Playwright/Teacher, Fin Kennedy

by Ayla Harrison

Educational programs and theatre are becoming synonymous these days. Boston Court’s been in the artistic mix with the talented students, faculty and alumni at CalArts in their current production of Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real (runs through March 13th). And playwrights without the career gusto of Mr. Williams are taking advantage of this truth every single day.

British theatre scribe Fin Kennedy isn’t just a talented playwright; he’s also a dedicated teacher. (His play How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found opens at Boston Court on April 30th.) After How to Disappear, Kennedy’s second play, received a number of rejections from several British theatres Fin wanted to throw in the towel and head back to a teaching career permanently. Then How to Disappear won the 38th Annual Arts Council John Whiting Award—the only time in 40 years an unproduced play has been chosen—and this young playwright decided to stay in the game.

Since becoming a writer, Fin has had to make some tough calls—he wasn’t “lucky” or “rich”, and finding a way to make ends meet was a priority. But Fin discovered that teaching wasn’t just “another gig”. He found teaching gave him a brand new playwriting outlet instead of waiting around for his next commission from a theatre company.

For the last four years Fin has been the playwright-in-residence at Mulberry School for Girls. Under Kennedy’s guidance Mulberry quickly formed relationships between students, staff and professional artists. Since Mulberry Theatre Company began Fin has written Mehndi Night (2007), Stolen Secrets (2008), The Unraveling (2009) and The Urban Girls Guide to Camping which was recently produced at the 2010 Silkworks Festival—which allows young girls at Mulberry to engage audiences with Kennedy’s fine work, as well as their own short films, short play readings, and art works they have been working on with Mulberry Theatre Company.

Kennedy was recently appointed associate artist at Tamasha Theatre Company, where he’ll begin a pilot program with Mulberry allowing 8 playwrights to work with students—producing short plays that pair up students with professional actors. It gives new playwrights a place to see their work done and offers the student an invaluable lesson.

So be sure to catch Fin Kennedy’s How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found this April and find out about a playwright that’s churning out exciting new plays and molding young minds all in a single day’s work.

Ayla Harrison is a playwright, screenwriter and actor currently residing in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in playwriting from UCLA.

One response to “Playwright/Teacher, Fin Kennedy

  1. Again, an informative and fun read. Thank you. How to Disappear sounds intriguing and spooky.


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