Monday, January 25, 2016

About the Playwright: Gina Gionfriddo

Gina Gionfriddo grew up in Washington, D. C. where she attended the Georgetown Day School. She graduated from Barnard College and in 1997 received an MFA in Playwrighting from Brown University where she studied with acclaimed playwright Paula Vogel.

U. S. Drag was actually Ms. Gionfriddo’s thesis production at Brown University and was awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an honor for female playwrights, which she shared in a tie with Susan Miller in 2002. Also in 2002 she was given the Helen Merril Award for Emerging Playwrights.

Her next play, After Ashley (Dragon’s 2013 season) caught the eye of RenĂ© Balcer, the head writer and executive producer of Law & Order. Balcer hired her after he read After Ashley. Balcer said: “She really has an ear for the dialogue of everyday Americans and the quirkiness of everyday Americans... the kind of people you see being interviewed on Nancy Grace.”

Her next play, Becky Shaw, premiered at the Humana Festival in 2008 and opened off-Broadway that same year. It was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama - she lost to Ruined by Lynn Nottage.

In 2012, Gionfriddo’s play Rapture, Blister, Burn hit the stage off-Broadway and was nominated for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize Award in Drama but lost out to Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar.

In addition to writing plays, Ms. Gionfriddo has a busy career in television, where she wrote and produced for both Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She’s also written episodes for the acclaimed Netflix series House of Cards and Borgia.

Ms. Gionfriddo currently lives in New York City where she is a single mother.

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