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The Arsonists

When M loses her father in an arson gone wrong, she goes on a journey with his ghost to reclaim her life and reframe his memory. Set deep in a Florida swamp, The Arsonists is a lyrical Southern Gothic myth about a father-daughter arson team deconstructing their personal demons. Inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra, this play with music explores the relationship between parent and child in that small space between life and death, the last breath before the awakening. The Arsonists will world premiere at Azuka Theatre in Philadelphia; they are currently seeking NNPN Rolling World Premiere Partners for the 2017-2018 season.

The Arsonists is the 2016 Runner Up for the Leah Ryan Prize.

Click here to read The Arsonists on the Exchange or contact her agent.

 

BIO

Jacqueline Goldfinger is a playwright and maker whose plays and performance pieces often investigate the disruptive nature of urgent political discourse on gender and gender identification through the lens of the contemporary Southern Gothic.

Her work has been developed and/or produced by The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, FringeArts, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Barrington Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre, Seattle Public, Azuka Theatre, National Women’s Voices Festival, Manhattan Theatre Works, The Blank Theatre, Theatre Exile, 1812 Productions, Unexpected Stage, Passage Theatre, InterAct, North Coast Rep, Flashpoint, Acadiana Rep, Vermont Stage Company, Tiny Dynamite, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Bloomberg Theatre Ensemble, Gas & Electric Arts, among others. 

She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and her work is supported by YADDOIndependence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, National New Play Network, The Lark's Playwrights WeekPlayPenn New Play Conference, La MaMa Umbria, Disquiet (Lisbon), Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Last Frontier Theater Conference, the Sewanee Writers Conference (Dakin Fellowship), among others.

The Arsonists is the runner-up for the 2016 Leah Ryan Prize. Her newest play, Fresh, was recently awarded Special Citation for Outstanding Work-in-Progress by the Terrence McNally Award. Her drama Slip/Shot won a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and the Brown Martin Award. Her comedy Skin & Bone won Best New Play at the Philadelphia Critics Awards. She's been nominated twice for the Blackburn Prize (Skin & Bone, The Arsonists) and the Weissberger Award (Slip/Shot, The Arsonists). 

She is represented by Abrams Artist Agency (amy.wagner@abramsartny.com).

Follow her one Facebook: facebook.com/jacqueline.goldfinger

 

Full-Length Plays

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press

Trish Tinkler Gets Saved

Named one of the "Best Plays of 2015" by DC Metro Theater Arts

"Hyper-colorful and funny...The play displays a wealth of comic inventiveness, some of it tempered with poignant undertones. The vivid characters turn out to have funny yet heart-wrenching backstories - Trish's involves an ill-judged gag with a chicken - and their current plight is also ridiculous and aching." -The Washington Post

"Trish Tinkler Gets Saved is a moving character study as well as an outrageous comedy. Although Trish is off-beat, off-the-wall, unique, and downright weird in many ways, she is searching for happiness and fulfillment just like the rest of us. The playwright’s imagination takes us on a delightful journey through the psyche of a modern woman that is well worth the trip. Unexpected Stage Company’s Trish Tinkler Gets Saved is both fun and inspiring, poignant, and powerful, with heartwarming humor and irreverent zaniness, plus a few tears along the way. It’s a divine comedy!" -DC Metro Theater Arts

Click here to read it on the New Play Exchange

Skin & Bone

Winner, Best New Play, Philadelphia Critics Awards

Named "Best of Philadelphia Theater 2014" by the Philadelphia Weekly

Click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer Feature

"[Goldfinger] has displayed a knack for blackly comic eccentricity, decay, and alienation the wretched likes of which haven't been seen since William Faulkner. In the dark genre, her plays' flippant humor, the genuine laugh lines, are a treat." -Philadelphia Inquirer

“Jacqueline Goldfinger, Philadelphia’s finest female playwright, returned to her southern Gothic roots with this wonderfully depraved affair. A unique blend of the most terrible and tender sides of human behavior, Skin and Bone was a collision between Arsenic and Old Lace and The Dukes of Hazzard. Under Allison Heishman’s direction, Maureen Torsney-Weir and the hugely underrated Drucie McDaniel portrayed two sisters with more grit and vigor than many male characters could muster.” -Philadelphia Weekly

