Jennifer O'Grady

Jennifer O'Grady

Jennifer O’Grady's plays include CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS (Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin Winner; O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors); PARANORMAL LOVE (MTWorks Newborn Winner; Newvember Finalist; Pandora's Box runner-up); ELLERY (selected for The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2017 and a Bechdel Group selection); QUASARS (selected for The Best Women's Stage Monologues...
Jennifer O’Grady's plays include CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS (Henley Rose Award; NEWvember Festival Dublin Winner; O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors); PARANORMAL LOVE (MTWorks Newborn Winner; Newvember Finalist; Pandora's Box runner-up); ELLERY (selected for The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2017 and a Bechdel Group selection); QUASARS (selected for The Best Women's Stage Monologues and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35) and PERSEPHONE (selected for The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019). Her plays have been produced around the US and UK and presented by such companies as Rover Dramawerks, Heartland Theatre Company, Gi60, Weathervane Playhouse, Primal Theatre UK, The Hive Collaborative, 13th Street Rep, Monster Box Theatre, LowellArts, The PlayGround Experiment and many others, as well as off-Broadway by the Irish Repertory Theatre. Her plays are also published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017, The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016, Stage It 3, and Feels Blind Literary. In 2018 Jennifer was selected as Mentee in Playwriting by AWP's Writer2Writer program.

Jennifer is also a widely published poet and author of the poetry books WHITE (Mid-List First Series Award for Poetry) and EXCLUSIONS & LIMITATIONS (2018). Her poems are taught, anthologized, set to music, and featured in numerous places, including Harper’s, The New Republic, The Writer's Almanac, BBC Radio 4, The Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily and American Poetry: The Next Generation.

Born and raised in New York City, Jennifer earned a BA from Vassar, where she won awards for her writing, and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. She lives with her family near New York City. (www.jenniferogrady.net)

Plays

  • CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS
    1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin / O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors

    (Full length) A fresh take on the Brontës, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years at a Belgian school, where she became increasingly close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger--with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and...
    1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin / O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors

    (Full length) A fresh take on the Brontës, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years at a Belgian school, where she became increasingly close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger--with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and trailblazing but scandalous novels including JANE EYRE. A play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.
  • Persephone
    Selected for The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019, The Hive Collaborative's The Ten Show, LowellArts Theater's Playbytes by Playwrights and Heartland Theatre Co's Ten-Minute Play Festival

    (10-Min Play) A modern riff on the myth of Persephone, forced to live in the underworld. This Persephone returns to give her small child an unusual gift--a new mom.
  • Pre-War
    Selected for Stage It's 2019 Ten-Minute Play Festival and published in STAGE IT 3: TWENTY TEN-MINUTE PLAYS

    (10-Min Play) Traumatized by a recent loss, Elena finds it hard to leave her NYC apartment, until she meets Clara, her older Czechoslovakian neighbor, and the women discover they have more in common than they realized.
  • PARANORMAL LOVE
    Selected for the MTWorks Newborn Festival / NEWvember Finalist / 2019 Pandora's Box Honorable Mention

    (Full length) Kevin and David were a loving couple, but now Kevin is dead and stuck in a boring afterlife with little to do but eat popcorn and watch the living. When David decides to marry a woman, Kevin decides to wrap up unfinished business with help from two dead friends, until things...
    Selected for the MTWorks Newborn Festival / NEWvember Finalist / 2019 Pandora's Box Honorable Mention

    (Full length) Kevin and David were a loving couple, but now Kevin is dead and stuck in a boring afterlife with little to do but eat popcorn and watch the living. When David decides to marry a woman, Kevin decides to wrap up unfinished business with help from two dead friends, until things begin to go wrong. (Play 1 in The Paranormal Trilogy)
  • Listening
    Selected for Weathervane Playhouse's 2019 8x10 TheatreFest and an audience-choice winner

    (10-Min Play) Stuck for the weekend at her preoccupied, divorced dad's house (and never mind having to deal with Dad's new girlfriend, Sandra), sixteen-year-old Hailey learns that listening to old-people music can actually be life-altering.
  • Most Wonderful
    Selected for OnStage Atlanta's Merry Little Holiday Shorts 2019

