Tom Cavanaugh Tom Cavanaugh was born in Newark, New Jersey. He received a B.S. in Computer Science and Business Administration from Seton Hall University in 1987. In May of 2000, he received an M.F.A. from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Cavanaugh’s playwriting professors at the Actors Studio Drama School included: Romulus Linney, Jim Ryan, Jeffrey Sweet and Laura Maria Censabella.
In 1999 while at the Studio, Tom was a semi-finalist in the Chesterfield Films Writers Foundation Project in Los Angeles.
Cavanaugh’s one-act play THE CIRCUS STILL COMES TO TOWN was produced as part of the Thesis Repertory Season at Circle in the Square Downtown (NYC). Veteran playwright Jonathan Reynolds and director/actor Carlyn Glynn mentored the production.
Cavanaugh served as Associate Producer for Ensemble Studio Theatre (NYC) in 2000 and his short plays 50TH & 8TH and AMEN were produced there in special presentation. 50TH & 8TH was selected a few months later for a showcase production by the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City.
Under the guidance of playwright Edward Allan Baker, Cavanaugh wrote the one act play DINER TALK in a workshop at Ensemble Studio Theatre. DINER TALK was awarded first prize in the Jersey Voices One Act Play Festival and was produced that summer in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Cavanaugh won his first screenplay competition in 2002 and was featured as a “Writer to Watch” in the March/April 2006 issue of “Script” magazine. HARVEST, a short erotic thriller, won third prize in Toucan Films Short Screenplay Competition in Burbank, CA.
THE HEROES OF ’76, a coming of age screenplay about a boy growing up in Asbury Park in 1976, was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Sundance Institute Feature Film Development Project.
In 2005, Tom’s one act plays, ICONS and STARS IN CEMENT were produced for one month of shows in the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s, Hollywood Boulevard Playwriting Competition at the Actors Playpen in Hollywood, California.
Tom received his first commission for writing the one act play, ACE OF HEARTS in 2009. Twilight Productions produced ACE OF HEARTS during the summer of 2009 in Gilbertsville, Kentucky and has commissioned Cavanaugh to write two companion one act plays for a trilogy production in 2010.
Tom’s full length play BEHOLD was a 2010 finalist in the New American Playwrights Development Program at the Utah Shakespearean Festival and was one of three winners of the 2011 Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting. His one act play, WONDER won the Irene Bashore Award for Playwriting from Firstage Los Angeles.
Cavanaugh’s “coming of age” screenplay, THE WILDNESS TREATMENT was one of twenty scripts to receive Honorable Mention at the 2012 Los Angeles Movie Awards. THE WILDNESS TREATMENT is about a group of teens that are court ordered to attend a wilderness Boot Camp in the Utah desert.
Tom’s full length play ADAM & YOSHI is a finalist in The 2nd Annual McKinney Repertory Theatre New Play Competition in McKinney, Texas, one of three finalist for the 2013 New American Playwrights Development Program at the Utah Shakespearean Festival and won the 2012 Make the House Roar Prize for Comic Plays at the Lionheart Theater in Georgia.
In 2014, BEHOLD was given a staged reading with blocking for one night in The Living Room Series of The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, California. Members of the cast included David Marciano (From the television show HOMELAND) as John and Kerris Dorsey (From the television show RAY DONOVAN) as Rachel.
Tom’s full length play, INLAND EMPRESS was developed in workshop for over a year with the Fierce Backbone Theater Company of Los Angeles. INLAND EMPRESS had its World Premiere at The Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles on January 23rd, 2016.
Spring of 2016, Tom was a member of the first PLAY LAB at the William Inge Theatre Festival and his one act play, THE CIRCUS STILL COMES TO TOWN was given a workshop reading.
In 2017, Tom’s one act play, THE FIELD premiered as part of the CTI Playwrights Festival in Independence, Missouri.
His short play, MR.PICMAN was produced in the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival of Hollywood California and Manila, Philippines. In 2017, Tom was also the Director & Producer of UNDER THE JELLO MOLD, the Best Solo Performance of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival and the Writer & Producer of POKER NIGHT, and the Short, the Best Comedy Short at the Culver City Film Festival.
Tom’s short play, COYOTE was listed by Theatre of Action in Los Angeles on their List of Plays on Immigration in 2018.
THE FIELD a short play by Cavanaugh premiered at The CTI Theatre Festival in Independence, MO. Tom won the Artists & Playwright Festival at The Know Theatre in Binghamton,NY in 2018.
