M and H are a father-daughter arson team. 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 of grief, loss, hope and redemption inspired by the Greek tragedy Electra.
Set in the underground world of virtual graffiti, Fresh is an epic techno-drama that follows college students involved in frat gang rape that goes viral; exploring how the event and evolving technology fractures and reshapes their lives from 2016-2031.
I owe a debt of gratitude to those in the Trans, technology and advocacy communities who opened their homes and hearts to me.
Margaret Thatcher and the Authorititties
4-12 F, 1 Optional Drag Queen
It's 2025. Two-thirds of the world faces severe water shortages. Brexit's spark turned the EU into a clannish flambe. China's one child policy has been revived and instituted internationally. And Maggie Thatcher - the American Maggie Thatcher that is, whose parents revere the fallen British idol - discovers a Riot Grrrl band living in a wormhole in the bathtub drain of an old trailer where she hides to smoke pot on the outskirts of Nowhere, USA. Margaret Thatcher and the Authorititties is an expressionistic joyride with post-apocalyptic tendencies that investigates the intersection of feminism, individualism, and art.
When racial tensions come to a boiling point in a Florida town, the smallest actions can have paralyzing consequences; Slip/Shot is a heartbreaking drama about fear, unconscious bias, and our need to move forward.
Skin & Bone is a comedy about elderly twin sisters, Midge and Madge, who hide a bizarre family secret from the world. Skin & Bone explores the absurd adherence to the time honored traditions that destroy you.
A wandering preacher is embroiled in the passions and politics of a swampy Florida outpost ruled with a macabre sense of justice by two rival sisters during the Great Depression. The Oath is a darkly comic look at balancing ambition and ideals in a time of crisis.
Where did Mr. Witherose go? How do you properly dispose of a skull in the pantry? And who wants to go to the Happiest Place on Earth anyways? The Terrible Girls is a Southern Gothic horror-comedy that explores the duality of human nature and the murky line between friendship and obsession.
Named "Best of Philadelphia Theater 2014" by the Philadelphia Weekly
"[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 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 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, is 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
“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
Named one of the "Top 10 Productions of 2012" by Philadelphia Weekly
“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
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
“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
Jacqueline Goldfinger is an award-winning playwright whose work has been seen at theaters including The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, FringeArts, Orlando Shakespeare, Finborough (Vibrant '16), Barrington Stage, Vermont Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Acadiana Rep, The Arden, Seattle Public, Azuka, Manhattan Theatre Works, The Blank, InterAct, and Flashpoint. She has worked on public art projects with Reading Terminal Market, Missing Bolts, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.
She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist with a 2016-17 Audrey Residency. Her work has been supported by the Emerson Stage Residency, Drama League First Stage Residency (Jessica Bashline, director), YADDO, NEA ArtWorks, The Independence Foundation, NNPN, The Lark, PlayPenn, Disquiet (Lisbon), The Producer's Fund, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Last Frontier Conference, and the Sewanee Writers Conference, among others.
She's been recognized by the Barrymore Awards, Brown Martin Award, Leah Ryan Prize, McNally Award, Philadelphia Critics Awards, The Kilroys, and nominated twice for both the Weissberger Award and the Blackburn Prize.
She holds 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 her practice. She enjoys working with both children and adults to crack open new worlds through theatrical exploration. She's worked with a wide range of educational organizations including KC-ACTF, McCarter Theatre, PlayPenn, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Emerson College, Boston College, Villanova University, and University of California, San Diego.
As a dramaturg she has worked with companies including PlayPenn, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, and Native Voices.