Erik Gernand

Plays written by Erik Gernand



A Beautiful Dark- (2F 4M) Nancy’s life is turned upside down when her 18-year old son Jacob fails out of college and returns home. She tries everything she can think of to help the troubled young man get his life back on track. Nancy appears to be succeeding, until she discovers disturbing news: Jacob didn’t flunk out; he was kicked out for writing a graphic play about a shooting spree on campus, carried out by a young protagonist eerily similar to her son.

A Place in the Woods – (2F 3M) When Shaun’s mother Linda is found wandering and confused in the middle of the night, he packs up his 16-year old son and makes the trip from Chicago to his hometown of Hunter, Indiana. An old friend, local police officer, tells Shaun this isn’t the first time it has happened.  Now Shaun must reconnect with his alcoholic older brother and help his hostile mother confront the siege of  dementia. But a dark and long-buried family secret threatens to rise to the surface, and force the family to confront a past that none of them, including Shaun, have been able to outrun.

The Kneeling Position- (2M) A man confronts his high school bully twenty years later upon learning that the bully is running for Congress. A confrontation exposes a dark secret they’ve both kept since childhood that threatens to derail the former bully’s entire campaign. Can each man move forward from this dark chapter in their lives, or is forgiveness too late for both men?


Erik’s work has been produced around the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Miami, and Washington, D.C., and ranges from dark drama to satire. His full-length play The Beautiful Dark was the New Works Project Winner at T. Schreiber Studio in New York, and a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award. Erik has been producing media professionally since 1995 with his first production job was at a PBS affiliate in Indiana. He studied Telecommunications at Ball State University (where he was a recipient of a David Letterman Scholarship for Telecommunications) and completed an MFA at Northwestern University in Writing for the Screen and Stage.

In 1998, he co-founded the Atlanta-based video production company The Media Bunch, Inc., producing and directing documentary projects for non-profit organizations for more than a decade. Erik also written and directed award-winning narrative short films that have screened at more than 100 festivals around the world including SXSW, Cinequest, and Chicago International Film Festival, as well as been broadcast on IFC, PBS, and The Logo Channel and distributed on DVD by First Run Features and Strand Releasing.

Erik is currently a Lecturer in Film Production at Northwestern University where he received the Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award in 2012