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Aurand Harris Memorial Playwrighting Award Jun 02

I recently had the honor of accepting the N.E.T.C.’s 2019 Aurand Harris Memorial Playwrighting Award.

The N.E.T.C. is one of the most vital theatre organizations in America, nourishing and giving life to strong, challenging new plays. Miss Hollywood takes place in the late sixties. It examines the hypocrisies, the bigotry, and the clashes of class and religion in one small town in New Jersey. At its center is a love triangle consisting of the smart, charming doctor’s son, Luke – the handsome, tough, working class Eddie – and the brilliant and beautiful Patti, Miss Hollywood, a young woman far ahead of her time.

It was such a privilege to be honored at the New England Theatre Conference Awards Ceremony, and to receive the prestigious Aurand Harris award for my new play, Miss Hollywood.

You can see the awards presentation here (My award presentation is at 40:16):

World of Sinatras Jul 25

As Covid fades, i’ve been contacted about new productions of my plays. Wisconsin’s Future Stars Theatre will produce my World of Sinatras this July, directed by Brody Adams. And Kidnapped, an earlier play, will be directed by Sydnie Grosberg Ronga in a workshop with Round the Bend Theatre in Saugerties N.Y.

I’ve spent my life writing, acting and directing. Ten of my plays are published, and each has won a national award. They’ve all been produced many times in NYC, and in regional theaters across the country. Two have been translated into French and will soon be produced in France. And one of my plays was produced in Dublin. I’ve written films for USA Network and Nasser Entertainment. I’ve also acted in everything.  Lead roles in dozens of plays in NYC and regional theatre; lead roles on All My Children and Another World.  And leads in several independent films. My movie script, Imitate the Sun, which won First Prize in Hollywood’s esteemed American Accolades Competition, was recently shot this summer as a short entitled Summer of ‘70, directed by myself.  I will be directing the feature next year. I play the character “Bruce.”

A new play of mine, Miss Hollywood, which just won the esteemed Aurand Harris Playwriting award, will open this November in Silverado, CA, directed by Keyana Rhoden. It was recently chosen by the Drama Notebook to be distributed for production throughout schools all across the country. My play Broken Birds opens in February with the SOOP Theatre in Pelham, N.Y.  Next fall, my award-winning Who Collects the Pain will open again in NYC, directed by Chuk Obasi.  I recently performed one of the lead roles in the Robert Chase play Let Me Fluff Your Pillow, also directed by Chuk Obasi.

Another new play, Wound, recently won Best New Play in the national Writer’s Digest Competition.  It beat out over 6,000 other new American plays.  It was also a semi-finalist in the 2017 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. The Unraveling, another recent play, has been turned into a film script.  It was awarded a grant from the Puffin Foundation, and was produced in the Actors Studio’s Elia Kazan Festival. World of Sinatras, another recent play, was produced in NYC with the Project Rushmore Theatre Company. (You can see reviews on the left panel.)  It was just published by JAC Publications, my eighth published play. It was also nominated for Best New Play of 2013 by the Southern Appalachian Rep, and received a grant from the Pilgrim Project. It was translated into French by the Baz’Arts Theatre, in Metz, France, and published in French. And I’ve just finished my brand new play, Teenagers in Love, which was just selected by the Drama Notebook to be distributed to schools across the country for production.

Lastly, I just finished writing a TV pilot, King Dollar, based on my surreal experience as a writer/performer for the cable show Basil Basset Bingo.


Click to read:

Next Stage Press published my award-winning full-length plays New Truck for Paulie, Who Collects the Pain and Kidnapped. They’ve also published my one-act play Broken Birds, nominated in the Samuel French Festival for Best New One-Act. JAC Publications (which recently published World of Sinatras, has recently published two other plays of mine: the award-winning full-length There is an Angel in Las Vegas; and the recent award-winning one-act The Knitting Club (nominated in L.A.’s FirstStage Productions for Best New One-Act of 2011). These plays have each been produced several times apiece in NYC and in regional theatre.  I’ve written a lot of film for USA Network, Nasser Entertainment, and other independent L.A. producers. I was recently asked to become a member of the esteemed Playwrights/Directors Unit at the Actors Studio. And I was a long-term member of NYC’s great Circle Rep.  As an actor, I’ve done lead roles in dozens of plays in NYC and regional theatre, in several indie films, and I played lead characters on the Soaps All My Children and Another World.

Below is some press World of Sinatras has received during the workshop process.

“An amazing play. I cannot remember the last time in a theater that I shared so much laughter and so many tears with such a great number of people. A true, collective poetry of the heart.”

Clark Middleton, Artistic Director, Apt. 929 Theatre Company

“A complete tour de force. It’s heartbreaking and hysterical all in the same moment. Sean O’Connor uses his considerable talents as writer, actor and poet to plumb the shattering cultural experience of America combusting in the sixties and the shattering personal experience of a family combusting at exactly the same time. It’s spellbinding.”

William Electric Black, Artistic Producer, La Mama E.T.C.

“A major new American work. It’s an intense, very funny and deeply poetic piece of theatre. Sean’s phenomenal gifts as both writer and actor are in high gear…it left a profound impact upon me.”

Kathy Towson, Managing Producer, Creative Voices Theatre Company, Creative Place Theatre, and the RCL Writers Workshop.

And below is some press for The Unraveling.

“There are moments in Theatre where we experience something that truly takes us somewhere else and Sean O’Connor’s THE UNRAVELING brought forth the magic to do just that. The writing was extraordinary and I didn’t just listen to the words, they engulfed my mind and my soul, thus obliterating any other emotions I had brought in the room. The characters were so beautifully brought into existence by such honest language I felt as if all my friends who had passed away during the 80’s came back into my life like a fire ball of light that carried me back into another time. Relationships were the subject, inn a period of time when we first began to enter the Aids crisis. Thank you Sean for caring so much about relationships. Thank you for caring about all who are gone and thank you from all who survived to live with the loving thoughts about the friends who were the generation that was lost. Theatre magic happened on the stage last night. It’s what I live for. My heart is so full of love and excitement from what I experienced.”

Adrienne Doucette, Artistic Director, Project Rushmore Theatre Company

Category: Current Projects