Member of the 2019 National Playwrights Symposium at Cape May Stages in New Jersey.
Tom is a member of The Actors Gym in N.Y & L.A. a Gold member of We Make Movies Film Collective in Los Angeles, California, a member Naked Angels Theatre Company in New York City.
Cavanaugh has been a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. since 1998 and is currently living in New Jersey.
Available for Representation
Someone is stealing the bread and baked goods deliveries from the Garden State Breakfast Shop before it opens up. and that is only the beginning of the Tomaso Families new problems. Jimmy Tomaso and his three daughters run a sandwich shop on the Jersey Shore. Jimmy is a "dinosaur" now in this #Me-too world and is constantly being corrected by his 3 daughters on how to talk correctly "in mixed company" as his livelihood is threatened when and Indian woman and her son open a breakfast shop across the street from the family business. The three daughters have their issues too! One, is trying to catch their Bakery Bandit, the other has a new boyfriend, who happens to be the Indian son of the new competitor across the street and the oldest is in love and having an affair with Jimmy's best, black friend Eddie. Jimmy cannot handle the fact that after thirty years of serving breakfast to the community that another business will open that also sells breakfast to the beach going crowd. The girls have to deal with their father while trying to grow and fulfill their dreams, but dad is having a hard time with the new relationships and the new competition. Jimmy constantly refers to the new Indian family across the street as "DOTS" and makes several unacceptable comments that are cut off by his daughters, but it isn't until his best friend, Eddie, a black man, explains, "No, you really are a racist, you just don't realize what you are saying!" Eddie then educates Jimmy on being a better man in the Twenty-First Century. In the end, Jimmy makes the changes and accepts his daughters new romances with men of color, deals with the homeless woman former teacher who has been stealing the baked goods to survive and Jimmy ends up schooling the Indian Woman/Chef from across the street what Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese is all about! Jimmy becomes a 21st Century Man with a new outlook on the world and an elevated consciousness in diversity and fairness.
It's been 11 years since they were married and a couple goes to the beach to find the bench with commemorative plaque to celebrate the event when secrets and truths are told on their anniversary.
PAINt is the story of Crystal Hayes, an African-American woman that cross dresses as a man (known as HAZE) to go out into the dangerous, yet mysterious world of graffiti artists. A college student by day, she takes care of her grandmother that she lives with while sneaking out at night to see her girlfriend, Deidre and also to create art on the billboards and rooftops of the city. Haze’s life becomes more difficult when she uses her college loan money to pay the rent and is recruited by an older, street hustling, graffiti artist, Pablo.
ADAM & YOSHI is a full-length serio-comedy. It features a successful comic book creator who is surviving a divorce and falling deeper in love with Yoshi, a woman who dresses as a superhero. Adam bears with his unhappy home and career, but he learns from Yoshi how to envision a different reality for himself, until the end when she reveals her true intentions. Themes of masking, unmasking, complacency and bravery are interwoven as Adam adopts a change in values.
ADAM & YOSHI was developed in workshop at The Actors Gym in Los Angeles in weekly readings of ten pages and re-writes under the guidance of Bobby Morresco (Oscar Winner for CRASH) and the membership in 2012. A 2012 Finalist at Pulp Diction IV at Pulp Stages in Portland, Oregon. WINNER of the Lionheart Theatre's 2012 Make the House Roar Playwright Prize for Comedy and also winner of the McKinney Rep. New Playwriting Competition 2012, McKinney, Texas. ADAM & YOSHI was part of the Play Club West of Los Angeles, CA Staged reading Series. In 2015, ADAM & YOSHI received a special workshop performance at The Flea Theatre in NYC under the direction of Stefano “Stebos” Boselli and was considered for main stage production in 2016 and 2017. ADAM & YOSHI was part of the 2019 Fall Staged Reading Series at The Cape May Playhouse and is being considered for their main stage productions (When they come back).
One of my full-length plays is a Semi-Finalist in the AACT NewPlayFest 2022. The play is one of 30 out of 250 scripts moving on from the second tier to the third tier of reviewers for AACT NewPlayFest 2022. Rule of the competition, no mentioning the name of the play until the Finalists are announced.
My new stage play, THE CHAIR LADY will have a 30 page staged reading as part of The Bechdel Group's 2020 Winter/Spring Reading Series! http://www.thebechdelgroup.com/2020-winterspring-reading-series.html
My full length play, "PORK ROLL, EGG & CHEESE" is a Semi-Finalist in the Landing Theatre Company's 2020 New American Voices Playwriting Festival.