L M Feldman

L M Feldman

L M Feldman is a queer, feminist, GNC playwright who writes theatrically audacious, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays that are both epic & intimate – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection. She writes plays that shift the prism, that quest & grapple. Plays about the women and queers she finds in the shadows & footnotes & margins of history....
L M Feldman is a queer, feminist, GNC playwright who writes theatrically audacious, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays that are both epic & intimate – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection. She writes plays that shift the prism, that quest & grapple. Plays about the women and queers she finds in the shadows & footnotes & margins of history. Plays wrestling with voice & agency, opportunity & access, history & its wake. Plays that explode space & time & dramaturgical form. Plays that seek to create a truly COMMUNAL & TRANSCENDENT experience – for those both onstage and off.

So far, her plays include: S P A C E (MACH 33 Festival, EST/Sloan commission, Playwrights’ Center, Drama League, Fresh Ground Pepper, Sue Winge Award); THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL [AN EPIC] (American Shakespeare Center, Kitchen Dog New Works Festival, New Georges Audrey Residency, Page 73 Residency, InterAct Core Playwrights); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (City Theater Company / Curious Theatre / The Vortex; Colorado New Play Festival, FEWW Prize Honorable Mention, Magic Theatre Play Festival, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, PlayPenn Conference, Playwrights Realm Fellowship); SCRIBE, OR THE SISTERS MILTON, OR ELEGY FOR THE UNWRITTEN (Playwrights’ Center, Emerson Stage, Georgetown University, Northwoods Ramah Theatre commission); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College co-commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Brown Paper Box Co., Art House Productions, Nice People Theatre, ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nomination, Barrymore Nomination); A PEOPLE [A MOSAIC PLAY] (Methuen Drama, Global Jewish Voices, Terrence McNally Award Finalist, Orbiter 3, YiddishFest, Jewish Plays Project, Tofte Lake Center); and a TYA stage adaptation of the poem-novel TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA by Margarita Engle (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Kindness Project commission).

Some of her ensemble-devised works include GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + the Free Library of Philadelphia + the Rosenbach Museum); WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University); AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog, New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination); LADY M (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival); and the circus-theater show TINDER & ASH (SummerStage NYC, Orchard Project Residency, TOHU Residency).

L and her work have been nominated for the Herb Alpert Award, Wendy Wasserstein Prize, Barrie & Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, and twice for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her work was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Drama, the Jane Chambers Award, and the FEWW Prize. She couldn't be more grateful for the validation each of these has offered.

L is also ongoingly thankful to have been a fellow at MacDowell, the Playwrights Realm, New Georges, InterAct Theatre, and the Dramatists Guild; a winner of Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries; a member of Orbiter 3 (Philadelphia’s producing-playwrights collective); an alum of both the Yale School of Drama (M.F.A. in playwriting) and the New England Center for Circus Arts (major in duo trapeze, minor in handbalancing); and a thought partner with the 2022-2023 Artistic Caucus (Baltimore Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Long Wharf, & St. Louis Rep).

As a contemporary circus artist, L performed duo trapeze at festivals around the world. She continues to teach & dramaturg for circus artists around the country. She is passionate about theater that MOVES, and circus that DELVES.

L has lived in seven cities and is based in Philadelphia, where she writes, devises, dramaturgs, advocates, teaches (all over the place), and handstands (also all over the place). She’s currently writing a trilogy of circus plays. And she is over the goshdarn moon to be a Venturous Playwright Fellow through The Playwrights’ Center.

