Marjorie Bicknell

Playwright

I first fell in love with the theatre at the age of 6 when I saw a high school production of The Student Prince, and I've been working in the theatre whenever and wherever I can ever since.

I got a B.A. in theatre and english from Mundelein College, Chicago and an M.A. in Theatre/Speech from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois.
My career began in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois where Iworked as Readings Director of The Chicago Playwrights Center for two years and later became a company member of Pary Production Company, eventually serving as its Managing Director.  While at Pary, I wrote my first play, an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was produced by Pary and was the winner of three Joseph Jefferson Awards.

I moved to Philadelphia in 1983, and became a regular member of the company of actors at Society Hill Playhouse working with Jay and Dean Kogan and Susan Turlish. I was one of a group who helped Robert Hubbard to found Theatre Center Philadelphia’s Black Theatre Festival, which ran successfully throughout the 1980s and served on the Center’s board for three years. I was also one of the original members of Christopher Ruston’s Playworks, and was a member of the Walnut Street Theatre’s Playwrights Circle.

While living in Central Pennsylvania, I needed to be with a group of playwrights, so I founded the Playwrights Alliance of Pennsylvania (PAPA) a 501c3 non-profit organization that works to develop playwrights throughout the capital region of the state, provides educational workshops, and organizes staged readings of new works in conjunction with the Original Cicada Festival of Mount Gretna, Open Stage of Harrisburg, Gamut Theatre Group and Hershey Area Playhouse.

Since returning to Philadelphia from the capital region in 2016,I have become an active member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center and am currently serving as its President.

Among the full-length plays I have written are The Family Room winner of the Pennsylvania Playwrights Award and nominated for the Weissberger Prize by Open Stage of Harrisburg, The Boys Club, a 2012 TNT Pops! Winner, and Finalist. 2016 CSC Women Playwrights Series, Centenary Stage Company, and which reached the final 100 at PlayPenn in 2016 and 2018. My 10-minute plays have been produced hundreds of times from coast to coast. Frankenstein is published by Heartland Plays, and my short play, Another Conversation will be published by Dramatic Publishing this year.
I live with my husband, Ed Shapiro in the Art Museum Area of Philadelphia.