TAMMY RYAN is a resident playwright of New Dramatists class of 2027 and a 2020 Haas Fellow. Her work has been performed across the United States and internationally at such theaters as The Alliance Theater, Florida Stage, Marin Theater, People’s Light and Theater Company, Portland Stage Company, Theatre Lab, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater and City Theatre Company among others. Awards and honors include the Francesca Primus Prize for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, and the American Alliance of Theater in Education’s Distinguished New Play Award for The Music Lesson. Her plays have also been nominated for both the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the ATCA Steinberg Award. Other plays include Hurricane Colleen (formerly entitled The Wake) (Playfest, Premiere Stages Festival Winner), Molly’s Hammer (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Tar Beach (Luna Stage), Soldier’s Heart, (Pittsburgh Playhouse) and Baby’s Blues (NCPA, Mumbai). Her work has been featured in the National New Play Network’s national showcase and she has received support from the New Harmony Project, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sewanee Writers Conference, the Heinz Endowment, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust She is a long time member of the Dramatists Guild of America and on faculty for DGI Plays in Progress.
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MORE ABOUT ME
An obsession with dialogue is what first compelled me to write for the theater. I’m interested in language driven by character: the real, common, spoken form as well as the poetic found in the everyday. I’m interested in silences too, in subtext and in dialogue that engages emotionally. I find my way to my audiences’ intellect through their hearts. I write plays to be in the rehearsal room with collaborators. I’ve been lucky to have started out with an artistic home at the Pittsburgh Playhouse for the first part of my career, so I’ve always had the understanding that writing for the theater meant working with a team, but more than that: each production creates a family, a “circle of love,” around it. Now as my work reaches audiences and collaborators outside of Pittsburgh my circles are wider but more scattered. One of the greatest gifts of my artistic life has been being welcomed into New Dramatist as a resident playwright, connecting me to a community of writers who share a common purpose, providing energy, inspiration, and renewed commitment. While conflict is essential to drama, I write intentionally towards connection. Both in my work and in my life, what brings human beings together has always been more important to me than what tears us apart. In Jose Rivera’s 36 Assumptions About Playwriting, Number 35 says: “In all your plays be sure to write at least one impossible thing.” I write for the theater as an act of faith, not only in theatrical impossibilities, but in the possibility of change in the real world.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
North of Forbes, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's first novel, commissioned by the Pittsburgh Public Theater for their PlayTime Commission's N'at series.
Woman, family, drama, comedy, memory, hurricanes, rape in the military, grief, sisters, 1977, motherhood, marriage, antigone, dysfunctional, Queens, gun violence
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