Laura Maria Censabella
Laura Maria Censabella’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and Alfred P. Sloan commissioned play Paradise recently completed its sold-out west coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre (Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and John Cappetta, producers) and was extended at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. It premiered at Underground Railway/Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA in spring 2017 (IRNE Award Best New Play) and was co-...
Laura Maria Censabella’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and Alfred P. Sloan commissioned play Paradise recently completed its sold-out west coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre (Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and John Cappetta, producers) and was extended at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. It premiered at Underground Railway/Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA in spring 2017 (IRNE Award Best New Play) and was co-produced by Passage Theatre/Luna Stage in fall 2017. She won the $10,000 ADAA William Saroyan Human Rights/Social Justice Playwriting Award for her play Carla Cooks The War, and her work has also been produced or workshopped by The Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, The Women's Project & Productions, The Working Theatre, Portland Stage, Gulfshore Playhouse, m2 productions, Interact Theatre in L.A., the American Living Room Series at The Ohio, the Athena Project, the Belmont Italian American Playhouse (which commissioned her play Some Girls), the Pacific Resident Theatre, The Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, Wide Eyed Productions, and Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she is a member and runs the professional Playwrights Unit. Her one act play Interviewing Miss Davis was produced in Ensemble Studio Theatre’s One Act Marathon of Plays. Her children’s musical O’Sullivan Stew, written with composer-lyricist Frank Cuthbert, was commissioned and produced by Greene Arts Foundation, and an abridged version toured under the auspices of Urban Stages Outreach. Urban Stages then commissioned her musical The Last Pine Tree on Eagle Mountain, (also written with composer-lyricist Frank Cuthbert) which toured for three years.
Ms. Censabella has been awarded three grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts: two in playwriting for Abandoned in Queens and Carla Cooks The War (a/k/a Three Italian Women), and The Geri Ashur Award in Screenwriting for her original screenplay Truly Mary. Truly Mary was subsequently developed at The New Harmony Project with director Angelo Pizzo and producer Michael London. She has also been a two-time participant in the O'Neill Playwrights Conference for Abandoned in Queens and Jazz Wives Jazz Lives and has received writing fellowships from Yaddo, SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Brush Creek Foundation, The New Harmony Project and the O’Neill. Her short play Posing was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and The Actual Footage won the Tennessee Chapbook Prize for Drama. Both plays are published in Poems & Plays (Numbers Five and Seven), as is her play Stones Fall, Birds Fly (Number Sixteen). Her play Interviewing Miss Davis is published in the St. Petersburg Review 4/5 and online by IndependentPlaywrights.com; her full length Carla Cooks The War is published online by Connotation Press, and her long one act Abandoned in Queens is published in The Best American Short Plays of 2012-2013 (Applause Books).
Ms. Censabella's teaching experience includes the New School for Drama (current, Distinguished University-Wide Teaching Award), Sarah Lawrence College, the Actors Studio Drama School, Columbia University's School of the Arts, Columbia College's Undergraduate Writing Program, City University's MFA Writing Program, The Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She recently wrote the screenplay of Paradise for American Oasis Productions and has written the short film adaptation Physics for HBO's Women: Breaking the Rules series. For two years she wrote for daytime serial television, winning two Emmy Awards. Her half-hour independent film Last Call (directed by Robert Bailey and starring Jude Ciccolella and Dana Dewes) was an official selection in many festivals throughout the world, including the Avignon Film Festival, the Other Venice Film Festival, the Sedona International Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives’ New Works Series, and the Breckenridge Film Festival where it won the Best Short Drama Award. It is released by Cinequest on a compilation DVD entitled Second Sight: Cinequest Favorite Short Films, Volume II and is available on Netflix (search: Second Sight, Vol. 2).
She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, and is currently working on a new Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan commission on the pioneering breakthroughs in animal cognition of scientist Dr. Irene Pepperberg of Alex & Me fame.