Adam Szymkowicz

Adam Szymkowicz

ADAM SZYMKOWICZ’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Slovenia, Thailand, South Korea and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at such places as Portland Center Stage, MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Rattlestick Playwrights...
ADAM SZYMKOWICZ’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Slovenia, Thailand, South Korea and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at such places as Portland Center Stage, MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Primary Stages and The New Group, among others.

Published plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, Incendiary, Clown Bar, The Why Overhead, Adventures of Super Margaret, 7 Ways To Say I Love You, Rare Birds, Marian Or The True Tale of Robin Hood, and Nerve. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing, Original Works Publishing, and featured in New York Theatre Review, the Dionysian, NYTE’s Cino Nights, Geek Theater, and numerous Smith and Kraus books.

He was the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects’ Square One Series. He has been to The Orchard Project and to JAW at Portland Center Stage, served twice as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, and took part in The Dramatists Guild Fund’s Traveling Masters program. Szymkowicz received a grant from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Rising Phoenix Rep, Texas State University, The NOLA Project, Single Carrot Theater, and Flux Theater Ensemble.

Adam received a Playwright’s Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean’s Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer’s Guild of America, and was a member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group, the MCC Playwright’s Coalition and of the first Ars Nova Play Group.

He has interviewed over 1000 playwrights on his blog. Szymkowicz is the Literary Manager at The Juilliard School, supporting the playwriting program there.

For more, go to www.adamszymkowicz.com.

Plays

  • KODACHROME
    FULL LENGTH: Welcome to Colchester, a town of dashed dreams and fervent hope, history and longing. And there's a hardware store too.

    “This breezy new play by Adam Szymkowicz, receiving its world premiere production at Portland Center Stage under the direction of Rose Riordan, is warm and cheerful but clear-eyed about the impermanence of love.” --The Oregonian

    “Overall, I...
    FULL LENGTH: Welcome to Colchester, a town of dashed dreams and fervent hope, history and longing. And there's a hardware store too.

    “This breezy new play by Adam Szymkowicz, receiving its world premiere production at Portland Center Stage under the direction of Rose Riordan, is warm and cheerful but clear-eyed about the impermanence of love.” --The Oregonian

    “Overall, I highly recommend KODACHROME. You'll leave Colchester with a newfound determination to stop putting off whatever it is you've been putting off and, in the words of Harold Hill, "make today worth remembering." –Broadway World

    "The play intermixes moments of gut-wrenching sadness with lighthearted humor, all while forcing the audience to pause and confront each emotion with the click of a shutter.”--The Portland Mercury

    “This is a beautiful play–understated, tricky, often humorous, and universal. It’s a story about ordinary people going about their lives.” --Judy Nedry
  • The Book Store
    FULL LENGTH: A whimsical almost magical bookstore where people fall in and out of love. Flexible casting,
  • The Wooden Heart
    FULL LENGTH: Mitch wants to be a carpenter. Heather wants to be a woodcarver. The wolf wants to be an intellectual. Ruby wants to escape the wolf. The woodcutter wants to escape the narrator. A fable-inspired play about love and wood and finding your purpose.
  • Mercy
    FULL LENGTH: Orville is trying to get on with his life after his wife was killed in a car accident. His father is mostly taking care of his still unnamed infant daughter while his boss as work is aggressively trying to comfort him. Everything changes when he sees the man responsible for his wife's death. Is someone in this much pain capable of forgiveness?
  • Where You Can't Follow
    FULL LENGTH: Matt learns he has only a few weeks to live and tries to live the life he has always wanted. Most of all, he wants to fall in love before he dies. He leaves his old life and flies to Paris where he meets Josette, who says she will teach him what love is. 2M, 2F with doubling or as many as 10M 10F.
  • Clown Bar, a clown noir
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Long ago Happy left the Clown Bar and the organized clown crime world to work for the good guys. Now his junkie brother Timmy has been murdered and Happy returns to his old life to ask a few questions. But can he go home again without getting sucked into the seedy clown underbelly of vice and violence? Can he survive the gun toting clowns who used to be his friends or Blinky, the lady...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Long ago Happy left the Clown Bar and the organized clown crime world to work for the good guys. Now his junkie brother Timmy has been murdered and Happy returns to his old life to ask a few questions. But can he go home again without getting sucked into the seedy clown underbelly of vice and violence? Can he survive the gun toting clowns who used to be his friends or Blinky, the lady clown he left behind.

