B.J. BURTON is a playwright and teaching artist. Her plays include “Lobelia Lodge,” “Hunting Season,” “For the Record,” “Good Neighbors,” “Pizza Again,” “A Sky Full of Stars,” and “The Dangers of Lightning.” Her work has been produced and/or developed at InterAct Theatre Company, Hedgerow Theatre, The Refinery at Steel River Playhouse, Pittsburgh New Works Festival at City Theatre, Six Women Playwriting Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source, Players Club of Swarthmore, Colonial Playhouse, The Brick Playhouse, Rosemont College, Widener University, and others. Honors include two Fellowships from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and winner of the Pennsylvania Playwriting Award. She was a finalist for the Heidemann Award, a finalist in the New York Screenplay Competition, a finalist twice in the Set in Philadelphia Screenwriting Competition, and a semifinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships. "Lobelia Lodge” is published by Samuel French. Her short plays for teens are published in many anthologies by Applause. "White Roses and Gooseberries" is published by YouthPLAYS. She’s the author of “The Philadelphia Connection: Conversations with Playwrights,” which is in libraries and universities worldwide. Other published work includes nonfiction/journalism, poetry, and short stories. One of her favorite projects (as writer/director/producer) “Typing,” a short film based on her play, was screened at FirstGlance Philadelphia Film Fest. She has been supported by PEN America, The Dramatists Guild Foundation, and The American Society of Journalists and Authors. Her B.A. is in Theatre (Acting) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also studied at American Conservatory Theatre, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, AFI, Playwrights Horizons, and in the Graduate Theatre Program at Villanova University. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing – Playwriting at Rosemont College. Memberships include The Dramatists Guild and the International Centre for Women Playwrights.
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MORE ABOUT ME:
The most gratifying moment for me was the first production of my full-length play, "Lobelia Lodge," at Widener University. The director, Patrick F. McDade, and I stood in the back of the theatre as the story came to life. It was better than I had imagined. The actors gave their all. They were brilliant. The set, by Joe Kinsolving, worked exactly right, especially with the addition of leaves and pine needles scattered around, which made the experience feel (and smell) authentic. It was magical. One of the earliest life-changing experiences was when I was in high school. Our senior play was "Blood Wedding." I played the Servant Woman. It was the first time I had lines in a play. I was expecting wine bottles to be ready for me backstage to pick up on my next entrance. They weren't there. The prop table--empty. So, I walked back onstage and improvised. The director was amazed (and so was I) that I kept talking...and talking and talking. I realized later that I was telling a story, maybe not the one Lorca had in mind, but one that flew out of me, nonetheless. I was hooked. What's the one thing nobody knows about you that you'd like them to know? I worked as a stand-in for Jodie Foster and Helen Hunt in "Stealing Home." (However, a few people do know about this.)
WHAT I'M WORKING ON:
A new full-length play, "Maddie on Her Way Home," inspired by real-life experiences right before the pandemic. It's about a family crisis, sisters, friendship, strangers, betrayal, and home.
Women-centered stories, family, sisters, friendship, drama, humor, mystery, magical realism, personal epic, newspapers, PTSD, grief, guns, hurricanes, social issues.