Tammy Ryan, Playwright       Current      Plays      Young Audiences      Publications     Bio      Contact

Publications

FULL-LENGTH PLAYS

SOLDIER'S HEART


"Portrayls of soldiers wrecked by war date to the ancient Greeks (see Aeschylus), but Ms. Ryan adeptly reworks the time-tested recipe from a woman's perspective to make it seem fresh again...Briskly written in brief scenes that easily flash back and forth...the subject of sexual assault in the military gives the play weight and merit. Ms. Ryan deftly layers critical incidents that culminate in a forceful climax."
- Michael Sommers, New York Times

 

LOST BOY FOUND IN WHOLE FOODS


"Ryan's play poignantly and powerfully integrates a personal story with a current world issue. When single mother Christine meets Gabriel, one of the "lost boys" from Sudan, in the produce section of a Pittsburgh Whole Foods where he works, the two form a relationship that changes both their lives. The play avoids easy, feel-good answers in exploring the very different ways that Christine and Gabriel think he should deal with the challenges he faces. As Pittsburgh theater critic Christopher Rawson perceptively observes, "the person who is most truly lost amid middle-class comfort is... Christine... [The play charts] the faltering, one-forward, one-back steps she takes to find her own usefulness and meaning."
-- The American Theater Critics Association, 2012 Francesca Primus Prize.

 

A CONFLUENCE OF DREAMING


"CONFLUENCE is what we'd call a 9/11 play...it's also about marriage, parenting, cybersex and especially dreams... it's engrossing, perceptive and very very funny.... Carol's rebellion is a hoot, involving some very funny sex scenes, remember this is a master class in turning existential despair into comedy. Leave the young children at home."
Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

DARK PART OF THE FOREST


"Tammy Ryan should have called her new play 'The Dark Part of the Marriage' instead of the DARK PART OF THE FOREST...in the play's potent debut... Joan and Bill's faltering marriage is the main event. What's also intriguing about DARK PART OF THE FOREST is the abundance of fairy tale imagery...Ryan has written no fairy tale, though. She can be grimmer than the Grimm brothers--but just as enigmatically entertaining." Peter Filichia, The Star-Ledger

 

FBI GIRL


This poignant coming of age story follows young Maura Conlon through her childhood journey in the 1960s and 70s. Growing up in an Irish-Catholic family, mostly held together by commitment to her youngest brother, Joey, born with Down's syndrome, Maura struggles to find her place in the world. She is fascinated by mysteries, a fascination fed by the elusive world of her FBI agent father. Her dream was to follow his path and crack "the code" that made his world so lusciously impenetrable.

 

BABY'S BLUES

Susan is a career woman with a seemingly perfect life, complete with sensitive husband and a brand new bundle of joy on the way. Beginning at the moment a very pregnant Susan goes into labor, the play follows her journey as she becomes a new mother, with a frighteningly inexplicable newborn to care for. Employing both realistic and surrealistic elements, BABY'S BLUES explores one woman's descent into postpartum depression, but also brings into focus the difficult challenge of becoming a mother for the first time, as well as the fine line that sometimes exists between health and madness.

 

THE MUSIC LESSON

Weaving together the music of Bach, with the memories of the Bosnian War and the universal conflicts between teacher and student, THE MUSIC LESSON tells the story of Irena and her husband Ivan, two musicians who escaped the war in Sarajevo to start a new life in Pittsburgh. While Irena's passion for music and the students she taught helped Irena survive the war, she now stands torn between Maja, the 12 year old prodigy she left behind in Sarajevo and Kat, the bright but angry American teenager who wants to learn but resists her teaching. Shifting elegantly from past to present and resonating with powerful music, this is the tale of two countries, two families and the ways they teach and heal each other.

 

PIG

CIt is the day before Labor Day, 1990, four months before the Gulf War and the Robinsons are having a barbecue. Jason, the prodigal son, who's been in the Navy since a violent confrontation with his father, is on his way home. Jason's family - his parents Jack and Irene, his sisters Jeanann, Maureen and Peggy, and Aunt Bernice and Uncle George - await his arrival as they drink, fight, joke, sing Girl Scouts songs, threaten each other with playing charades and otherwise stake out their territories . Jason arrives with presents from his family from around the world, and a freshly killed pig in the garbage bag to roast, creating a stir at the party and forcing emotions to rise. After Santos, the next door neighbor, casts doubt as to what's really in the garbage bag, Jason takes his family hostage and forces them at gun point to play a life and death game of charades.

 

ANTHOLOGIES

 

BEST WOMEN'S MONOLOGUES 2007

Excerpts from BABY'S BLUES

Edited by D. L. Lepidus
Smith & Kraus (link)

 


 

CLASSROOM SCENES AND MONOLOGUES 2005

Edited by Kent R. Brown

Excerpts from DARK PART OF THE FOREST and A CONFLUENCE OF DREAMING

Dramatic Publishing Company, Inc. 2005 (link)

 


 

EVEN MORE MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN

Edited by Tori Haring-Smith (link)
Heinemann, 2001

Excerpts from DARK PART OF THE FOREST


 


 

MORE MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN

Edited by Tori Haring-Smith (link)
Heinemann, 1996

Excerpts from VEGETABLE LOVE


 


 

MONOLOGUES FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN

Edited by Tori Haring-Smith (link)
Heinemann, 1994

Excerpts from SOULS ON BOARD


 

 

OTHER LINKS

 

Edited by Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash, Lock And Load: Armed Fiction includes Tammy Ryan's essay, The Guns in My Plays.

 


 


Tammy Ryan is Represented by:

Copyright 2009-2010 Tammy Ryan