C. Denby Swanson

C. Denby Swanson

C. Denby Swanson is a graduate of Smith College, the National Theater Institute, and the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow in playwriting and screenwriting. She has been the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, McKnight Advancement Grant, William Inge Residency, and the NEA/TCG National Theater Residency Program for Playwrights. Her work is published by Playscripts, Smith...
C. Denby Swanson is a graduate of Smith College, the National Theater Institute, and the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow in playwriting and screenwriting. She has been the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, McKnight Advancement Grant, William Inge Residency, and the NEA/TCG National Theater Residency Program for Playwrights. Her work is published by Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, and Dramatists Play Service. She is currently working on a commission from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation/EST for a new play about Frances Glessner Lee, "the mother of forensic science." She is on the faculty at Texas State University.

Plays

  • GABRIEL (A Polemic)
    At a Sabbath pot luck, four women argue about free will, faith, and sisterhood. Do we have free will? Do we want it? Do we want it for each other?
  • THE NORWEGIANS
    A strong, bitter comedy about women scorned in Minnesota and the really, really nice gangsters—Norwegian hit men—they hire to whack their ex-boyfriends. Olive is a transplant from Texas and Betty is a transplant from Kentucky, but neither of them was prepared for the Norwegian men they would fall in love with there: the practical, warm, thoughtful, destructive, evil, jilting kind. If you're a hit man in...
    A strong, bitter comedy about women scorned in Minnesota and the really, really nice gangsters—Norwegian hit men—they hire to whack their ex-boyfriends. Olive is a transplant from Texas and Betty is a transplant from Kentucky, but neither of them was prepared for the Norwegian men they would fall in love with there: the practical, warm, thoughtful, destructive, evil, jilting kind. If you're a hit man in Minnesota, 83% of your clients want to take out their ex (oofda!). Betty has referred Olive to Gus and Tor, a partnership in the whacking business. What Tor doesn't know is that Gus has been sleeping with the clients. What Olive doesn't know is that Gus is Betty's own ex, and she has already put out a hit on him with a Swiss firm. Can Betty call off the job in time to let Gus do his? Should she?
  • DEATH OF A CAT
    One by one members of the family of succumbed to a mysterious disease. Now the twins are quarantined and Mother’s only hope for Father’s life lies in the hands of the modest family doctor. But is the doctor the devil? No animals are injured in the course of the play, but we make no promises about the health of a family of cat-shaped sock puppets.
  • BAD SCIENCE
    BAD SCIENCE is a fast-paced dramedy about big emotions, big decisions, romantic relationships, vaccines, the internet, the high school dance, and Arthur Miller's classic play The Crucible.
  • NUTSHELL
    Frances Glessner Lee, the "mother of forensic science" and creator of the miniatures called The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, hijacks a seminar on homicide investigation, in Baltimore, in order to investigate a crime. But which crime? Who gets justice?
  • THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER'S TALE
    Red and her classmates walk in, dreading the final exam on The Canterbury Tales, only to find a Substitute instead of their beloved English teacher, Mrs. C. They decide to play a prank and make up new Canterbury Tales - will the Sub notice? Will they pass? Will Red get the grade she needs so that she can attend her poetry workshop? More importantly, where is Mrs. C?
  • EVERYTHING SO FAR
    Loosely adapted from a 9th grade biology textbook, Everything So Far is a whimsical interweaving of several impossible stories -- a Dinosaur looking for her lost egg, a Biologist with dark intentions, a Fly with 24 hours to live, the three Fates, the All Chimp Runaway Lab Monkey Band, and a narrator, Peter, who has recently died but finds his way back in time to the moment of his most perfect peace.
  • RELATIVE
    When Alberta, the daughter of a mathematician, struggles to comprehend her parents' impending divorce, she invokes her father's hero and her own namesake: Albert Einstein. The unlikely pair visits the past to study the early strains of her parents' marriage via an incident involving an ambiguous traffic light, a cantankerous judge, and a few amiable Texas Rangers. By examining the incident step...
    When Alberta, the daughter of a mathematician, struggles to comprehend her parents' impending divorce, she invokes her father's hero and her own namesake: Albert Einstein. The unlikely pair visits the past to study the early strains of her parents' marriage via an incident involving an ambiguous traffic light, a cantankerous judge, and a few amiable Texas Rangers. By examining the incident step by step, Einstein helps Alberta accept the uncertainty that lies in all things, whether it be time and space, or the bond between a husband and wife.
  • The Atomic Adventures of Nikolai Nikolaevich
    In this modern Russian fairy tale, a young man must decide whether or not to sell his wild forest mushrooms to a beautiful young woman in the Moscow marketplace. Only five things stand in the way: One, his mushrooms are radioactive. Two, three, four, and five are his twin brothers, who were born on the fingers of his right hand, a result of the accident at Chernobyl. And then there are the market's...
    In this modern Russian fairy tale, a young man must decide whether or not to sell his wild forest mushrooms to a beautiful young woman in the Moscow marketplace. Only five things stand in the way: One, his mushrooms are radioactive. Two, three, four, and five are his twin brothers, who were born on the fingers of his right hand, a result of the accident at Chernobyl. And then there are the market's inspectors, who are hot on his trail and closing in fast...
  • GOVERNING ALICE
    In this modern adaptation of the Greek classic Antigone, a rebellious high school student named Alice must respond to the sudden and shattering death of her older brother, the class valedictorian -- who was shot while robbing a convenience store. Up against an unyielding principal and accompanied by a bookish Geek Chorus, Alice must find her own way through personal and classical tragedy. In honoring her...
    In this modern adaptation of the Greek classic Antigone, a rebellious high school student named Alice must respond to the sudden and shattering death of her older brother, the class valedictorian -- who was shot while robbing a convenience store. Up against an unyielding principal and accompanied by a bookish Geek Chorus, Alice must find her own way through personal and classical tragedy. In honoring her brother, she'll probably break some rules. Which is more important?
  • WATERLESS PLACES
    A family drama set in the Piney Woods of East Texas. A fiesty elderly woman, Dottie, has ended her own life, but returns to help her daughter come to terms with her decision. She forms a magical connection with her young granddaughter and with the neighbor, whom the granddaughter calls Mrs. Alzheimer's
  • I AM MY OWN SANTA
    A dark, bitter, and redemptive one-man show (with additional voices) about theater, love, family, cater-waiters, Hanukkah, and the last Christmas tree on the lot. Written with David Marantz and Stephen Bittrich.