January 24, 1973 |
Queens, New York
Sheila Callaghan (born 1973) is a New York City-based playwright and screenwriter who emerged from the RAT (Regional Alternative Theater) movement of the 1990s. Her work is considered to be part of the downtown theater (or "experimental") scene, and is known for its unusual use of language and narrative structure. Callaghan's writing has been described as "comically engaging, subversively penetrating", "whimsically eloquent", "unique and completely contemporary", and "downright weird". The New York Times has said Callaghan "writes with a world-weary tone and has a poet's gift for economical description," and the Philadelphia Weekly has called Callaghan a "provocative playwright" with a "national following" who "creates work that's realistic and unpredictable, dark and funny, reassuring and disturbing."
She has been profiled by American Theater Magazine, Time Out New York, Theatermania, and The Village Voice, and she occasionally contributes articles to the theatre section of The Brooklyn Rail.
Callaghan is also the recipient of several writing honors, including The Princess Grace Award, The LA Weekly Theater Award, The Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center, The Chesley Prize for Lesbian Playwriting, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a grant from The New York Foundation for The Arts, and an NYSCA grant. In 2007 her play Dead City won a Special Commendation Award for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is also a 2007 recipient of the Whiting Writers Award.
Callaghan has taught playwriting and English at the University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Spalding University, Brooklyn College, LaGuardia Community College, and Florida State University.
She was also the author of a (now defunct) blog popular within the theatre community, which dealt with her life as a writer in New York City. She is married to composer Sophocles Papavasilopoulos, with whom she has a son.
Plays by Sheila Callaghan
Her most well-known play to date is Dead City, a free adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses, which was produced by New Georges at 3LD Art & Technology Center in 2006. Her other plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Flea Theater, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Collision Theatre Company, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Theatre of NOTE, Impact Theatre, foolsFURY Theater Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and Moving Arts, among others.
Internationally, her plays have been produced in New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
List of plays:
- Lascivious Something
- Dead City
- Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) (originally produced by Clubbed Thumb)
- Crawl, Fade to White
- Kate Crackernuts
- We Are Not These Hands
- That Pretty Pretty (Or, The Rape Play) (originally produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater)
- Roadkill Confidential
- Everything You Touch
- Port Out, Starboard Home
- Water (a meditation on...)
Film and television
Callaghan is a writer/producer for the Showtime series Shameless and was a writer for two seasons on United States of Tara. Her pilot Over/Under was filmed for the USA Network, starring Steven Pasquale and Caroline Dhavernas. She was hired to write the film adaptation of I Dream of Jeannie by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Escape Artists. She is also collaborating on a film with Steven Shainberg entitled The Nakeds. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 successful women who are changing the world." She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010.
- "in dialogue: Devouring the Scenery with Sheila Callaghan". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Hurwitt, Robert (2006-07-01). "Achingly funny comedy that has serious issues with capitalism". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Dazzling 'Crumble' is stalwartly screwy". Los Angeles Times.
- "Bloomsday Revisited". offoffonline.
- Green, Leah B. (2005-09-30). ""Weird" play christens new theater space". The Seattle Times.
- Zinoman, Jason (2006-06-02). "'Dead City': It's a Wonderful, Lively Town, Where the Dead Men Speak". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "Review". Philadelphia Weekly.
- "The not-ready-for-Broadway playwrights". Timeout New York.
- "People to Watch". Theater Mania.
- "Rejoyce:A playwright's modern-day downtown riff on Ulysses". The Village Voice.
- "Christopher Shinn and Sheila Callaghan Win Chesley Awards". TheatreMania, June 2002.
- "Successful Women Profiles - Stories of Successful Women". Marie Claire.
- Morfoot, Addie (2010-11-16). "Sheila Callaghan: 'Dream' job for playwright". Variety.
- Official site
- Information on Sheila Callaghan by doollee.com
- 'Blow Me Up, Lay Me Down,' American Theatre Magazine
- Robertson, Campbell (2006-06-15). "Playwright of 'Dead City' Substitutes Manhattan for Dublin". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- "Interview". Maestro Arts and Reviews. 2005-10-07.