Peter Gil-Sheridan

Plays written by Peter Gil-Sheridan



Cockfight – (3M 3W) At the top of the play, Juanie is asleep on the patio outside his home in Tampa, where he sleeps because it’s cooler outside than it is inside. Plus it’s where he paints. At present, his canvas is a giant egg, the biggest egg you’ve ever seen, an egg big enough to hold a full grown adult male. Inside that egg is Juanie’s father’s dreams: a prizewinning rooster that he hopes will become a star on the underground cockfighting circuit. At the top of the play, Juanie’s father, Big Juan and his stepmother, Boozy Floozy, return home, as they do every morning, drunk and hungry, ready to share stories of that night’s odyssey. Once the egg hatches, it turns out that the bird’s nature is a bit more gentle that Big Juan had anticipated. So Dad decides to quit drinking to embark on a campaign to toughen the bird, to train him so that he’ll meet his expectations. And while he succeeds at turning the gentle bird into a warrior, Boozy desperate for her partner-in-crime, falls deeper into her drinking. Once Juanie learns that most roosters who fight in cockfights actually die in the end, Juanie despairs at the loss of the symbol of his burgeoning love and sexuality. Under the watchful eye of the Santa Barbara, a cheap lawn ornament of the great saint, Juanie pleads with his father to spare the bird. In the end, it is divine intervention that gives this desperate family a chance for redemption.

Ritu Comes Home – (3M 2W) Would you give money to feed a child in a third world country? Brendan and Jason, an affluent couple from Bryn Mawr, PA, proudly pay 80 cents a day to support their “adopted” Bangladeshi daughter while spending their days drinking, eating, drinking, shopping, dissing, and drinking. Until one day, when the child-turned- teenager magically appears in their living room, turning everyone’s lives upside down. What follows is an irreverent and imaginative romp exploring the meaning of home and family in an increasingly globalized world.

Useful People – When heartsick Patrick returns home to see his grandmother in her retirement home New Jersey, he finds her embroiled in her own mess. She’s cooked up a scheme with a lover to make a fortune dealing drugs. Useful People is the story of Americans searching for love and purpose in an increasingly desperate landscape.


Peter Gil-Sheridan is a multidisciplinary artist whose plays include The Deadly Belles, Everyday I Wake the Fool, Glow, Vanishing Son, and Topsy Turvy Mouse which has been produced by Cherry Lane Theatre, Borderlands, and Gustavus Adolphus, developed at Sundance Institute, New York Theatre Workshop and was named the winner of The Smith Prize from National New Play Network for outstanding political work. Topsy Turvy Mouse is published by Playscripts, Inc. His play, What May Fall, was commissioned by the Guthrie Theatre and was performed in their Dowling Studio in 2009. The play will have a production with Fordham Alumni Theatre Company in July, 2010. Residencies: Jerome Fellowship (Playwright’s Center, Minneapolis), A Theatre Group in Silverton, CO (annual), The Millay Colony (Austerlitz, NY) and The Ucross Foundation (Clearmont, Wyoming). Other work with: Lark Theatre, Kennedy Center, NY Fringe Festival, and Prospect Theatre Company. Mr. Gil-Sheridan recently completed a new play, Ritu Comes Home, for the InterAct Theatre 20/20 Commission in Philadelphia. He also directed Dog Act by Liz Duffy Adams at Fordham and History of the Word, an interactive hip-hop/spoken word musical, presented at the Cleveland Playhouse and now on tour across the U.S. He received his MFA from The University of Iowa’s Playwright’s Workshop and his BA from Fordham University at Lincoln Center where he’s been on the faculty since 2005. He is also in his third year as teaching artist for the LEAP Fidelity FutureStage Program where he teaches playwriting to students at three NYC public schools in the Bronx, Bushwick, and Crown Heights. The program culminates with his students performing the winning plays at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. The 2010 event was hosted by Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank.

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