    (10-Min Play) Two unemployed roommates learn the meaning of Christmas with help from a can of beans and some dental floss.
  • JUGGLING WITH MR. FIELDS
    Kilroys List Nominee

    (Full length) In 1940s Hollywood irreverent, wealthy, nearly-alcoholic movie star W. C. Fields grudgingly hires a young English valet, while Fields' live-in mistress and rising-actor friend Anthony Quinn vie for his attentions. But new servant Rodney brings a link to the past that will have shattering consequences, in this imagined look at the hidden side of an iconic...
    Kilroys List Nominee

    (Full length) In 1940s Hollywood irreverent, wealthy, nearly-alcoholic movie star W. C. Fields grudgingly hires a young English valet, while Fields' live-in mistress and rising-actor friend Anthony Quinn vie for his attentions. But new servant Rodney brings a link to the past that will have shattering consequences, in this imagined look at the hidden side of an iconic film star and comic drama about longing and belonging.
  • Only Human
    Selected for The Factory Theatre at Greenville U's 2019 New Plays Festival and readings at multiple theaters around the U.S.

    (Monologue) A priest remembers a tragedy in his past. (A response to gun violence in US places of worship)
  • The Great Gaffe
    Selected for THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2016

    (10-Min Play) Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton gives a tea party for F. Scott Fitzgerald, struggling young author of THE GREAT GATSBY, with disastrous results.
  • ELLERY
    Selected for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2017 and a Bechdel Group Workshop Selection

    (Full length) Becca hates her psychic abilities and is being haunted by her dead but still-critical mother and dead grandmother, for reasons none of them understands. When a dead young woman appears and pleads confusingly for help, Becca turns away--but unwittingly gives her best friend the chance to...
    Selected for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2017 and a Bechdel Group Workshop Selection

    (Full length) Becca hates her psychic abilities and is being haunted by her dead but still-critical mother and dead grandmother, for reasons none of them understands. When a dead young woman appears and pleads confusingly for help, Becca turns away--but unwittingly gives her best friend the chance to pursue a dangerous course that could harm Becca and another living woman. (Play 2 in The Paranormal Trilogy)
  • A Split Second
    (10-Min Play) In two different places two unrelated women--a parent with a missing child, and a traumatized driver--speak about recent events that, unknown to them, are tragically connected.
  • Emily's Room
    Produced by Rover Dramawerks (2019)

    (Short) 54-year-old recluse Emily Dickinson and her 44-year-old Irish maid reach an unspoken understanding that, unknown to either of them, will forever alter the course of American literature.
  • COMPLEX ANALYSIS
    (Full length) Anthea heads a struggling trauma clinic where she sees Nathan, a gifted but failing math student living with survivor's guilt years after a school shooting. While her own life falls into crisis Anthea is forced to hire Christine, an eager new therapist whose sessions with Nathan quickly blur the lines between helping and harming, and between danger and love.
  • Cage
    Selected for Primal Theatre's CAGE (London, UK, 2019)

    (Monologue) Thumper the pet rabbit describes their habit for the audience.
  • I'm Not Malala
    Selected for The PlaygroundExperiment's Faces of America Monologue Festival 2019

    (Monologue) Julia isn't Malala. But maybe Malala can help?
  • QUASARS
    Selected for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES and BEST CONTEMPORARY MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN 18-35

    (Full length) When Josh's wife becomes seriously ill but won't slow down, Josh takes secretive measures to keep Karen at home. But their 9-year-old daughter witnesses his ploys, bringing unwanted scrutiny from a young Catholic priest. As Karen's illness worsens Josh must learn to...
    Selected for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES and BEST CONTEMPORARY MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN 18-35

    (Full length) When Josh's wife becomes seriously ill but won't slow down, Josh takes secretive measures to keep Karen at home. But their 9-year-old daughter witnesses his ploys, bringing unwanted scrutiny from a young Catholic priest. As Karen's illness worsens Josh must learn to let go with help from a troubled priest and a strange young woman with piercings.
  • Admiral Grace Hopper Revisits
    Produced by Rover Dramawerks (2018)

