"Marilyn Millstone puts subtle but effective words into the mouths of characters who mirror who we are and who we could be. A playwright whose wit and wisdom is clear and provocative.”
—Yvonne Paretzky, stage and film actor
Marilyn Millstone’s award-winning playwriting is rooted in her background as a news and feature journalist and essayist.
Her full-length dramas, one-acts, ten-minute plays and monologues have been produced by Barrington Stage (MA), Birdhouse Theatre (GA), Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (OH), Dorset Players (VT), Fells Point Corner Theatre (MD), Silver Spring Stage (MD), Hudson Warehouse (NYC), the West Side Show Room (IL), the End of the Road New Play Festival (AL) and the Short & Sweet Festivals in Sydney and Dubai.
Marilyn’s first full-length play—the semi-historical drama The Sculptress—was produced by Baltimore’s Fells Point Corner Theatre and won two awards at the 2011 Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Her short play Compos Mentis has been produced nine times (seven times in America and twice abroad) and won numerous awards. Two of her plays had world premieres in 2018: her one-act comedy Birthday Girl at the Silver Spring Stage One-Act Play Festival, and her ten-minute drama Play Date at the Rockford New Play Festival.
Two of Marilyn’s monologues were selected for Best Women's Monologues of 2019, published by Smith and Kraus. Her full-length drama Proprioception is the winner of AACT NewPlayFest 2020; it will be produced by Rover Dramawerks (Plano, TX) in September 2021 and published by Dramatic Publishing (see https://aact.org/newplayfest-2020-playwrights-premieres). She holds an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University.
A play about love, betrayal, friendship and the healing power of art. Winner of two awards at the 2011 Baltimore Playwrights Festival.
A divorced father permits his difficult adult daughter to move in with him and his long-term girlfriend, forcing all of them to reassess their hopes and dreams. A featured selection of the Hudson Warehouse 2015 "Many Faces of Love" Monologue Festival, NYC.
A play about how we heal from trauma...and how we don't. Winner of AACT NewPlayFest 2020: aact.org/newplayfest-2020-playwrights-premieres. World premiere: April 2020, Rover Dramawerks, Plano, TX, Carol M. Rice, Director.
Alese and Robert Langford are interviewing for a coveted spot at Silver Glades Senior Living. But is Silver Glades ready for Robert and Alese? Nine productions around the world; numerous awards.
A single, childless woman wakes up on the morning of her 39th birthday in a very bad mood. Her feisty Fairy Godmother comes to comfort her—sort of. Premiere: Silver Spring Stage 2018 One-Act Play Festival.
Two young women from clashing cultures meet at a bus stop. An encounter with a dangerous man cements their unlikely friendship. A featured selection of the 2018 Rockford, IL, New Play Festival.
Long Distance (new!)
In 1963, a white man must decide whether to risk the safety and financial security of his family for a cause he passionately believes in: civil rights.
Karin Rosnizeck as Camille Claudel in the premiere of The Sculptress, Fells Point Corner Theatre, Baltimore. Photo: Ken Stanek.
“The Best Women’s Monologues of 2019 is an engaging collection of remarkable works…I was especially glad to see Marilyn Millstone's works included among these selected monologues… Marilyn is a passionate playwright, equally at home in comedy as in drama.”
—Carlos Linares, five-star review on Amazon
Playwriting Instructor, Fall 2019, The Writer's Center, Bethesda, MD. Developed and taught a six-week course called "Perfecting The Ten-Minute Play."
Drama Director, Nov. 2016–Feb. 2018. Contract position directing the Brookewood/Avalon Independent Schools' production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (2017) and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (2018).
Theater Instructor, Jewish Community Center (JCC), Rockville, MD. Invited by Playwrights Forum to develop and teach classes for seniors at the JCC on "Contemporary American Women Playwrights" (Spring 2010) and "One-Act Plays" (Spring 2013).
Instructor, Editorial Experts, Alexandria, VA. 2000–2003. Developed and taught workshops in public speaking and news writing. Developed custom classes in "Plain Language" writing for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Labor.
University Instructor, George Washington University (GW) Publication Specialist Program, Center for Professional Development, 1991–2000. Developed and taught a highly regarded course called "Developing the Writing Process." Developed and taught customized training workshops in writing, editing and graphic design for The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Music Educators National Conference, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and U.S. Department of Labor. Served as life-skills coach for at-risk youth in joint partnership between GW and Americorps. Served as visiting expository writing instructor at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Marilyn directing Avalon and Brookewood School students in the 2018 production of Our Town. Photo: Bill Apter
“An articulate and engaging speaker who has delivered lectures and presentations in a variety of settings, from board rooms to classrooms, on a diverse range of topics. Marilyn’s presentations are always well organized, thoughtful and inspiring.” —Dean Phelus, Senior Director, Leadership Programs, American Alliance of Museums
“Your class on contemporary women playwrights was a resounding success. You have a very special and warm personality which helped the group to feel invited and welcomed into your creative world of words and emotions. Thanks for making my job so successful and easy.”
—Kandy Hutman, Program Director,
JCC Adult Education Center, Rockville, MD
"As an aspiring playwright, I found Marilyn's "Perfecting the Ten-Minute Play" workshops at The Writer's Center both immensely useful and fun. Marilyn displayed knowledge of all facets of playwriting and did an exceptional job of leading class discussions." – Bob Yetvin
"Two Montgomery County Playwrights Write Winning Plays in Silver Spring Stage One-Act Festival," by Barbara Trainin Blank, Montgomery Sentinel, Aug. 10, 2018.
