Kate Mulley is a playwright, librettist/lyricist, producer, dramaturg and founding member of Vox Theater. Her work has been performed in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Alaska, London and Shanghai.
New York credits: that parallel life (Athena Theater/Symphony Space), The Special Election (Dixon Place), Cherry on Top (5 episodes at #serials@theflea), The Next War (Schapiro Theatre/Columbia), hot tramp (i love you so) (Schapiro Theatre/ Columbia), Like a Finch (UglyRhino), The Reluctant Lesbian (FringeNYC, O’Neill Semi-Finalist, Northern Stage), You Are Here (NyLon Fusion Collective/Gene Frankel Theater), The Tutor (FringeNYC, Juilliard Fellowship finalist), Sezze Sun (Odyssey Productions/walkerspace), The Lazarus Years (Red Room). London credits: The Proxies (Theatre503, Etcetera Theatre), Cook’s Clock (Soho Theatre), Fee (Tristan Bates Theatre).
She has an ongoing collaboration with composer Andy Peterson. Their musical Razorhurst was commissioned by and had its world premiere at Luna Stage and was developed at Catwalk Art Residency and FORGE Fuel. Outlaw was workshopped at Barn Arts Collective and performed in part at Dixon Place.
Strange Bare Facts, her military medicine trilogy which includes Grey Lady (Columbia@Roundabout Finalist, Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist, ATHE Playwriting Award Semi-Finalist), Hither Ditch and The Next War (Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist), was performed at the Ford Studio at the Signature Center as part of the Columbia New Plays Festival and has been developed at Columbia, NYU, Sewanee Writers’ Conference and VoxFest at Dartmouth College, among others. The Tutor has been translated into Mandarin and performed at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. The Year Before the Civil War is published in Issue 004 of The Dionysian.
She has worked for Playscripts, Inc., Nick Hern Books, Soho Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and Hourglass Group, and has published headlines in The Onion. Kate has been an Artist in Residence at the Nantucket Island School of Design and Art, a Playwriting Fellow at Shanghai Theatre Academy, and a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Theater and History, received an MA in Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths College, London, and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. She currently lives in New York .
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The plays that I write are often about women pushing against the confines of their circumstances. Whether they are Civil War-era widows with a desire to overcome grief and propriety, over-educated exhibitionists with a penchant for breaking the rules or teenagers stuck in a well (the first play I wrote was a Beckett-inspired short about a girl stuck in a well), these women peek beyond the curtain of what society expects of them and revel in the freedom and then await, and experience, the fallout. I write plays that are theatrical, yet subtle; that demand an engaged and intelligent audience, but don’t shy away from sensual or lowbrow moments. There may not be a happy ending, but there is always self-discovery and the knowledge that one cannot return to where one started.
Perhaps I write this way as the product of eight years of single sex education. Perhaps it is the result of being the daughter of a woman who consistently outearned her husband. Or perhaps it is pushback from being educated at the collegiate level by a number of male professors with an apparent distaste for female sexuality. Or the many post-collegiate years of often exhilarating and often disappointing relationships and entanglements.
The reasons most likely don’t matter. In my view, the work is what matters. And how it affects audiences seeking work that challenges their notions of gender, sexuality and class whether they’re in New York, New Hampshire or Shanghai.