The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Robyn Burland

Robyn Burland


Interviewed on: Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #73
"When you stick around a long time, you pick up a lot of things from a lot of different people, so every experience that I’ve had in the theatre has contributed to me in some ways as an artist, as a literary manager, as a teacher. Even little ones."
Robyn Burland Highlights
Video Length: 6 minutes, 6 seconds
Robyn Burland Interview
Video Length: 1 hour, 3 minutes

Robyn Burland is a playwright whose family worked in the garment business. Her childhood experiences led to the creation of one of her most well-received plays, PIECEWORK (2004), about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Her other Off-Off-Broadway credits include: A SAVIOR NEEDS A NICE SMILE (1997), POSTPARTUM (1999), WALKMANIA (1999), WIVES ON THE ROCKS (2001), LOVE AMY (2002), OBIT (2002), AFTER LOYAL (2003), THE BOOK OF JAY (2003), GREATER BUFFALO (2006), MIXED DOUBLES (2007), and SUITE FOR SUMMER (2010). Burland’s plays have been produced at a number of Off-Off-Broadway theaters, including The Women’s Project Directors Forum, Smatter Ensemble, and Theater for the New City, and her longest partnership has been with New Georges. In 2011, Burland received a fellowship from the Surdna Foundation, allowing her to travel to Greece to study theatre at the Hydrama Theatre and develop a modern version of Euripides’ Alcestis.

Born in the Bronx, Burland graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Film/Writing before returning to New York to get her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. She also received a Teaching Certificate from Iona College. Burland has taught both drama and writing at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels, most recently serving as an Adjunct Professor of Literature at Iona College and as head of the drama program at Bronx Performance Conservatory High School. She is also the Artistic Director of the teen theatre group Skipping Stones Stage Company, where she creates and stages original plays. Burland currently serves as the Literary Manager of Circle East and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the New York State Theatre Education Association.

Mentioned in Interview

Circle East, New Georges, Theater for the New City, AndHow! Theater Company, Women’s Project, Skipping Stones Stage Company, Michael Warren Powell, Howard Stein, PIECEWORK, A SAVIOR NEEDS A SMILE, POSTPARTUM, WIVES ON THE ROCKS, WALKMANIA, LOVE AMY, OBIT, AFTER LOYAL, THE BOOK OF JAY, GREATER BUFFALO