Discipline: Theatre – libretto

Ellen McLaughlin

Discipline: Theatre – libretto
Region: Nyack, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 2018

Ellen McLaughlin is an award-winning playwright and actor.

Her plays include Tongue of a Bird (The Public Theater, The Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Almeida Theater, London), A Narrow Bed, (New York Theater Workshop, Actors’ Theater of Louisville), Iphigenia and Other Daughters (The ACrtors’ Gang, LA, Classic Stage Co., NYC) Trojan Women (The Flea, NYC), Infinity’s House (Actors’ Theater of Louisville), Helen (The Public Theater), The Persians (National Actors’ Theater, NYC, Shakespeare Theater, DC), Oedipus (The Guthrie), Ajax in Iraq (ART Institute, MA, Flux Theater, NY), Septimus and Clarissa (Ripe Time, NY), Pericles (Orlando Shakespeare Festival), and Penelope (Playmaker’s Rep, N.C.) Her work has been performed in New York, Off-Broadway and regionally as well as overseas. Among her honors are the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Lila Wallace—Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award and the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting.

As an actor, she is most well known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, appearing in all workshops and productions of the play through its original run on Broadway, ’93-94.

Upcoming: Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. will premiere her Oresteia, which they commissioned, in the spring of 2019, Michael Kahn directing. She spent her month-long residency working on the first draft of a novel she's been writing sporadically for 20 years. She now has a sense of the whole.



Ellen McLaughlin worked in the Sprague-Smith studio.

In January of 1976, the original Sprague-Smith Studio — built in 1915–1916 and funded by music students of Mrs. Charles Sprague-Smith of the Veltin School — was destroyed by fire. Redesigned by William Gnade, Sr., a Peterborough builder, the fieldstone structure was rebuilt the same year from the foundation up, reusing the original fieldstone. A few…

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