Tyler Rivenbark

Tyler Rivenbark

Born and raised in North Carolina, Tyler Rivenbark received his MFA in Playwriting from the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY in 2010. Select works include Soldier/Woman (New Ohio, NYC), hands (The Bushwick Starr, Brooklyn), The Wild Papers (Latimer House, Flushing), This Woman Must Be My Wife (Gantry Plaza, Long Island City), Monosyllabic (Mellow Pages, Brooklyn...
Born and raised in North Carolina, Tyler Rivenbark received his MFA in Playwriting from the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY in 2010. Select works include Soldier/Woman (New Ohio, NYC), hands (The Bushwick Starr, Brooklyn), The Wild Papers (Latimer House, Flushing), This Woman Must Be My Wife (Gantry Plaza, Long Island City), Monosyllabic (Mellow Pages, Brooklyn), Silence (Dixon Place, NYC; Artists’ Bloc, Washington, DC). He co-curated the site-specific theatrical experiment Unstaged as part of the Rough Draft Festival (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center). He has received a Poetry Society of America commission to adapt Rita Dove’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of poems, Thomas and Beulah. He has held residences at the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Mission to (dit)Mars. He has been named a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, DVRF’s Playwright Program; and a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, and The Orchard Project. He is a member the Dramatists Guild.

Plays

  • Everything is Burning and so Fucking Beautiful!
    At the start of the Iraq War, an Iraqi family who spends their days watching “Star Academy”, debating Shakespeare, and falling in love sees their world turned upside down when the eldest son is killed by a US Marine. (6th play of cycle.)
  • whatever we were
    Decades after a tragic event divides four high school friends, they are mysteriously summoned to the childhood home of Norma Jean. During a strange weekend of reconnection, confrontation, and drugs, the four old friends reckon with the guilt of their adolescent actions and the residual effects on their lives.
  • Earl: A Suicide
    In the summer of 1985 Tyler is born. Less than a year later in the Spring of 1986, his grandfather commits suicide while Tyler waits in the kitchen. In the Spring of 2016 Tyler starts a meta-exploration into the thirty silent years in between.
  • All the Places between Moonrise and Moonset
    An allegorical coming-of-age story about a poor teenager named Witness who tries to break out of the generational trauma left behind for him and his misfit group of friends in a rural southern town. Struggling with sex, drugs, and the inevitable truth that they may never make it out, the friends are pushed to the brink over the course of a year.
  • By the Grace of Fireflies
    After the suicide of her ex, Michelle notices the arrival of fireflies at her home. As she reconciles her ex's death, and the raising of their child, Michelle becomes consumed by the fireflies and the potential warning they may bring. (5th play of cycle.)
  • Jesus Plays Basketball on a Hot Night in Iraq
    Mom and Dad recently buried their son, Stephen, after he committed suicide in his childhood home shortly after his return home from Iraq. Now Dad reads How-To-Grieve pamphlets and works on a broken lawnmower while Mom thinks about going to Dollywood and smokes weed. Together, they struggle to figure out how to move forward. (4th play of cycle.)
  • The Hydra: a play with puppets
    Stephen Ajax has awakened in a netherworld inhabited by Gods, Goddesses, puppets, and American Folk music, after committing suicide in his childhood home. Confronted by the Hydra, Ajax is forced to face the consequences of his suicide and determine whether he will do what it takes to return to his former life or embrace who he has now become. (3rd play of cycle.)
  • The Ostrich
    Private First-Class Stephen Ajax has recently returned home from Iraq a hero, though he doesn't see it that way. Isolated in the comfort of his childhood home, and growing increasingly more detached from reality, he struggles with the consequences of war. (2nd play of cycle.)
  • The Suck
    Stephen Ajax has newly enlisted in the Marines on the eve of finding out that his girlfriend, Michelle, is pregnant. After having freshly arrived in Iraq, Ajax receives news that his son has been born. He celebrates the news with his new brothers – all fears momentarily vanquished. But after a harrowing encounter sends him into a fugue state he is forced to redefine who he is. (1st play of cycle.)
  • Horn
    In the 1950s, Louis Armstrong is one of the most famous musicians in the world. But at home in Corona, Queens, he struggles with what his legacy will be as he cheats on his wife Lucille and refuses to help his friend Sammy protest segregation. Horn is a complicated and human portrayal of a beloved, but tumultuous man.
  • The Sins
    A drifter haunted by his religious upbringing searches for redemption throughout impoverished towns. When he meets a mother moonlighting as a prostitute, they both believe there’s a chance they might be saved. But darkness lurks beneath the Magnolia trees and Spanish moss in this Southern Gothic.