggling in their individual spheres, the three sisters also struggle with the absence of a fourth sister they hope to somehow save: the brilliant Lina, who seems to be disappearing into a toxic relationship. Intertwining with the world of the sisters -- in another, radically different world -- four cartoon sloths go on their own journey to find a treasure, save their home, and confront a mystery. Through interlacing narratives of sisters and sloths, this play explores loss, resiliency, and the coming back after devastation.
  • The Opportunities of Extinction
    Taking refuge from a twitterstorm and other assorted upheaval on a last-minute camping trip, Mel and Arjun meet Georgia, a solitary young woman studying the impact of climate change on the imperiled Joshua tree.
  • Fruiting Bodies
    Two sisters go into the woods to find their missing father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom hunting expedition. Deep in the forest they encounter a mysterious boy -- who bears a striking resemblance to the dad's estranged son, the sisters' younger brother. With limited visibility, a forest that keeps turning itself around, and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes...
    Two sisters go into the woods to find their missing father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom hunting expedition. Deep in the forest they encounter a mysterious boy -- who bears a striking resemblance to the dad's estranged son, the sisters' younger brother. With limited visibility, a forest that keeps turning itself around, and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes, will they ever be able to find the road -- or one another?
  • The Other Instinct
    Tara serves as a gestational surrogate in a Gujarat clinic for Denise, thousands of miles away in California. Each woman is set on realizing her dreams in a rapidly changing world, but complications only intensify as a deeply personal experience becomes a global transaction.
  • Lydia's Funeral Video
    In this apocalyptic satire, devout bank clerk Lydia Clark-Lin has 28 days to terminate a pregnancy, shoot her own funeral video, and do some standup comedy.