Plays written by Kirsten Greenidge
LUCK OF THE IRISH
AND MOIRA SPINS
LITTLE ROW BOAT
Bossa Nova – (1M 6W) With spellbinding theatricality Kirsten takes us into the life of a young African-American woman. While Dee attempts to avoid the manicured lawns of her family’s upper middle class existence, she is continually confronted with characters eager to help shape her life. Powerful and poetic, Bossa Nova bursts with humor as it asks serious questions about the search for identity in a world filled with contradictions.
Gibson Girl – (3M 6W) From the recesses of the girls bathroom comes a voice: utterly unruly and viciously vivacious. Its owner is twelve-year-old Valerie, whose life would be a thousand times more endurable if her twin sister would quit her daughter-knows-best act and her mother would abandon her peculiar rituals that she hopes will lure the girls’ long absent father home with syrup tapped from trees in the family’s front yard. But the forces that stifle Valerie’s spirit are facing extinction and strange alliances threaten to unearth a deep secret that, if exposed, will reverse the girls’ fortunes forever.
Luck of the Irish – (3M 4W) When Hannah and her sister Nissa invite a long time friend of the family’s to a memorial picnic for their grandmother, they learn that the deed to the house their family has called home for decades is being mysteriously “reclaimed.” The news forces Hannah into a tailspin as she wrestles with her relationship with the town she’s called home. Interlaced with Hannah’s struggles are glimpses of the past when the deal that procured their home came to fruition.
Splendor – (4M 6W) On Thanksgiving eve in a town just north of Boston, Fran is determined to make a nice turkey dinner for her chain-smoking klepto mother, and her couch-surfing older brother. If only it were that simple. A vivid collage of local stories exposes a community where generations of families collide over far more than pumpkin pie and stuffing.
Zenith – (2M 4W) It seems that hardly a day goes by that the media doesn’t confront us with yet another unspeakable act. Kirsten Greenidge’s Zenith teases out the complex and interwoven threads of one life that ends shockingly. Daring in structure and rich in detail, this play makes us question whether we can ever truly fathom another human being. A Denver Center Commission.
And Moira Spins – (2M 5W) Determined to have a perfect vacation with her sisters, Lavinia has dropped off her kids at camp and rented a summer house. Her siblings, however, bring along their own baggage that threatens to ruin Lavinia’s meticulously planned week. And when their long-estranged stepmother shows up out of the blue, dormant tensions boil to the surface, forcing the women to face their cherished notions of family and how far they will go to preserve those beliefs.
Little Row Boat – (3M 3W 1 child) As the French Revolution brews outside, teenage slave Sally Hemings gets her first taste of freedom while serving in Thomas Jefferson’s Paris home. Inside, she becomes involved in one of the most speculated about and scandalous relationships in American history. With verve, humor, and music, playwright Kirsten Greenidge imagines how events unfolded in the Jefferson household for the family and “servants” alike. Little Row Boat is a visceral and intricate story of convictions, contradictions, and sacrifice in the pursuit of liberty.
Kirsten’s work combines elements of magical realism with a pronounced use of language: the result being a body of plays that possess a heightened sense of realism as they explore how race, class, and culture intersect in the United States. An OBIE Award winner (Milk Like Sugar), Kirsten is a recent PEN/America Laura Pels Foundation Theater Award for Mid Career Playwright recipient. In addition to Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse, Theater Masters, Playwrights Horizons, and Women’s Theater Project, and winner of a San Diego Critic’s Award, a Lucille Lortel Nomination, and a AUDELCO nomination, as well as a New Yorker Year’s Best), Kirsten’s other work includes Baltimore, which is a Big Ten Theatre Consortium Commission, The Luck of the Irish (Huntington Theater Company, LCT3), Bossa Nova (Yale Rep), Rust (Magic Theater), Sans-Culottes in the Promised Land (Humana Festival and Actor’s Theater of Louisville), and Familiar (Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival Lorraine Hansberry Award winner). Kirsten is currently working on commissions from Oregon Shakespeare Festival/American Revolutions (Roll Belinda Roll), Yale Rep (Little Row Boat), Lincoln Center Theater (Tongue Tied Tight, and Delivered), La Jolla Playhouse (To The Quick), ArtsEmerson (a revisiting of J. Anthony Lukas’ Common Ground with Melia Bensussen), The Goodman (And Moira Spins), the Kennedy Center (an adaptation of Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy), The Huntington Theater (The View from Here), and Playwrights Horizons. She has enjoyed development experiences at Denver Center Theater (Zenith), XXPlaylabs/Company One and Boston Center for the Arts (Splendor), Sundance Theater Lab (Bossa Nova), P73, Sundance at Ucross, The Playwright’s Foundation, The O’Neill, A.S.K., McCarter, Pacific Playwrights, National New Play Network, Playtime at New Dramatists, Hourglass, Madison Rep, and Cardinal Stages. Short plays by Kirsten include Proclivities, Devil Must Be Deep, numerous one minute plays included in the One Minute Play Festivals, and two short gospel plays “Transfiguration” and “Ascension”, which were presented as part of The Mysteries at The Flea, directed by Ed Iskandar. Kirsten is a two time Edgerton New American Play Award winner, a New England Theater Conference Major Award winner, an NEA/TCG Residency recipient (at Woolly Mammoth), a Lorraine Hansberry Award winner, a Mark Cohen Award winner, a two time IRNE award winner, and a Sundance/Time Warner grant recipient. An aluma of New Dramatists, and Rhombus Writer’s Group Core Member, Kirsten attended Wesleyan University (where she studied under Darrah Cloud) and the Playwright’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, (where she studied with Naomi Iizuka, Erik Ehn, Sydne Mahone, Dare Clubb, and Art Borrecca) as a Barry Kemp Fellow. Kirsten is currently Assistant Professor of Theater at Boston University’s School of Theater, where she oversees the undergraduate playwrighting course of study.