Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Justin Elizabeth Sayre

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
Region: Cornelius, NC
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Justin Elizabeth Sayre is a playwright and performer who Michael Musto called, “Oscar Wilde meets Whoopi Goldberg.” They are a fixture of the Downtown Cabaret Scene in New York ever since their long-running variety show, The Meeting (Bistro Award-winning and two MAC nominations). Their latest variety show, Assorted Fruit, enjoyed a sold-out run during a residency at Joe’s Pub at the Public in 2023.

As a playwright, Sayre’s work has appeared at Dixon Place, The Wild Project, The Celebration Theatre, Dynasty Typewriter, and La MaMa Experimental Theatre. Their 12-part-epic, Ravenswood Manor, a Camp-Horror-Soap-Opera, called “a sharply written and well-acted exemplar of the horror-comedy genre,” by the LA Times, is currently being developed with Sony Television and RuPaul. Sayre has written a series of YA novels, Husky, Pretty, and Mean, released by Penguin Books, and the book, From Gay to Z: A Queer Compendium, is published by Chronicle Books.

Sayre has written for television, working with Michael Patrick King on his hit CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls and Fox’s The Cool Kids. Sayre also appeared on HBO’s The Comeback with Lisa Kudrow.

Portrait courtesy of The New York Times



Justin Elizabeth Sayre worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

Learn more