This page asks: how endless can an endless bio be? Read at your own risk! It would not be a good idea to print it out and use it for, say, a program. Don't use it to introduce Jenny Lyn Bader or you will find yourself behind a podium, rambling. No, no. It's more of a romp. Please return to the homepage for an easily digestible cv.
A playwright and author, Jenny Lyn Bader has written plays including Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library (Luna Stage), None of the Above (New Georges), Equally Divine (Theatre at the 14th st. Y), and In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions/Workshop Theatre). In 2019, she was an Athena Theatre fellow and received the "Best Documentary One-Woman Show Award" at the United Solo Festival. In 2020 her play cycle The Age of Trump was first performed by the La Jolla Ensemble and Equally Divine was running at the 14th St. Y when the pandemic came along.
With theatres closed, Jenny Lyn has been working on many virtual productions including Guru of Touch (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), My First Time (Voting Writes), A Wonderful Stroke of Luck (Urban Stages), Play in Your Bathtub (This is Not a Theatre Co), and Strange Happenings at the School Library (Luna Stage).
She co-founded Theatre 167, where she served as Artistic Producer and has also been Director of Artistic Development, Writer in Residence and general co-conspirator. There, she co-authored 167 Tongues, You are Now the Owner of This Suitcase, and Jackson Heights 3AM, a Channel 13/PBS.org pick of the week. In 2013 she co-produced all three plays in rotating repertory in Manhattan, in a six-hour epic known collectively as The Jackson Heights Trilogy. For Theatre 167 she also served as a lead artist on the Jackson Heights Trilogy Immersive Experience (Queens Museum International), co-authored I Like to Be Here and The Church of Why Not, wrote History of Communication (Queens Theatre World's Fair Play Fest), and co-produced Pirira (NYITAward, Outstanding Premiere Production), Church of Why Not (Randall Wreghitt New Producer Endowmen Award), and Mourning Sun. In 2015 Theatre 167 received the Caffe Cino Fellowship Award for consistently producing outstanding work.
In 2014, Jenny Lyn was the featured playwright in NY Madness at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Her theme was "Free Advice." She performed her piece Mona Lisa Speaks at 167 Block Party and at Emerging Artists Theatre.
Jenny Lyn co-authored How We Are Connected: Caribbean with J.Stephen Brantley, developed and directed by Ari Laura Kreith and staged at the Museo del Barrio and the Brooklyn Museum in fall 2012. She was commissioned by the York Theatre to write one of the musicals for "Bespoke Musicals," and with Ben Morss wrote Serious Music produced in winter 2013 at the York, directed by Patricia Birch. For Half Moon Theatre that season, she wrote Pink, Grey, Maroon, seen at their one-act festival in May 2013. For Cindy Cooper's event "More Jewish Women You Should Know" at the Anne Frank Center she wrote Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library, a piece about Hannah Arendt. Jenny Lyn also played the role of Hannah Arendt in the presentation, opposite Scott Schafer as a member of the German political police. And she was invited to participate in NYMadness, with the theme of "Outsiders" chosen by guest playwright Saviana Stanescu, at Urban Stages. She wrote The Nicest Time of Year to Go Door to Door, directed by Julie Kramer and featuring Amy Wilson, Alyssa May Gold, Claudia Schneider, and Colette Bryce.
Her play Mona Lisa Speaks, commissioned by Core Ensemble, has been performed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, and University of South Carolina, using an actress and three musicians.
Her verse play In Flight, a comedy written in heroic couplets, won the 2009 NAAA Festival and received a festival presentation at the Bridewell Theatre in London.
Her play None of the Above received its world premiere downtown at New Georges, introducing Alison Pill in her professional stage debut, and had its Off-Broadway premiere at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row, where former Outer Critics Circle President Marjorie Gunner called it "easily the best play of the season." In an alarming footnote: well before the play was produced, the editor of the Education Life section of The New York Times asked Jenny Lyn if she could publish an excerpt but Jenny Lyn listened to the advice of her then-agent and declined the offer. (!) However the editor then convinced her to write a short play for the Education Life section, which she did ("The Importance of Being Busy").
Her comedy Manhattan Casanova premiered at Hudson Stage Company in Westchester and was featured in the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Center, where it won the Edith Oliver Award named for the New Yorker critic for the play that, "in the spirit of Edith Oliver, has a caustic wit that deflates the ego but does not unduly damage the human spirit." The play is excerpted in Leading Women: Plays for Actresses, vol. 2 (Vintage).
