Ain Gordon
PWC Reader Membership, Affiliated Writer
Brooklyn, NY
Biography

AIN GORDON is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer/director/actor, a two-time NYFA recipient and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting. Gordon’s work has been seen at BAM Next Wave, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep., Public Theatre, 651 ARTS, Dance Theater Workshop/NYLA, PS 122/PSNY, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and HERE (all NY); Mark Taper Forum (CA), George Street Playhouse (NJ), UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, Vermont Performance Lab, Flynn Center (VT), Krannert Center (IL), Quick Center, Arts & Ideas, and Connecticut College (all CT), MASS MoCA, DiverseWorks (TX), Jacob’s Pillow (MA) and the Painted Bride (PA), among many others.

Collaborations: with Sō Percussion presented at the Walker Art Center (MN), BAM Next Wave Festival (NY), River To River (NY), and Philadelphia Fringe, etc; with Samita Sinha at American Dance Institute (MD) and PS122 COIL Festival (NYC); with Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance at Northrop (MN), NYLA & Performance Space 122 (NY), On The Boards (WA), and ODC (CA), etc; with Bebe Miller at the Wexner Center (OH), Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents (MT), and Bates Dance Festival (ME), etc; with David Gordon at American Repertory Theatre (MA), American Conservatory Theater (CA) and American Music Theatre Festival (PA). 

Gordon appeared in the original Off-Broadway cast of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell and toured the production to venues including UCLA LIVE (CA), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (OR), ICA Boston (Elliot Norton Award nom), the Walker (MN), and New Territories (UK), etc. 

Gordon is a former Core Writer of the Playwright’s Center (MN), has twice held the post of Visiting Artist at the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (PA), was a 2014 Artist-In-Residence at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, a former Resident Artist at The Hermitage (FL), and, most recently, was a “Master Artist-In-Residence” at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (FL). Gordon is Co-Founder of the Urban Memory Project and has been Co-Director of the Pick Up Performance Co(s) since 1992. 

Plays

by Ain Gordon

1972: Dr John Fryer dons an oversize tuxedo & rubber joke shop mask to become Dr. Henry Anonymous and confront the American Psychiatric Association with these words: 

“I am a homosexual, I am a psychiatrist.” 

Dr Anonymous propelled psychiatry to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness - but who was Dr Fryer behind that mask?  Sourcing Fryer’s 217-box archive housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, this play asks three figures from his life to draw a portrait of the man they shared.

Cast:
1 Caucasian male 45-60, one Caucasian female 60-75, one Caucasian male 55-75
by Ain Gordon

If She Stood centers on the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, a multi-racial, collective established in 1833 to abolish slavery and, almost accidentally, frame the burgeoning discourse on women’s rights. These pioneers of the modern social justice movement include Sarah Grimke, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Sarah Pugh, and, fifty years later, Angelina Weld Grimke.

What makes a woman surrender her private life to the public good?

Does she fight for other’s freedom to find her own?

Must alliances forged in political opposition eventually crumble in divisive compromise?

Many of the Anti-Slavery Society’s members were also Quaker and the performance borrows rituals of Quaker Meeting; begin with communal silence, delve into spontaneous solo testimony, end with a handshake. 

Cast:
4 women. One Caucasian in her late 50's early 60's. One African-American in her 40's/50's. One Caucasian in her 30's/40's. One African-American late 20's/early 30's.
by Ain Gordon

A lone woman’s unbreakable bond the hurricane that devastated the Texas island of Galveston in 1900, taking 6,000 lives in a single night.

Equipped with a pitcher of water and drinking glass she unravels the shocking truth behind this disaster, interweaving tales of presidential corruption, pubescent despair, patriotic fervor, pre-marital passion and paralyzing writer’s block.

Cast:
One caucasian woman aged 45-60.
by Ain Gordon

Lexington, KY has several adjoining historic districts. Four Generations of historic plaques dot those precincts. Fenced inside the brass borders of each plaque are what meager facts a metal rectangle can offer.  There stood one house as old as all those chosen for public remembrance – unmarked – awaiting the wrecking ball.  In This Place… is based on the true story Sam and Daphney Oldham who bought their way out of slavery to build this home in 1830...

Cast:
One African-American woman aged 45-55