Current Work

click here for a list/pdf of all theatrical works

SPOILED: The Film Project


Secrets about gender-based violence. From the male point of view. Ripped open by women.
SPOILED investigates cultural expectations and social mores that lead to violence against women. Drawing on events that dominate the global news cycle, SPOILED comes on the heels of the '#MeToo' movement as women now seek to give voice to gender-related taboos and traumas.

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Love Trade

LOVE TRADE is an exploration of gender and cultural assumptions in upheaval. The piece uncovers a love tangle between the Western goddess Demeter - frozen in eternal springtime - and Persephone - her restless daughter - who wanders away from the Upper World. Somewhere in ‘no-man’s land’ she meets her soul mate who she takes to be the Eastern god, Shiva - intense and mysterious - and is immediately attracted to his exotic ‘otherness.’ All three undergo clashing cultural and gender expectations; two emerge transformed.


Story Theater Project
Adaptation and Direction by Elizabeth Hess
Vocal coach Raife Baker
Collaboration with Molloy College sophomore acting majors

A Devised Work based on 'Translations' by Anne Sexton
Monsters of despair. Deathly tyrants. Vengeful witches. Madmen. Motherless girls. Hungry predators. Directionless sons. Catatonic lovers.

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Story Theater Project
Adaptation and Direction by Elizabeth Hess
Vocal coach Raife Baker
Collaboration with Molloy College sophomore acting majors

A Workshop Performance
Adaptation and Direction by Elizabeth Hess
Collaboration with Powerhouse Theater Training Program

A Devised Work based on 'Tales of Ovid' by Ted Hughes
A man is transformed into a woman by snakes. A boy drowns in his own image. A daughter smashes through taboos to mate with her father. A goddess aches to make love with beauty incarnate. A runner stumbles into love.

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(Solo Workshop)

The Male Perspective on Violence Against Women
SPOILED dives beneath the unspoken truths of fathers and sons, brothers and lovers - both in America and India - in this solo play that uncovers the tangled, messy roots of violence against women by embodying the male point of view.

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Dust to Dust

A Solo Portrait in Shock
DUST TO DUST digs beneath the devastation of systematic wartime rape to uncover a transcendant inner grace.

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Living Openly & Notoriously

Transforming autobiography into arresting myth, this work is physical and poetic; hard-hitting and lyrical. All three plays explore the worlds of inner desire and outer destiny.

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Internally Displaced

A Cross-Cultural Collaboration in Kosovo
Conception and Direction: Elizabeth Hess
Collaborators: Dhurata Hoti, Fjolla Hoxha, Vlora Nikqi, Vesa Qena, Vyoisa Shala, Alketa Sulaj, Arbnore Sulaj Development: ForumZFD; Doruntina Basha, Jane Felber & Kvinna til Kvinna; Lina Andeer

Breaking Boundaries of Silence
I met Doruntina Basha, a writer from Kosovo, at the Women Playwrights International (WPI) most recent conference in Stockholm. Both of our selected plays addressed the trauma of the war-torn Balkans; hers dealt with the aftermath of the war as reflected in the relationship between a wife and step-mother; mine zeroed in on systematic rape – a subject that was/is still very taboo in her country 14 years after the war.

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Literary Contact

attn: Antje Oegel
(773) 910-5691

Works in Progress

to email Elizabeth: click here


Rigid Gender Roles Do Untold Damage

SPOILED is booked in a co-pro with La MaMa ETC in their Spring Season 2020.



Ten performative prose poems.

Benefit reading for LPTW International Award, Theaterlab, NY 2017

Development Workshop, TheaterLab, NY 2016
1. An Old Habit



Reading with LPTW, Julia's Reading Room, 2017

No Evil: A Trilogy of Fables

Development Workshop, Moss Theater, New York, 2013


PERFECT CURIOSITY traces the intertwining fates of two sisters as they navigate the slippery terrain of a cold yet incestuous household. The father disguises his neediness by cross-dressing and the absent mother shape-shifts into a witch, a godmother and a crone. A childhood puppet becomes the conduit for one sister’s release but the stranglehold for the other imprisonment. It is only on his deathbed that the patriarch sees the error of his ways.

MELTDOWN plunges into the fantasy life of a bride-to-be who is jilted soon after her mother’s suicide. She retreats into a world where she ‘births’ a son made of wax that comes to life and accompanies her inner longing. However she is ultimately undermined by a reincarnation of her mother whose cries she never heard and so deadly silence reigns once again.

SALVAGED investigates the lasting imprint of cold, cruel words on a woman who is starved for love and inclusion. She learns to subvert her needs by trying to save the world instead, using empty patter and platitudes to mask her own profound alienation. It is only in surrendering to her humanity that she develops compassion for her self and others and, in doing so, discovers a much-needed sense of belonging.


NOMADS tracks the lives of three New Yorkers whose paths become intertwined symbiotically and sexually. But this trio - made up of an actor, her lover and their surrogate child – finally breaks apart, leading to estrangement, death and yet also a strange resurrection of the heart.