Daniel Hirsch

Daniel Hirsch

Daniel Hirsch is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist based in Pittsburgh. His theatrical work has appeared at Custom Made Theatre, the Asylum Theater of Las Vegas, Bay One Acts Festival, the SF Olympians Festival, and has been a semi-finalist in the San Francisco Playwright's Foundation Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He is a two-time recipient of the the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriting...
Daniel Hirsch is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist based in Pittsburgh. His theatrical work has appeared at Custom Made Theatre, the Asylum Theater of Las Vegas, Bay One Acts Festival, the SF Olympians Festival, and has been a semi-finalist in the San Francisco Playwright's Foundation Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He is a two-time recipient of the the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriting Award for his pilot script Traitorous and his feature-length screenplay Sheepish. He wrote the libretto for a new opera with composer Soosan Lolavar which will be performed at Tête à Tête Opera Festival in London in July 2017. His journalism has appeared in Slate, San Francisco Magazine, SFGate, and The Bold Italic and he has been a recipient of a Society for Professional Journalism award for his work writing about housing issues in San Francisco. He has an MFA in dramatic writing at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Plays

  • The Sisyphi
    A committee of concerned citizens brainstorm strategies to get rid of a gigantic boulder
    that has mysteriously appeared in their town. A scientist suddenly becomes too
    overwhelmed with the inadequacy of language to talk geology. A woman can’t get out of
    bed due to distress over the world’s exceedingly grim state of affairs — also, there’s
    a gigantic, invisible boulder on her chest....
    A committee of concerned citizens brainstorm strategies to get rid of a gigantic boulder
    that has mysteriously appeared in their town. A scientist suddenly becomes too
    overwhelmed with the inadequacy of language to talk geology. A woman can’t get out of
    bed due to distress over the world’s exceedingly grim state of affairs — also, there’s
    a gigantic, invisible boulder on her chest. And, the mythic hero Sisyphus has to roll a
    boulder up a mountain only to watch it roll back down over and over and over and over again. Through a
    series of connected, enigmatic vignettes riffing on the myth of Sisyphus, The Sisyphi asks: when faced
    with your own futility and the unceasing meaningless of the universe, why bother?
  • Roguish Machine
    A new technology is poised to make you obsolete. A mysterious folk hero named Ned Ludd has come to town plotting this machine’s destruction. Do you join Ludd, grab a hammer, and swing? Or, do you wait and see how this whole Industrialization thing shakes out? Inspired by the Industrial Revolution’s Luddite Uprisings as well as the politics of our own self-driving Uber age, Roguish Machine tells the story of...
    A new technology is poised to make you obsolete. A mysterious folk hero named Ned Ludd has come to town plotting this machine’s destruction. Do you join Ludd, grab a hammer, and swing? Or, do you wait and see how this whole Industrialization thing shakes out? Inspired by the Industrial Revolution’s Luddite Uprisings as well as the politics of our own self-driving Uber age, Roguish Machine tells the story of Charlie and Eliza, two siblings whose fates diverge with the arrival of a newfangled, mechanical invention. Who gets left behind, and who gets unforeseen opportunities, when technology marches inevitably forward? 
  • Subtenant
    Rick can’t get into his dead son’s laptop. Sasha can’t get Rick out of her apartment. Together, these two—along with the computer that becomes a ghostly, and rather smug, presence—form an unlikely household. Both wish they better understood the departed roommate and son that brought them together—though Sasha may not be sharing all that she knows about the young man’s last days.

Recommended by Daniel Hirsch

  • Space Monkey
    21 Jun. 2018
    A play about middle school sexuality, spirituality, life and all its disappointments, "Space Monkey" is full of tender, funny, and extremely resonant surprises. Centered around juvenile explorations of body and mind, the complex structure of "Space Monkey" will take audiences to far out places that feel startlingly intimate.
  • After Eternity
    23 May. 2018
    In this surreal, dreamy play, we watch the the entire arch of relationship unfold—full of joy, claustrophobia, and revelations. Eugenie Carabatsos has created a simple, yet imaginative framework, to explore what is most elemental about being human. I would love to a see a production of this play and think it would be very fun to work on.
  • Umbrellas for Everyone
    14 May. 2018
    In a country where every week there seems to a be another Pulse or a Parkland shooting, this ever-relevant play is a satirical gut punch that will make you laugh, cringe, and then haunt you for sometime after you've seen it. I saw it at CMU's Playground Festival where it was staged in a public space and the gathered crowd was mesmerized, shocked, and ultimately very moved.
  • Giant Slalom
    14 May. 2018
    A perfect example of how to find universal in the specific. "Giant Slalom" tells a story of teenage female competitive skiers—and does so with incredible authority and humor— but also one about the utterly complex and fraught dynamics of competition, friendship, and growing up. Whether or not you've ever taken a chairlift to the top of a mountain, this is a play that will grab you and move you in ways you may not expect.
  • The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends
    14 May. 2018
    This wickedly funny, sharply satirical musical comedy had me humming dastardly catchy music and thinking about the toxic patriarchal archetypes of teen fantasy fiction for weeks after I saw it at a workshop production in CMU's Playground Festival. Every scene and song crackles with Pulsipher's wit. The vampire-slaying, tap-dancing, feminist heroines of this story should make Buffy think real hard about sharpening her stake.