“How much one considers Jacqueline Goldfinger’s provocative new playSkin & Bone a comedy depends on where each person draws the line between funny and sick. It’s a balancing act that countless horror movies can’t achieve, but one that the Florida native, as Azuka Theatre’s skillfully produced premiere shows, handles with skill and verve. I found the play humorous, but with a darker vibe that is deliciously complex and eerie; it’s the kind of comedy that elicits uncomfortable titters and gasps, not belly laughs….What’s really special, though, is seeing a great new play by an up-and-coming local playwright (who won 2012’s Barrymore Award for best new play forSlip/Shot, produced by Flashpoint Theatre Company) featuring women characters of an age too seldom portrayed, played by fine actresses too seldom seen.” -Philadelphia CityPaper

"A Skin & Bone with plenty of meat. Jacqueline Goldfinger’s Skin & Bone, a new play in a convincing world premiere by Azuka Theatre. It’s the second part of Goldfinger’s intended trilogy; the first, the terrible girls. I didn’t get a chance to see it, but after watching Skin & Bone I sure want to read it.” -WHYY/Newsworks

“Once again Azuka has lived up to it’s reputation for bringing daring pieces to the stage, that always make one think, and in this case, giggle a little, and shiver a lot. I look forward to Goldfinger’s finale of the femme fatale trilogy.” -Stage Magazine

“Playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger goes beyond the loose academic associations of Southern Gothic literature and creates a play that pays close attention to the tradition and its many quirks. Goldfinger produces the genuine article where a lesser playwright might have lapsed into imitation or even parody;Skin and Bone is a slice of heightened reality where both the weirdness and the emotional resonance of the SoGoth classics are expanded to fit the stage.” -Phindie

Click here to read it on the New Play Exchange

Slip/Shot

Winner, Brown Martin Award

Winner, Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play

Named one of the "Top 10 Productions of 2012" by Philadelphia Weekly

Click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer Feature

Click here to read the American Theatre Magazine Feature

Click here to read the script and critical commentary as well as see images from the production in Blackbird Literary Magazine

“Like many of Goldfinger’s plays, Slip/Shot is decidedly southern gothic, with an ethereal lyricism that evokes Faulkner, McCullers, Williams.” -American Theatre Magazine

Flashpoint excels with Slip/Shot. This beautifully crafted and intensely moving drama…is served by a powerful cast and an imaginative and skilled director.”                      -Philadelphia Inquirer

“Searing drama…movingly premiered…Celebrate the power of hope.” -Philadelphia City Paper

“A remarkable new play…and it benefits from director Rebecca Wright’s intense production…go to Slip/Shot and be dazzled by Goldfinger’s perceptive dialogue, by characters who are intelligently and distinctly drawn, and by finely detailed observations that make the sparsely lit and designed play seem uncommonly vivid. The performances are all excellent.” -Talkin’ Broadway

“Goldfinger has a unique poetic voice. She isn’t writing just to entertain an audience (though she manages to do so); she is writing to pose questions that have no quick, simple answers. In Slip/Shot , Goldfinger asks us to consider the basis of our suspicions and the impact America’s legacy of racism has on both our individual and national identity.” -Philadelphia Weekly

“We are magnetically pulled into the story…a great cast and script.” -Examiner.com

“I urge everyone to see this play. It is wonderful theatre that will generate deep and enlightening conversation; kudos to Flashpoint for bravely asking the questions so many of us want to avoid.” -Stage Magazine

“Jacqueline Goldfinger’s writing in Slip/Shot is assured and unhurried, offering heft, a feel for the South, and a good story. As her sheriff (Keith Conallen) says, ‘Nothin’ folks like better than a juicy story.’” -CurtainUp

“Painful and potent drama…we have a historic homily about family, trauma, the reality of things falling apart, and the way we grow and heal once the dust has settled and the sun rises once again. The 1960′s may be an extremely popular era these days, but the reality of this play cuts through the nostalgia of flipped hair and circle skirts, and focuses on the humans at the heart of the drama…It’s filled with darkness and the shadows of hate, but it’s also beautifully nuanced and celebrates the power that love gives us to let go, and move on…Those looking for easy answers on “how to solve the problem or racism” or “whose fault is whose” wont find anything of the sort in Goldfinger’s work. Instead, she gives her audience an examination of tragedy as it exists in life, using a painful accident and it’s ramifications to look at humanity, family and the way our experiences inform our entire lives. All of the characters in this world are valid complete human beings, regardless of how they ultimately decide to deal with Monroe’s death, and as the play ends, we are left with a sense of lingering sorrow and that all-pervasive villain hope. False or true, it’s what keeps us going, moving forward, into the future. And we have to believe that that’s better than living in the past. Have you seen the past lately? It’s a mess.” -Staged