Plays

  • Thrive, Or What You Will [an epic]
    Okay so this is a story about a gender-nonconforming 18th-century herb woman who’s trying to carve out a larger sense of space… and ends up on a journey around the world. Her name was Jeanne Baret, and nearly everything we know about her life comes from the journals of the men who knew her. An epic tale of historical fiction about our country's present moment, THRIVE blends the style and language of our...
    Okay so this is a story about a gender-nonconforming 18th-century herb woman who’s trying to carve out a larger sense of space… and ends up on a journey around the world. Her name was Jeanne Baret, and nearly everything we know about her life comes from the journals of the men who knew her. An epic tale of historical fiction about our country's present moment, THRIVE blends the style and language of our past and present in order to interrogate the nature of "discovery" and its legacy, of (mis)categorizing the world, of species & survival, of power & access, of gender & identity, and of the subjective nature of both history & self. Funny, gripping, poignant, and wild, THRIVE wrestles with the loss of Jeanne's perspective and tries to imagine possibilities of what it may have been. And as Jeanne journeys and changes, so too does her casting – in this ensemble-driven quest of self-determination. Meanwhile, we watch Jeanne and her companion Commerson on their adventure – from meeting to parting – across lands & seas & 6,000 plants – in a voyage that is part love story, part Latin taxonomy, part feminist wrestling with historiography, and part surrender into awe itself and the universal need to flourish.
  • Another Kind of Silence
    Perilous & luminous in equal measure, ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE tells the story of Evan & Chap – 2 already-partnered queer women who cross paths in modern-day Greece and find themselves falling in love. Through a landscape lush with language, myth, humor, and intimacy, we watch as their affected partnerships navigate the elusiveness of desire, the failures of communication, the challenges of long-term...
    Perilous & luminous in equal measure, ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE tells the story of Evan & Chap – 2 already-partnered queer women who cross paths in modern-day Greece and find themselves falling in love. Through a landscape lush with language, myth, humor, and intimacy, we watch as their affected partnerships navigate the elusiveness of desire, the failures of communication, the challenges of long-term commitment, and the mysteries of a changing self. Bilingual & bicultural, ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE unfolds simultaneously in English & American Sign Language (ASL) as the 4 characters & their 4 souls (a Greek Chorus) traverse one of the hardest chapters in committed relationships.
  • SCRIBE, or The Sisters Milton, or Elegy for the Unwritten
    For a moment: let’s set aside what got erased from history,
    and take a hard look at what never got written.
    SCRIBE imagines the poet Milton’s relationship with his three kept-barely-literate daughters, while he was blind & outcast & composing Paradise Lost and they were transcribing & homemaking & coming of age. Poetic and playful, fantastical and unflinching, SCRIBE probes the...
    For a moment: let’s set aside what got erased from history,
    and take a hard look at what never got written.
    SCRIBE imagines the poet Milton’s relationship with his three kept-barely-literate daughters, while he was blind & outcast & composing Paradise Lost and they were transcribing & homemaking & coming of age. Poetic and playful, fantastical and unflinching, SCRIBE probes the relationship between genius, privilege, and labor, and mourns the enormity of unmade art by the voices we’ll never get to hear. With humor, eloquence, and high theatricality, this new play set during 17th-century England’s social volatility—and ours, too, now—tells the story of three children growing up in the shadow of the canon, of society, and of its cultural and historical legacies.
  • S P A C E
    Co-created with director Larissa Lury.

    An audaciously theatrical & acrobatic shakedown that explodes human time, S P A C E intertwines imagined scenes with Congressional transcripts, feats of endurance with the historical record, to interrogate the story of the Mercury 13 female pilots and their ancestors (Bessie Coleman, Hazel Ying Lee) and descendants (Mae Jemison, Sally Ride) – over the...
    Co-created with director Larissa Lury.

    An audaciously theatrical & acrobatic shakedown that explodes human time, S P A C E intertwines imagined scenes with Congressional transcripts, feats of endurance with the historical record, to interrogate the story of the Mercury 13 female pilots and their ancestors (Bessie Coleman, Hazel Ying Lee) and descendants (Mae Jemison, Sally Ride) – over the course of a national Civil Rights Space Race that has spanned our past century. The play asks: How do you navigate the system (as women, as queers, as immigrants, as folx of color) to actually get off the ground in this country? It asks: What can we learn from the (failed) social movements that preceded us? And it asks: If given the chance to start the world over – to co-create the system anew – how might we actually DO IT?
  • Tropical Secrets, or All the Flutes in the Sea
    It's 1940, and Daniel is nearly 12. Paloma is almost 11. Daniel loves music and winter. Paloma loves birds and the sea. Daniel is trying to find his family. Paloma is trying to understand hers. And Daniel (alone and in a wool coat) just arrived in Cuba, Paloma’s home.

