Dan O'Brien

Playwright Lyricist Librettist

Dan O’Brien is an internationally produced and published playwright and poet whose awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama & Performance Art, the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, the Horton Foote Prize for Best New American Play, the PEN Center USA Award for Drama, and for poetry the UK’s Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His most recent play, The House in Scarsdale: a Memoir for the Stage, premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court and received the 2018 PEN America Award for Drama. His docu-drama about the haunting of war reporter Paul Watson, The Body of an American, has been produced in recent years off-Broadway, in London (where it was shortlisted for an Evening Standard Award), and regionally in Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Hartford, Portland, and elsewhere. His plays have been produced by Primary Stages, Second Stage, Hartford Stage, the Wilma Theater, the Gate Theatre in London, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Portland Center Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and many others; and developed at the New Harmony Project, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, and elsewhere. Directors he has worked with include Jo Bonney, Bill Rausch, Michael John Garcés, and Elizabeth Williamson. Residences and fellowships include the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University and the Rockefeller Foundation’s residency at the Bellagio Center in Italy. Currently commissions include Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions and the Public Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Center Theatre Group. O’Brien’s poetry collections are War Reporter (CB Editions 2013, Hanging Loose Press 2013), Scarsdale (CB Editions 2014, Measure Press 2015), and New Life (CB Editions 2015, Hanging Loose Press 2016). Dan O’Brien: Plays One was published in 2017 by Oberon Books in London. O’Brien frequently teaches at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actor, writer and producer Jessica St. Clair, and their daughter Isobel.