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Contact Jennifer Barclay
Jennifer Barclay
Artist's Statement

My goal is to write stories which are full of raw, muscular humanity; stories which inspire and elevate, with juicy, scenery-chewing characters actors will die to gobble up. I make it a priority to create stereotype-busting roles for women; ones which I feel are infinitely more complicated than the standard leading lady or ingénue. I’m fascinated by the extremes of humanity, the dark & twisted, the psychologically unexpected, and the quirky underbelly. I write about both the intimacy of family and the magnitude of the world at large. And I believe that a play or a film at its best should be a challenge to the mind, a revelation for the heart, and a raw, joyful collision between human beings.


BIO


Jennifer Barclay is a Chicago-bred actor-turned-playwright, recently relocated to DC where she is a member of Arena Stage's 2017-18 Playwrights' Arena. Her play Ripe Frenzy won the National New Play Network's 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre and the 2018 Dramatists Guild Fund Writers Alliance Grant. Ripe Frenzy was developed at Woolly Mammoth, the 2017 Ojai Playwrights Conference, NNPN/PlayPenn, and will have a Rolling World Premiere in 2018 at New Rep in Boston, Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta and Greenway Court in LA. Jennifer's plays have been produced and developed by Steppenwolf, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, RedCat, The Kennedy Center, Center Stage, The International Theatre of Vienna and The Edinburgh Fringe. Awards include: Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Kennedy Center National Science Playwriting Award, Pinter Review Gold Medal. Jennifer has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Hawthornden International Writers Retreat in Scotland. She has been a Playwright in Residence at South Coast Rep and Center Stage. Jennifer has a degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and an MFA in Playwriting at UC San Diego, where she studied with Naomi Iizuka. She is a proud NNPN Affiliated Artist and an Assistant Professor of Playwriting and Performance in the wonderful Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies department at the University of Maryland.

 

Read Jennifer's Plays
 
on the New Play Exchange

CURRENT
NEWS

 


—Rolling World Premiere of Ripe Frenzy at New Rep in Boston (February 2018), Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta (April 2018) and Greenway Court in LA (May 2018). The play was developed at Woolly Mammoth, the 2017 Ojai Playwrights Conference and NNPN/PlayPenn. You can read Ripe Frenzy here.

Boston Globe article previewing Ripe Frenzy

Ripe Frenzy won the 2018 Dramatists Guild Fund Writers Alliance Grant.

—Housebound
was workshopped at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co in December 2017 with director-collaborator Shana Cooper.

—Boulder Ensemble Theatre Co. workshop of Danny (August 2018). You can read Danny here.

—Both Contemporary American Theatre Festival and Synchronicity Theatre produced readings of Ripe Frenzy as part of the Women's Voice Festival's International Women's Voices Day on January 21, 2018.

Yellowstone: the ballad of the red-state white man was a Finalist for the National New Play Network 2017 Showcase of New Plays, and has upcoming readings in San Diego and Chicago (details coming soon). You can read Yellowstone here.

Tight Curls Today was published by Smith & Kraus in The Best 10-Minute Plays of 2017

Ripe Frenzy won the National New Play Network's 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre.


Ripe Frenzy

RIPE FRENZY

Ripe Frenzy submerges us in the before, during and after of a mass shooting in a small-town high school theatre, during opening night of its 40th production of Our Town. Told from the perspective of the mothers of the town, the play questions our own culpability in the perpetuation of mass shootings in our country. Ripe Frenzy won the National New Play Network's 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre and the 2018 Dramatists Guild Fund Writers Alliance Grant. The play was developed at Woolly Mammoth, the 2017 Ojai Playwrights Conference, NNPN/PlayPenn, and will have a Rolling World Premiere in 2018 at New Rep in Boston, Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta and Greenway Court in LA.


Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE

Yellowstone: the ballad of the red-state white man: In a run-down shack at the edge of Yellowstone National Park, there's a motley crew of white male working-class Trump voters-- played by a racially diverse all-female cast. Jack, a grizzly out-of-work miner has the opportunity to get his America back by leasing his land for fracking, but his betterment is dependent on convincing his nemesis neighbor Wayne to also sign a lease. A brutal comedy about patriarchy, entitlement and a love of the land that challenges us to open up a true dialogue across the national liberal-conservative divide. Yellowstone was a Finalist for the National New Play Network 2017 Showcase of New Plays, and has upcoming readings in San Diego and Chicago (details coming soon).

ObscuraOBSCURA

In an apartment building feverish with yearning, neighbors eavesdrop on neighbors, the government sends menacing letters and the past won't stop knocking.  And through all the noise, Ned weaves a love story for his upstairs neighbor Salvia, luring her off to a land far far away.
3 M, 2 F, 2 off-stage. 80 minutes.

 

FREEDOM, NY

In the year following a brutal school shooting, Justice Mayflower keeps her 12-year-old granddaughter, Portia, safe at home in their garden. But then enters their new neighbor: a joyful young Mexican, carrying a coffin. Gabriel encourages Portia to break free from Mayflower’s tyranny of fear and celebrate Dia de los Muertos.

Productions: Teatro Vista/ Remy Bumppo, UC San Diego Baldwin New Plays Festival
Readings/ Workshops: The O'Neill Center, Stage Left

Drama. 1M, 1W, 1 girl. 70 minutes.

MORE about Freedom, NY


 

EAT IT TOO

Brett, a thriving Hollywood actress, is finally ready to return to her hometown… And she is dead set on the most horrific kind of her revenge. Eat It Too is a dark and twisted comedy that explores the fine line between the American dream and the American nightmare.

Dark comedy. 4 W, 1 M. 120 minutes.

MORE about Eat It Too

 

PLUNDER

In Plunder, a hostage, an amnesiac, and a zealous psychologist fight for the right to own the identity they need and the memories they want. Robey has made a discovery: you can rewrite your past. Simply repeat more favorable memories over and over until, in your reprogrammed mind, they become fact. His goal? Marriage fights: eliminated. Brain-damaged patient: reinvented. But the patient has methods of her own and kidnaps Robey’s wife so she can steal her memories. In the midst of this captivity, the two women develop an exquisite friendship. Plunder rips into the dirty baggage that follows each of us into relationships, and weighs the pure beauty of a white lie against the stark reality of the truth.

Plunder has been read and workshopped at: Piven Theatre, American Theatre Company, and UC San Diego.

Dark Comedy. 1M, 2W. 90 minutes
MORE about Plunder


THE
HUMAN
CAPACITY

Set in East Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall, the play follows the journey of a Stasi officer as he seeks redemption from the woman whose life he shattered. Both torturer and victim find themselves caught in a struggle to reconcile the horrors of their past with their hopes for the future. The Human Capacity is a searing look into a society and a family in turmoil, and an exploration of the human capacity for cruelty, perseverance, and forgiveness.

The Human Capacity has been read and workshopped at: Steppenwolf Theatre Company (First Look Festival of New Works), Stage Left Theatre, Piven Theatre, A Red Orchid, Northlight Theatre, and Breadline Theatre Group.

Drama. 3M, 2W. 90 minutes.
MORE about The Human Capacity

Jennifer has been awarded playwriting residencies at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and Hawthornden International Writers Retreat in Scotland.
As a Hawthornden fellow, she spent the summer of '05 living in the castle you see pictured to your left. That is where she met the love of her life Andrew Newsham.

 


CLEARING HEDGES
The award winning one-woman show about
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Updated 2/24/18 Copyright 2002-2018 Barclay Studios. All rights reserved