FULL-LENGTH PLAYS/ REPRESENTATIVE PRODUCTIONS
- Produced Off-Off Broadway, Oct-Nov 2012. “…an elegiac love letter to Coney Island… the play’s intimate understanding of that precious Brooklyn landmark, wistfulness for its past and concern for its fate are palpable.” New York Times.
Conversations on Russian Literature Plus Three More Plays
- Produced Off-Off Broadway with Blue Coyote Theater Group, February 2009. “In a series of plays over the last five years…David Johnston has quietly emerged as one of New York’s most engaging playwrights.” Time Out New York.
- Read at The New Group in New York City, produced at Roadside Theatre –KMC, Kaiserslautern, Germany, September 2007.
The George Place
- Developed at first Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre Playwrights Alliance (WPA) in spring of 2008. The play premiered at WHAT in the fall of 2008. Subsequent reading at HB Playwrights Foundation, 2009.
- Produced Off-Off Broadway, February 2007. “A deserved downtown buzz has been developing about Mr. Johnston, whose spunky pop aesthetic might remind you of the early works of Christopher Durang or David Lindsay-Abaire. With a light touch, he has found humor in the darkest of places, including, now, Greek tragedy.” New York Times “By the time the final hysterical scene squeaks off on its rolling-platform ekkyklema, we’re all Greek fans. Even a Trojan would be shouting himself hoarse.” Time Out New York
- Included in Time Out New York’s “Best of” for 2007.
Candy & Dorothy
- Produced Off-Off Broadway in January 2006, the play saw its genesis in early productions by the University of Cincinnati and in Santa Ana, CA by Rude Guerilla. Later productions at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Wellfleet, MA, Unexpected Stage, Rockville, MD.
- Heralded as an “oddball homage to Frank Capra… with wit and sparkle” by the New York Times, and a “lighter-than-air fantasy… evoking merriment and contemplation” by Backstage, the play also elicited “deserving of a longer run” from Time Out New York.
- Screenplay adaptation has been optioned.
Busted Jesus Comix
- Produced twice by Moving Arts in LA, later in NYC by Blue Coyote and heralded as “a satire belonging in the rich tradition of turning dirty-minded artists into First Amendment heroes” by the New York Times.com: “Funny, intelligent and compassionate… theatre this terrific is cause for celebration… amazing theatre, the kind that keeps you engaged and manages to pack a wallop.”
- Subsequent productions at Cap Fringe, Washington, DC 2008 and Above the Stag, London, U.K. 2009, Komorni cinohra, Prague, Czech Republic, 2016.
- Film rights optioned
A Bush Carol (Or, George Dubya and the Xmas of Evil)
- Excerpted from review by Bay Windows: “Far from Broadway, and under the radar, a gay-authored political satire/musical found its audience so well that it ran out of places to put them… a raggedly, hilarious and decidedly punchy show… it is bitterly funny and, underneath its own hijinks, rather smart.” 2003.
- This freely adapted third act of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, commissioned by Theatre Faction in NYC “saves the evening… its Apollo is a fine comic character” according to the New York Times. 2004.
- Awarded Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant to complete remaining two acts in The Oresteia: Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers.
Monsura is Waiting
- Adapted own award-winning one-act play. Winner: Best Fantasy Film – Mexico International Film Festival, Best Cult Short – Queen City Film Festival, Best Cinematography – Williamsburg Independent Film Festival and Silver Remi Award – WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.
- Original story for 7 minute film, directed by Kevin Newbury with music by Jimmy Lopez.
- Adapted own one-act play “A Phone Call from Washington State, Late at Night” into an independent short feature film produced by Dumont Entertainment Group. 2004.
Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers
- Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, music composed by Kamala Sankaram. Children’s opera with original story. Premiering HGO, February 2018.
Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?
- Commissioned by American Lyric Theater, music composed by Jeffrey Dennis Smith. Libretto based on an original, unproduced text. Premiering Urban Arias, Arlington, VA July 2018.
