Philip Dawkins

Philip Dawkins

Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and the world. His works include the world premiere of MISS MARX: OR THE INVOLUNTARY SIDE EFFECT OF LIVING (Strawdog Theatre), which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, as well as recent critically-acclaimed plays THE HOMOSEXUALS (About Face Theatre) and FAILURE: A LOVE STORY (Victory Gardens Theater),...
Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and the world. His works include the world premiere of MISS MARX: OR THE INVOLUNTARY SIDE EFFECT OF LIVING (Strawdog Theatre), which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, as well as recent critically-acclaimed plays THE HOMOSEXUALS (About Face Theatre) and FAILURE: A LOVE STORY (Victory Gardens Theater), both of which also received Joseph Jefferson Nominations for New Work. His play CHARM received its world premiere in the fall of 2015, produced by Northlight Theatre and presented at the Steppenwolf Garage. Philip is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre and and Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens. He teaches playwriting at Northwestern University as well as his alma mater, Loyola University Chicago. He is currently working on two commissions from Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, and his plays for young folks --as well as for big folks--can be purchased through Playscripts, Inc. and Dramatic Publishing

Plays

  • Failure: A Love Story
    By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead -- expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Tuneful songs, and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River, before their time unexpectedly runs out. A magical, musical...
    By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead -- expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Tuneful songs, and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River, before their time unexpectedly runs out. A magical, musical fable where, in the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual's successes or failures.
  • THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
    Once upon a time in an Anaheim, California orange grove, a magical kingdom was built and dedicated to America’s history, dreams and wildest hopes. Eight years later, one family’s American prince died on live television while delivering the Albuquerque sports scores, leaving his four daughters and their mother behind. Left reeling from the loss of their patriarch, the family underwent a quest to reach the...
    Once upon a time in an Anaheim, California orange grove, a magical kingdom was built and dedicated to America’s history, dreams and wildest hopes. Eight years later, one family’s American prince died on live television while delivering the Albuquerque sports scores, leaving his four daughters and their mother behind. Left reeling from the loss of their patriarch, the family underwent a quest to reach the magical kingdom and seek solace and recovery. Now, more than fifty years after their journey, acclaimed playwright Philip Dawkins retraces and illustrates the true story of the women in his family, exploring their history and asking if there really is a place where the dream that we wish can come true.
  • Le Switch
    Marriage equality finally reaches the U.S. and commitment-shy David finds himself unsure how to react to the nation’s honeymoon phase. Nervous in the face of“wedding fever,” he retreats to his home full of unopened books and his grieving activist roommate. When his best friend’s bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he’s unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful young florist. In the months that follow,...
    Marriage equality finally reaches the U.S. and commitment-shy David finds himself unsure how to react to the nation’s honeymoon phase. Nervous in the face of“wedding fever,” he retreats to his home full of unopened books and his grieving activist roommate. When his best friend’s bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he’s unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful young florist. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, what it means to be married and what it means to be queer.
  • CHARM
    Charm depicts the colorful inner workings of an etiquette class taught by Mama Darleena Andrews, an African-American transgender woman, in an LGBTQ organization known as The Center. Despite her students' daily battles with identity, poverty and prejudice, Mama's powerful love and unapologetic attitude ultimately help her pupils find a new way to respect each other and to redefine what "having...
    Charm depicts the colorful inner workings of an etiquette class taught by Mama Darleena Andrews, an African-American transgender woman, in an LGBTQ organization known as The Center. Despite her students' daily battles with identity, poverty and prejudice, Mama's powerful love and unapologetic attitude ultimately help her pupils find a new way to respect each other and to redefine what "having charm" means. Inspired by the true story of Miss Gloria Allen and her work at Center on Halsted, this new play carries a message of dignity and inclusion to all those it touches.
  • The Homosexuals
    Moving backwards from 2010, this play traces ten years in the life of Evan, a gay man who fled small-town Iowa for Chicago at the dawn of the new millennium. Evan's close-knit group of friends and lovers help him navigate issues of romance, illness, and self-acceptance in a world where changing attitudes towards gays mean changing identities within the gay community. A love letter to friendship, to...
    Moving backwards from 2010, this play traces ten years in the life of Evan, a gay man who fled small-town Iowa for Chicago at the dawn of the new millennium. Evan's close-knit group of friends and lovers help him navigate issues of romance, illness, and self-acceptance in a world where changing attitudes towards gays mean changing identities within the gay community. A love letter to friendship, to acceptance, and to the families we choose, rather than the ones we inherit.
