Frank J. Avella
Frank J. Avella is the recipient of a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. He received a 2015 Fellowship Award from the NJ State Council on the Arts for his play, CONSENT (teen version titled: #bullied). He is also the recipient of the 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant & Bumbalo/Chesley Foundation Playwright Award, also for CONSENT, which confronts bullying and homophobia, was a 2012 semifinalist for...
Frank J. Avella is the recipient of a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. He received a 2015 Fellowship Award from the NJ State Council on the Arts for his play, CONSENT (teen version titled: #bullied). He is also the recipient of the 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant & Bumbalo/Chesley Foundation Playwright Award, also for CONSENT, which confronts bullying and homophobia, was a 2012 semifinalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, a finalist for the 2015 New Works of Merit Playwriting Award, a semi-finalist for the 2016 Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival and was workshopped at the Celebration Theatre in L.A., in October 2012. In 2013, CONSENT was selected for staged readings at the Identity Theater and Urban Stages in NYC. The play has had four other staged readings in NYC in the past four years, including a benefit for The Trevor Project. #bullied, the teen-friendly version of CONSENT, received honorable mention in the Stage Play category of the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (2016) and had staged readings at Abingdon Theatre Company (2015) and the Leslie-Lohman Museum (2016).
CONSENT was selected for the 27th Annual Fullerton College Playwrights Festival, January 2017, culminating in an audience attended staged reading. The play was selected from over 500 submissions from all over the world.
Frank’s play LURED, about the Russia persecution of gays, was accepted into the Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City in NYC (August 28th-Sept 18th) and had 6 sold out performances. The play was a 2017 Cimientos IATI Theater Playwright semi-finalist. LURED was selected for presentation in the 36th Annual William Inge Festival New Play Lab in April, 2017.
VATICAN FALLS, a play set against the backdrop of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, was selected to be featured in the 2017 Planet Connections Festivity. The piece was a semifinalist for the 2014 Newborn Festival and received Special Mention at the 2013 O’Neill. VATFALLS was presented by Theatre for the New City in December of 2012 as part of the New Works, New Blood Series. An NYC benefit staged reading took place on May 15, 2012 at the National Comedy Theatre, raising $2500 for survivors. Workshopped in NYC and Cincinnati (at the Know Theatre where it was commissioned), VATICAN FALLS (IL VATICANO CADE) was scheduled to World Premiere in Rome, Italy on May 10, 2011 at Teatro Vascello but was cancelled the night before amidst great controversy and claims of death threats. Theater for the New City selected VATICAN FALLS for a Scratch Night, February 21, 2017. Then added a show: February 20th. The play received another sold out staged reading on May 15th 2017 at TheaterLab. The announced 2018 Malta World Premiere (via Unifaun Theater) was recently canceled. The only reason given was the theater “got cold feet.”
His latest play, FOR MAMMA was featured in 2017 Healing Voices Onstage: Caregivers Stories presented by Writers Theater of NJ.
Frank has written 19 full-length plays; 10 have been produced (7 in NYC). ORVILLE STATION, was one of three finalists for the 2014 NJ Playwrights Contest, a finalist for the 2015 12 Years Theater New Play Podcast Series (Pittsburgh) and a finalist (final round) for the 2014 Kitchen Dog Theatre New Works Festival (Dallas) and has been presented in Los Angeles at the Echo Theater and in NYC at the Dramatists Guild via the Friday Night Footlights Series. ORVILLE has been published in the UK by Lazy Bee Scripts: http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Scripts/script.aspx?iSS=2503
Frank has also written FOR MAMMA, NEMESIS, THE MAD ONES, LESS THAN 2 DEGREES, the Hollywood satire, SCREW THE COW as well as many one-acts & screenplays including a short titled MULTITASKING. He wrote the book for BLUEBIRDS IN MY BELFRY, a musical about Hollywood star Betty Hutton, that bowed in Sanford, NC in January 2008 and sold out every performance.
Produced stage works include: GREENER, THE BUBBLE, IRIS, ABOUT CHRISTINE, LEXY, MICHAEL’S #1 FAN, 3 CAINS and UNHINGING. Upon reviewing IRIS in 2005, the Cincinnati Post wrote: “Avella’s plays tend to send earthquakes through his audience's comfort zones.” Cincinnati Newswire: “IRIS is a powerful look at what we call a family, and what ethics govern what is considered acceptable in a private sexual relationship.” Frank proudly served on the Advisory Board and Festival Committee for In Scena!, the first and second annual Italian Theater Festival in NYC in 2013 and 2014.
A film and theatre journalist for Edge Media Network and newyorkcool.com, Frank is the East Coast Rep for GALECA, the Gay and Lesbian Critics Association, home of the Dorian Awards for excellence in Film and Television. He did his grad work in Cinema Studies & Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Frank is a current member of the Playground Experiment and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.