Maddox Pennington

Maddox Pennington

Maddox K. Pennington (they/them) received their MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University. Their first book, A Girl Walks Into a Book: What the Brontes Taught Me About Life, Love, and Women’s Work, a bibliomemoir about the Brontë sisters, was released May 2017 by Hachette. Previous writing has appeared on Electric Literature, The Toast, The American Scholar online; they’ve performed at DC Nerd Nite,...
Maddox K. Pennington (they/them) received their MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University. Their first book, A Girl Walks Into a Book: What the Brontes Taught Me About Life, Love, and Women’s Work, a bibliomemoir about the Brontë sisters, was released May 2017 by Hachette. Previous writing has appeared on Electric Literature, The Toast, The American Scholar online; they’ve performed at DC Nerd Nite, FemX Improvised Monologues, the DC Drafthouse, the DC Arts Center for the LGBTQ Comedy Festival, and other comedy venues. After teaching college and creative writing in Washington DC, they moved to Los Angeles to join the writing faculty at the University of Southern California.

In 2021, a reading of their play Love Chicken was featured at the virtual Pittsburgh Fringe Festival and an excerpted reading from Annex was presented during the Bucharest Inside the Beltway residency showcase. An upcoming play about the arrival of Okie Cherokees in Los Angeles prior to the Dust Bowl will be developed in 2022 with the Moving Arts MADLab First Look festival.

Plays

  • Embers Borne West
    A Cherokee couple, Duke and Wenona Wiltshire, head to California in 1927 in search of relief from bad harvests in Muldrow, Oklahoma. A century ahead in LA, Wenona's great-grand-something, Jay, hopes to answer some unresolved familial questions by eavesdropping. As Jay and Wenona connect, they discover that even across time and space, they are asking the same questions about purpose, cultural expectations,...
    A Cherokee couple, Duke and Wenona Wiltshire, head to California in 1927 in search of relief from bad harvests in Muldrow, Oklahoma. A century ahead in LA, Wenona's great-grand-something, Jay, hopes to answer some unresolved familial questions by eavesdropping. As Jay and Wenona connect, they discover that even across time and space, they are asking the same questions about purpose, cultural expectations, and community. How will they allow the past and future to influence their present?
  • Love Chicken
    Love Chicken explores interpersonal questions of belonging, choice, friendship, and love. Longtime friends Yan (they/she) and Lolo (they/he) are planning a weekend getaway for their queer chosen family to reconnect, following Lolo’s gender transition and Yan’s estranged relationship with staid husband Dave. Things begin to fall apart as soon as they reach the mountain cabin--the friends don’t show, but Dave (...
    Love Chicken explores interpersonal questions of belonging, choice, friendship, and love. Longtime friends Yan (they/she) and Lolo (they/he) are planning a weekend getaway for their queer chosen family to reconnect, following Lolo’s gender transition and Yan’s estranged relationship with staid husband Dave. Things begin to fall apart as soon as they reach the mountain cabin--the friends don’t show, but Dave (he/his) does, to Lolo’s outrage. Their friend Max (they/them) also arrives, a calm foil for Lolo’s flirtatious affection, Yan’s conflicted self-recrimination, and Dave’s hapless lack of self-awareness. Grievances are aired, prior deceptions are revealed, and new dynamics arise.

    The second act takes place all in one evening at Lolo’s place--their quiet night in with Max is interrupted by Yan, whose relationship with Dave is now open, seeking solace after a bad date with someone new. As Dave and Max bond outside, Lolo and Yan unearth buried feelings, building to a confrontation where all four have to choose which relationships are worth fighting for and which have run out of road.
  • Annex
    ANNEX is a darkly comedic two-act drama about family, fate, and mental illness. It's the story of Elliot, who, despairing of being able to manage her mental illnesses effectively, concocts a mystical miracle cure--Belinda Carlisle, a bowl of nefarious pink light--that makes her competent and decisive, but threatens to destroy everything she builds. As she struggles to balance her new notoriety as the...
    ANNEX is a darkly comedic two-act drama about family, fate, and mental illness. It's the story of Elliot, who, despairing of being able to manage her mental illnesses effectively, concocts a mystical miracle cure--Belinda Carlisle, a bowl of nefarious pink light--that makes her competent and decisive, but threatens to destroy everything she builds. As she struggles to balance her new notoriety as the neighborhood oracle with her hope of providing a stable home for her son during his gender transition, her friends and family struggle to adapt to this new Elliot and what their lives might look like if she didn’t need their help.
  • Don't Call Me
    While reading Charlotte Brontë's Shirley in English class, a group of high school students feel alienated by the novel’s seeming irrelevance to their lives at first; ultimately they find themselves connecting to the story and its 200-year-old writer. The story unfolds in their midst, introducing us to Shirley Keeldar and Caroline Helstone and the rest of the novel’s Yorkshire characters. As historic...
    While reading Charlotte Brontë's Shirley in English class, a group of high school students feel alienated by the novel’s seeming irrelevance to their lives at first; ultimately they find themselves connecting to the story and its 200-year-old writer. The story unfolds in their midst, introducing us to Shirley Keeldar and Caroline Helstone and the rest of the novel’s Yorkshire characters. As historic literature and modern day mingle and blur, two queer teens, Theresa and Marie, learn to see one another more clearly.