Sibyl Kempson
Playwright and Performer
New York, NY
2014 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.

Sibyl Kempson’s plays have been presented in NYC at New York Live Arts, Mass Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory, Dixon Place, Soho Rep, Performance Space 122, Little Theater, Brick Theater, the Fusebox Festival in Austin, TX, the Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha, the Walker Arts Center and Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis, Theater Bonn in Germany, and by EMP Collective in Baltimore. Collaborators include Elevator Repair Service (FONDLY, COLLETTE RICHLAND), Big dance Theater (ICH, KÜRBISGEIST), David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group (RESTLESS EYE and the upcoming I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER), Rude Mechs & Salvage Vanguard Theater (FROM THE PIG PILE: THE REQUISITE GESTURE(S) OF NARROW APPROACH), Abrons Arts Center (LET US NOW PRAISE SUSAN SONTAG), and New York Theatre Workshop with Sarah Benson (KYCKLING AND SCREAMING). She is recipient of the McKnight National Residency and Commission, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Commission, a New Dramatists/Full Stage USA commission, and a National Presenters Network Creation Fund Award; her work is and was supported by the Jerome and Greenwall Foundations; she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a member of New Dramatists, an NYTW Usual Suspect, and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, where she studied under the instigation of Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She has taught playwriting as an adjunct lecturer and guest artist at Brooklyn College, the Eugene Lang College at the New School, Bloomfield College, Duke University, and now Sarah Lawrence College. Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PAJ, and PLAY: A Journal of Plays.

Portrait photo by Cathryn Lynne.

  • Artwork by Sibyl Kempson
    FONDLY, COLLETTE RICHLAND. With Elevator Repair Service. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. Pictured: Mike Iveson, Jr., Laurena Allan, Kate Scelsa, Vin Knight, Greig Sargeant, Lucy Taylor, Lindsay Hockaday, Ben Williams, Susie Sokol, Kaneza Schaal, Kristen Sieh. © Gene Pittman
    pa2013ers_rehearsal0515_ Performing Arts, Theater, Walker Commission. Fondly, Collette Richland, by Elevator Repair Service, rehearsal, May 15, 2013, McGuire Theater. Elevator Repair Service, creators of the six-hour Gatz sensation, return to the Walker with a preview performance of their latest play, an exciting large-scale production written by a rising star in the New York experimental theater scene, playwright Sibyl Kempson. As a serene domestic scene gradually unravels, mysterious offstage forces and an unexpected guest become entwined in a surreal homage to Jane Bowles, Mary Shelley, and a cadre of other influences. The company’s signature physical/comic performance style and Kempson’s inimitable approach to writing are complemented by a live score played by longtime ERS member Mike Iveson. The result is a lush, engaging, strange, and beautiful trip into unknown mental and physical spaces.
  • Artwork by Sibyl Kempson
    From FROM THE PIG PILE: THE REQUISITE GESTURE(S) OF NARROW APPROACH. Fusebox Festival, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Austin, TX. Pictured: Robert Fisher, Wesley Bryant, and audience. © Erica Nix.
Artwork by Sibyl Kempson Artwork by Sibyl Kempson