PLAYS IN PROGRESS INSTRUCTOR
“As a director, I get to work with a wide variety of plays. But as a director-dramaturg, I am especially keen on scripts that spring from a particular premise or knowledge base (ie scientific discovery), period or event. Plays that began from a writer’s stumbling across an obscure fact or discovery of a dramatic historical event – if the writer said to her/himself this should be a play, that’s a script I want to get into. The satisfaction for me in working on these kinds of stories is the unbelievably steep challenge of adapting them, and the incredibly rich payoff when one does so successfully. Human beings in extraordinary and pivotal circumstances; it’s an heightened arena for examining human behavior and psychology, and really the essence of drama.”
Interests: historical and or science themed, social/political, adding diversity to our national stage and or having a multi-ethnic perspective
GWYNN MACDONALD has directed or produced theater, television, film and radio. Her work in television and radio has received the Gracie Allen Award and Cable Ace and Emmy Nominations. As Artistic Director of the Juilliard alumni-founded Juggernaut Theatre Company, she directed the world premier of Joe Pintauro's Rosen's Son, the English language premier of Criminal by Argentine writer Javier Daulte, produced the award winning hair blood vinyl created with Rinde Eckert, and directed Cathy Caplan's technically complicated Silver Nitrate.
Outside the company, she developed projects with Gloria Naylor, including the adaptation of her novel Bailey’s Café for Hartford Stage, was the assistant director for the Broadway debut and national tours of Twelve Angry Men produced by Roundabout Theatre Co. and has directed for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, New Czech Drama at New York Theater Workshop and The Public Theater, the New Georges directors-on-classics Roaring Girls series, The Stamford Center for the Arts, Midtown Theatre Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, TRU's New Voices Musical Series and the National Alliance of Musical Theater New Works Festival. Recent venues include Sam French Fest, HB Playwrights Foundation, The New School, NYU, Lark Play Development Center, Clemente Soto Velez, HERE Arts Center, The Wild Project, and Theater for the New City. International work includes directing Vickie Ramirez’s Stand-Off at Hwy #37 in Bogota with Colombian actors where she also gave a talk on contemporary Native American drama at the national Gaitan Teatro, and directing a new play about Nina Simone this past January in Santa Clara, Cuba. Gwynn also does a lot of work with European playwrights translating and adapting their plays for the American stage, most recently working with Elena Alexieva on her play Madam Mishima.
Playwrights with whom she’s recently or is currently working as a director/dramaturg include: Bekah Brunstetter (TV’s “This is Us”), Randall David Cook (Best Play at the Southeastern Playwrights Conference, two-time finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and the Sundance Filmmakers Lab), Cheryl Davis (2017 Francesca Primus Prize finalist, Kleban Award for libretto, 7 Audelco Awards, WGA Award and Daytime Emmy nominations), Aditya Rawal (2017 Innovative Theater Award for Best Original Full-length Script, Outstanding Writing for the Screen, Tisch School of the Arts 2016), Matthew Widman (finalist for Bloomington Playwrights Project’s Reva Shiner Comedy Award and winner of People’s Choice Award Durango Arts Center, Colorado).
Gwynn majored in dramatic literature at Princeton University, working with screenwriter Niven Busch (The Postman Always Rings Twice) among others. After graduation she studied script analysis with Jose Quintero and directing with Vjatcheslav Dolgatchev of the Moscow Art Theater, among others. Fellowships include: Drama League Directors’ Project, DeGrummond Research Fellowship, Columbia University’s Arts Leadership Institute. She is a member of Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers, The Shakespeare Society, and the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab. She is on the Drama League’s Diversity Committee, Immigrants Theater Project Advisory Board, and the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women.