Oren Safdie 50sc

Oren Safdie


Oren Safdie was a playwright-in-residence at La MaMa in NYC, where he produced the first ever Canadian Theatre Festival in New York, and was artistic director of 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 next play, THE LAST WORD, also moved off-Broadway, starring Emmy Award Winner Daniel J. Tranvanti (“Hill Street Blues”). Other Off-Broadway plays include FALSE SOLUTION, THE BILBAO EFFECT, WEST BANK, UK, and LA COMPAGNIE, which he developed into a  pilot for CBS. (Four of his plays were NY Times Critic’s Pick.)  In 2014, Oren returned to Montreal to debut his play, UNSEAMLY at Infinithéâtre, They also debuted MR. GOLDBERG GOES TO TEL AVIV, which has been adapted into a film script  and will star Alan Cumming. Playwrights Canada Press, Dramatists Play Service and Broadway Play Publishing have published his plays. 


For the past 9 years, Oren has taught Playwriting and Screenwriting and Personal Narrative at the University of Miami, Douglas College in Vancouver, California School of the Arts in LA, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan & St. Olaf College in Minnesota. His method is to quickly demystify the "art" of writing, and to show how each student already possesses the skills they need to write compelling drama. His first exercise is to have students write down typical dialogue from the family dinner table without thinking about plot or even writing down the character names. He then shows them how each of their scenes have their own unique voice, conflict (or potential for conflict), and differentiation between characters. His next lesson builds on this, guiding the students to take their dialogues and crafting them into stage worthy 10 minute plays.