Eleanor Burgess

Plays written by Eleanor Burgess



The Niceties – (2W) – Zoe, a biracial student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

These Dying Generations – When Annabel Foley refuses treatment after a stroke, her estranged daughter Helen bribes the beloved granddaughter Madison – a semi-employed millenial musician from Brooklyn – to take on the role of caregiver. But as the experience brings Annabel and Madison closer, how will Helen compete with her own daughter for her familys love?

Start Down – A San Francisco programmer latches on to an idea for a startup that will automate of the work teachers do in a classroom. But as the idea begins to take off, it becomes clear that Will’s new company may threaten his fiance’s job. Start Down makes larger economic trends hit home.

Chill – On a Friday night in the Spring of 2001, four teenagers gather to hang out, blow off some steam, and avoid talking about their real feelings. Ten years later, in 2011, they reunite as grownups to try to do it all again.


Eleanor is the recipient of the 2016 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award. Her play START DOWN will premiere at the Alliance Theatre in February of 2016 and have a subsequent production at Centenary Stage in April. Her previous plays have been produced by the Last Act Theatre Company, the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival, Lourdes Drama Society, and Everyday Inferno Theatre Company, and developed at the Kennedy Center, Huntington Theatre Company, Crashbox Theater Company and Luna Stage. She has been a playwriting fellow at the Huntington Theatre in Boston and a member of the writers’ group at the Arcola Theatre in London. Originally from Brookline Massachusetts, she holds a B.A. in history from Yale College and an M.F.A in Dramatic Writing from NYU/Tisch.