Ken Urban is a playwright and screenwriter based in New York. His plays include Sense of an Ending, The Correspondent, A Future Perfect, The Awake, and The Happy Sad. His work has been produced Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59 Theatres, The Summer Play Festival at The Public, and Studio 42. His work has also been produced at Theatre503 in London, Studio Theatre in Washington DC, First Floor Theater in Chicago, and the Huntington Theatre Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston. He has developed new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Theatre @ Boston Court, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Donmar Warehouse (London) and The Civilians R&D Group. He wrote the screenplay for The Happy Sad, which screened internationally at over 25 film festivals, and is now available on iTunes and Amazon. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.
Awards include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting, Huntington Theater Playwriting Fellowship, Headlands Artist Residency, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. He is a member playwright at New Dramatists in New York, and an Affiliated Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.
Recent: In October 2017, A Guide for the Homesick received its world premiere at the Huntington Theater Company in Boston (directed by Colman Domingo). It won numerous accolades including the Independent Reviewers of New England’s Award for Best New Script. Last October, Guide opened on London's West End at Trafalgar Studios in a new production directed by Jonathan O'Boyle. In May 2018, The Remains received its world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC (directed by Artistic Director David Muse). Critics called it “meticulously crafted” (Washington Post) and “a landmark play” (DC Metro Theater Arts). In February 2017, Nibbler was produced by The Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York receiving strong notices in the New York Times and the Huffington Post. His TV pilot The Art of Listening was optioned by ITV Studios and David Oyelowo’s production company Yoruba Saxon.
His band Occurrence released their new album Everyone Knows the Disaster is Coming on June 15, 2018. The Southern Sounding called the album “a wiry brew of warbling electronics, fiery post-punk swagger and subtly mutated pop arrangements.” Their 2016 release The Past Will Last Forever received strong reviews with critics calling it “a formidable electro-space-post-punk beast” and “the near perfect synthesis between the universe of David Lynch and industrial music.” In 2017, the band released a holiday single “The Time of Year” which Notes from Left of the Dial called “an acerbic counterpoint to the glut of holiday music” from a band that “explores intimacy and circuital beauty in a way that few other artists could manage.” The Boston Globe wrote, “Something tells us Urban’s downbeat take on the holidays won’t be a hit.” The band’s catalog is available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp.
Education: Bucknell University, BA with Honors. Rutgers University, Ph.D in English Literature.
Ken has taught playwriting, screenwriting, academic writing and dramatic literature at Harvard University, Princeton University, Tufts University. Bucknell University and Rutgers University. In Spring 2016, he was the McGee Visiting Professor of Playwriting at Davidson College. Ken is currently the Senior Lecturer at MIT leading the Dramatic Writing program in the school's Music and Theatre Arts Program.
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