constance congdon

Playwright, Dramatists Guild
Amherst, MA, United States

About constance


CONSTANCE CONGDON has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection Tales of the Lost Formicans and Other Plays. In addition to Tales of the Lost Formicans, which has had more than 200 productions, world-wide, Congdon's plays include: Casanova, Dog Opera, both premiered by the Public Theatre, Losing Father’s Body (Portland Stage (Maine), Lips, (Primary Stages), Native American, (Portland Stage (Maine) and Lyric Hammersmith Studio), A Mother, starring Olympia Dukakis, and a new verse version of The Misanthrope, both commissioned and produced by American Conservatory Theater. Also at ACT: Moontel Six, a commission by the A.C.T. Young Conservatory and subsequently performed at London's National Theatre, followed by another production of the two-act version at San Francisco’s Zeum and directed by Young Conservatory Director, Craig Slaight. The Automata Pietà, another YC commission, received its world premiere at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in 2002; Nightingales went to the Theatre Royale Bath’s Youth Theatre. Congdon’s No Mercy, and its companion piece, One Day Earlier; were part of the 2000 season devoted to Congdon at the Profile Theatre. She has also written a number of opera libretti and seven plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Congdon's plays have been produced throughout the world, including Cairo Tokyo and Berlin. Her plays are published, mainly, by Broadway Plays Publishing. Samuel French published Dog Opera. A collection of four of her plays has been published by TCG, Inc. Her new verse version of Tartuffe will be included in the next Norton Anthology of Drama, and is already out in a single-volume Norton Critical edition. Recent plays include, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, a play about the current water crisis in Colorado, PARADISE STREET, a play about a lower-class woman assaulting a university professor, TWO WASHINGTON SQUARE, a re-imagining of James's novella set in the early Sixties. Congdon just performed her one-woman show, IS SEX POSSIBLE? at Dixon Place in New York City. She’s been writing a long time and can thank the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation including Bellagio, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Arnold Weisberger Award, the Berilla Kerr Award, and, most recently, The Helen Merrill Award for making this more possible. Congdon received honors from the New England Theater Conference was just (2009) received an award "for distinguished service to the American theater" at the Great Plains Theater Conference. She’s an alum of New Dramatists, member of The Dramatists Guild and of PEN. Congdon has been teaching playwriting at Amherst College for sixteen years.



Areas of Expertise

Theater and performing arts, Poetry, Storytelling and Creative Process

An idea worth spreading

We're going to survive to evolve.

I'm passionate about

The future.

Comments & conversations

constance congdon
Posted almost 3 years ago
Malcolm McLaren: Authentic creativity vs. karaoke culture
This man was looking at his world, which was the world that's portrayed in the media. He was still looking through a letterbox, not at the people I know who are authentic and live their lives of non-famous, real achievement. Although I enjoyed listening to MM, I remember the elitist intolerable attitude of Johnny Rotten and those self-important culture vampires. Their world is a snake sucking on its own tail. The world I live in is a real one. And I am grateful.
constance congdon
Posted almost 3 years ago
Are we inflecting an anxiety-conditioned view of the world onto babies?
Our children are the canaries in the mine. Why wouldn't they be profoundly formed by our anxieties? And our news media, which runs on the maxim, "If it bleeds, it leads," gives them no escape from stress, worry, thoughts of death, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR. We protect them from NOTHING. And we expect EVERYTHING from them. I teach college students, and I find them to be deeply ironic, protected, cynical, familiar with suicide and suicidal thoughts. I also find them to be awake and ready to make changes.