“We are all healthier when we live in a culturally diverse world. When there are more stories that are accessible to us when every voice is part of every cultural conversation. It’s not about excluding traditional voices. It’s about expanding the range of what people know is there.”
If you are a playwright or someone who is just starting to write plays, then you must know the New Play Exchange. We had the pleasure of interviewing writer, innovator, and arts advocate, Gwydion Suilebhan. In this episode, Gwydion shares his experience in writing, technology, and theater. He also shares some exciting updates on the incredible platform as well as important advice to the young theater artist. Enjoy!
Gwydion Suilebhan is a writer, innovator, and arts advocate who serves as both the Executive Director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the chief architect and evangelist of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network. A founding member of The Welders—a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwrights collective in Washington, DC—Suilebhan was elected to the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America in 2017. He previously held the position of Director of Brand and Marketing for Woolly Mammoth and has worked as a brand and technology consultant for a variety of large arts and culture organizations, including Ford’s Theatre, the Drama League, and the Playwrights Center, among many others. Earlier phases of his career included extensive work in publishing, education, and journalism.
As a writer, Suilebhan’s work has been noted for its “dexterous theatricality and unexpected pleasure” (Washington Post). He is the author of several plays, including The Butcher, Inner Harbor, Reals, Abstract Nude, Let X, The Faithkiller, and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated Transmission. His work has been commissioned, developed, and produced by Centerstage, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Gulfshore Playhouse, the Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Theater J, and Theater Alliance, among many others. Suilebhan is also the author of Anthem, a short film directed by Hal Hartley, and a forthcoming (2019) web series called All Souls.
Earlier in his career, Suilebhan primarily wrote poetry and non-fiction. He served as the poetry editor of Barrelhouse from 2004 to 2006 and taught creative writing as an adjunct member of the faculty of the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Two of his plays—Abstract Nude and Cracked—have been published by Original Works. Suilebhan has received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, two from the Montgomery County Arts Council, and one from the Maryland State Arts Council. He was also the recipient of a Larry Neal Writers Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Suilebhan speaks widely on various aspects of the intersection between the arts and technology in the 21st century. His notable appearances have included South by Southwest, TEDxWDC and TEDxMichigan Avenue, and Americans for the Arts, among many others.
Suilebhan earned a Master of Arts in poetry in 1993 from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Allen Grossman, John Irwin, and Peter Sacks. In 1990, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in writing from Northwestern University, where he studied with essayist Joseph Epstein and poets Mary Kinzie and Alan Shapiro.
LINKS TO CHECK OUT:
Gwydion’s New Series “For All Souls”
Tanuja Jagernauth’s “Public Newsroom 124: Creating A World Beyond Racism and Fascism” on Nov 7th at City Bureau in Chicago.
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