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Jaclyn Backhaus

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright, cofounder of Fresh Ground Pepper, and new member of The Kilroys. Her plays include Men On Boats (New York Times Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, published by Dramatists Play Service), India Pale Ale (Manhattan Theatre Club, recipient of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play), You Across From Me (co-written with three other writers for the Humana Festival), Folk Wandering (book writer and co-lyricist with 11 composers, Pipeline Theatre Company), and You On the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble), among others. She was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb and she is currently in residence at Lincoln Center. Backhaus holds a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch, where she now teaches. She hails from Phoenix, Arizona, and currently resides in Ridgewood, Queens with her husband, director Andrew Scoville and their son Ernie.

(Updated Mar 2019)

Reviews

Letter from First Rehearsal: Wives

As women, we’re endlessly bombarded with everything about us that is not right—the way we look, speak, love, parent, choose to lead, the choices we make about our bodies.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright’s Perspective: Wives

Most of my plays end with a question. In a way, this is an admission of guilt. It is me, the playwright, admitting that I do not have the answers to the questions I pose.

Essay

The American Voice: Sisterhood of Delight

The Nahargarh Fort rests on a ridge overlooking the city of Jaipur, India. It was erected in the 18th century with a dual purpose: a retreat for the maharaja and a defense structure with sweeping views. But when Jaclyn Backhaus visited, on a family trip in 2007, she was struck by the view from within.

Essay

Backstory: Laugh of the Wives

When the universe of arts and letters has been systematically skewed in favor of male voices — male perspectives on work, domesticity, strength, weakness, psychology itself — the sense that these perspectives are subjective gets distorted, and increasingly the male experience begins to be assumed as the universal one.