Celebrated playwright Sherry Kramer believes every play is created in the audience, and her classes are a treasure hunt to discover how a play shapes our experience and how it makes things matter.
Kramer’s recent plays are part of her ongoing conversation with America about the American Dream and how we are failing it. She has written about our role in destabilizing the Middle East over oil (When Something Wonderful Ends), anti-Semitism in the heartland (Ivanhoe, America), the power of the press to distort the shape of a nation’s soul (The Ruling Passion), and two plays about the American idea of money and philanthropy (How Water Behaves and The Bay of Fundy). All of these plays invite their audience to find new ways to understand who we are, as a nation, and how we might find our way back to being the generous, openhearted people we believe we used to be.
Her plays have been performed in theaters here and abroad and include productions at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Second Stage in New York, Soho Rep, Yale Repertory Theatre, the EST One Act Marathon, the Rude Mechanicals, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival. Other plays include David’s RedHaired Death, A Thing of Beauty, The Long Arms of Jupiter (a croquet performance piece), Things That Break, What a Man Weighs, The Law Makes Evening Fall, The World at Absolute Zero, The Wall of Water, About Spontaneous Combustion, The Release of a Live Performance, Partial Objects, and two music-theatre pieces: an adaptation of The Master and Margarita with composer Margaret Pine and Napoleon’s China, with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton. She is a recipient of NEA, NYFA, and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Award, a New York Drama League Award, LA Women in Theatre New Play Award, the Jane Chambers Award, commissions from The Moscow Arts Theatre/Iowa International Writers Workshop (The Dream House) and the Audrey Skirball Kenis Foundation (The Mad Master), and was the first national member of New Dramatists.
Kramer has taught at Bennington since 2007 and also teaches playwriting regularly at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin. She previously taught at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where she served as head of the workshop. She is for the second time a core member of the Playwrights Center, Minneapolis. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing.