Francine Volpe

Resident Playwright

2010 -- 2017

Francine Volpe is a New York City-based playwright, screenwriter and dramaturge. Her play, The Good Mother opened in 2012 under the direction of Scott Elliot and featured Gretchen Mol. The play was subsequently named finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn prize. In 2013 Francine was the inaugural winner of the Lanford Wilson Prize in Playwriting. Other plays include The Given (also finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize) and Late Fragment which were directed by the award-winning actor Michael Imperioli. Late Fragment, was produced at Studio Dante and The New Company in London. One-act plays include: Sweethearts and Giftbox, which was commissioned and produced at stageFARM in New York City and is published in The Best Short Plays 2008 by Smith and Kraus. Francine’s other plays have received workshops at A.C.T., Arena Stage, Rattlestick and Soho Rep, Francine’s screenplays include Queenie and I’ll Be Your Mirror. She has worked extensively as a script consultant. Francine received her B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Dramatic Writing. She was later the recipient of a two-year Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Fellowship at The Juilliard School where she studied closely with Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. She has twice received grants from the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation. She teaches screenwriting and playwriting at NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, Primary Stages in New York, Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles, and privately throughout the country. She is a member of New Dramatists.

ND Activity
  • Composer-Librettist Studio

    Composer-Librettist Studio

    Our annual Composer-Librettist Studio focuses simultaneously on music-theatre development and the principles of collaboration, teaming five writers with five composers and five performers to develop brand-new works of musical theatre. At the end of the Studio, each playwright has worked with each composer and 25 new music-theatre pieces have been created by the group.

  • Writers' Executive Committee

    Writers' Executive Committee

    The Writers' Executive Committee is a voluntary grouping of resident playwrights who meet throughout the year to discuss and make decisions concerning the work of New Dramatists and to help guide the organization.

Read Sample

an excerpt from The Good Mother

A modest but lovingly decorated home in Mt. Vernon, New York. Pretty details. Lots of glass.
Out the big window, early nightfall.

Larissa, 33 busily gets “ready” while she talks. She wears tight jeans and a ruffled or faux country shirt. She looks lovely. She applies mascara in the living room mirror…

Angus, 19 sits on the couch. He is displaced.

LARISSA
I’ll never forget what else he said to me he said– and it’s a simple thing he said- he said, he said to me anyway he looks at me and he says, he looks at me and he says he goes: “Remember who you are”. …What do you mean? Who am I? I don’t know who I am, who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to remember? I’m a child.

But then
She exits to another room but continues talking.
We hear her garbled voice.
Angus makes no effort to listen.

Larissa returns, participating in ridiculous beauty rituals as she speaks.

LARISSA
Do you know that song? The Greatest Love of All? You’re too young. Anyway it’s a song. And it’s about the greatest love of all. Stupid, that it’s about the love inside yourself that you have for yourself? I know. Stupid. It’s really really stupid. My mother was ill-equipped. But. I think that when you know who you are. And what you’re made of. This sounds like touchy feely bullshit but stay with me I have a point. It’s easy to consider other people. To think about other people and what they’re made of. And to see clearly. As clearly as anything can be seen. I’m saying that if you think of your father. Clearly. If you really think about him? Then maybe you’ll remember the truth. Of who he is. And you won’t get hurt by all the lies people are saying about him. Do you understand?

ANGUS
…Yes.

LARISSA
Did he eat the pie

ANGUS
The

LARISSA
Did he eat the pie.

ANGUS
The

LARISSA
My pie did he eat the pie

ANGUS
No.

LARISSA
Look at you. You’re a man.

ANGUS
Look at you. You’re a woman
That came out wrong.

LARISSA
It’s like that now huh?

ANGUS
No no no/ no no

LARISSA
What happened to you, you were so cute?

ANGUS
I didn’t meant that like//that

LARISSA
No you’re right, you’re in college

ANGUS
I didn’t mean it//like

LARISSA
And I’m not that much older//after all

ANGUS
It came out//wrong

LARISSA
It’s alright I’m a//jerk

ANGUS
Please stop.

LARISSA
Relax I’m playing. Can’t you see I’m playing a game with you.

She puts on earrings.

LARISSA
Has he talked to you?

ANGUS
About what?

LARISSA
Are there some things you might want to share with me?

ANGUS
No.

LARISSA
…You look like your father. You know that right. Last time I saw you were a little boy.
How’s college?

ANGUS
Good.

LARISSA
What’s it Wellsly-?

ANGUS
Wesleyan

LARISSA
It’s good?

ANGUS
Yes.

LARISSA
I heard it’s not good. You got into some kind of trouble.

ANGUS
I don’t

LARISSA
You like me, a little trouble-maker?

ANGUS
I don’t do drugs.

LARISSA
Listen. I don’t do drugs.

ANGUS
I know you’re clean or //…whatever.

LARISSA
Where’s my keys. You’re thinking of Judy. My best friend Judy. She did drugs. Where’s my keys but then she went to a facility. They said that it was her own fault for being a drug addict because she suffers from selfishness and vanity. As well as other personality faults. Meanwhile she was really overprescribed an outdated painkiller in the eighties. When she was a child. What I do with my keys. So whose fault was it? So now she’s ashamed of herself for her whole personality. But it’s ok because she’s getting her yoga license to teach yoga. I only met your father because I killed that hamster. I gotta find my keys.

Oh. I’m sorry. Your father’s still dry. Right?

Angus looks at her.

LARISSA
I didn’t mean to knock the program, if he’s still working the program-

ANGUS
He’s fine.

LARISSA
Ok. If you want to talk about your trouble not tonight but some other night mi casa es su casa.

ANGUS
Right.

PLAY CONTINUES...

Contact Info

c/o Brant Rose
Brant Rose Agency
Crossroads Of The World
6671 Sunset Boulevard, Suite1584 B
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 460-6464
(323) 460-6454 fax
brose@brantroseagency.com

Francine Volpe's Calendar

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