Fulbright Scholar Jeffrey Stanley is probably best known for his hit wartime stage drama TESLA'S LETTERS (published by Samuel French). He is an adjunct screenwriting and playwriting faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Stanley is also a performance artist, director and award-winning filmmaker. He has written articles for the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog, the New York Times and New York Press, and was a resident of Yaddo as well as a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. Stanley is currently developing a TV series with producer Matthew Myers. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch where he studied under playwrights David Ives and Tony Kushner, and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television Production with a minor in cultural anthropology.
The Long Version
Jeffrey Stanley is a recipient of a 2018-19 Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship to travel to India to research some specific aspects of Bengali film and theatre history, with the intended result being a book that is part scholarly work and part memoir, as well as develop new university courses and solo performances. He was a recipient of a 2014-15 Amtrak Writers Residency and was a judge for the 2015-16 round. He is currently developing the stage play THE LITTLE ROCK, a biographical drama about artist and Navy Ensign Vernon "Copy" Berg, the first officer to legally challenge the US military for anti-gay discrimination, based on the book Get Off My Ship: Ensign Berg vs. the US Navy by E. Lawrence Gibson. He sometimes performs his autobiographical, supernatural comic monologue BONEYARDS in Philadelphia and New York City. He has appeared as a guest writer in The New York Times, Washington Post, Time Out New York, New York Press, The Brooklyn Rail, and Hemispheres. He often teaches undergraduate playwriting, screenwriting, theatre history and script analysis courses at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Stanley's wartime drama TESLA'S LETTERS (Samuel French, 2000) premiered Off Broadway at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, had its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and went on to numerous other productions including most recently at Eastern Kentucky University in 2015. He was commissioned by the Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia to write the comedy MEDICINE, MAN which world premiered in 2003 and went on to a southwest premiere at Theatre Three Dallas in 2005. Stanley wrote, directed and performed in his autobiographical comedy THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE: A LECTURE ON TRAGEDY in New York at the Gershwin Hotel and Don't Tell Mama. He is a past president of the board of directors of the NEW YORK NEO-FUTURISTS. In New York he also directed a racially reimagined revival of Sam Shepard's THE GOD OF HELL, and his own short plays HIGH TEA and STREPTOCOCCI: A LOVE STORY at Chashama, the Cherry Lane Annex and the Samuel French Short Play Festival. His solo show BEAUTIFUL ZION: A BOOK OF THE DEAD premiered in the 2011 Philly Fringe, and he was a 2011-12 PDC Playwright-in-Residence at PLAYS & PLAYERS THEATRE.
He wrote and directed the award-winning short film LADY IN A BOX starring Sarita Choudhury, a satire inspired by the infamous Terri Schiavo euthanasia case. He has won numerous screenwriting awards, and has either optioned or been hired to write screenplays for Peter Farrelly, Charles B. Wessler, GreeneStreet Films, Buckeye Entertainment, Cabin Creek Films, Andrew Lauren Productions, Matthew Myers and others. He has been a judge and script analyst for the Script Savvy Monthly Screenwriting Competition and a script consultant for UK-based Initialize Films.
Stanley was a fellow at Yaddo and a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. He was a senior editorial adviser for Boston University's Center for Millennial Studies book on apocalypse movements THE END THAT DOES (Equinox Books, 2006). He has also taught in Croatia at The Imaginary Academy summer film and theatre workshop sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He is a member playwright of the invitation-only International Theatre Initiative, a UNESCO-sponsored world theatre education program.
Reviews, Features, Guest Writer and Media Appearances
Awards and Honors
2018-19 Fulbright Scholar
2015-16 Amtrak Writers Residency Judge
2014-15 Amtrak Writers Residency Recipient
PDC Playwright-in-Residence, Plays & Players Theatre, Philadelphia
Laurel Entertainment Award for Screenwriting Excellence (The Objectors)
Tennessee National Screenwriting Competition (The Objectors)
Nicholl Fellowship Finalist (The Objectors)
$20,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Prize (Lords of Light)
New York Picture Company Award for Best Dramatic Screenplay (Lords of Light)
Nuyorican Poets Cafe Fifth Night Series reading (Lords of Light)
Graduate Achievement Award (MFA; Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, NYU Tisch School of the Arts)
Helena Rubenstein Scholarship Award (BFA; Film & Television Production; NYU Tisch School of the Arts)
Residency at Yaddo
Production Grant from EST-Alfred P. Sloan Foundation First Light Program (Tesla's Letters)
Tesla's Letters named one of the Ten Best Dramas of 1999 in Samuel French's 2000 Catalog
Copeland Fellowship at Amherst College
AIVF-BVR Get It Made Award (Lady in a Box)
Commission from EST-Sloan First Light Program (Fishing With Tony and Joe)
Commission from the Mill Mountain Theatre & the Norfolk-Southern Foundation (Medicine, Man)
Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition Finalist (Mirabelle)
LA International Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, 3rd Place (Brain On Fire)
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