Buzz McLaughlin is a playwright and screenwriter, theatre and film producer, script consultant, and teacher. His plays, which include Transcendence, Leaving Jane, Traverse des Sioux, Sister Calling My Name, Spirit on the Plains, Absent Without Leave, Limits, and Wings (a musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Birds), have been produced in NYC and regionally in the U.S. and Canada. He has written several screenplays and teleplays, including the soon to be released feature film Sight, and currently serves as Script Consultant for The Merry Beggars, the entertainment division of Relevant Radio.
His work has won numerous national competitions, including the National Repertory Theatre Foundation’s National Play Award for Sister Calling My Name, and he is the recipient of a Playwriting Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has twice been a writer-in-residence at the New Harmony Project, a national playwrights/screenwriters conference held annually in New Harmony, Indiana, and for many years was on the Project’s advisory board. Co-founder/producing partner of the independent film company Either/Or Films that produced the feature film The Sensation of Sight , starring Academy Award Best Actor nominee David Strathairn, he was the Founding Director and former Artistic Director of Writers Theatre of New Jersey (formerly Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey), a professional (AEA) theatre that for 32 years was dedicated to the development of new and emerging playwrights and writers in various other genres. His book, The Playwright’s Process: Learning the Craft from Today’s Leading Dramatists (Back Stage Books) includes extensive excerpts from his four-year interview series at the Dramatists Guild, NYC, with sixteen of America’s foremost playwrights.
A former Professor of Theatre Arts and playwright-in-residence at Drew University, Buzz taught playwriting and screenwriting and, as chairman, founded and built the department into one of the leading undergraduate theatre programs in the country. Prior to his years at Drew he was an Assistant Professor of Drama at the University of Virginia where he developed the university’s MFA program in theatre. More recently he was Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Writing for Stage & Screen program and a faculty member at New England College in their Creative Writing MFA program.
He holds a doctorate in theatre and dramatic literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Writers Guild of America.