"I want people to have a good time at the theatre. I try to write plays that, both in form and content, amuse and challenge an audience. I love the various theatrical and dramatic forms of comedy and tragedy. I like to utilize many of these forms within a single play. My plays have pronounced comedic elements, but I also want them to bite. If there’s no bite, if one does not challenge the audience and oneself ­in a good way, there isn’t as much opportunity for pleasure. And I do think the theatre should offer pleasure."

A classicist in experimental clothing, David Greenspan is a playwright who is also passionately involved in the theatre as an actor and director. From his early more autobiographical plays (one of which, Principia, took inspiration from the shifting modalities of Joyce’s Ulysses) to more recent works inspired by (and at times adapted from the work of) Hawthorne, Stein, Molnar, and Thorton Wilder, Greenspan’s theatre is a place where anything can happen. Deliciously complicated, incredibly funny, the work, whether tragic, tender, mysterious or cruel, betrays a profoundly empathic imagination. Both wildly conjured and deeply attentive to diverse literary and theatrical traditions­from vaudeville and Greek mythology to the Bible and boulevard comedy­Greenspan’s plays ask big questions about history, creation, sexual behavior, the complications of family and the very act of performing a play.

  Born 1956, Los Angeles, California
Lives in New York City

1978 B.A., Drama, University of California at Irvine

  2002 The Argument
  2001 She Stoops to Comedy
  2000 Five Frozen Embryos
  1998 The Myopia, an epic burlesque of tragic proportion
  1994 Son of an Engineer
  1992 Dog in a Dancing School
  1991 Dead Mother, or Shirley Not All in Vain
  1990 2 Samuel 11, Etc.
  1989 The Home Show Pieces
  1987 Principia
  1987 Jack

  1990-93 New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre, Director-in-Residence
  1987-90 Home for Contemporary Theater and Art, Playwright-in-Residence

  2001 Whitfield Cook Prize
  1998 New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  1990, 97 Obie Award
  1993-94 New York State Council on the Arts
  1993 Playwrights’ Center, McKnight Fellowship
  1993 Jerome Foundation
  1993 Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation
  1987-89, 92 Art Matters Fellowships
  1989 Charles Revson Foundation
  1989 Rockefeller Foundation

  1999 The Myopia, an epic burlesque of tragic proportion, Yale Theatre
  1995 Son of an Engineer, Sun and Moon Press
  1993 Dead Mother, or Shirley Not All in Vain, in Grove New American Theater, Grove and Weidenfeld
  1991 The Home Show Pieces, in Plays in Process, TCG
2 Samuel 11, Etc., in Plays in Process, TCG
Jack, in The Way We Live Now, TCG