Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter is a two-time recipient of the PEN USA Award in Drama. She has also received the Susan Glaspell Award, the Ebell Playwright Prize, the PEN West Award, Backstage West's Garland Award, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, and a Kesselring Prize nomination. She's held residencies at the Berkeley Repertory Theater (Ground Floor), the Donmar Warehouse in London, the Cite...
Michelle Carter is a two-time recipient of the PEN USA Award in Drama. She has also received the Susan Glaspell Award, the Ebell Playwright Prize, the PEN West Award, Backstage West's Garland Award, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, and a Kesselring Prize nomination. She's held residencies at the Berkeley Repertory Theater (Ground Floor), the Donmar Warehouse in London, the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, and the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown. Her plays have been produced and developed at the Moscow Art Theater, the Donmar Warehouse, the Playwrights Horizons / Clubbed Thumb SuperLab, Arcola Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, Symmetry Theatre, Just Theater, Crowded Fire, AlterTheater, the New York Summer Play Festival, and the Grimeborn Opera Festival in London. Music theater and dance theater projects include: DREAMSPIEL, a Ukulele Opera (libretto, lyrics) with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Arcola Theatre, London; AFTER ALL, Part I, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has published plays with Dramatic Publishing, many short stories and essays, and a novel with Penguin Books.

Plays

  • Rose in America
    Kemi, Tisha, and Anthony--new African-American PhD students in a prestigious Performance Studies program--plan an interrogation of a chestnut Civil-Rights-era play, Rose in the Jungle, as a White Savior narrative. When the depressed 84-year-old playwright's partner Jack discovers that the students will be putting on the long-forgotten play, the thrilled playwright Wallace Aaron invites the students to his...
    Kemi, Tisha, and Anthony--new African-American PhD students in a prestigious Performance Studies program--plan an interrogation of a chestnut Civil-Rights-era play, Rose in the Jungle, as a White Savior narrative. When the depressed 84-year-old playwright's partner Jack discovers that the students will be putting on the long-forgotten play, the thrilled playwright Wallace Aaron invites the students to his home. The challenge of interrogating Wally's play brings out conflicts between the African-American students, based in class, gender identity, and issues of divided loyalty. When Wally and Jack drop in on a rehearsal unannounced, an altercation breaks out between the five vulnerable and embattled characters. They find themselves voicing painful sentiments they'd never before expressed. After their profound divisions are unearthed, is it possible to move forward? And what form would that progress take?
  • HOW TO PRAY
    Faith has never wanted children. And so when her brother asked her to be a gestational surrogate, she decided she'd be the perfect carrier--"none of the waxy buildup." Little did Faith know that once she finally--after many months of tests and attempted blastocyst transfers--became pregnant, her brother would joyfully announce that his marriage is over and his wife has moved to Rome.
    ...
    Faith has never wanted children. And so when her brother asked her to be a gestational surrogate, she decided she'd be the perfect carrier--"none of the waxy buildup." Little did Faith know that once she finally--after many months of tests and attempted blastocyst transfers--became pregnant, her brother would joyfully announce that his marriage is over and his wife has moved to Rome.

    As Faith weighs the decision, now hers alone, as to what to do about the pregnancy, her cat loses no opportunity to express his despair that she has taken in a dog. Faith seeks the counsel of a fairly random lover, his small son, and a transgendered karaoke singer who volunteers at the charity Faith manages. The play explores the practical, emotional, and spiritual issues that arise as she wrestles with the reality of this pregnancy.
  • Better
    20-year old Emily is the star student in the department where her mother teaches biology. One day, her mother commits a shocking, unthinkable crime. Emily is beset not only with shame but with terrible fear of what she herself might be carrying through the world. She gets a job at The Melting Pot, visits a medium, searching like the good student that she is for answers. How will she endure her pain? Is...
    20-year old Emily is the star student in the department where her mother teaches biology. One day, her mother commits a shocking, unthinkable crime. Emily is beset not only with shame but with terrible fear of what she herself might be carrying through the world. She gets a job at The Melting Pot, visits a medium, searching like the good student that she is for answers. How will she endure her pain? Is she deserving of happiness? Will things ever be better again?