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/16741/clown-bar

    Adam Szymkowicz’s script is unabashedly funny but also shrewd.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times Critics Pick

    “…hilarious and ebullient…devastating and pitch-perfect.” - Julia Hochner, New York Theatre Review

    “…a perfect storm of ridiculousness…it’s weird how well this works.” - - Regina Robinns, Theatre is Easy

    “…the team responsible…should be hired by everyone for everything all the time immediately.” - Mary Notari, nytheatre.com

    "Clown Bar...[does] things with [its] genre that I have never seen on stage before." - HowlRound
  • Marian or The True Tale of Robin Hood
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. In this comedic new take on the classic tale, Robin Hood is and has always been Maid Marian in disguise. Robin/Marian leads a motley group of Merry Men (many of whom are not men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. In this comedic new take on the classic tale, Robin Hood is and has always been Maid Marian in disguise. Robin/Marian leads a motley group of Merry Men (many of whom are not men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on.


    This play is published: http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/62565/marian-or-the-true-tale-of-robin-hood

    “a sheer comic delight. This gender-bending, myth-rending gallivant through Sherwood Forest and Prince John’s keep boasts the funniest and most appealing band of Merry Men you’re likely to meet in Manhattan. –Blogcritics

    “a sweet farce” --Timeout New York

    “the show thrives on its own playfulness and silly energy while still tying everything up at the end. Marian manages to present something important without taking itself too seriously – and that makes it all the more resonant. It doesn’t need to overstate anything. This is feminism in action (in all its beautiful, heroic glory).” --Theatre Is Easy

    “95 minutes of first-class writing, acting, and directing.” -Show Showdown
  • Rare Birds
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Sixteen-year-old Evan Wills is an avid bird watcher who wears colorful songbird shirts to school despite the constant antagonism it brings him. Evan’s mother just wants Evan to be normal, and happy—and normal—and get along with her new boyfriend. While Evan summons the courage to talk to Jenny Monroe (whose locker is next to his), troubled bully Dylan has something darker in mind. After...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Sixteen-year-old Evan Wills is an avid bird watcher who wears colorful songbird shirts to school despite the constant antagonism it brings him. Evan’s mother just wants Evan to be normal, and happy—and normal—and get along with her new boyfriend. While Evan summons the courage to talk to Jenny Monroe (whose locker is next to his), troubled bully Dylan has something darker in mind. After some stupid choices and unexpected results, Evan learns that the worst thing you can do in high school is admit you love something.

    This play is published: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=5678
  • R and J
    The lives of two high school students become intertwined as they rehearse Romeo and Juliet. About 60 min long. 2 characters. A play about love.
  • East Haddam
    FULL LENGTH: Something odd is happening in East Haddam. The Secret Agents are tracking the Green Swamp Lady. And Michael is back in town. He's probably an angel. And there's a unicorn too. And those clowns. What are they about? But maybe all that matters is if Julie can convince the high school freshmen she teaches that Romeo and Juliet were not in love.
  • Violent Bones
    FULL LENGTH: Violent Bones is about being young, successful and broken. Kidnappings, stabbings, novel writing, a SWAT team and lots of interns.
  • Incendiary
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Elise is a pyromaniac fire chief who falls in love with Jake, the detective investigating her fires. Carrie, Elise's therapist, is trying to get her to stop lighting fires and Carrie's husband, Gary, is leading the life of a somewhat ineffective corporate spy.
  • Pretty Theft
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Pretty Theft is a play about ballerinas, boxes and the dangers of beauty. After losing her father, Allegra falls under the wing of bad girl Suzy, only to find an unexpected friendship with Joe, an autistic savant. When things take a violent turn, Allegra and Suzy escape cross country and befriend Marco, a mysterious thief who claims he cannot be caught.

