Playwright, Educator, Lecturer
Janet Neipris’s plays have been produced at major theatres in the U.S. and internationally, including the National Theatre, London, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, The Women’s Project, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Arena Stage, D.C., Studio Theatre, D.C., Center Stage, Baltimore, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Milwaukee Rep., the Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, and The China Youth Arts Theatre, Beijing. Her awards include two NEA’s in playwriting, two Rockefeller Grants to Bellagio, 1990, for A Small Delegation, about Americans in China the year before Tiananmen Square, and in 2004, A Question of Country, based on a true story about the friendship between a black woman and a white woman during apartheid and the impossibility of it post-apartheid. Other awards include a USIA Grant, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, 1995-2000, O’Neill Center Playwright in Residence, 2002. In 2004 she received a New York University Faculty Research Grant to visit South Africa to research a new play, and in 2008, a New York University Presidential Fellowship for her play about South Africa. Her first agent was the fierce Helen Merrill. The second was the marvelous Lois Berman.
Janet Neipris is the author of Statues, Exhibition, The Bridge at Belharbour, Brussels Sprouts, Sunday at Five on the Cote D’Azur, Acts of Love, Out of Order, 703 Walk Hill, Almost In Vegas, Natives, Look Ma We’re Dancing, After Marseilles, The Agreement, A Small Delegation (original music by Tan Dun, set design by Ming Cho Lee), and A Question of Country. She has also written for film, BBC, and the NPR’s Earplay Series. A composer, she wrote the score and co-authored the book and lyrics for the children’s musical Jeremy and the Thinking Machine, which was produced by the National Theatre, London. She also composed an original score for Death of A Salesman, at the Sharon, Ct. Playhouse, music for Paul Celan’s Black Milk of Morning, Notes on a Life, music and lyrics, Women’s Project, NYC, and music for Circle Repertory Theatre, where she was an original member. Anthologies include Contemporary Women Playwrights and Best Short Plays. She was keynote speaker at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, on The Moral Responsibility of the Artist. She is currently working on a book of collected short stories, Blue Hills.
As Chair of Graduate Playwriting and Screenwriting, Department of Dramatic Writing, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she has educated some of the country’s leading playwrights and screenwriters. Her book, TO BE A PLAYWRIGHT, published by Routledge, is used widely in universities.She has taught playwrights and screenwriters in China, Indonesia, Florence, Prague, London, and South Africa. She is a member of Writer’s Guild of America East, PEN, and served on the Dramatists Guild Council Tony Committee, and founded and chaired their Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing and Samuel French.
Her plays and letters are in the Harvard University Houghton Theatre Collection.
In 2017, New York University awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.