Sheila Callaghan

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Sheila Callaghan
Born (1973-01-24) January 24, 1973 (age 50)
Queens, New York

Sheila Callaghan (born 1973) is a playwright and screenwriter who emerged from the RAT (Regional Alternative Theatre) movement of the 1990s. She has been profiled by American Theater Magazine,[1] "The Brooklyn Rail",[2] Theatermania,[3] and The Village Voice.[4] Her work has been published in American Theatre magazine.

In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 successful women who are changing the world."[5] She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010.[6] She was nominated for a 2016 Golden Globe Award for her work on the Hulu comedy series Casual, and a 2017 WGA nomination for her episode "I Am A Storm" from Season 7 of the comedy/drama series Shameless.[7]


Callaghan's writing has been described as "comically engaging, subversively penetrating",[8] "whimsically eloquent",[9] "unique and completely contemporary",[10] and "downright weird".[11] The New York Times has said Callaghan "writes with a world-weary tone and has a poet's gift for economical description,"[12] 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."[13]


Callaghan is a founding member of feminist advocacy group The Kilroys, who created the Kilroys' List. She is also a founding member of the playwrights' collective 13P and an alumni member of New Dramatists.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

Callaghan is the recipient of several writing awards, including the 2000 Princess Grace Award,[15] the 2014 Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle,[16] and the 2007 Whiting Award for Drama.[17] She also won a Robert Chesley Award from Publishing Triangle in 2002.[18] In 2007, her play Dead City won a Special Commendation Award for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.[19]

She has also received a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights' Center, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a grant from New York Foundation for the Arts, and a New York State Council on the Arts grant.


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 is married to composer and producer Sophocles Papavasilopoulos, with whom she has a son.[20]

Plays by Sheila Callaghan[edit]

Her most well-known play to date is Women Laughing Alone With Salad,[21] which was featured on The Kilroys' List in 2014.[22] Her other plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Flea Theater, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, PlayPenn, Collision Theatre Company, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, Theatre of NOTE, Impact Theatre, foolsFURY Theater Rattlestick Playwrights Theater 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.

Several of her plays are published by Playscripts, Inc., Samuel French Inc., and S. Fischer Verlag (in German translation), and she has been anthologized in the New York Theatre Review and others. A collection of her plays was published in 2011 by Soft Skull Press.

List of long plays:

List of short plays:

  • New Shoes
  • Tumor
  • American Jack
  • Blue Lila Rising
  • Ayravana Flies or A Pretty Dish
  • The Transit Plays
  • He Ate the Sun
  • Soak
  • Hold This


  • (contribution to:) Uncle Sam's Satiric Spectacular: a vaudevillean collaboration

Film and television[edit]

Callaghan is a writer/producer for the Showtime series Shameless and was a writer for two seasons on United States of Tara. She was also a writer/producer on the Hulu comedy series Casual. 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hart, Sarah (2008-10-01). "Blow Me Up, Lay Me Down". American Theatre Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-10-02. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  2. ^ Smith, Tommy (2015-09-08). "The Salad Days of Sheila Callaghan". The Brooklyn Rail.
  3. ^ "People to Watch". Theater Mania. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  4. ^ "Rejoyce:A playwright's modern-day downtown riff on Ulysses". The Village Voice.
  5. ^ "Successful Women Profiles – Stories of Successful Women". Marie Claire.
  6. ^ Morfoot, Addie (2010-11-16). "Sheila Callaghan: 'Dream' job for playwright". Variety.
  7. ^ "Nominees for the 69th annual Writers Guild Awards". Writers Guild of America East.
  8. ^ Hurwitt, Robert (2006-07-01). "Achingly funny comedy that has serious issues with capitalism". San Francisco Chronicle.
  9. ^ "Dazzling 'Crumble' is stalwartly screwy". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "Bloomsday Revisited". offoffonline.
  11. ^ Green, Leah B. (2005-09-30). ""Weird" play christens new theater space". The Seattle Times.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Review". Philadelphia Weekly.
  14. ^ "Sheila Callaghan". New Dramatists.
  15. ^ "Princess Grace Foundation-USA : 2000 Award Winners".
  16. ^ "2014 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award Winners Announced!". Playbill. 2016-03-09.
  17. ^ "Alumna wins 2007 Whiting Writers' Award". TCNJ Magazine.
  18. ^ "Christopher Shinn and Sheila Callaghan Win Chesley Awards". TheatreMania, June 2002.
  19. ^ "Sheila Callaghan Among Blackburn Award Winners". TheaterMania. 2007-03-02.
  20. ^ Hart, Sarah (2008-10-01). "Blow Me Up, Lay Me Down". American Theatre Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-10-02. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  21. ^ Gelt, Jessica (2016-03-09). "Sheila Callaghan plays with gender identity in 'Women Laughing Alone With Salad'". Los Angeles Times.
  22. ^ "THE LIST 2014: The Top 46". 3 November 2016.

External links[edit]