Colin McKenna is a New York-based playwright. His plays include THE SECRET AGENDA OF TREES (Cherry Lane Mentor Project, The Wild Project NYC), PARKING LOT LONELY HEART (Boomerang Theatre, NYC), PASTURES OF PLENTY (La MaMa ETC, NYC), ANY-BODY (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and LAST HORSEMAN. Colin’s plays have been developed at Cherry Lane, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the Dramatists Guild, where he was a Dramatist Guild Playwrighting Fellow. Colin was named The National Theatre Conference’s Stavis Award for Outstanding Emerging Playwright for his play THE SECRET AGENDA OF TREES, which also won The John Golden Playwriting Award, The Goldberg Prize at NYU, and was selected as a finalist by Edward Albee for the Yale Drama Series. He holds degrees from Fordham University, Columbia University, and NYU Tisch, where he earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing and was awarded the Goldberg Playwrighting Fellowship and full scholarship. Colin is currently at work on a new play, COLD SNAP.
Wilson Hampton, a respected Thomas Jefferson scholar and Gulf War hero, is shocked when he is suddenly forced out of his university’s American History department and relocated to Minority Studies. When Nigel Diallo, his new department head, shows up uninvited for dinner, Wilson unleashes an impassioned defense of Jefferson, but is surprised to also find himself at odds with his sixteen year old, African-American daughter, Patsy. What begins as reckoning of the sins present at America’s birth spirals into a family’s painful revaluation of their past.
Something is wrong in Ron’s suburban neighborhood, but he’s the only person who seems to notice. The streets are suddenly deserted, no cell phones are working, and the cable is down. The only communication Ron is receiving from the outside world is a single radio station, buried deep within the AM dial, which at first seems to be broadcasting old time radio shows, but becomes increasingly bizzare and disturbing. As night descends, Ron is at a total loss as to why none of his family can see that something dark has been unloosed outside and that they must do everything they can to keep it out.
Workshopped at Chautauqua Theater Company, July 2013.
THE SECRET AGENDA OF TREES
In the backwoods of Appalachia, 13 year-old Veronica (aka Lulu of the Pink Wings) smolders with love for a boy from study hall. When her mother brings home Jack, a mysterious stranger, her meth use spirals out of control, and Veronica must turn to her powerful dream life to save her.
Premiere: The Wild Project, 2009.
Finalist, 2007 Yale Drama Series
“… a meaningful two-act drama… skillfully plotted, with a brutal final twist…”—New York Times
“Colin McKenna’s The Secret Agenda of Trees is a near perfect play for a collapsing masculinist culture based on boundless consumption. Put another way: it may not be the art we want, but it’s the art we need. Evading depressive abandon and recuperative sentimentalism… Secret Agenda is full of healthy things for a malnourished culture.” —The L Magazine
THE LAST HORSEMAN
On the edge of a dying city, Denny is slowly being erased by Alzheimer’s. When his neighbor won’t stay dead and his apartment is invaded by zombie-like vagrants, one of whom claims to be his long-lost daughter, Denny must fight through the fogs of his disappearing memory.