Jenny Lyn's work has been performed in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin. Please drop a line if your state is unmentioned and you have a nagging feeling you have performed one of Jenny Lyn's plays there!
Due to the shrinking of the American attention span and the rise of short play festivals, she has written many one-acts. Actors Theatre of Louisville commissioned her to write Worldness, which premiered in the Humana Festival of New American Plays as part of Heaven and Hell (On Earth): A Divine Comedy. That dramatic anthology is published by Dramatists Play Service in an acting edition and in Humana Festival 2001 (Smith & Kraus). Worldness also appears in Best Scenes of 2001 (Smith & Kraus). Primary Stages invited her to write The Popcorn Sonata which was optioned for publication by the Guthrie Theatre for the collection Best Ten-Minute Plays for 2 Actors: 2004 (Smith and Kraus) edited by Michael Dixon. The play was produced in the Summer Shorts festival at City Theatre in Florida and performed at the Ring Theatre in Miami and the Broward Center for the Arts in Ft. Lauderdale. City Theatre then commissioned her to write a play for their Shorts 4 Kids series.
One-acts, like so many of us, need companions so Jenny Lyn also creates cycles of interconnected short works. Her play cycle Emotionally Correct was produced at Center Stage NY. Her cycle Out of Mind: 7 Short Plays with Some of the People Missing was produced at Stamford Fringe Festival, Henlopen Theatre in Delaware, and NYU/Strasberg. Her Superstore Cycle, commissioned by WORKS Productions, was presented at Readers Theatre/Barnes & Noble at the B&N Lincoln Square branch before they turned it into a Century 21. Perhaps the Department Store Cycle will have to be next.
Other one-acts include Miss America (New York Int'l Fringe Festival, "Best of the Fringe" selection"), Compulsive Behavior, commissioned by the Pro-Choice Public Education Commission and performed at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Betrayals, Or, a Walk in the Park (Vital Theatre), First Resorts (New Georges Getaway Festival at HERE Arts Center – a Village Voice “Choice”), The Fisherman’s Wife, (commissioned by White Bird Productions for Boro Tales: Manhattan at HERE Arts Center), Artists (Nantucket Short Play Festival), and You Should Have Brought Your Mink (commissioned by New Georges for the Dawn Powell Festival/78th Street Theatre).
(For this last play, Jenny Lyn also composed music for a radio play-within-the-play, "The Brave Little Widow." She kept thinking the director would replace it with real music but instead they not only kept her composition, they made her play the piano on the recording.)
Should you need one, here is a list of her published plays:
None of the Above (Dramatists Play Service) 2009
also published in Under Thirty: Plays for a New Generation (Vintage)
and excerpted in Best Stage Scenes 2008; Best Stage Monologues 2008
(Smith & Kraus); Great Monologues for Young Actors, vol 3 (Smith & Kraus);
Scenes and Monologues From the Best New Plays II (Meriwether)
Manhattan Casanova - excerpted in Leading Women, Vol II (Vintage)
The Jackson Heights Trilogy (Indie Theatre Now) (co-author)
Inauguration in She Persisted (Applause, forthcoming)
Beta Testing in Best New 10 Minute Plays: 2020 (Applause, forthcoming)
Meanwhile at the Pentagon in Best New 10-Minute Plays 2021 (Applause, forthcoming)
A Visit From the Rust Belt in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2018 (Smith & Kraus)
Anniversary Season in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2013 (Smith & Kraus) & Outstanding Short Plays, vol 3 (Dramatists Play Service, 2017)
Foodies in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2016 (Smith & Kraus)
I Went There in Best Scenes for Kids (Applause Cinema and Theatre Books, 2015)
The Children's Crusade in Best Contemporary Monologues for Kids Ages 7-15 (Applause, 2015)
Show and Tell in 10-Minute Plays for Kids (Applause, 2015)
Supernatural Seminar in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2015 (Smith & Kraus)
Pink Grey Maroon in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2014 (Smith & Kraus)
