About Elana Gartner

I am a native Brooklynite and a lifelong playwright, starting as early as first grade when my teacher allowed me to direct and act in the first play that I wrote, "The Good Butterfly". That experience led me to believe in a career in playwriting later on.

My writing tends to focus on character exploration and inner conflict: dramatic circumstances that force characters to confront cognitive dissonance within them. I have always tried to be true to a character's language and have built my capacity for this by actively overhearing conversations wherever I go.

A number of my plays have gone on to full productions or staged readings. "Because of Beth" was produced by Small Pond Entertainment at the Workshop Theater and by Little Howick Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand. "Spinning" was the winner of the 2008 New Works Festival and received a full production at Fabrefaction Theatre Company™ in Atlanta. My script, "Peanut Butter and Jelly" received two productions (The Cat in the Cream, OH; Pulse Ensemble Theater, NY) and one staged reading (Dramatists Guild, NYC.). "Ernie Evan", my first play with a male lead, was performed at Genesis Repertory Ensemble, Heights Players and received a staged reading in 4th Meal Productions' 6x10-A Reading of 6 New Short Plays at the Manhattan Theater Club's Creative Center. "Pilar's Brother" was a finalist for Repertorio Español's 2010 Met Life Nuestra Voces Playwriting Competition and received a directed reading, as a result.

Many of my scripts have received additional recognition. "Cortex Kin" was a finalist for Stone Soup Theatre's Double (XX) Fest 2.0 and a semi-finalist in the 2010 Drury University One-Act Playwriting Competition. "Because of Beth" was the recipient of third prize in the Pen and Brush Playwriting Competition as well as a finalist in the Open Book 2007 Playwriting Competition. "Tag on Toe" was a finalist for Little Fish Theatre's Hella Fresh Fish 3.0 Short Play Festival.

I had two monologues published in Audition Monologues for Young Women #2: More Contemporary Auditions for Aspiring Actresses by Gerald Ratliff (Meriwether Publishing). I was an editor for Milton E. Polsky's second edition of You Can Write A Play! I am the founder of EMG Playwriting Workshop, which fosters a supportive community for New York City playwrights on a weekly basis. In addition, I am a member of the Dramatists Guild, Manhattan Oracles (another New York based playwriting group), the International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP), a founding co-chair of ICWP's 50/50 Applause Award. My work is listed on the New Play Exchange, TreePress and Doollee.com.

I have worked in many aspects of the theater: stage management, technical theater, theater education, literary, and some dabbling in acting and directing. Through those, I had the great fortune of working at Williamstown Theater Festival, Lincoln Center Institute, Cherry Lane Theatre, Second Stage Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Theatre Development Fund.

Outside of playwriting and theater, I also do freelance writing.

I am married to an incredible husband, David, and we live in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, with our son and daughter.

Elana Gartner