Jennifer O'Grady

Jennifer O'Grady

Jennifer O’Grady's plays have won the Henley Rose Award, the NEWvember Festival Dublin and the MTWorks Newborn Festival competitions and Heartland Theatre Company's 10-Minute Play Contest, and have been Finalists or Semifinalists for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Newvember Festival, BETC's Generations Award, the Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award and Little Fish Theatre's...
Jennifer O’Grady's plays have won the Henley Rose Award, the NEWvember Festival Dublin and the MTWorks Newborn Festival competitions and Heartland Theatre Company's 10-Minute Play Contest, and have been Finalists or Semifinalists for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Newvember Festival, BETC's Generations Award, the Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award and Little Fish Theatre's Pick of the Vine. Her plays have been produced or developed by The Irish Repertory Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, Heartland Theatre Co, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, Monster Box Theatre, AboutFace Ireland, White Mouse Theatre Productions, Twilight Theatre Productions, Manhattan Theatre Works, Wild Rumpus Productions and other theaters. Her work is published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 and 2016 (Smith and Krause), The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2017 and 2014 (Smith and Krause), and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women 18-35 (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books). In 2018 Jennifer was selected as a mentee in playwriting by AWP's Writer2Writer Program.

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

A first-gen Irish-American and second-gen Italian-American, Jennifer grew up in New York City and earned a BA from Vassar, where she won awards for her writing, and an MFA from Columbia University. She lives with her husband, son and daughter near New York City. (www.jenniferogrady.net)

Plays

  • CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS
    (Full length) Intertwines Charlotte Brontë's two years at a Belgian school—where she became close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger—with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and scandalous novels including JANE EYRE. A play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.

    WINNER: Henley Rose Award 2018; NEWvember...
    (Full length) Intertwines Charlotte Brontë's two years at a Belgian school—where she became close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger—with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and scandalous novels including JANE EYRE. A play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.

    WINNER: Henley Rose Award 2018; NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin 2017; SEMIFINALIST: O'Neill Conference and others
  • Most Wonderful
    (10 minutes) Two unemployed roommates learn the meaning of Christmas with help from a can of beans and some dental floss.
  • The Mysterious Affair at the Christies
    (Short) An imagined glimpse into mystery-writer Agatha Christie's troubled first marriage and the roots of her long career as a novelist.
  • Persephone
    (10 minutes) A suburban riff on the myth of Persephone, forced to live in the underworld. This Persephone returns to give her small child an unusual gift, something she will defy all obstacles to bestow.

    WINNER: Heartland Theatre's 2018 10-Minute Play Contest
  • The Great Gaffe
    (10 minutes) Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton gives a tea party for F. Scott Fitzgerald, struggling young author of The Great Gatsby, with disastrous results.

    SELECTED for THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2016
  • ELLERY
    (Full length) Becca's life sucks--she hates her psychic abilities and is being haunted by her dead but still-critical mother and overly involved grandmother. When a dead young woman appears and needs 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.

    SELECTED for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2017
  • Pre-War
    (10 minutes) An agoraphobic woman and her older, Czechoslovakian neighbor discover they have more in common than they realized.
  • JUGGLING WITH MR. FIELDS
    (Full length) 64-year-old, nearly-alcoholic movie star W.C. Fields--shunned by film studios and eager for work--grudgingly hires a young English valet, while Fields's mistress and rising-actor friend Anthony Quinn vie for his attention. 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 drama about longing and belonging.
  • Admiral Grace Hopper Revisits
    (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.
  • Mending
    (Short) At Monticello the day after Thomas Jefferson's death an enslaved woman, Sally Hemings, and her 21-year-old enslaved son by Jefferson wait for essential news. But Jefferson's white daughter Martha wants vital information, and has information to share that could jeopardize mother and son.
  • Emily's Room
    (One act) 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.
  • The Bookstore
    (10 minutes) A bored poetry book decides to make a little mischief.
  • The Gorilla
    (10 minutes) Myra's life is a shambles, until a startling encounter in the zoo's gorilla house.
  • PARANORMAL LOVE
    (Full length) Kevin is dead and stuck in a boring afterlife with little to do but eat popcorn and watch the living. When his former boyfriend David decides to marry a woman, Kevin decides to wrap up unfinished business with the aid of two dead friends, until things begin to go wrong. A dark comedy about love, loss, and the power of memory.

    WINNER: MTWorks Newborn Festival; FINALIST: NEWvember Festival
  • QUASARS
    (Full length) When Josh's wife becomes seriously ill but won't slow down, Josh takes secretive measures to keep her at home. But their nine-year-old daughter witnesses his ploys, bringing unwanted scrutiny from a young Catholic priest. As his wife's illness worsens Josh must learn to let go with help from a troubled priest and a strange young woman with piercings.

    SELECTED for THE...
    (Full length) When Josh's wife becomes seriously ill but won't slow down, Josh takes secretive measures to keep her at home. But their nine-year-old daughter witnesses his ploys, bringing unwanted scrutiny from a young Catholic priest. As his wife's illness worsens Josh must learn to let go with help from a troubled priest and a strange young woman with piercings.

    SELECTED for THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2014 and BEST CONTEMPORARY MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN 18-35
  • First Day in Trade
    (10 minutes) At a New York publishing house, an impoverished new assistant is informed that one of the world's wealthiest women--editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis--might want to bum cigarettes from her.

    SELECTED for THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2017
  • COMPLEX ANALYSIS
    (Full length) Anthea heads a struggling trauma clinic, where she sees Nathan, a gifted but failing math student and survivor of a school shooting. While her own life falls into crisis Anthea hires Christine, an eager new therapist who begins treating Nathan in sessions that quickly blur the lines between helping and harming, and between danger and love. An exploration of the psychological effects of gun...
    (Full length) Anthea heads a struggling trauma clinic, where she sees Nathan, a gifted but failing math student and survivor of a school shooting. While her own life falls into crisis Anthea hires Christine, an eager new therapist who begins treating Nathan in sessions that quickly blur the lines between helping and harming, and between danger and love. An exploration of the psychological effects of gun violence and our public mental-health system.
  • Domestic Service
    (10 minutes) When 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.
  • Only Human (a monologue)
    (Monologue) A Catholic priest's meditations on love, friendship, and a tragedy in his past.
  • A Piece of the Continent
    (10 minutes) Donald and Jared are having a bad day. And there's lots of water.
  • Welcome to These Sandwich Islands
    (10 minutes) American missionary Lucy Thurston and Hawaiian Queen Ka'ahumanu are welcoming some new arrivals to the Island of Hawaii, while engaging in a mental battle over culture and religion.