Dan O'Brien (playwright)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dan O'Brien
Born New York
Occupation Playwright, Poet
Spouse(s) Jessica St. Clair (1 child)

Dan O’Brien is an American playwright and poet whose work includes the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama-winning play The Body of an American, which premiered at Portland Center Stage in 2012 directed by Bill Rauch, and will receive its U.K. premiere at the Gate Theatre in London in the 2013-14 season.[1] The Kennedy Prize is shared with Robert Schenkkan's All the Way.[2] The Body of an American is also winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, administered by Williamstown Theatre Festival,[3] and the PEN Center USA Award for Drama.[4] A new opera with composer Jonathan Berger, Visitations, premiered at the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University in April 2013, directed by Rinde Eckert.[5]

O'Brien's debut poetry collection entitled War Reporter was published in 2013 by Hanging Loose Press in Brooklyn and London's CB Editions, edited by Charles Boyle. War Reporter received the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize,[6] and was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.[7] O'Brien was recently writer-in-residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut.[8]

Patrick McGuiness writes in The Guardian that War Reporter is "a masterpiece of truthfulness and feeling, and a completely sui generis addition not just to writing about war but to contemporary poetry.”[9]

O'Brien's plays include The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, The Cherry Sisters Revisited, The Voyage of the Carcass, The Dear Boy, The House in Hydesville, Moving Picture, Key West, Am Lit, Lamarck, The Last Supper Restoration, The Angel in the Trees, "Will You Please Shut Up?", and The Disappearance of Daniel Hand. His work has been produced by Second Stage Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Geva Theatre Center, Page 73 Productions, The Production Company, SoHo Playhouse, and elsewhere. He has served as a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, the Djerassi Fellow in Playwriting at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and as the Tennessee Williams Fellow in Playwriting at The University of the South (Sewanee). He has frequently served on the playwriting faculty at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. His work has been developed at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, The New Harmony Project, and elsewhere. A song cycle entitled Theotokia (Hymns to the Mother of God), with music by Jonathan Berger and text by Dan O'Brien, premiered at the 2010 Spoleto Festival USA, performed by Dawn Upshaw.

O'Brien is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. He is a graduate of Brown University's playwriting program and Middlebury College. In 1996-97 O'Brien received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for travel and independent study in Ireland and the U.K. Awards include the American Theatre Critics Association's M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for Best New Play by an Emerging Playwright.

O'Brien's poetry and fiction have appeared internationally in literary journals and magazines including Geist, Southwest Review, Missouri Review, 32 poems, Poetry Review, The White Review, Magma Poetry, Cyphers, The Moth, ZYZZYVA, St. Petersburg Review, Malahat Review, Grain, Event, St. Ann's Review, 5 AM, StoryQuarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Pinch, Greensboro Review, Crab Orchard Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Margie, and elsewhere.

O'Brien is originally from New York. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress-comedienne Jessica St. Clair. Their first child, a daughter, Isobel Kelly O'Brien, was born on October 1, 2013.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Shenton, Mark. "London's Gate Theatre to Present These American Lives". Playbill.com. 
  2. ^ Healy, Patrick (22 February 2013). "First Winners of Kennedy Prize Announced". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Rickwald, Bethany. "Dan O'Brien, Greg Naughton, Adam Rapp Set for Williamstown Theatre Festival's Fridays @ 3 Reading Series". TheatreMania.com. 
  4. ^ http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-joan-didion-harrison-ford-pen-center-usa-winners-20130822,0,379680.story
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/arts/music/jonathan-bergers-visitations-at-stanford.html?_r=0
  6. ^ . The Poetry Trust http://www.thepoetrytrust.org/news/fenton-aldeburgh-first-collection-prize-2013-winner-announced/. Retrieved 8 November 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/08/forward-poetry-prize-shortlists-2013?_r=0
  8. ^ http://www.jamesmerrillhouse.org/writers_in_residence.htm
  9. ^ McGuiness, Patrick (15 November 2013). "War Reporter by Dan O'Brien – review". Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2013.