June Guralnick
Apex, NC

Native New Yorker June Guralnick is the author of 13 full-length plays performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Abrons Arts Centre/Henry Street Settlement (NY), Spirit Square (Charlotte, NC), Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (NC), North Carolina Museum of Art, as well as arts centers in the U.S. Plays include MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD, CONTAINMENTS (THE HOME PROJECT, Part I), IN GOLD WE TRUST (with Guy Nickson), ART TALES OF THADDEUS, WOMEN OF THE LIGHT (with Cynthia Mitchell), SPACE INTERLUDE, FINDING CLARA, ACROSS THE HOLY TELL, and work-in-progress BIRDS OF A FEATHER: A COMEDY ABOUT DE-EXTINCTION. Selections from her plays have been published by North Carolina Literary Review, Playwrights’ Center (Monologues-Heinemann Press), Blackbird Press, and Left Curve. 


by June Guralnick

BIRDS OF A FEATHER is about a time-travelling geneticist journeying one hundred years into the past. His mission? To save the passenger pigeon.  Unfolding in the cross-hairs of two unlikely bedfellows - the early American conservation movement and the New Woman/suffragist struggle – add social satire, slapstick humor and an eccentric family of radical New York women (circa 1912), and the result is a screwball comedic love story with a fantastical modern twist (think “Bringing Up Baby” meets “Doctor Who”). Evoking laughter on “mode de jour” (fashions of the day) and women’s changing roles over the past century, BIRDS OF A FEATHER also provokes reflection on the nature of progress and the state of our country’s disappearing species

AP WELLS: 21st Century scientist/genius in his 30s with a quirky sense of humor and fascination for toys, magic, and mysteries. A bit of a Casanova. Suffers from sciurophobia (fear of squirrels). DIANA KATHERINE BIRDWHISTLE: Early 20th Century New York fashionista magazine columnist with a rapier wit and razor-sharp intellect. Oldest daughter (in her 20s) of distinguished family. An observer of wildlife (all varieties). LADY BIRDWHISTLE: Grand dame descended from early American settlers. Married to explorer Lord Alistair Birdwhistle; mother of Diana and Bessie. Afflicted with the linguistic challenge of pleonasm and malapropism. ELIZABETH (BESSIE) BIRDWHISTLE: Diana’s younger sister. A do-gooder passionately in search of a cause. ROSE GOLD (née GOLDMAN): Turn-of-the-century Russian Jewish immigrant seeking her own path to the American Dream. GEORGE: A ghost as well as the Birdwhistle family’s butler. Note: The author recommends the fantastical characters (mutant squirrels, Kewpie dolls, etc.) appearing in the dream sequences of the play be played by the actors performing the roles above.
by June Guralnick

How do we live with acts of horror that challenge deep-seated beliefs about self, family, faith, and country? An everyman tale of caution, ACROSS THE HOLY TELL's hell mouth telescopes the relationship between Christine, an American soldier, and Mona, an Iraqi botanist, and the ultimately tragic choices they make to protect their daughters against the horrors of war. Christine, a devout Catholic, joins the military in response to the death of her father in 9-11 (leaving her husband, Joe and autistic daughter, Mary behind in Texas).  Stationed in Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War, she develops a relationship with Mona (whose father was murdered by Saddam's forces) and Mona's deaf 13-year old daughter, Yasmin.  As Christine and Mona struggle to overcome cultural, religious and political differences, the war irrevocably shatters their lives.

CHRISTINE: American soldier, late twenties/early thirties. Devout Catholic raised in New York City. Her father killed in 9-11. Married to Joe with one daughter, Mary. JOE: Christine's husband, early thirties. Loves motorcycles, video games, and his mother in that order. Computer specialist for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. MARY: Christine and Joe's 11-year old autistic daughter. Although limited in language skills, she has extraordinary artistic skills. MONA: Iraqi botanist in her thirties from a distinguished Baghdad family (her father was an outspoken physician murdered by Saddam). She has one daughter, Yasmin. YASMIN: Mona’s 13-year old deaf daughter. She has an effervescent personality, loves to blog and dreams of becoming a doctor and meeting Bill Gates. CHORUS: Four men and two women (multiple casting). In the first act they are soldiers, children, a teacher (and possibly Death). In the second act, they are pilgrims, children and a teacher.
by June Guralnick

FINDING CLARA is the explosive story of two women: Mary Victoria Woolson (fictional North Carolina cotton mill worker) and Hollywood's silent screen "It Girl," actress Clara Bow.  Their stories unfold against the violent background of the infamous 1929 Loray Mill Strike in North Carolina and the murder of labor balladeer Ella May Wiggins. The play also is an intergenerational story, following the journey in 1990 of Mary Victoria's granddaughter, Clara Henderson, to discover the truth about her family and herself.  Finally, FINDING CLARA is a story about two people - one black (Dr. Louis Benjamin Washington) and one white (Mary Victoria Woolson) - who fall in love exactly in the wrong time and place, with far-reaching consequences. A play about lost hopes and dreams, about intolerance and racial hatred, and about the power of Hollywood to influence our actions and desires, FINDING CLARA was originally workshopped at Greensboro Cultural Center (NC), and subsequently won Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre's (SART) National New Plays contest and premiered at SART.  North Carolina Literary Review published sections of the play. Photo courtesy of SART.

MARY VICTORIA WOOLSON: Cotton mill worker; appears in all the play's time periods (1929, 1990 and "Heaven-Movie Land"). CLARA BOW: Silent screen actress famous in the 1920s as the "IT" girl (character based on real person); appears solely in the time period "Heaven-Movie Land." CLARA HENDERSON: 15-year old granddaughter of Mary Victoria Woolson; appears solely in 1990. ELLA MAY WIGGINS: Labor balladeer (character based on real person); appears solely in 1929. LOUIS BENJAMIN WASHINGTON: African-American doctor and community leader; appears in both 1929 and 1990. IDA: African-American mill worker and sister of Louis Benjamin Washington; appears in both 1929 and 1990. LOUISE: Mill worker; appears in both 1929 and 1990. ALICE: Mill worker; appears in both 1929 and 1990. The following two roles should be played by one actor: JAMES HENDERSON: Father of Clara Henderson. Recently unemployed textile manager; appears solely in 1990. JIMMY CONLON: Mill overseer and boyfriend of Mary Victoria; appears solely in 1929.
by June Guralnick

A ten-minute, post-apocalyptic fairy tale follows the journey -and harrowing reminisces - of a mother and daughter hurtling through space. SPACE INTERLUDE was originally workshopped at the Greensboro Playwrights Forum, and was subsequently presented at the Ten by Ten Theatre Festival at Carrboro Arts Center, and published by Blackbird Press.  Visit: http://blackbird.vcu.edu/v3n2/gallery/guralnick_j/interlude.htm

to hear a recording of the play.

Mother and daughter


June Guralnick's play, ACROSS THE HOLY TELL, earned Second Place for the Judith Royer Award of Excellence in Playwriting.

June Guralnick has been selected for a Hambidge Arts Center writer residency in 2019. Additionally, June is Runner-Up for the VCCA 2019 author residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center (Ireland).

June Guralnick recently completed a writing residency at Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

PWC Member June Guralnick has been selected for a writing residency at Hambidge Center for the Arts.

Directing the regional premiere of Suzanne Bradbeer's timely, award-winning play, THE GOD GAME, at Sonorous Road Theatre (www.sonorousroadtheatre.com).  Compelling, often funny drama about three people grappling with the role of faith in their lives - and separation of church and state.