    (Short) 85-year-old, former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and computer pioneer Grace Hopper speaks about life, computer compilers, and kicking some ass in this short solo play about perseverance and passion.
  • Bars
    Selected for production by Primal Theatre (London, UK, 2019)

    (Monologue) Sky, a pet parakeet, has a request. Or two.
  • Belle, ex-wife of a Beast
    (Monologue) A former princess speaks.
  • The Bookstore
    (10-Min Play) A bored poetry book decides to make a little mischief.
  • Chicken
    (Short) Molly the chicken has a few things she needs to tell you.
  • Circumnavigation
    Selected for production by Primal Theatre (London, UK, 2019)

    (Monologue) Flash, a young goldfish, loves their new home. Really.
  • Domestic Service
    Produced by White Mouse Theatre Productions at FSU (2018)

    (Short) When Oscar-nominated, African American actress Louise Beavers is cast as yet another maid in another Hollywood movie but this one has a very shocking twist, she finds herself forced to make a difficult decision.
  • Expectations
    In 1858 novelist Charles Dickens separated from his wife of twenty-two years and the mother of their nine children. Dickens implied that Kate was mentally unbalanced, but his interest in a younger woman is documented. Dickens retained their home and eight children (the eldest was an adult) while Kate was moved to a different house. Here, Kate and Charles offer varying accounts of their lives. A play about power...
    In 1858 novelist Charles Dickens separated from his wife of twenty-two years and the mother of their nine children. Dickens implied that Kate was mentally unbalanced, but his interest in a younger woman is documented. Dickens retained their home and eight children (the eldest was an adult) while Kate was moved to a different house. Here, Kate and Charles offer varying accounts of their lives. A play about power, marriage, and women's lives.
  • First Day in Trade
    Selected for THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2017

    (10-Min Play) At a major New York publishing house an impoverished assistant learns that one of the world's wealthiest women--editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis--might want to bum cigarettes from her. (Inspired by the playwright's own personal experience)
  • The Gorilla
    Selected for Primal Theater's CAGE (London, UK, 2019)

    (!0-Min Play) Myra hates her low-level job and is barely clinging to her ambitious zoo-administrator boyfriend. When a gorilla at the zoo begins taking a surprising interest in Myra, she finds her life transforming--but for better or worse?
  • Invisible
    (Monologue) Scout the dog explains the new invisible fence to a potential playmate.
  • Fridge
    (10 Minute Play) A woman and her fridge. A play about failure (and very possibly a metaphor for parenting).
  • Lion Cut
    (Monologue) Snowball the cat struggles with new ideas about human beings.
  • Mending
    (Short) At Monticello the day after Thomas Jefferson's death an enslaved woman, Sally Hemings, and her 21-year-old enslaved son Madison wait for essential news. But Jefferson's daughter Martha wants vital information, and has information to share that could jeopardize mother and son.
  • The Mysterious Affair at the Christies
    Productions by Saw It Here First Productions UK and Rover Dramawerks

    (Short) An imagined glimpse into mystery-writer Agatha Christie's troubled first marriage and the roots of her long career as a novelist.
  • New Kitten
    One-minute version selected for Gi60 US 2019
    Three-minute version winner of ICWP's 3-Minute Play Contest

    Max the cat is seriously pissed off--a new kitten has moved in and expects Max to share everything including the litter box. A very short play about jealousy and transformation.
  • Out
    Selected for Gi60's UK Edition 2019

    (1-Min Play) A very short play about the frustrations of dog-ownership.
  • A Piece of the Continent
    (10-Min Play) Donald and Jared are having a bad day. And there's lots of water.
  • Shelved
    (10-Min Play) Two bickering French books stuck in the basement stacks of a library (and subjected to the inexplicable glares of the librarian) find themselves uniting when forced to foil a robbery plan.
  • Tomorrow or Next Year
    Selected for publication in Feels Blind Literary

    (Short) Mackenzie wants to help. Caroline wants to forget. A play about growing up in today's United States.
  • We Were Happy
    (Short) Two Italian-American sisters remember growing up on New York's lower Eastside and find that their memories differ. But they were happy there. Maybe.