Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman is a playwright and aspiring novelist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than two dozen of her plays have been produced locally, nationally, and overseas. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Writers' Guild, and the Dramatists' Guild. She has been a finalist for the Bay Area...
Bridgette Dutta Portman is a playwright and aspiring novelist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than two dozen of her plays have been produced locally, nationally, and overseas. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Writers' Guild, and the Dramatists' Guild. She has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, the Theatre Bay Area TITAN award, the PlayPenn Conference, the Kentucky Women’s Theatre Conference Prize for Women Writers, the New Dramatists playwrights' residency, and more. She holds a PhD in political science (UC Irvine, 2011) and an MFA in creative writing (Spalding University, 2018). She lives in Fremont, CA with her husband and their two young children.

Plays

  • Ageless
    [Full-length] Ninety is the new thirty at the turn of the 22nd century. When Marin refuses to take the anti-aging drug celebrated by the rest of society, she invokes her mother’s ire and risks becoming marginalized in a culture that worships youth, denies death, and treats old age as a malady. As Marin’s choice begins to affect not only her but the people she loves, will she find the strength to hold out, or succumb to social pressure?
  • Bellona, or the Mother of All Bombs
    Winner, Best Dramatic Monologue, Avalonia 7 Theatre Festival, 2020

    [5-minute monologue] Inspired by the Roman goddess of war, a monologue from the prospective of the nuclear bomb that will end us all.
  • Caeneus and Poseidon
    Finalist, New Play Contest, Pride Films and Plays, 2013

    [Full-length] A verse play inspired by the Greek myth of Caeneus, a young man who was assigned female at birth. After the sea-god Poseidon grants his wish for a traditionally masculine body, Caeneus feels compelled to hide his former identity from all but his closest friend, Hippodamia, as he seeks the acceptance of his kinsmen and community...
    Finalist, New Play Contest, Pride Films and Plays, 2013

    [Full-length] A verse play inspired by the Greek myth of Caeneus, a young man who was assigned female at birth. After the sea-god Poseidon grants his wish for a traditionally masculine body, Caeneus feels compelled to hide his former identity from all but his closest friend, Hippodamia, as he seeks the acceptance of his kinsmen and community. But as he and Hippodamia begin a relationship that challenges their society’s strict social order, and as a vengeful Poseidon works behind the scenes to bring about Caeneus’ downfall, the young man must find the strength to openly embrace his identity and his past.
  • Delusion
    [One-Act] A young woman who believes she is dead meets a morgue director with no patience for the living. As Poppy tries to force her way into Gale's carefully controlled life, the two of them must help each other confront the ghosts of their pasts.

    (A full-length version of this play is in development)
  • The Eighth Circle
    Winner, Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Contest, 2016.

    [10-minute] A corrupt politician and his wife find themselves in the eighth circle of Dante's Inferno. Can they swindle their way out?
  • Exposure
    Winner, Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Contest, 2019.

    [10-minute] A king attempts to leave his infant nephew to die of exposure on a hillside, but a passing shepherd has seen this story before. A spoof on a classical trope.
  • Hedetet, or, Don't Eat Your Offspring
    [10-minute] An anxious and overwhelmed new mother invokes three ancient Egyptian goddesses of birth and childcare — including the scorpion-goddess, Hedetet — to seek their advice on how to care for her newborn. The result is messy.
  • The Ills We Do
    [10-minute] Emma worries that her sister Mona may be in an abusive relationship. Mona insists that everything is fine. As Emma struggles to convince Mona to leave her husband, it becomes apparent that Mona isn't the only one in denial. A short contemporary adaptation of Act 4, Scene 3 of Othello.
  • La Fée Verte
    Finalist, Prize for Women Playwrights, Kentucky Women Writers, 2019
    First Prize, Ohio State Newark New Play Contest, Ohio State Newark, 2013

    [Full-length] When France bans absinthe in 1914, struggling poet Marmion fears he will lose his only source of inspiration. He authors a petition against the ban, aided by Denis, a depressed bartender who drinks absinthe in order to hallucinate his...
    Finalist, Prize for Women Playwrights, Kentucky Women Writers, 2019
    First Prize, Ohio State Newark New Play Contest, Ohio State Newark, 2013