Oppression and Pearls in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2012
Best Friends in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2011 (Smith & Kraus, forthcoming)
Valentine's Play in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2009 (Smith & Kraus)
One Night at Your Local Superstore in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2007 (Smith & Kraus)
Past Lives in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2007 (Smith & Kraus)
The Third First Blind Double Date in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2007 (Smith & Kraus)
Popcorn Sonata in Best 10-Minute Plays: 2004 (Smith & Kraus); also in Writing the 10-Minute Play (Applause)
Worldness in Heaven and Hell (On Earth): A Divine Comedy (Dramatists Play Service)
Also in Humana Festival 2001; Best Stage Scenes 2001 (Smith & Kraus)
Some endless biographical passages discuss at their leisure not only play productions but play development! Workshops, readings… Anything is fair game. Prizes almost won! Plays hemi-semi-produced! Jenny Lyn's work has been developed by The Women's Project Directors Forum (w/ Eli Wallach), Guild Hall (3-week workshop production starring Mercedes Ruehl), LA Stage & Film (w/ Tony Shalhoub), Lincoln Center Directors Lab/Twentieth Century Project (Culture Project), Neighborhood Playhouse, The Directors Company, The New Group (w/ Anne Jackson), Mulford Barn, Joint Theatre (CBS Studios), Cherry Lane Theatre, Primary Stages, Chicago Her-Rah: "A Festival of the World's Best Women Playwrights and Their New Plays," (International Centre for Women Playwrights), Marymount Manhattan College/York Theatre (dir. Pat Birch) and Seattle's Mae West Fest "Ultimate Female Protagonist" project, among others. She was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award and has been a four-time finalist for the Heidemann Award and a two-time Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee — in 2011 for In Flight and in 2012 for Petticoat Government, a historical drama about Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.
In 2011, she received script commissions from the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall, the Astaire Awards (including special material for Bill Irwin), Mile Square Productions, and Oceanside Productions, for which she wrote Oppression and Pearls,a play seen during the Los Angeles run of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, starring actresses including Julie Hagerty, Caroline Aaron, Mary Lyn Rajskub, and Amy Brenneman.
With Bill Brazell, she co-authored He Meant, She Meant: The Definitive Male-Female Dictionary — What Men Think They're Saying, What Women Really Mean (Warner), published in Italy as Secondo Lui e Lei (Sperling & Kupfer). In Italy, her book has been hailed as "the most extraordinary invention for sex life since The Pill."
Her articles and musings have shown up a bunch in The New York Times too, particularly the "Week in Review." She has also written for other sections of the paper, including Sunday Styles, House & Home, Culture, Sunday Book Review, Circuits, Education Life, and Real Estate. While at college, she served as campus stringer for The New York Times. Her Times pieces include:
New York Times Week in Review
“Kafka Himself Gets a Metamorphosis,” Aug 2008
“In the Eye of the Beholder: When a Boom Begins,” Feb 2008
“When Icons Die Young,” Jan 2008
“Bill Gates Has Joined Facebook!” Laugh Lines (Guest Humorist) Nov 2007
“Britney? That’s All She Rote,” Sept 2007
“Love’s Not Prime Time’s Fool,” Ideas & Trends, May, 2002
“Where the Jobs Are,” Apr 2002
“The Necessity of Aimless Chit-Chat,” Ideas & Trends, Jan 2002
“Comes with Batteries. Not a Shrink,” Ideas & Trends, Dec 2001
“No Bad Sex, Just Bad Writing,” Dec 2001
“Brand-Name Lit: Call Me Tiffany,” Sept 2001
“Death Be Not Bad for Ratings,” Jun 2001
“Paranoid Lately?” Ideas & Trends, Mar 2001
“The Nation; Story Time: Plotting a Cabinet,” Jan 2001
“Finally, Nap Time for America,” Dec 2000
“The Miniskirt as National Security Threat,” Ideas & Trends, Sept 2000
“Inspiring Speeches,” Aug 2000
“Old Media, Meet New Media; Forget Those Old-Fashioned Footnotes. Hyperlink.”