    This play is...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Pretty Theft is a play about ballerinas, boxes and the dangers of beauty. After losing her father, Allegra falls under the wing of bad girl Suzy, only to find an unexpected friendship with Joe, an autistic savant. When things take a violent turn, Allegra and Suzy escape cross country and befriend Marco, a mysterious thief who claims he cannot be caught.

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/515/pretty-theft

    "Disturbing but touching...Mr. Szymkowicz writes quirky plays about contemporary topics like online dating and gender roles, but there always seems to be something — a knife, a rope, a dead body — in an unexpected place. In Pretty Theft, the undercurrent of danger goes beyond quirkiness; it's more subtle and ultimately more horrifying. The play takes place in a terrifying world where reckless people get hurt, and so do more or less innocent bystanders. — The New York Times

    "Szymkowicz has not only taken the notion of theft and flipped it on its head — he's taken a story about human beings at their worst and shown how we can claw our way back from the brink by finding the good within ourselves." — The Villager

    "Adam Szymkowicz has written a play full of interesting people...The dialogue and humor in this play are excellent...It runs a lean, intermission-less 90 minutes and is very satisfying...This would be good theater for young women not only to see but also to perform." — NYTheatre.com
  • Hearts Like Fists
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love. The city's heart beats with fear: Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. Lisa's heart beats with hope: Now that she's joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And every beat of Peter's wounded heart brings him closer to death, but he's...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love. The city's heart beats with fear: Doctor X is sneaking into apartments and injecting lovers with a lethal poison. Lisa's heart beats with hope: Now that she's joined the elite Crimefighters, maybe she can live a life with meaning. And every beat of Peter's wounded heart brings him closer to death, but he's designing an artificial replacement that will never break. Can the Crimefighters stop Doctor X? Do Peter and Lisa have a chance at love? And who is the girl with a face like a plate?

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=4688

    "Parody and punches fly…The combination is madcap. Pretty hysterical too." —NY Times. (Critic's Pick)

    "So much fun…comic-book action and delicious one-liners…exhilarating, nerdy-sexy, and silly-smart." —LA Times. (Critic's Choice)

    "…the colorful energy of a comic book [and] the dialogue is smart, self-aware, and wickedly funny. It's hard to imagine a better night at the theater." —i09.com.

    "A fun, twisted exploration of what it means when someone Hulk-smashes your heart on the ground into a million pieces…It's goofy. It's absurd. But it hits hard where it counts—right in the ticker." —Village Voice.
  • Nerve
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. NERVE is a dark comedy about falling into a relationship on the first date. Elliot has never had an online date before…at least not one that showed up. Susan has had far too many but would prefer not to discuss them. When they meet in a bar one night, all their personality flaws are revealed, along with a puppet, some modern dance and a desperation that may or may not be love.
    ...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. NERVE is a dark comedy about falling into a relationship on the first date. Elliot has never had an online date before…at least not one that showed up. Susan has had far too many but would prefer not to discuss them. When they meet in a bar one night, all their personality flaws are revealed, along with a puppet, some modern dance and a desperation that may or may not be love.

