Susan Kathryn Hefti


A NYSCA-NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, Susan Kathryn Hefti’s plays have been developed or presented at Lark Play Development Center; New York Theatre Workshop; The Playwrights Center; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; The William Inge Theatre Festival New Play Lab; The Bechdel Group; Capital Stage Company; The Harold Clurman Playwrights Division, Stella Adler Studio; The Bridge Initiative; St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery Theatre; Long Beach Playhouse Theatre; North Park Vaudeville Theatre; Topanga Actors Company; The Hidden Theatre Company & Wonderbox UK in London and in Paris at Théâtre Mélo d'Amelie & La Comédie Bastille. 

Selected from 2,542 application submissions, Susan Kathryn Hefti was named NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting 2019-2020. Hefti was also named Nashville Repertory Theatre 2020 Ingram New Works Lab Semifinalist and ForgeNYC Fellowship 2021 Semifinalist. 

Hefti's new full-length play, QUEEN OF THE BONACKERS, has been named 2021 Princess Grace Award Semifinalist; 2021 Creede Repertory Theatre Headwaters New Play Festival Semifinalist, Creede, CO; 2020 Barrington Stage Company Burman New Play Award Semifinalist, Pittsfield, MA; 2020 Landing Theatre Company New American Voices Playwriting Festival Semifinalist, Houston, TX; 2020 Campfire Theatre Festival Finalist, Boise, Idaho; Selected to open The Bechdel Group’s 2019 Fall Workshop Reading Series in NYC; Flux Theatre UK, 2019 EMERGE UK Longlist and 2019 Playwrights Voiced Festival of New Works Quarterfinalist, Relative Theatrics, Laramie, WY. In the spring of 2019, QUEEN OF THE BONACKERS enjoyed a Playwrights Center (PWC) Members Open Session Play Reading in Minneapolis, MN. 

Selected for the William Inge Theatre Festival's 2017 New Play Lab, a 30-minute extract of Susan's new full-length play, ACTIAS LUNA: On the Origin of Madness, was read as part of the festival. ACTIAS LUNA has also been named 2017 Bechdel Group Finalist and 2017 Athena Project Festival Semifinalist. 

Invited to participate in the Write for Women Campaign, Susan's newest short play SAVING LISA, or Un Bateau de Sauvetage pour La Joconde enjoyed a reading by The Bechdel Group at the Drama League in 2018.

Chosen for The Hidden Theatre Company's New Writing event in the U.K., Susan's new short-play EXTINCTION, or the Swan Song received a staged reading in London in 2017. EXTINCTION has also been Shortlisted for the Fizzy Sherbet Play Festival in London and was named Finalist for the international literary magazine The Dionysian.

Hefti’s short play exploring slavery, climate change and the role of women in the global community, ON THE UNDERGROUND, or The Penguin Play, was selected by Wonderbox UK to be staged at SPACE on The Isles of Dogs as part of the theatre’s 2018 centennial celebration of UK Women achieving the Right to Vote. Also in 2018, North Park Vaudeville Theatre mounted a production of The Penguin Play in CA. And Smith & Kraus included The Penguin Play in its new Anthology of short plays entitled 2018 Theatre Brut.

Susan’s full-length play, THE POWER PLAY, or Smart Bombs & Other Sexy Toys (Playwrights Revolution Selection, Colonial Players Promising Playwright Award Semi-Finalist), received two Roundtable Readings at the Lark Play Development Center in NYC. Chosen for Capital Stage Company's annual New Works Festival, PLAYWRIGHTS REVOLUTION, the play received a staged reading in California. THE POWER PLAY also enjoyed a workshop reading, directed by Reg Douglas, at New York Theatre Workshop in NYC.

AMERICAN DAMES, or Waiting for Dolley (Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence Finalist; Long Beach Playhouse New Works Festival Finalist; & Beverly Hills Theatre Guild's Julie Harris Playwright Award Semi-Finalist) enjoyed readings at both the Stella Adler Studio's Harold Clurman Playwrights Division’s New Play Reading Festival in NYC and at the Long Beach Playhouse Theatre’s New Works Festival in Long Beach, California. 

Inspired by the tragic death of one of her Yale students, KEEPIN' COOL was selected Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist. 

Susan's play OFF THE BENCH, or The Schedule, received a reading at the Lark Play Development Center in NYC.

Selected from more than 1,600 submissions, Susan's very first attempt at writing a script for TV - an original TV Pilot entitled AMUSE BOUCHE - was named Quarterfinalist for the Screencraft Pilot Launch Competition.

While still in graduate school, Susan began her professional writing career as a journalist specializing in Environmental News. In addition to researching, writing and producing environmental investigative news stories throughout New England, Susan also created, wrote, produced & hosted her own environmental news radio show called EcoTalk on WRKO in Boston and, as a TV Writer/Producer, helped to launch, Greenwatch, the nation's first-ever half-hour environmental news magazine on Boston's Channel-56 TV. Susan has also taught environmental studies courses at various Universities, including Brown & Yale.

Active in historic preservation, pretty much her whole life, Susan was happy to put her reporting skills to work on this important topic, when invited to write a regular column - a column she dubbed, The Preservation Diaries - for The Clyde Fitch Report.

Inspired by a staged reading of Susan’s one-act history play, A DEFIANT SOUL, Hefti was commissioned by the City of NY to research, write and curate the narrative for the related history exhibit on the 1657 document protesting religious intolerance in New Amsterdam. 

Designed to travel around the country, Hefti entitled the history exhibit, The Flushing Remonstrance: Who Shall Plead For Us? Following its NYC debut, the exhibit enjoyed an encore, extending again due to popular demand, and was most recently on display near Philadelphia.

An active member of her community, Susan has contributed her time and energy to countless civic projects. As a First Responder at Ground Zero, Susan helped to open up St. Paul's Chapel (arriving even before St. Paul's historic graveyard was cordoned off as a crime scene), where she, and her fellow First Responders, set up a generator and organized the Chapel as a Hub from which Susan and the other First Responders delivered supplies to their fellow First Responders working on The Pile.

Following the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan, Susan organized, co-chaired and hosted an Auction to benefit the restoration of the largest collection of paintings housed at the historic Fraunces Tavern Museum on Pearl Street.

Susan also organized and co-chaired a Benefit at the Yale Club, the proceeds of which helped to underwrite the development of a school curriculum on the history of New Amsterdam developed by the N-Y Historical Society's Department of Education. 

Susan founded and chairs the 93rd Street Beautification Association, a preservation effort advocating for the landmarking of the Marx Brothers' childhood home and the historic block - a stretch of road known informally as Marx Brothers Place - on which the Marx Brothers' childhood home currently sits unprotected from the prospect of demolition and development. 

Susan's historic preservation effort to protect Marx Brothers Place has garnered the active support of the Historic Districts Council (HDC), the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), Harpo Marx's son, Bill Marx, and Woody Allen.

A native New Yorker, Susan began working in NYC as a child actor and model at the age of three and has recently resumed her craft for which she is represented - for Voice and Commercial work - by Andrea Beane at AB2 Talent.

A proud member of the Dramatists Guild; The Playwrights Center; London Playwrights Workshop; New Play Exchange and Fractured Atlas, Susan is also a member of SAG-AFTRA and proudly serves on the SAG-AFTRA NY Diversity Committee.

A PEN American Center Writers Grant recipient, Susan is currently working on her new full-length play, QUEEN OF THE BONACKERS, a couple of short plays and an original TV Pilot.