Ellen O'Brien

Ellen O'Brien

Ellen O’Brien’s plays include the full-length plays Rabbit Hunting at Dawn, Common Cores, and Check your Privilege. Her 10-minute plays include “Singing Sands”, “Chip Woodshow’s Wedding”, and “Phenom”, which was featured in the 2016 Boston Theater Marathon. She was named a 2017 Next Voices fellow at the New Rep Theater in Watertown, MA. O’Brien is a 2016 recipient of an MFA in Creative Writing for Stage and...
Ellen O’Brien’s plays include the full-length plays Rabbit Hunting at Dawn, Common Cores, and Check your Privilege. Her 10-minute plays include “Singing Sands”, “Chip Woodshow’s Wedding”, and “Phenom”, which was featured in the 2016 Boston Theater Marathon. She was named a 2017 Next Voices fellow at the New Rep Theater in Watertown, MA. O’Brien is a 2016 recipient of an MFA in Creative Writing for Stage and Screen from Lesley University.

Plays

  • Rabbit Hunting at Dawn
    In 2016, two Arkansas boys open fire on their schoolmates, killing five young children. Journalist Dylan Yates and photographer Beirut Dani show up to cover yet another school shooting. As details of the deadly day unfold in an unrelenting media climate, Dylan finds herself unraveling. The homicide humor she uses to hold up under pressure seems to fall flat, and the toll that her work takes on her marriage and...
    In 2016, two Arkansas boys open fire on their schoolmates, killing five young children. Journalist Dylan Yates and photographer Beirut Dani show up to cover yet another school shooting. As details of the deadly day unfold in an unrelenting media climate, Dylan finds herself unraveling. The homicide humor she uses to hold up under pressure seems to fall flat, and the toll that her work takes on her marriage and family begins to rise to the surface. Inspired by a real-world event, this is a play about gun violence that never mentions gun rights, the debate over them, or the 2nd Amendment. At its heart, it’s a play about mothers. Mothers and grief, mothers and blame, and mothers who must admit they cannot save everyone.
  • Common Cores
    Phineas “Finn” O’Dea and Talitha Harris are Parent Council Co-Chairs at a Boston elementary school slated for a possible closing, and they are worlds apart on the issue. But the disagreements they have over race and class and public school funding are all overshadowed by the real battle they share: Can they keep denying their true feelings for each other? An Irish immigrant and widower, Finn mourns the loss of...
    Phineas “Finn” O’Dea and Talitha Harris are Parent Council Co-Chairs at a Boston elementary school slated for a possible closing, and they are worlds apart on the issue. But the disagreements they have over race and class and public school funding are all overshadowed by the real battle they share: Can they keep denying their true feelings for each other? An Irish immigrant and widower, Finn mourns the loss of his wife and the vision she had for the little neighborhood school. Born in Barbados and raised in Boston, Talitha is carrying the burden of raising a black son in a mostly white system. As Finn and Talitha navigate the treacherous and sometimes hilarious territory of public school politics, they must also decide whether to follow through on an obvious simmering attraction and risk real heartache.