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=3821

    Press: "…sweet, sexy, neurotic friendly." —NY Times. "…frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and in the end a neat little demonstration, if you needed one, of how much better live theatre can be than TV or movies when it comes to convincingly recreating human relationships in all their delicious complexity." —Gothamist. "With NERVE, playwright Adam Szymkowicz ventures into the minefield that is online dating and emerges with a wickedly entertaining and darkly comic romance. Cyber-dating may be rife with tales of nightmarish encounters with neurotics and sociopaths, Szymkowicz seems to say, but don't sociopaths deserve love, too? Anyone who sees NERVE will be inclined to say yes." —OffOffOnline.com.
  • Food For Fish
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Bobbie drops the pages from his novel into the Hudson River. They tell the story of three sisters: Sylvia, a reporter, Barbara, an agoraphobe (played by a man in drag), and Alice, a scientist with a plan to isolate and eliminate the gene for love. The three sisters are going to have to bury their father—when they get around to it. His coffin has been sitting in the living room for a...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Bobbie drops the pages from his novel into the Hudson River. They tell the story of three sisters: Sylvia, a reporter, Barbara, an agoraphobe (played by a man in drag), and Alice, a scientist with a plan to isolate and eliminate the gene for love. The three sisters are going to have to bury their father—when they get around to it. His coffin has been sitting in the living room for a year now, and he's starting to smell. Meanwhile, Bobbie goes out each night kissing strangers, and Sylvia goes out each night looking for Bobbie. A story of unrequited love, missed connections and a novel in a bottle.

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=3820

    "…fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous…the reconsidered stereotypes and unexpected observations keep coming." —NY Times. "…a smart, well-done play…Catch it before it's gone…" —NYTheatre.com.
  • Fat Cat Killers
    FULL LENGTH: After getting laid off, Michael and Steve decide to kidnap the CEO of the company who laid them off.
  • Elsewhere
    FULL LENGTH. When Teddy comes to Celia’s house to deliver a package, he doesn’t expect to be invited for dinner. When he comes to dinner, he doesn’t expect to be invited to live with her. When he starts to live with her, he doesn't expect to fall in love with her sister Amanda. And he definitely doesn't expect to be drugged ... or buried alive.
  • Deflowering Waldo
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Waldo is having a bad day. He's afraid of crowds, spiders, skyscrapers, flowers, brown soap and sex. His father won't stop being Scottish. His therapist wants to seduce him. His ex-girlfriend could spontaneously combust at any moment. And the new woman in his life seems to want something else completely. Will he manage to find true love—or at least mow the lawn?
    ...
    FULL LENGTH, PUBLISHED. Waldo is having a bad day. He's afraid of crowds, spiders, skyscrapers, flowers, brown soap and sex. His father won't stop being Scottish. His therapist wants to seduce him. His ex-girlfriend could spontaneously combust at any moment. And the new woman in his life seems to want something else completely. Will he manage to find true love—or at least mow the lawn?

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=3728
  • 7 Ways To Say I Love You, short plays
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS. PUBLISHED. "This collection of funny, sweet, silly, poignant and stylistically diverse short plays from New York favorite Adam Szymkowicz has something for everyone. From the awkwardness of asking out a pizza store clerk (Ambience Pizza), to a campy infidelity revenge comedy (Film Noir), to the couple destined to be together no matter the obstacles (John and April), this...
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS. PUBLISHED. "This collection of funny, sweet, silly, poignant and stylistically diverse short plays from New York favorite Adam Szymkowicz has something for everyone. From the awkwardness of asking out a pizza store clerk (Ambience Pizza), to a campy infidelity revenge comedy (Film Noir), to the couple destined to be together no matter the obstacles (John and April), this collection explores heart, grief, pain, and humor as the plays dance around the eternal human theme of love."

    This play is published: https://www.playscripts.com/play/2734
  • The Adventures of Super Margaret
    (35-55 min) PUBLISHED. TYA. Super Margaret is having a hard day. She has too much Geometry homework, and the prom queen and king have been kidnapped. If she doesn't rescue them from the Nefarious Evil Genius, who will? Certainly not her wanna be sidekick, Louis who won't stop following her and narrating her life. Certainly not Super Lee who is busy enough at Central High. It's hard to be both...
    (35-55 min) PUBLISHED. TYA. Super Margaret is having a hard day. She has too much Geometry homework, and the prom queen and king have been kidnapped. If she doesn't rescue them from the Nefarious Evil Genius, who will? Certainly not her wanna be sidekick, Louis who won't stop following her and narrating her life. Certainly not Super Lee who is busy enough at Central High. It's hard to be both super powered and super smart.