Ideas & Trends, Jul 2000
“All That’s Bare Is Fit to Wear,” Ideas & Trends, Jul 2000
“How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Words,” May 2000
“Nasdaq Roadshow,” Ideas & Trends, May 2000
“For Richer or Richer,” Feb 2000
“The Art of Finishing Unfinished Art,” Ideas & Trends, May 1999
“Forget the Millennium. Try to Predict One Week” Ideas & Trends. Dec 1999
“Searching for the Search Engines of Meaning”; Ideas & Trends, Nov 1999
“Publishing, the Moral Mirror of Politics,” Oct 1999
“Three Characters in Search of a Memoir,” Oct 1999
“The End of Writing; Content Provided Below” Ideas & Trends, Aug 1999
“Toyland 1999: Shut That Thing Up!” Feb 1999
“Girl Talk: What It Is, And Isn’t,” Oct 1998
“To: Ken Starr,” The Nation, Sept 1998
Sunday Times Book Review
“How Was It for You?” review of Courtney Weaver book, Dec 1999
“Is Sex Necessary?” review of Ann O. Faulk book, Apr 1998
Books of the Times
“Ah, Life: The Unread, Unspent, Undone,” review of James Atlas book, Jun 2005
“When the Three-Timer is a Twit,” review of Alex Witchel book, Feb 2002
“An Analytic Casebook Full of Animal Instincts,” review of Sarah Boxer book, Sept 2001
“Table Hopping and Feasting, Sensually,” review of Ruth Reichl book, May 2001
“Challenging the Norm and Thriving, Thank You,” review of Ann Powers book, Mar 2000
“Life After Karaoke; Presidents as Pitchmen, and Posthumous Play-by-Play,” Aug 2001
House & Home
“Relying on the Competence of Strangers,” House & Home, Apr 1999
“The Night the Girls Went Out to Play, and the Boys Ran Away,” Jan 1999
“The Importance of Being Busy,” (a short play about college admissions), Jan 1999
She has also written for publications including The Lincoln Center Theatre Review, The Next Progressive, and The National Law Journal.
Her essay "Larger Than Life," commissioned by W.W. Norton & Co. and first published in Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation (Norton), has been reprinted in Who We Are (St. Martin’s), Signs of Life in the USA (Bedford), Ethics (McGraw Hill), The Blair Reader (Simon & Schuster) American Voices (Mayfield), Progressions: Readings for Writers (Norton) and other collections. The essay has been used as a central text in Signature Series for American Vision and Values and in other courses.
She wrote both seasons of the web serial drama Watercooler (MSN), produced by Hearst New Media for the Microsoft Network. Out of over 30 "shows," Watercooler was one out of two chosen for renewal for a second season. In the early days of the internet, she served as forum editor and chat host for the Books and Theatre forums on the New York Times on America Online. After coming across some current online chatters wondering about the fate of those turn-of-the-millennium chat logs, she recently tracked down some of those archival materials.
She has been on the faculty of The New School, where she co-taught a course on internet writing with Elizabeth Cohen (the first semester she gave a 2-hour lecture on how to get a job writing for a web soap, the second semester she gave a 2-hour lecture on the history of the web soap). She has also been a guest artist at Barnard College for the last few summers. She has also been a guest artist at Cornell University, where she participated in a theatre symposium celebrating the life of Wendy Wasserstein and gave a public lecture/playwriting workshop; and at Villanova University, where she spoke to drama and literature classes and gave a public lecture.
Jenny Lyn has received TV script commissions from the WB (Warner Bros. Studios, producers Laura Ziskin and Pam Williams), NBC (NBC Studios, producers Jamie Tarses and Karey Burke), and HBO (producers Billy Crystal and Cheryl Bloch).
In 2002 she worked on a film script with the legendary Iranian director Amir Naderi, a workaholic who called to ask her about rewrites when she was in the car on the way to her wedding.
She is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she won the Whitehill Prize for humane letters and arts and the Carolyn Isenberg Award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts and served as fiction editor of The Harvard Advocate, where as an undergraduate she published her interview with Joseph Heller. She also published her fiction in The Harvard Independent.
The first one-act she wrote that was staged was at her summer camp, Buck's Rock. It was Shock Treatment and was featured in an evening of plays entitled, "Three Short Plays in Ten Short Days." The following summer perhaps her most avant-garde work, Waking to the Rain, since lost, was also staged at the camp.
She was a 2002 Lark Playwriting Fellow, nominated by Wendy Wasserstein, and a 2010-2011 Lark Core Artist Fellow (Monthly Meeting of the Minds). She belongs to the League of Professional Theatre Women and curated Jackson Heights 3AM as one of their 30 plays/30 years anniversary offerings. She has been named the playwright in residence of the Mirror Rep, New York's most established alternating repertory company, founded in 1983. Her scripts are represented by Paradigm; her book agent is Joy Harris. A member of the Writers Guild, the Dramatists Guild, and the Authors Guild, she is married to Roger Berkowitz, a professor of political studies, human rights, and philosophy and Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College.
The truth is even an endless bio ends... Eventually.