Originally and proudly from Pittsburgh, Tori writes curiosity-chasing plays that sniff out in-between spaces in big theatre to change the world. Many of them decide to be comedies.
She lives in NYC and has presented work around the country and abroad. Recent plays include How the Baby Died (Bay Area Playwrights Fest, Ingram New Works), Seph (Araca Project, Princess Grace Finalist, Fresh Ground Pepper), Air Space (Kilroys Top 5, Ingram New Works), Truth/Dare (NYITA Nominee—Outstanding Original Script, Project Y, Best Ensemble Pittsburgh Fringe, Nashville Top 10), How to Be a Widow (Ellie Award), Egypt Play (InterAct Finalist, Playwrights Center Mentorship), Episode #121: Catfight! (Yale Cabaret), and others.
Having written for Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy Award-winning PBS education series, Tori has been named an Emmy Nominee, Kilroys Lister, Jerome Finalist, 3-Time Princess Grace Finalist, 2-Time O’Neill NPC Semifinalist, Playwrights of New York Nominee, and some other things. She is affiliated with The Lark, The Playwrights Center, Ingram New Works Lab, Ensemble Studio Theatre Playwrights Unit, Fresh Ground Pepper, & the Dramatists Guild. Some of her short plays are published by Next Stage Press. AB, Harvard. MFA, NYU Tisch Asia (Singapore).
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Now available on Playing on Air: HOW TO BE A WIDOW by Tori Keenan-Zelt (Kilroys List, Bay Area Playwrights Festival) features Mary Bacon (Lost Girls, Coal Country) and Naomi Lorrain (“Orange is the New Black,” Behind the Sheet). Lucie Tiberghien (Molière in the Park) directs. After the play, Tiberghien joins the cast, the playwright, and host Claudia Catania to discuss how the rules of womanhood and widowhood have — and haven’t — changed from the Civil War to today.
On a sweltering afternoon in 1864, two Civil War widows meet in a graveyard. Mirabelle is trying to paint a pineapple; Annaleigh needs to make sure that her husband hasn’t turned into a vampire. Together, the women begin to imagine the futures that might await them beyond corsets, lockets, and bullets.