Daughters of the Bloody Duke
- Commissioned by Washington National Opera, for the American Opera Initiative, music composed by Jake Runestad. Presented at the Kennedy Center, November 2014.
The Wedding Gift of Pirate Granny
- Original libretto, music composed by Alla Borzova. Workshop produced by American Lyric Theater and presented at Symphony Space as “Opera in Eden,” as part of the Composer-Librettist Development Program. 2012.
New Works Festival, Marshall University ♦ Huntington, WV
Guest Playwright, 2010
- Worked with faculty, undergraduate actors and local community on week-long development, including ongoing rewrites, of “Coney”
- Worked with faculty, composer/lyricist, students and community on staging of “Effie Jean in Tahiti,” a reworked children’s musical, previously produced by Blue Coyote Theater Group in New York. The New Works staging was for the purpose of trying out new material with students.
Scholastic Award Winners Writing Workshops ♦ New York, NY
Teacher / Mentor, 2006
- Taught creative writing and theatre basics to classes of 12 students aged 14 to 18, instilling the fundamentals of monologue writing, scene writing and basic acting techniques.
- Employed strong classroom management skills while motivating students to expand their individual comfort zones and work collectively as a group to overcome common performance and creative anxieties.
Shattuck – St. Mary’s ♦ Fairbault, MN
Playwright in Residence, 2004
- Taught 5 classes per day over a 2-week playwriting intensive at this prestigious boarding school, guiding students ranging from 14 to 18 years of age in the basics of playwriting including plot development, stake-heightening dialogue, character building, etc.
- Leveraged previous directing experience while coaching students in the creation of producible works.
University of Cincinnati ♦ Cincinnati, OH
Playwright in Residence, 2001
- Created introductory playwriting syllabus and taught classes of up to 20 undergraduate students the fundamentals of dramatic storytelling including plot, structure, character, scene development and dialogue.
- Developed modern and classic reading list, created and motivated writing exercises and imparted various techniques geared toward overcoming writer’s block.
AWARDS & COMMISSIONS
- Berrilla Kerr Foundation Grant for Playwrights
- Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation Award
- GLAAD Winner (Candy & Dorothy,) GLAAD Nominee (Busted Jesus Comix)
- B.W. Playwright Residency at the University of Cincinnati (Candy & Dorothy)
- Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation
- Alan Minieri Memorial Award
- Theatre Oxford Ten-Minute Play Contest
- 3 Turnip Festival One-Act Play Awards – Audience Favorite and Best Production
- Multiple One-Minute Play awards including Audience Favorite
- Next Theatre, Evanston, IL, (Evil Time)
- The Eumenides (Playing with Canons anthology, New York Theatre Experience)
- Saturday with Martin (Short Plays to Long Remember, TnT Books)
- A Lesson (Best Ten Minute Plays of 2012, Smith & Kraus)
- A Number on the Roman Calendar (Best American Short Plays, 2010-11, Applause Theatrebooks)
- A Funeral Home in Brooklyn (Best Ten Minute Plays for 2 Actors 2008, Smith & Kraus)
- Leaving Tangier (Samuel French)
- New York Telephone Conversation and The Revolution Will Commence at Chase Manhattan (RoseBud)
- Death is Cold Like Barbie and I Dream of Ezra Pound (Stage Press Weekly)
- Dramatists Guild (Publications Committee, Opera Librettist Initiative)
- Actors Studio Playwrights Directors Workshop
- Blue Coyote Theater Group
- America-in-Play Project
- Actors’ Equity Association, (Off Off Broadway Committee)
- Board member, Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation
- BMI Librettists Workshop
- Commercial Theater Institute, 3 Day Intensive
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Legal and Professional Boot Camp
- Resident Artist alumni, American Lyric Theater
College of William and Mary, Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1986
Charles Maryan’s Playwrights / Directors Workshop ♦ NY, NY ♦ 1995 to Present
Professional Workshop at Circle in the Square ♦ NY, NY ♦ 1986-1988
Elaine Devlin Literary, Inc.
411 Lafayette Street — 6th floor
New York, NY 10003