Oren Safdie

Oren Headshot

Oren Safdie attended the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University before turning his attention to playwriting. After receiving his MFA – also from Columbia – he was awarded a Woolrich Fellowship, which he used to launch The West End Gate Theatre on New York’s Upper Westside. He was a playwright-in-residence at La MaMa, and artistic director the Malibu Stage Co. where his off-Broadway/London hit PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES first debuted. The Wall Street Journal mentioned it as one of the top six new plays of the decade.) His play, THE LAST WORD, also moved off-Broadway, starring two-time Emmy Award Winner Daniel J. Travanti (“Hill Street Blues”). Other productions include the recent Montreal and Off-Broadway hit UNSEAMLY, GRATITUDE, FALSE SOLUTION, MR. GOLDBERG GOES TO TEL AVIV, THINGS TO DO IN MUNICH, GRATITUDE, CHECKS & BALANCES, THE BILBAO EFFECT, musicals WEST BANK, UK, JEWS & JESUS and FIDDLE SUB-TERRAIN with Ronnie Cohen, and LA COMPAGNIE, which he developed into a ½-hour pilot of Castle Rock/CBS. (Five of these productions were NY Times Critic’s Pick.) As a screenwriter, Oren scripted the film YOU CAN THANK ME LATER starring Ellen Burstyn, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Newport Film Festival; and the Israeli film BITTERSWEET, which was nominated for a Wolgin Award for Best Israeli Feature. His most recent feature, THE SUNFLOWER, is presently filming and is directed by Emil Ben-Shimon (The Women’s Balcony). He is also developing a docuseries with H2L Media (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot). Oren has contributed essays to METROPOLIS, DWELL, BEYOND, THE FORWARD, JERUSALEM POST, TIMES OF ISRAEL, THE NATIONAL POST and THE NEW REPUBLIC. Playwrights Canada Press, Dramatists Play Service, Broadway Play Publishing and Original Works Publishing have published his plays, and he is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, CALQ, The John Golden Foundation and The Graham Foundation. Oren has taught Playwriting, Dramatic Literature, Screenwriting and Non-Fiction Writing at the University of Miami, Douglas College and California School of the Arts, Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is presently Head of New Play Development at Infinithéâtre in Montreal and Assistant Professor at St. Olaf College His new play, SURVIVAL OF THE UNFIT opens at the Arkansas Public Theatre in 2023.his plays, and he is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, CALQ, The John Golden Foundation, and The Graham Foundation.