Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Ken Urban

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 2008, 2009, 2022

Ken Urban is a playwright and screenwriter. His plays include A Guide For The Homesick (Huntington Theatre Company, West End), The Remains (Studio Theatre), Sense of an Ending (59E59 Theatres, London’s Theatre503), Nibbler (The Amoralists), The Correspondent (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), The Awake (59E59 Theatres, First Floor Theater), and The Happy Sad (The Public Theatre).

Awards include EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science & Technology Project Commission, Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and Dramatist Guild Fellowship. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and affiliated writer at the Playwrights’ Center.

Ken wrote the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation of The Happy Sad, directed by Rodney Evans (5x 04-17, whom he met at MacDowell). He leads the band Occurrence and teaches dramatic writing at MIT. His first TV pilot “The Art of Listening” was optioned by Madison Wells Media.

During his 2008 MacDowell Fellowship, Urban completed drafts of two new plays, The Awake and Correspondence. He also revised his play The Private Lives of Eskimos for its Chicago opening at Stage Left. During his 2009 residency, he revised his play Sense of an Ending and completed the screenplay for The Happy Sad.

In 2022, Urban wrote two new plays Cath Carroll and The Conquered. He also revised three scripts: the stage plays The Moderate and The Tenure Itch, and a feature-length screenplay The Cleaner. Cath Carroll is the first recipient of the Aaron Thomann New Play Commission from Kane Repertory Theatre, and will premiere in November 2022. During his time at MacDowell, he also wrote new music for his band Occurrence, who will release their new double album Slow Violence in April of 2023.


Delta Omicron

Ken Urban worked in the Delta Omicron studio.

Delta Omicron Studio was funded by members of the musical fraternity in 1927. The building design is somewhat medieval in character, with an unusual cedar shingle pattern, a steeply pitched slate roof, intersecting gables, and small windows. After a 2016 deep-energy renovation, Delta Omicron is now the most energy efficient studio on the property. To enhance an…

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