Francine Volpe

Alumni Playwright

2010 -- 2017

Francine Volpe is a playwright and screenwriter who was born and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently writing for the television show, Pussy Valley for STARZ. Her most recent play, The Good Mother was directed by Scott Elliot and featured Gretchen Mol. The play was finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Francine is the winner of the 2016 McKnight National Playwright Residency and Commission and is currently under commission from The New Group. In 2013 she 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 (both directed by Michael Imperioli). Francine’s screenplays include Queenie and I’ll Be Your Mirror. She received her B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was later the recipient of a two-year Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Fellowship at The Juilliard School where she studied with Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. She received a NYFA grant for her low-income playwriting workshop and twice received grants from the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation for playwriting. She was the winner of the Agnes Ranjo Capps scholarship at the Missoula Playwrights Colony and the winner of a 2016 residency at The MacDowell Colony. She teaches screenwriting, playwriting and television writing at NYU, Sarah Lawrence College and The New Group. She is a graduate 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

Dan Halsted
MANAGE-MENT
1103 1/2 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-4411 Office

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