    Adapted from the gorgeous book TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA by Margarita Engle, this tender, poetic,...
    It's 1940, and Daniel is nearly 12. Paloma is almost 11. Daniel loves music and winter. Paloma loves birds and the sea. Daniel is trying to find his family. Paloma is trying to understand hers. And Daniel (alone and in a wool coat) just arrived in Cuba, Paloma’s home.

    Adapted from the gorgeous book TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA by Margarita Engle, this tender, poetic, shimmering world premiere follows two children on the verge of adolescence, buoyed by friendship, as they try to save themselves and others in an unjust, dangerous, adult-run world that’s failing them.

    Commissioned by the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to speak to our current world of borders and violence and family separation, TROPICAL SECRETS is a dark and beautiful theatrical quest for audiences ages 8 & up about the families we lose and the families we make, about how the world changes us and how we change the world, and about oranges and drums and becoming someone new.
  • a People [a mosaic play]
    A PEOPLE is a theatrical mosaic of eras and lands; generations and deserts; hats and books; clarinets and bread; people lost and people searching; angry young women; sad old men; angels; history; memory; and imagination. A PEOPLE gathers a versatile ensemble of 10 performers, taking on a spectrum of Old and New World perspectives – across time, space, age, and gender – in a kaleidoscopic celebration of humanity...
    A PEOPLE is a theatrical mosaic of eras and lands; generations and deserts; hats and books; clarinets and bread; people lost and people searching; angry young women; sad old men; angels; history; memory; and imagination. A PEOPLE gathers a versatile ensemble of 10 performers, taking on a spectrum of Old and New World perspectives – across time, space, age, and gender – in a kaleidoscopic celebration of humanity that explores and explodes the history and present of the Jewish diaspora. A participatory theatrical experience as intimate as it is epic, A PEOPLE spins a luminous and tenuous tale of (dis)connection and (be)longing, all while wrestling with the question: What is my relationship to those who came before me? And are we – or is anyone – still a people?
  • The Egg-Layers
    A young woman goes on a journey.
    Actually, several women go on their journeys.
    Actually, everyone is sort of going on a journey.
    In search of something big.
    (Like, healing. Revenge. Safety. Autonomy. A clean slate. The Divine. And clarity regarding swans.)
    In this fever-dream play of origin stories, the ancient canon, and the myth of Leda & the Swan, a searching,...
    A young woman goes on a journey.
    Actually, several women go on their journeys.
    Actually, everyone is sort of going on a journey.
    In search of something big.
    (Like, healing. Revenge. Safety. Autonomy. A clean slate. The Divine. And clarity regarding swans.)
    In this fever-dream play of origin stories, the ancient canon, and the myth of Leda & the Swan, a searching, unruly ensemble of women, girls, men, and boys all journey, lay eggs, question, turn into eggs, suffer, hatch from eggs, and rebel -- to the awe and dismay of their Playwright -- who is struggling to make sense of them, the world, and her own story, all of it spinning wildly out of control.
    A play about eggs ‘n’ swans ‘n’ gods ‘n’ humanfolk, THE EGG-LAYERS is a wild raw angry feminist ensemble play filled with movement, myth, transformation, humor, and theatrical dynamism. It’s asking questions about how to live in a dark and violent world with openness and connection. About what to do with the narratives we inherit. About being shaped by inherited trauma. About how to heal. About how to trust. And about how to create yourself anew.
  • Grace, or the Art of Climbing
    Faced with a painful chapter in her life and fighting the inertia of depression, Emm decides to enter the world of competitive rock-climbing. Her quest through the rugged and humorous terrain of physical training and personal relationships charts the journey of a young woman suspended between muscularity and vulnerability, falling and climbing, parents and children, and the ardor and grace of being human.