Click here to read it on the New Play Exchange

The Terrible Girls

“A grand, grotesque little play…Azuka Theatre is giving the terrible girls, an entertaining new theater piece by Jacqueline Goldfinger, a top-notch premiere.” -Philadelphia Inquirer

“Tasty, tart and terrible meal…Smoothly crafted amusingly dark text.” -Staged

“Captivating play by Jacqueline Goldfinger…This is an immensely entertaining and thought provoking play that will leave audiences with a great sense of satisfaction resulting from excellent performances in a superbly well-staged production. This is a play that will be appreciated on a great many levels. It is a dark comedy for sure, but, it will also reach deep within the hearts of its audience as it delves into the complex inner lives of these three wonderfully constructed characters. ” -Stage Magazine

3 Women comes to mind…Sharp comic timing brings a vital levity to the cutting plot twists and nightmarish revelations. It’s an interesting examination of need for authority, whether real or imagined, that keeps us in the most precarious situations. Emotional needs beat logic to the truth in this pressure-cooker drama.” -CityPaper

“Smoky, provocative and refreshing…As the best theater does, it forces us to reflect and leaves us in awe of what we witnessed on stage. Plus… there’s fake blood and a great soundtrack and lots of laughs.” -Uwishunu.com

“Three Stars.” -Time Out, New York

“All the smokiness of a Southern Gothic drama.” -Backstage

“Suspenseful and provocative…a refreshing new story admirably written…What makes this play different than a mundane portrait of the modern South is its mythic quality. the terrible girls forces us to reflect on the duality of human nature and witness how deceit, desire, and obsession can lead to transgression.” -NYTheatre.com

Click here to read it on Playscripts.com

The Oath

“Magnificent” & “Soulful” -Theatre Buzz (NYC)

“Outstanding drama…Wonderful, thought-provoking…Goldfinger marvelously unfolds the story with great dialogue and sympathetic characters.” -New Theater Corps, Theater Talk (NYC)

“An intriguing journey through the swampy American South…The Oath sends its audience upon a mind-enriching exploration in which we leave with more questions than answers—questions that will haunt even the most resistant audience member’s mind.” -Show Business Weekly

“It’s perhaps due to [Goldfinger’s] deliberate subtlety that The Oath’s symbolism is so affecting.The story is laden with religious parallels, questions of female identity and themes of secrecy and familial duty, but the presence of a nationwide crisis that hovers over its cast of characters is what allows us to relate to them right off the bat—even before Goldfinger dismantles, in a startlingly effective manner, the initial archetypes that these characters represent.” -OffOffOnline

Click here to read it on the New Play Exchange

Dramaturg/Teaching Artist

I hold a M.F.A. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from Agnes Scott College.

Being a teaching artist is deeply rooted in my practice. I enjoy working with both children and adults to crack open new worlds through theatrical exploration. I've worked with a wide range of educational organizations including McCarter Theatre, PlayPenn, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts, Philadelphia Young Playwrights and the Paula Vogel Mentor Project, Kelly Writers House, Temple University, Rowan University, Disquiet International Literary Conference (Lisbon), and University of California, San Diego. 

I also am a dramaturg and have worked with both individual theater artists and companies to support the development of a wide variety of work by diverse artists. Companies include PlayPenn, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, North Coast Repertory Theatre, the Gorshman Y, and Native Voices. 

I am on the Advisory Boards of several artistic organizations in the Philadelphia-area that support emerging artists including Director’s GatheringOrbiter 3, and The Greenfield Collective, and co-founded The Foundry. In addition, I'm the Philadelphia Region Representative for The Dramatists Guild.

My full CV is available upon request.

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Represented by Abrams Artist Agency (amy.wagner@abramsartny.com).