Clare Barron is a playwright and actor from Wenatchee, Washington. She won the 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting for You Got Older. She is a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Dance Nation.
In an interview, Barron said that she became interested in theatre in her early teens. "I was in a Shakespeare troupe for children in my hometown of Wenatchee, Washington, which was run by the playwright Heidi Schreck’s mother, Sherry Schreck." She attended the Tisch Summer Program while in high school, where she took a writing workshop. Barron graduated from Yale University. After acting for some time, she attended a workshop where Annie Baker was the teacher, and wrote a boy put this girl in a cage with a dog and the dog killed the girl. This led to joining a writer's group at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
As a performer, Barron has appeared in several plays. Among others, she appeared in Uncle Vanya at the HERE Arts Center (New York City) in 2012 as Marina and The Essential Straight and Narrow at The New Ohio Theatre (New York City) in May 2014. Barron appeared in the play by Heidi Schreck The Consultant at the Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven in January 2014.
Barron was a member of Soho Rep's 2013/14 Writer/Director Lab, where she developed her play You Got Older. She received the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship in 2014, and Page 73 produced You Got Older in October to November 2014 at the HERE Arts Center, New York City. The production was directed by Anne Kauffman and featured Reed Birney and Brooke Bloom. In 2015, You Got Older was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. She was featured on the 2015 Kilroys' List. The New Yorker reviewer wrote: "This terrific new play by Clare Barron, directed by Anne Kauffman for Page 73, offers a hilarious and painfully affecting blend of oddball dialogue, beautifully observed family dynamics, and a preoccupation with the weird ways of the body." She received the 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting for You Got Older.
Her play Baby Screams Miracle was produced Off-Off-Broadway by Clubbed Thumb in their Summerworks Festival in May to June 2, 2013. Reviewer Sherri Kronfeld wrote: "...is a satisfyingly peculiar family-nightmare-mystery-storm-freakout-session, almost more dream than play at times." The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC) produced the play early in 2017.
In 2016 her play I'll Never Love Again was produced at Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, New York. It was a New York Times Critics' Pick by Ben Brantley, who wrote "...recalls the anguishing mysteries of sex and love during adolescence." The Time Out reviewer wrote: "Barron is a sharp, clear, virtuosic voice in the neorealist movement downtown.... The theme is Barron's awakening sexuality; at one point, she uses her body as an instrument."
Barron's play Dance Nation received its world premiere Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in April 2018. The play was the winner of the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which included a $25,000 award. The play involves pre-teen competitive dancers and their competition at the Boogie Down Grand Prix.
It was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The committee wrote: "A refreshingly unorthodox play that conveys the joy and abandon of dancing, while addressing the changes to body and mind of its preteen characters as they peer over the precipice toward adulthood."
She currently lives in Brooklyn.
- Pulitzer Prize in Drama Finalist, 2019, Dance Nation
- Whiting Award in Drama, 2017 (which includes a monetary award of $50,000)
- Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2017, Dance Nation
- Relentless Award, 2015, Dance Nation
- Obie Award for Playwriting, 2015, You Got Older
- Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, 2014
- Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship, 2014
- Dance Nation (2018)
- I'll Never Love Again (2016)
- You Got Older (2014)
- Baby Screams Miracle (2013)
- Solar Plexus (2013)
- Dirty Crusty
- a boy put this girl in a cage with a dog and the dog killed the girl
- "Clare Barron". New Dramatists. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- "Artist Interview. Claire Barron" playwrightshorizons.org, retrieved April 20, 2019
- Soloski, Alexis (October 22, 2014). "Clare Barron Discusses Her New Play, 'You Got Older'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Clare Barron" abouttheartists.com, retrieved April 20, 2019
- Minor, E. Kyle. " 'The Consultant’ at Long Wharf Theatre has a head-scratching sticking point" nhregister.com, January 18, 2014
- "Introducing W/D Lab Member…Clare Barron! | Soho Rep". sohorep.org. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Page 73 Productions "You Got Older". www.page73.org. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "THE LIST 2015 | The Kilroys". The Kilroys. April 27, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- You Got Older The New Yorker, retrieved April 20, 2019
- "2015 | Obie Awards". Obie Awards. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- "SUMMERWORKS 2013 | clubbed thumb". www.clubbedthumb.org. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Reviews" clubbedthumb.org, retrieved April 20, 2019
- "Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company – Event". www.woollymammoth.net. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- Brantley, Ben (February 26, 2016). "Review: 'I'll Never Love Again,' From a Teenage Girl's Diary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- Shaw, Helen. " 'I'll Never Love Again' (a chamber piece): Theater review" Time Out, March 14, 2016
- Editors, American Theatre (March 7, 2017). "Clare Barron's 'Dance Nation' Wins Blackburn Prize". AMERICAN THEATRE. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- "Clare Barron" pulitzer.org, retrieved April 20, 2019
- Brantley, Ben. "Review. ‘Dance Nation,’ the Power and the Terror of Girls at 13" The New York Times, (subscription required), May 8, 2018
- McPhee, Ryan. "Nominations for the 2019 Drama Desk Awards Announced; 'Oklahoma!', 'Tootsie', 'Rags Parkland' Lead the Pack" Playbill, April 25, 2019
- Clement, Olivia; McPhee, Ryan. "Heidi Schreck's Constitution, New York Theatre Workshop Among 2019 Obie Award Winners" Playbill, May 20, 2019
- "Whiting Awards". www.whiting.org. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "2017 Winner | The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize". www.blackburnprize.org. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- Editors, American Theatre (November 9, 2015). "Clare Barron and Sarah DeLappe Win Inaugural Relentless Award". AMERICAN THEATRE. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Paula Vogel Playwriting Award | Vineyard Theatre". Vineyard Theatre. Retrieved March 23, 2017.