  • Miss Marx or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living
    Based on the true story of Karl Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor is known throughout Victorian England as an actress and political activist, but finds it far easier to fight for equality on the stage than in the bedroom. Falling into a tempestuous affair with a married man, can she follow her heart without betraying everything she symbolizes?
  • The Skokie Detective Charter School
    At the Skokie Detective Charter School, all the students are detectives-in-training, learning firsthand how to follow the facts and find a logical solution. But these future super sleuths are about to encounter their biggest case yet when students start acting strangely, monsters are spotted in the hallway, and their teacher goes missing! These Tiny Private Eyes reconstruct the day's events through four...
    At the Skokie Detective Charter School, all the students are detectives-in-training, learning firsthand how to follow the facts and find a logical solution. But these future super sleuths are about to encounter their biggest case yet when students start acting strangely, monsters are spotted in the hallway, and their teacher goes missing! These Tiny Private Eyes reconstruct the day's events through four classic story-telling perspectives (film noir, young adult mystery, Edwardian romance, and Spaghetti Western) to solve the mystery in this clever and fast-paced comedy.
  • Einstein's Brains
    IT'S ALIVE! Albert Einstein's brain, that is. Sci-Fi geek and pizza delivery boy Otto must make the most important delivery of all time when the mad scientist Dr. Harvey Thomas gives Otto and his talking dog, Swamp Thing, the task of safely delivering Einstein's brain to a college in Berkeley, where it will be properly studied. Sounds easy, right? Save for a few hilarious distractions (a musical...
    IT'S ALIVE! Albert Einstein's brain, that is. Sci-Fi geek and pizza delivery boy Otto must make the most important delivery of all time when the mad scientist Dr. Harvey Thomas gives Otto and his talking dog, Swamp Thing, the task of safely delivering Einstein's brain to a college in Berkeley, where it will be properly studied. Sounds easy, right? Save for a few hilarious distractions (a musical group of preserved body parts, a horde of zombies, and an evil, even madder scientist) it should be a piece of cake! Can Otto and his dog make it to their destination in relatively one piece? Pun intended.
  • Edgar and Ellen: Bad Seeds!
    The delightfully devious Edgar and Ellen plague the idyllic town of Nod's Limbs with their pranks in this hilarious adaptation of the popular book and cartoon series. Their reign of terror is threatened, however, with the arrival of renowned "etiquettist" Petunia Rymple, who wants to build a flower garden on their mansion grounds. With the town ready to sign away the deed to the twins'...
    The delightfully devious Edgar and Ellen plague the idyllic town of Nod's Limbs with their pranks in this hilarious adaptation of the popular book and cartoon series. Their reign of terror is threatened, however, with the arrival of renowned "etiquettist" Petunia Rymple, who wants to build a flower garden on their mansion grounds. With the town ready to sign away the deed to the twins' creaky old mansion, Edgar and Ellen must declare a prank war against the cheerful lady in pink and the stuck-up Knightleigh family next door to show everyone who really rules Nod's Limbs.
  • Rodeo
    Rough and tumble cowgirl Cody and her persnickety mule, Sprezzatura, ride into town fixin' to win the annual rodeo. Only one problem: girls aren't allowed to compete. Unwilling to lay down the lasso so easily, Cody and Sprezzatura whip up the perfect plan to disguise themselves as a boy and a horse and sneak their way into the competitors' ring. Western-y and Shakespearean-y shenanigans ensue...
    Rough and tumble cowgirl Cody and her persnickety mule, Sprezzatura, ride into town fixin' to win the annual rodeo. Only one problem: girls aren't allowed to compete. Unwilling to lay down the lasso so easily, Cody and Sprezzatura whip up the perfect plan to disguise themselves as a boy and a horse and sneak their way into the competitors' ring. Western-y and Shakespearean-y shenanigans ensue when a dastardly villain, a slew of singing horses, and an unexpected romance come between Cody and her master plan to win the day in this rootin-tootin' comedy.
  • Biff and Otis: Totally Upstream Adventure!
    Biff and Otis are slacker California sea lions who only want to eat fish all day. Little do they know that going on an adventure to grant this wish will change their lives forever.
  • Reykjavik
    “Maybe I was pathetic, but then I found myself. And my self was a dinosaur, a drag queen, and a rock star. I thought I was a nobody, but I’m a whole bunch of somebodies, and they’re all fierce. So back off!” - Cody, Act II Casey and Cody are looking for their soul mates … whether they like it or not. In the search they encounter a very strange Icelandic psychologist, a transsexual diva hell-bent on...
    “Maybe I was pathetic, but then I found myself. And my self was a dinosaur, a drag queen, and a rock star. I thought I was a nobody, but I’m a whole bunch of somebodies, and they’re all fierce. So back off!” - Cody, Act II Casey and Cody are looking for their soul mates … whether they like it or not. In the search they encounter a very strange Icelandic psychologist, a transsexual diva hell-bent on rekindling her lost love, and a has-been drug-addicted Scottish rock 'n roller. Soul mates, half souls, dinosaurs, Iceland, and underwear. It all makes for a twisted romantic comedy about finding your other half while keeping a firm grasp on your whole.