Sherry Kramer’s recent work is about the American Dream and how we are failing it. She has written about our role in destabilizing the Middle East over oil (When Something Wonderful Ends), the rise of a populist demagogue in the heartland (Ivanhoe, MO), the power of the press to distort the shape of a nation’s soul (The Ruling Passion), and two plays about America’s relationship with money and philanthropy (How Water Behaves and The Bay of Fundy: An Adaptation of One Line from the Mayor of Casterbridge.). These plays invite their audience to find new ways to understand who we are as a nation,and how we might find our way back to being the generous, fair-minded people we believe ourselves to be.
Kramer is the recipient of an NEA, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a McKnight National Fellowship, and commissions from the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre Project and the Moscow Art Theatre/UI International Writers Program. Her plays have been produced here and abroad and include productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Second Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Soho Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Seattle’s Annex Theatre, InterAct Theatre, the Theatre of the First Amendment, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival, RedThen/Rude Fusion Rude Mechs.
Other plays include: Three Quarter Inches of Sky, David’s RedHaired Death (The Jane Chambers Award), What a Man Weighs (Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Drama League Award, The Marvin Taylor Playwriting Award), A Thing of Beauty, Cake, Things That Break, The World at Absolute Zero, The Mad Master (ASK commission), The Long Arms of Jupiter (a croquet performance piece), Partial Objects, The Law Makes Evening Fall, The Middle of the Day, A Permanent Signal, The Release of a Live Performance, The Master and Margarita (a singing-theatre adaptation with composer Margaret Pine), Nano and Nicki in Boca Raton, Napoleon’s China (music theatre piece with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton), and About Spontaneous Combustion.
She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, teaches playwriting at Bennington College, and regularly in the MFA programs of The Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin, and the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, where she was previously head of the workshop. She was the first national member of New Dramatists, and is currently a Core Member of The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. Her book about playwriting is called A PLAY TAKES PLACE IN THE AUDIENCE.