Donna Kaz

Donna Kaz

Donna Kaz is a multigenre writer and activist based in New York City. Her work has been seen at Harlem Stage, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Spit Lit Festival/London, International Women’s Arts Festival/UK, Women Playwrights International Conference/Sweden, City of Women Festival/Slovenia, and Lincoln Center. She has been published in Lilith, Turning Wheel, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Western Press Books,...
Donna Kaz is a multigenre writer and activist based in New York City. Her work has been seen at Harlem Stage, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Spit Lit Festival/London, International Women’s Arts Festival/UK, Women Playwrights International Conference/Sweden, City of Women Festival/Slovenia, and Lincoln Center. She has been published in Lilith, Turning Wheel, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Western Press Books, Hawai’i Review, (Ian MacMillan Award), Mason’s Road and Step Away Magazine, (Pushcart Prize nomination). For her work creating activist art she has received the Yoko Ono Courage Award for the Arts, the Skowhegan medal and an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. Her memoir, UN/MASKED, was published by Skyhorse (November 1, 2016). donnakaz.com @donnakaz

Plays

  • Stamina
    Two 81 year old women attempt to become the oldest women to summit Mount Everest.
  • WAITING
    Winner of the 2018 Jerry Kaufman Award for playwriting, "Waiting," is a parody of Broadway and the New York City restaurant business. It is set in the early 80’s, when men harassed young women without consequence. The play begins as a young actress from a small Midwestern town named Lucy steps off the bus in Times Square ready to pursue her dream of being an actress. She immediately lands her first...
    Winner of the 2018 Jerry Kaufman Award for playwriting, "Waiting," is a parody of Broadway and the New York City restaurant business. It is set in the early 80’s, when men harassed young women without consequence. The play begins as a young actress from a small Midwestern town named Lucy steps off the bus in Times Square ready to pursue her dream of being an actress. She immediately lands her first job on Broadway - waiting on tables in a restaurant. All of the waiters at The Great White Café are actors too, each one desperate to land a job in the theatre, yet unconsciously addicted to the performative aspects of waiting on tables. Who needs a part in a play when you have a job at which you “perform” with energy and speed combined with sincerity and pathos? To make matters worse the manager, Howard, is a sexist bully who despises artists with dreams and does everything he can to make sure his team never escape into a world where actors earn respect. "Waiting" is set during a not-so-long-ago-era when women had to buck up to being harassed or lose their jobs and asks the question: Can actors who are New York City waiters ever play any other part?
  • UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour
    An unknown actress on movie star’s arm was how she began. An anonymous activist in a rubber gorilla mask is where she wound up. "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour" follows the surprising 25 year journey of a young artist swept off her feet by a rising star who carries her to a beach house in Malibu where he introduces her to Hollywood’s elite by day and knocks her head in by night. When...
    An unknown actress on movie star’s arm was how she began. An anonymous activist in a rubber gorilla mask is where she wound up. "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour" follows the surprising 25 year journey of a young artist swept off her feet by a rising star who carries her to a beach house in Malibu where he introduces her to Hollywood’s elite by day and knocks her head in by night. When OJ Simpson kills his former wife in Brentwood she hears a bell go off, awakening her angry, activist spirit. Forever an outsider she takes one step further into invisibility and becomes a Guerrilla Girl, a feminist activist who never appears in public without the guise of a rubber gorilla mask and who uses the name of a dead woman artist instead of her own. As a Guerrilla Girl Aphra Behn, she creates comedic art and theatre that successfully blasts the blatant sexism of the theatre world while proving feminists are funny at the same time.
    That two stories – that of a young victim of domestic violence at the hands of a successful actor and that of an artist so fed up with sexism in the theatre world that she puts on a gorilla mask and takes the name of a dead woman artist in order to get attention – have been lived by one and the same person is compelling. How did she make the leap from a silent observer to an activist changer? This is the memoir of a woman turned survivor turned radical feminist who takes off her masks and, by merging her identities, reveals all. NOTE: UN/MASKED contains plays within the memoir.
    "I loved this book by a woman with dreams that don't get realized but she makes her life work, no matter what, and tells her story with such honesty and clarity. An incredible achievement. It is unique, original and Donna Kaz is what Arthur Penn would say, somethin’ else.” —Estelle Parsons, Oscar winning actress
  • Performing Tribute 9/11: Ordinary People, Remarkable Stories
    Weaving together the perspectives of five individuals who were separately yet directly impacted by the events of 9/11 — family members who lost loved ones; survivors of the North and South Towers; an evacuated area resident; a NYDS worker who helped in the recovery - their individual stories are intertwined with recollectoins of the neighborhood and community of the World Trade Center, the timeline of the...
    Weaving together the perspectives of five individuals who were separately yet directly impacted by the events of 9/11 — family members who lost loved ones; survivors of the North and South Towers; an evacuated area resident; a NYDS worker who helped in the recovery - their individual stories are intertwined with recollectoins of the neighborhood and community of the World Trade Center, the timeline of the events of 9/11 and the months of recovery. "PERFORMING TRIBUTE 9/11" depicts the heroism of people who have chosen to respond to devastation and hatred with quiet determination and a belief that they can and will make the world a better place.”
    -- Michael Arad, Designer of the World Trade Center Memorial
  • Food, the musical
    A culinary feast of song and comedy featuring 5 short musicals all about food. The Costco Contessa tapes her own TV show, unveiling her secrets to making delicious meals from bulk ingredients. A man convicted of aggravated assault learns how to make a soufflé as part of his anger management class. And breakfast in the Ethel Merman home is a lot more than Ernest Borgnine bargained for during their 32-day...
    A culinary feast of song and comedy featuring 5 short musicals all about food. The Costco Contessa tapes her own TV show, unveiling her secrets to making delicious meals from bulk ingredients. A man convicted of aggravated assault learns how to make a soufflé as part of his anger management class. And breakfast in the Ethel Merman home is a lot more than Ernest Borgnine bargained for during their 32-day marriage. Songs about suppertime, soup, and celebrity chefs provide tasty morsels in between each of the shorts.
  • JOAN
    The story of the young peasant girl who led an army to help crown a king and was burned at the stake for her efforts, the play incorporates Joan of Arc’s own words from letters, chronicles and testimony at her trial to create the living story of a fearless teen who was bound by her oath to God. Movement, voice and sound come together in a series of fast-paced short scenes that flow like a live-action montage...
    The story of the young peasant girl who led an army to help crown a king and was burned at the stake for her efforts, the play incorporates Joan of Arc’s own words from letters, chronicles and testimony at her trial to create the living story of a fearless teen who was bound by her oath to God. Movement, voice and sound come together in a series of fast-paced short scenes that flow like a live-action montage and switch genres and settings in a flash. The result is a dynamic and exhilarating play based on historical fact.
    "Raw, physical and bursting with energy, JOAN will make you sweat!" -Electric City, Scranton
    "Kaz’s JOAN dodges romantic traps and takes the early feminist’s life story in a new direction, rooted solidly in history." - American Theatre Magazine
    "JOAN is an amazing, brilliant show where every element has come together in perfect alignment. The story avoids epic overkill and goes straight to the heart of the human behind the myth." - The Stage, UK
    "Snappy, funny scripting and a moving plot will make JOAN a hit at this year’s fringe." - Radio Forth, UK