Archive for the ‘sylvan oswald’ Category

Sylvan Oswald’s SUN RA

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Sylvan Oswald’s new play SUN RA will receive a reading at La MaMa’s rehearsal studios!

A theatrical response to the life and work of avant-garde jazz composer Sun Ra (who believed he was from Saturn), the play imagines the musician’s last act of self-articulation before dying.

The bandleader is on the wane, returning after a stroke to his childhood home, so his sister can care for him. He abandoned her so long ago, she has no idea who he’s become – of his new name, or of his self-styled mythology that fuses ancient Egypt with outer space. He can speak only through a keyboard, yet his prophetic instinct is still alive in him. He spirals from the outer frame of his homecoming back to his childhood, and through pivotal moments in his middle-age, to conjure for his sister a vision of his deepest identity.

SUN RA explores the story of a radical, black, and probably queer and maybe even autistic artist in the twentieth century. It’s about how an artist nurtures his own exquisite and expansive vision in the face of
disability, racism, and everybody who isn’t ready to hear it yet.

Wednesday, December 19 at 4pm

***This event is sold-out!***

by Sylvan Oswald
directed by Charlotte Brathwaite
music by Samuel Carl Adams

Sylvan Oswald’s “Profanity” in NYC!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

As a part of Soho Rep.’s Studio series, Sylvan’s Six Points project, Profanity, will be receiving a work-in-progress presentation. Set in 1950s North Philadelphia, Profanity brings us grimy real estate deals, lapsed Jews, and visions of Old Europe set to Rogers and Hammerstein and Tito Puente. For more info, click here!

Performances are FREE and open to the public!
May 17 @ 7:00pm
May 18 @ 4:00pm
Please RSVP to

Sylvan Oswald reviewed in New York Times

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Sylvan Oswald New York Times Review

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Congrats to NYC Fellow Sylvan Oswald on a New York Times review! Sylvan’s new play, Nightlands, is currently at HERE Arts Center through October 29th. Tickets still available.

Congrats Sylvan!

Sylvan Oswald’s Nightlands in NYC

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

From under her auburn beehive wig, Netta Klein dreams of a life beyond Northeast Philadelphia routine. Down on Columbia Avenue, the stars talk and we listen… Ivy Silver’s your host on community-access radio. It’s August, 1964. And the sparks that fly between two women are about to ignite an entire city. New Georges kicks off its 20th anniversary season with Sylvan Oswald’s brand-new play! Come get lost in the nightlands with us…

Visit Sylvan’s website for more information, or read about the production here.
October 5-29, 8:30pm.
Tickets are on sale now.

PRESS — Sylvan Oswald

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

New York Times
Oct. 13, 2011

NY Theatre
Oct. 13, 2011

Oct. 11, 2011

The New Yorker
Oct. 10, 2011

Time Out Chicago
April 28, 2011

Chicago Sun Times
April 24, 2011

Sylvan Oswald’s PONY in Chicago

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

About Face Theatre presents
PONY by Sylvan Oswald
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar

On the other side of the woods from Woyzeck, in a poor, remote town haunted by crime and a military past, we find Pony. He’s the new guy in town, and his mysterious air attracts the attention of an obsessive waitress named Marie and a young trans man named Heath. Desperate to evade their questions, Pony wades through a world of violence, shifting gender roles and obsessive love, and reveals more about himself than he ever intended.

Playing in rep with The Hypocrites’ WOYZECK as a part of The Woyzeck Project!

Visit for more information on these two shows and all the other events in the festival.

VIDEO — Sylvan Oswald

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

“Dan Hurlin enlisted me to create text for his large-scale puppet work, DISFARMER, which premiered at St. Anns Warehouse in 2009. Mike Disfarmer was a small town portrait photographer whose stark, raw portraits of 1940s-era farmers made him a name in the art world upon their posthumous discovery in the late 1970s. But we barely know anything about him. Disfarmer was a kind of Boo Radley-figure who scared the local kids, and didnt much respect his neighbors. He believed he was switched at birth by a tornado and later changed his name to dissociate himself (dis-farmer) from the working poor of Heber Springs, Arkansas. In this sequence, Disfarmer tries to leave town once and for all.” – SYLVAN

BIO — Sylvan Oswald

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Sylvan Oswald creates plays, texts, and publications. His plays are often set in Philadelphia, his hometown. Sylvan’s plays include Sun Ra, Pony, Vendetta Chrome, and Painful Adventures. Recent collaborations include text for puppet-theater artist Dan Hurlin’s Disfarmer at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2009, and Zoetrope, a music-theater work in progress with composer/director Alec Duffy designer Mimi Lien. Sylvan is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a Six Points Fellow for 2010-2012 and the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellow at Soho Rep for 2010-2011. He is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, a Thurber House Playwriting Fellowship from The Ohio State University, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Dramatists Guild. Sylvan’s plays have been produced by About Face Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and New Georges. His work has been workshopped or developed with The Foundry Theater, The Hangar Theater, The McCarter Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, and P73’s I73 Writing Group among others. Sylvan created Play A Journal of Plays with Jordan Harrison and currently teaches playwriting at Barnard College and at Purchase College/SUNY.

Contact Info


-->Paper Theater/Play A Journal of Plays -->
New Dramatists
Disfarmer collaboration with Dan Hurlin


Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Profanity was performed as a work-in-progress as part of Soho Rep’s Studio Series on May 17th and 18th, 2012.

A family in 1950s Philadelphia runs a real estate office selling land that doesn’t exist. An intellectual flees Nazis through the Pyrenees with only his final manuscript and morphine, just in case. An unhappy contemporary teenage girl aspires to be a biblical commentator while her parents’ marriage crumbles. The characters in playwright Sylvan Oswald’s Profanity lose grasp of the difference between right and wrong, to darkly comic effect.

Each story has its own time period, and the characters from each comment on each other the way that generations of rabbis have commented on the Torah. Props and language will begin to filter through the three worlds, until there is only one reality in which men do business, float above themselves, and see God all at once. In addition to writing and producing Profanity, Sylvan produced an artist’s book of the play, to illustrate and share ideas with the audience before and after viewing the performance.