Heather Helinsky is a freelance dramaturg based in Philadelphia and the current Literary Manager for Playwrights Foundation/Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as well as the Contest Dramaturg (aka Lit Manager) for the 10th Annual Jewish Plays Project. Fifteen years of experience as a professional dramaturg, specifically in the area of new play development and focused on advocating for women playwrights and writers of color. She is an independent dramaturg providing research and analysis, consultation, and workshops to playwrights, directors, theater companies, and college-level education programs. Select theatres where her production dramaturgy was seen: Accessible Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Apothetae, Borderlands, Denver Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, PA Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical, Pittsburgh Public, Playwrights Realm, Sundance Theatre Lab, Woolly Mammoth, and 6NewPlays in San Francisco, amongst others. Production dramaturgy on notable world premieres: JT Rogers’ Oslo, Tira Palmquist’s Two Degrees, Caridad Svich’s Guapa. She also served as a Barrymore Judge for seasons ‘17/18 and ‘18/19 for Theatre Philadelphia, adjudicating 60-80 professional productions per season in the Philadelphia region. Heather also has a huge heart for mentoring the next generation of dramaturgs and playwrights, and since 2012, has been a guest artist in various capacities for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival and has been a reader for seven years for their David Mark Cohen & Steinberg Award. She has also mentored emerging playwrights through the Kennedy Center’s Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop (’16-‘20) and the VSA’s Discovery Series for emerging writers with disabilities. She also has been a member of the NNPN community of artists-at-large, and has dramaturged twice for their summer MFA Playwrights Workshop. Teaching: Visiting Professor at University of Arizona (’07), Carnegie Mellon (’12), Brooklyn College (’15), Lesley University, and guest workshop at Yale in spring ’19. Training/Awards: M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the A.R.T./Moscow Art/Harvard (’07) and the O’Neill National Critics Institute (’16). Current board member for LMDA as co-VP of Freelance and part of the cohort that created LMDA’s Dramaturging the Phoenix initiative, which supports LMDA’s wider membership of dramaturgs through the pandemic.
Heather will provide feedback to the following play:
To be a Starfish by Wendy-Marie Martin (Thurs. 4/22 @ 4:30pm)