Ellen McLaughlin

Visiting Artist Presentation Series

Date: Friday, April 15, 2022
Time: 11 am EDT

Working with the Fragments: A Playwright’s Perspective

The presentation addresses the challenge of working as a playwright with fragments, often mere splinters, of lost plays. Ellen will speak specifically about the process of working with a fragment of Euripides’ Protesilaus, which she was commissioned by Classic Stage Company in NYC to turn into a full-length play. The presentation will include readings of scenes from that play and others, and address the constraints and imaginative liberties that such a process entails.

This talk is part of the Visiting Artist Presentation Series.


Ellen McLaughlin has worked extensively in regional, international and New York theater, both as an actor and as a playwright. Ellen’s acting work includes: originating the part of the Angel in Angels in America, playing the role in workshops and regional productions through its original Broadway run. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. She is the recipient of the Writer’s Award from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund as well as other honors, including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, and grants from the ENA. Plays and operas include, Tongue of a Bird, Iphigenia and Other daughters, The Persians, Penelope, Ajax in Iraq, Septimus and Clarissa, Blood Moon, and The Orestia. Producers include, The Public Theater, National Actors’ Theater, Classical Stage CO., New York Theater Workshop, The Guthrie, The Intiman, The Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Shakespeare Theatre, DC, Prototype, and The Almeida Theater in London.

She has taught in several programs, including Yale School of Drama, Princeton and Bread Loaf School of English. She has taught playwriting at Barnard College since 1995.