MORE ABOUT JENNIFER MAISEL
The daughter of an adhesives manufacturer and a teacher, Jennifer Maisel grew up in a picture perfect Long Island suburb where she once found a dead man in her driveway – which may account for one reviewer’s assessment of her writing as a “sort of David Lynch on estrogen”.
“Jennifer Maisel evokes a fascinating millennial dreamscape of urban dread, psychic
fragmentation and imperfect human connection. Maisel demonstrates a sure hand and a
formidable flair for the mysterious.” Los Angeles Times
Her THE LAST SEDER, starring Gaby Hoffmann, premiered off-Broadway with Rosalind Productions after productions around the country, including D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. Her THERE OR HERE premiered with Hypothetical Theatre in New York and at the Park Theatre in London with Special Relationship Productions. @thespeedofJake, a Kilroy nominee in 2014 and a Kilroy Honorable Mention in 2015, premiered with Playwrights’ Arena in Los Angeles in 2015, was named a PEN West Literary Award finalist, and was subsequently produced at MadLabs in Ohio. Her OUT OF ORBIT, workshopped at the Sundance, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Cal Rep and the Gulf Shore New Play Festival, and recipient of Alfred P Sloan commission for plays about science and technology and The Stanley Award for Drama, made the 2016 Kilroy List. It was then awarded the Woodward Newman award for drama and premiered at Williamston Theatre and Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2018.
Backstage included Jennifer amongst their “favorite female playwrights” and The Dramatist Magazine named her one of their “Ones to Watch. She was recently listed by Theatre Nerds as one of 30 Female Playwrights You Should Know.
Jennifer’s EIGHT NIGHTS was workshopped with the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Antaeus, Moving Arts Bay Street Theatre and Playmakers was part of the 2018 Gulfshore New Play Festival. EIGHT NIGHTS will premiere with Antaeus Theatre in 2019. The play is also part of a national fundraiser for HIAS called 8 Nights of EIGHT NIGHTS.
“GO! Maisel skillfully maneuvers the drama beyond the tolls of the illness; in her conflicted characters, she also illuminates the contemporary woman’s struggle for love and identity.” LA Weekly
Jennifer was one of five playwrights who were part of the prestigious Humanitas PlayLA group, developing her newest play, BETTER, which culminated in a festival reading in September 2018 in collaboration with the Road Theatre in Los Angeles.
Jennifer’s other plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Magic Theatre, The Organic Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York and Los Angeles), South Coast Repertory, Playwrights’ Arena, The Bat at the Flea, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, The LARK, The Hypothetical, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Theatre J, Rorschach Theatre, The Victory Theatre, Circle X Theatre, Theatre of NOTE and Teatro da Juventude (Brazil) among others. She has developed plays at the Playwrights Center’s PlayLabs in Minneapolis, ASK Theatre Project’s Spring Writer’s retreat, NYU’s FirstLook@NewPlays in New York, University of the Arts New Play Festival, Moving Arts MADLabs, Cypress College’s New Play Festival (five times) in California, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, PlayPenn in Philadelphia and the 2010 Sundance Theatre Lab @Mass MOCA (OUT OF ORBIT).
“…a thought-provoking play that touches on reproductive yearnings, sexual desire, cultural imperialism and more.” The New York Times
Jennifer was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award and their Charlotte Woolard Award for Promising New Voice in American Theatre, as well their Roger Stevens Award for Playwrights of Extraordinary Promise. She won South Coast Repertory’s California Playwrights Competition and was a finalist for the PEN West Literary Award (twice), the Sundance Theatre Lab, the O’Neill Theatre Conference (twice), the STAGES International Playwriting Competition, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, Abingdon Theatre’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award (twice), the Ojai Playwrights Festival and the Heideman Award (three times). Backstage included Jennifer amongst their “favorite female playwrights” and The Dramatist Magazine named her one of their “Ones to Watch. She is one of seven playwrights commissioned by Playwrights’ Arena and Center Theatre Group for the collaborative THE HOTEL PLAY, premiered in 2017.
“…a beautifully dark fairy tale that explores the everyday, seemingly inconsequential choices wemake and how the burden of past spells affect our lives.” The Examiner
Jennifer has been a guest lecturer and speaker at Fordham University, University of the Arts, Cal State Long Beach, the UCLA Extension Writers Program, AFI, the David Hwang Playwriting Institute, Cornell University, Footlights in Washington DC and Claremont College. She has taught playwriting at USC, and currently teaches television and screenwriting for the Stephens College Low Residency Master of Fine Arts program.
In the world of film and television, her screenplay, Lost Boy, was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein and adapted two Jane Green novels for Lifetime’s Book-to-Screen series that aired in 2019. She has written movies for NBC, ABC, MTV and Lifetime, was a staff writer on the television series, RELATED, wrote a pilot for ABC Family and developed an animated feature for Disney. She co-created the critically acclaimed web series Faux Baby with Laura Brennan and Rachel Leventhal. The screenplay adaptation of her play THE LAST SEDER won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, meriting her a month’s stay in a haunted farmhouse at the Nantucket Screenwriter’s Colony. She has developed original pilots with Bunim-Murray, Ineffable, Stun Media and MomentumTV.
A graduate of Cornell University, Jennifer received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the WGA, the Playwrights Union, Playwrights Ink and The Dog Ear Playwrights Collective. She is represented by Heroes and Villains and the Susan Schulman Literary Agency. More can be found at jennifermaisel.com.
This is what theater is for. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you think. It makes you feel. It is a shared experience, with the entire audience coming together emotionally even though they sit in the dark without making eye contact with each other. It is the play, and the performances, that creates that emotional connection and that is the magic of live theater.