Sibyl Kempson

Alumni Playwright

2010 -- 2017

Sibyl Kempson’s plays have been presented in the United States, Germany, and Norway. Her work has received support from the Jerome Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Dixon Place (four Mondo Cane! Commissions from 2002-11 for The Wytche of Problymm Plantation, Crime or Emergency, Potatoes of August, and The Secret Death of Puppets ), a MAP Fund grant for her collaboration with Elevator Repair Service Fondly, Collette Richland (at New York Theatre Workshop), a USA Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, with NYTW and director Sarah Benson a Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Commission for Kyckling and Screaming (a translation/adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck), a McKnight National Residency and Commission for a new play The Securely Conferred, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S., a New Dramatists/Full Stage USA commission for a devised piece entitled From the Pig Pile: The Requisite Gesture(s) of Narrow Approach with Austin-based companies Rude Mechs and Salvage Vanguard Theater, and National Presenters Network Creation Fund and Forth Fund Awards for the same project. Her second collaboration with David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group, I Understand Everything Better, received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2015. The first was Restless Eye at New York Live Arts in 2012. Upcoming projects include a new in-ear opera with David Lang for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston for 2018, to be performed by vocal group Roomful of Teeth and pianist Stephen Drury, and The Securely Conferred, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S. / Sasquatch Rituals at New York Live Arts/Abrons respectively in 2017. Kempson launched the 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. ( in April 2015 at the Segal Center at the City University of New York. The company’s inaugural production, Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag, premiered at Abrons Arts Center in NYC. In October, a new piece Public People's Enemy was presented at the Ibsen Awards and Conference in Ibsen’s hometown of Skien, Norway. 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, a 3-year cycle of rituals for the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District of NYC, began on the Vernal Equinox in March 2016, and will recur on all Solstices and Equinoxes through 2018.
She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a member of New Dramatists, a USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow, an Artist-in-Residence at the Abrons Arts Center, a 2014 nominee for the Doris Duke Impact Award, the Laurents Hatcher Award and the Herb Alpert Award, and a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PLAY: Journal of Plays, and Performance & Art Journal (PAJ). MFA Brooklyn College under the instigation of Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She teaches and has taught experimental playwriting at Sarah Lawrence College, Brooklyn College, and the Eugene Lang College at the New School in NYC.

ND Activity
  • PlayTime


    Launched in 2002, the PlayTime Developmental Studio provides five New Dramatists writers with a two-week writers' retreat, right in the heart of New York City. PlayTime is a laboratory designed to give playwrights the opportunity to explore, workshop, rethink, and revise ambitious new works of theatre by drawing from a supportive resident company of actors, directors, stage managers, staff, and fellow playwrights.

Playwright Buzz

February 19, 2015

7 Daughters of Eve launch ceremony Monday, April 6th at CUNY Segal Center

Afternoon and evening retrospective and readings of future work to launch Sibyl Kempson's new performance company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co.

February 19, 2015

LET US NOW PRAISE SUSAN SONTAG to open April 28 at Abrons Arts Center, NYC

The inaugural production of Sibyl Kempson's new performance company, 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co.

An irrational musical contemplation of the ethical pitfalls in the collision of art and journalism.
This is a story of an extended family of sharecroppers mired in desperate poverty, who are visited, interviewed and photographed by two live-in reporters from the “big city.”

January 6, 2015

LET US NOW PRAISE SUSAN SONTAG reading at ND Fri 1/9 3pm

Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag
written and directed by Sibyl Kempson
composed by Ashley Turba
musical direction by Gavin Price
dramaturgy by Jody McAuliffe

October 26, 2014

Baker, Jacobs-Jenkins, Kempson, Posner & Washburn at CUNY Segal Center on Thurs 10/30!

RE: (no subject): An Ongoing Conversation between Playwrights - 6:30pm

See more at:

March 31, 2014

Full Stage USA Austin commission FROM THE PIG PILE: THE REQUISITE GESTURE(S) OF NARROW APPROACH opens April 3 at Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX.

Directed by Jenny Larson and Shawn Sides.

Performances run April 3rd- 19th 2014

April 3rd -13th Thursday- Sunday night at 8pm
April 17th- 18th at 8pm and April 19th at 7pm as part of the Fusebox Festival

Tickets at

An interactive journey across a vast landscape of associated histories, FROM THE PIG PILE features original music by Graham Reynolds, puppetry by Connor Hopkins, dancing, marauding by Todd London, a Yeahoh sighting and enough champagne for everyone.

January 24, 2014


Still at 3pm, at New York Theatre Workshop.
79 East 4th Street, NYC
Third Floor.

KYCKLING AND SCREAMING is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's THE WILD DUCK, takes place in the faux-forested attic that we never see in Ibsen's play, and is told from a Strindbergian-Hamsunian perspective. Please note: the word "kyckling" is Swedish for "chicken."

January 9, 2014

From the Pig Pile: The Requisite Gesture(s) of Narrow Approach

FROM THE PIG PILE opens April 3, 2014 at Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin, TX.
Check out the trailer:

(Yes, that is Todd London.)

November 3, 2013

ICH, KüRBISGEIST at New York Live Arts thru Nov 9!

Big Dance Theater's production returns by demand of the populace, this year to New York Live Arts (formerly DTW).
Through Saturday November 9th - tickets still available for some shows! Don't miss the fuggly goodness.
Get tickets here!kuerbis_photo_1.png

January 2, 2012

New Work with Elevator Repair Service

Sibyl Kempson begins work on a new collaboration with Elevator Repair Service Theater in January.
There will be three presentations of their progress on Saturday, March 3 at 2pm, and on Sunday, March 4 at 2pm and 7pm. Location TBD. More info to come!

Contact Info

c/o Antje Oegel
AO International
540 President Street 2E
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(917) 521-6640

Sibyl Kempson's Calendar