Who Are the Playwrights

Ken Urban

Resident Playwright

2016 — 2025

Ken Urban is a playwright, screenwriter and musician. His audio play VAPOR TRAIL was selected for the 2022 Tribeca Festival’s Audio Storytelling series and released as part of Playwrights Horizons’ Sound Stage that fall. His stage plays include A GUIDE FOR THE HOMESICK (Huntington Theatre Company, Trafalgar Studios in the West End), THE REMAINS (Studio Theatre), SENSE OF AN ENDING (59E59 Theatres, London’s Theatre503), NIBBLER (The Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), THE CORRESPONDENT (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), THE AWAKE (59E59 Theatres, Chicago’s First Floor Theater), and THE HAPPY SAD (The Public Theatre/Summer Play Festival). Awards include EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science & Technology Project Commission, Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Independent Reviewers of New England’s Award for Best New Script, Headlands Artist Residency, Millay Arts Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, and he is a three-time recipient of MacDowell Fellowships. He is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and an affiliated writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Ken wrote the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation of THE HAPPY SAD, directed by Rodney Evans. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. He leads the band Occurrence and their new album SLOW VIOLENCE was released in April 2023. Their music has been described as “a sonic tapestry that blends elements of indie pop, electronic music and shoegaze into a seamless whole” (Plastic Magazine) and called a band that is “thinking big” (V13). The band collaborated with choreographer Dan Safer at MIT’s Theater Arts on a devised dance theater piece based on the album. His first TV pilot THE ART OF LISTENING was optioned by ITV and Madison Wells Media. He is currently working on five new stage plays and a feature film. Ken is the Senior Lecturer of Theater Arts and Director of Dramatic Writing at MIT. He has taught writing at Harvard University, Princeton University, Tufts University and Davidson College. He lives in Washington Heights with his partner Johnny.