David Greenspan

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David Greenspan
Occupation Stage actor, playwright

David Greenspan (born 1956) is an American actor and playwright. He is the recipient of five Obies, including an award in 2010 for Sustained Achievement.[1]


Born 1956 in Los Angeles, California. He holds a B.A. in Drama from the University of California at Irvine. He lives in New York City with his long-time partner, the painter William Kennon.[2]


"A classicist in experimental clothing, David Greenspan is a playwright who is also passionately involved in the theatre as an actor and director. From his early more autobiographical plays (one of which, Principia, took inspiration from the shifting modalities of Joyce’s Ulysses) to more recent works inspired by (and at times adapted from the work of) Hawthorne, Stein, Molnar, and Thorton Wilder, Greenspan’s theatre is a place where anything can happen. Deliciously complicated, incredibly funny, the work, whether tragic, tender, mysterious or cruel, betrays a profoundly empathic imagination. Both wildly conjured and deeply attentive to diverse literary and theatrical traditionsfrom vaudeville and Greek mythology to the Bible and boulevard comedyGreenspan’s plays ask big questions about history, creation, sexual behavior, the complications of family and the very act of performing a play." [3]

In 2009 he collaborated with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields in a musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, under the direction of Leigh Silverman. In an interview with Lizzie Olesker in The Brooklyn Rail, Greenspan describes the musical: “We suggest things. Not like a large animated musical. There’s no amplification of our voices. We wanted something that was more direct and immediate as opposed to something coming out of a wall of sound.”[4]


  • The Horizontal And The Vertical, world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1986
  • Dig A Hole And Bury You Father, world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1987
  • Jack, world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1987
  • Principa, world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1988
  • The Home Show Pieces, world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1988
  • 2 Samuel 11, Etc., world premiere HOME for Contemporary Theatre and Art, NYC, 1989
  • Dead Mother, Or Shirley Not All In Vain, world premiere NYSF/Public Theater, 1991
  • Dog In A Dancing School, world premiere Dance Theater Workshop, NYC, 1993
  • Son Of An Engineer, world premiere HERE Arts Center, NYC, 1993
  • Start From Scratch, world premiere New Renaissance @ Greenwich House, NYC, 1993
  • Them, world premiere Actors Theater of Louisville, 1993
  • Only Beauty, reading NYSF/The Public Theater, NYC, 1997
  • Five Frozen Embryos, world premiere New York Fringe Festival, 2002
  • She Stoops To Comedy, world premiere Playwrights Horizons, NYC, 2003
  • The Argument, world premiere Target Margin Theater, NYC, 2007
  • Old Comedy From Aristophanes' Frogs, world premiere Target Margin Theater, NYC, 2008
  • Coraline, world premiere Manhattan Class Company, NYC, 2009
  • The Myopia, an epic burlesque of tragic proportion, world premiere The Foundry Theatre, NYC, 2010
  • Go Back To Where You Are, world premiere Playwrights Horizons, NYC, 2011
  • Jump, world premiere Under The Radar Festival - NYSF/Public Theater, NYC, 2011
  • Jonas, world premiere Transport Group, NYC, 2011


An alumnus of New Dramatists, he has received playwriting fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and Charles Revson Foundation. He received the 1993 McKnight Fellowship from the Playwrights Center, a 2002 CalArts/Alpert Awards in the Arts and a 2006 Lucille Lortel Foundation Fellowship. He has received five Obie awards: two for his work as a performer in 1997 and 2007,[5] two special citations in 2003 and 2008 for his plays She Stoops To Comedy and The Argument, and in 2010 an award for sustained achievement.[6]

The Myopia and Other Plays, a collection of five of his plays published by University of Michigan Press in 2012, won a Lambda Literary Award in 2013 in the Drama category.[7]


  • The Myopia and Other Plays University of Michigan Press, 2012
  • Four Plays and a Monologue No Passport Press, 2012
  • She Stoops To Comedy in Plays From Playwrights Horizons, Vol 2, Broadway Play Publishing Inc., 2010
  • Son of an Engineer Sun and Moon Press, 2000


  1. ^ NYTimes Artsbeat
  2. ^ DonShewey Interview
  3. ^ David Greenspan Alpert Award bio
  4. ^ Olesker, Lizzie (May 2009). "The Power of Suggestion: David Greenspan". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  5. ^ Village Voice 2006-2007 Obie Winners
  6. ^ Obie search engine
  7. ^ "25th annual Lambda Literary Award winners announced". LGBT Weekly, June 4, 2013.

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