    This play is published https://www.playscripts.com/play/2782
  • The Why Overhead
    FULL LENGTH. PUBLISHED. At the call center, all are desperate to connect with each other, seek greater meaning and take their desires to extremes. Sam is in love with Violet, a customer who called once with a warranty question, and he smashes all barriers to rendezvous with her. Alan and Sid are blinded in their rivalry for Jessica and together, build a decorative glass window over her cubicle to worship...
    FULL LENGTH. PUBLISHED. At the call center, all are desperate to connect with each other, seek greater meaning and take their desires to extremes. Sam is in love with Violet, a customer who called once with a warranty question, and he smashes all barriers to rendezvous with her. Alan and Sid are blinded in their rivalry for Jessica and together, build a decorative glass window over her cubicle to worship her under. Annie and Nigel have a hate-hate relationship and are each plotting the other’s demise. Karen, the department head, plays hooky and makes plans with her sometimes talkative dog to leave the working world entirely in favor of the hobo life. Donald is home too, plotting revenge for being canned as office manager. In the end, the CEO, Mr. Henderson, will sweep in and make everything right, because that's what CEO's do, right?

    This play is published. Rights: http://www.originalworksonline.com/THE-WHY-OVERHEAD-by-Adam-Szymkowicz_p_176.html

    “genuinely funny”—The New York Times

    “enjoyable from start to finish.” — New York Theatre Review

    “engaging, silly fun with a satisfyingly intelligent underpinning.” —TheatreMania

    “charming and funny” —NYTheatre.com
  • A Thing Of Beauty
    FULL LENGTH. A much despised art critic who is slowly going blind falls under the spell of a painter with an agenda of her own.
  • Such Small Hands
    FULL LENGTH. Paul is cancer ridden and descending into dementia. He wants to take his own life while he still feels like himself. Marie, his wife, fights to prevent his suicide. A play about love, aging, selfishness and selflessness.
  • Sarah Sarah Sarah
    Sarah is an author, rock star and religious leader played by a volunteer from the audience. The audience is divided into three and each group sees the play in a different order with a different Sarah. A story of a haunted person and the people she touched.
  • Snow
    SHORT PLAY. Four friends searching for love in a snowstorm.
  • Three Cheerleaders Cheering for the Worst Team in the History of High School Sports
    SHORT PLAY. A very short, fairly adult play about high school cheerleaders
  • Emily and Sanders and 36 Questions, Parts One, Two and Three
    SHORT PLAY. Emily and Sanders decide to fall in love, even if it takes all night. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.

  • Sue and Stu, a construction play
    SHORT PLAY. Co-workers on a construction site notice one another. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Doyanney and Markham, a space play
    SHORT PLAY. A space parody about love and aliens. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Bad Bert and Sheriff Sally, a wild west play
    SHORT PLAY. When a black hat falls for a sheriff. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Terrible Louise and Red Beard Ryan, a pirate play
    SHORT PLAY. It's hard being a pirate in love. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Lady Bemonny and Lord Vistrith, an arranged marriage play
    SHORT PLAY. An arranged marriage during the English Renaissance. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Marisa and Ted, a bodega play
    SHORT PLAY. A meet cute in a Brooklyn bodega. Part of Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, a night of short plays about love.
  • Old Fashioned Cold Fusion
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS. 7 short 2 character comedies about love. From pirates to cowboys, construction workers to aliens and other folks in between.
  • Golden Town
    SHORT PLAY. A rhyming fairy tale for adults.
  • Berbert
    SHORT PLAY about falling in love instead of doing your job. Absurdist. Loosely based on The Book of Titus, commissioned by Spark and Echo. Audio recording: https://sparkandecho.org/illumination/berbert_adam-szymkowicz/