"Silver Spring Plays Are One-Act but Definitely Not One Note," by Barbara Trainin Blank, Montgomery Sentinel, Aug. 17, 2017.
As a playwright, I’m interested in what draws people together and what drives them apart. I'm especially intrigued by what young and old have to offer each other. As a female writer living in America, I also focus on what it means to be a woman in Western culture, and how that meaning has changed, and will continue to change, over time. While I love the independence of writing, I crave the camaraderie of creative collaboration and so delight in the rehearsal process. I also love the give-and-take of teaching and pride myself in bringing out the best in my students and in myself.
(Productions and staged readings listed in chronological order)
Premiere of The Sculptress, Fells Point Corner Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland, July 2011. This full-length drama is selected by the 2011 Baltimore Playwrights Festival for a month-long production at Fells Point Corner Theatre (FPCT). It receives one of the Festival’s top prizes for best play and best production, and an excerpt from it is selected for performance at The Kennedy Center’s 2011 Page to Stage Festival.
Monologue from The Hope Slope (a full-length drama) selected for “The Many Faces of Love” Monologue Festival produced by Hudson Warehouse, Bernie Wohl Center, NYC, Feb. 13, 2015.
Premiere of ten-minute comedy Compos Mentis, 2015 Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (OH) 10 – 10 Festival, Chagrin Falls, OH, July 24-August 15, 2015. Since then, Compos Mentis has been produced by: the 2016 Fells Point Corner Theatre 10x10 Festival (an “Audience Choice” winner), Baltimore, MD; 2017 Short & Sweet Festivals in Sydney and Dubai; 2017 Barrington Stage Company (MA) 10x10 New Play Festival; 2017 EdgeFest Eight, Birdhouse Theatre, Milledgeville, GA (a “Judges Award” winner); 2017 Silver Spring Stage (MD) One-Act Play Festival; 2018 End of the Road New Play Festival (AL) (first-place “Audience Choice” award) and the 2019 Dorset Players (VT) One-Act Play Festival.
Premiere of one-act comedy Birthday Girl at Silver Spring Stage (MD) 2018 One-Act Play Festival.
Premiere of ten-minute drama Play Date at 2018 Rockland (IL) New Play Festival.
* Two monologues selected for Best Women’s Monologues of 2019, published by Smith and Kraus.
* Compos Mentis (a ten-minute play) selected for publication by ArtAge Publications.
* 2019 Bethesda Magazine Essay Contest winner (second prize) for “Bingo,” published online at: https://bethesdamagazine.com/writing-contest/bingo/
* Interview with Swiss aerialist David Dimitri for Strathmore Music Center's Summer 2019 newsletter, see: https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2019/05/30/strathmore-one-man-circus/
* Other essays and articles have appeared on the website of Arena Stage and Broad Street Review; newspapers (Washington Post, Washington International and Washington Times); magazines (American Style, Bethesda Magazine, Campus USA, Cathedral Age, Surface Design Journal and Symphony Magazine). Winner of a translator award from Columbia University Center for Translation for my work on Israeli poet Moshe Dor’s memoir Khamsin.
Other Experience (abridged)
Playwriting Instructor, The Writers Center, Bethesda, MD. Ongoing.
Teaching Artist specializing in theater, Arts for the Aging, Rockville, MD. Ongoing.
Drama Director, Nov. 2016- February 2018. Contract position directing the Brookewood/Avalon Independent Schools production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (2017) and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (2018).
Theater Instructor, Jewish Community Center (JCC), Rockville, MD. Invited by Playwrights Forum to develop and teach a class for seniors on "Contemporary American Women Playwrights" (Spring 2010) and "One-Act Plays" (Spring 2013).
Contributing writer, American Style Magazine and Cathedral Age Magazine, 2003-2012.
Communications Liaison, Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park. 2002-2003.
Program Director, George Washington University (GW) Publication Specialist Program, Center for Professional Development, 1991-2000. Won first-place Award of Excellence for New Program Development from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association for creating the GW Publication Specialist Summer Institute. Developed and taught an expository and creative writing course called "Developing the Writing Process." Developed and taught customized training workshops in writing, editing and graphic design for The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Music Educators National Conference, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Department of Labor. Served as life-skills coach for at-risk youth in joint partnership between GW and Americorps. Served as visiting expository writing instructor at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Managing Editor, Journal of Environmental Education, Heldref Publications, Washington, D.C. 1989-1991.
My full-length drama Proprioception has won AACT NewPlayFest 2020. It will be produced by Rover Dramawerks in Plano, Texas in September 2021 and published by Dramatic Publishing. For more information, see: https://aact.org/newplayfest-2020-playwrights-premieres
Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive, Summer 2017.
Master of Fine Arts in playwriting: Spalding University, Louisville, KY. Winner of Spalding’s 2015 Mayborn Award in creative nonfiction.
Bachelor of Music Education, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. Graduated summa cum laude.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Environmental Studies, American University, Washington, D.C. Graduated cum laude.
Affiliations and Additional Skills
Member, Dramatists Guild of America
Moderate fluency in French, Portuguese and Spanish