    [Full-length] When France bans absinthe in 1914, struggling poet Marmion fears he will lose his only source of inspiration. He authors a petition against the ban, aided by Denis, a depressed bartender who drinks absinthe in order to hallucinate his deceased fiancée. But Marmion’s brother, a parish priest with his own secret absinthe addiction, is dead- set against the petition and determined to stop them. As the three men’s agendas clash, each must learn the source of his own dependence on “La Fée Verte."
  • A Mind Full of Venom
    [10-minute] While in Rome to defend himself against charges of heresy, Galileo Galilei receives an unexpected visitor: Father Tommaso Caccini, the very man who denounced him and reported him to the Inquisition. Has Caccini come to apologize, as he claims, or does he have other motives?
  • Mister the Bear
    [10-minute] Brian is haunted by the spirit of his sister Cara, who died in childhood. What does she want from him, and what does an old teddy bear have to do with it? A short play about loss, guilt, and reconciliation.
  • The Mourner
    Finalist, Henley Rose Competition, 2019
    Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, 2019
    Finalist, PlayPenn Conference, 2019
    Semifinalist, O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, 2019

    [Full-length] Reema comes to Glade Family Funeral Home and Cemetery with an unusual request: she wants to bury the body of her cousin, the perpetrator of a subway bombing that left dozens...
    Finalist, Henley Rose Competition, 2019
    Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, 2019
    Finalist, PlayPenn Conference, 2019
    Semifinalist, O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, 2019

    [Full-length] Reema comes to Glade Family Funeral Home and Cemetery with an unusual request: she wants to bury the body of her cousin, the perpetrator of a subway bombing that left dozens injured and several dead. Eleanor, the funeral home owner, refuses, and the two women are thrown into a struggle over the fate of the body that draws in Reema's mother Sana, Eleanor's apprentice Adam, and the wider community as prejudice, denial and buried secrets are unearthed. THE MOURNER is a loose adaptation of Antigone inspired by real events following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
  • Obsession
    Cass is confused and hurt when her mother, Rachael, refuses to hold Cass’s newborn daughter. When Rachael opens up about her struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Cass learns that OCD doesn't always mean cleanliness and perfectionism. A mother-daughter play about facing what scares us most.
  • The Pequod Meets the Ocean Steward
    Winner, Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Contest, 2014.

    [10-minute] Captain Ahab runs into a snag when an anti-whaling activist sabotages his ship. Will Ahab's grand quest to slay the White Whale be thwarted?
  • Planetary Dynamics
    Runner Up, Funniest Play Ever competition, Awesome Theatre, 2018

    [One-act] An office comedy featuring the eight planets and Pluto, told in three vignettes. Rivalries, romances, and bad puns abound.
  • Ptolemy Epiphanes
    [One-Act] In 184 B.C., a group of native Egyptians are in revolt against their dictatorial Greek ruler, Ptolemy V Epiphanes. As Ptolemy struggles to crush the rebels, as well as a disturbing memory that threatens to surface from his own unconscious, his wife Cleopatra Syra struggles to reconcile her loyalty to him with her misgivings about his despotism. Meanwhile, Meribast, a native Egyptian woman fighting to...
    [One-Act] In 184 B.C., a group of native Egyptians are in revolt against their dictatorial Greek ruler, Ptolemy V Epiphanes. As Ptolemy struggles to crush the rebels, as well as a disturbing memory that threatens to surface from his own unconscious, his wife Cleopatra Syra struggles to reconcile her loyalty to him with her misgivings about his despotism. Meanwhile, Meribast, a native Egyptian woman fighting to throw off Ptolemy’s rule, is frustrated by her inability to be taken seriously as a political player. This play can be viewed as a historical allegory of the modern-day Arab Spring, as well as an exploration of the theme of repression – political, gender-based and psychological.
  • Pythagorean Triplets
    [Approx. 7 minutes] A triangle is thrown into existential disarray when Side B begins to question her place in the universe. Can the other two sides talk some sense into her, or will discord and bad mathematical puns tear them apart?
  • Stella Wind
    [10-minute] Stephanie is an ordinary high school student by day, superhero by night. When her extracurricular activities begin to take a negative toll on her grades, her mother insists she put school first. A spoof on the teen superhero genre.
  • Wave Walker
    [10-minute] Returning to the beach where her young daughter drowned, a woman demands an apology from the personification of violent waves. But how can one elicit sympathy from a force of nature indifferent to human suffering?