Graham Schmidt is a Brooklyn-based director, playwright, producer and translator. His diverse body of work reflects his passion for outsiders' stories, ritual, community, and art that raises questions about what it means to make theater and be alive in the world today.
Graham's work includes re-imaginings of canonical texts staged in repurposed warehouses (The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, Ghosts), an experimental meditation on love and sex in a dystopian near-future (The Schooling of Bento Bonchev), a dance-documentary about medical institutions and their relationship to human suffering (In The Glare), an original movement-based adaptation of Chekhov’s haunting, symbolist short story (Gusev), a dance-inflected modern portrayal of the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Luminosity), and new experimental plays commissioned and developed through Breaking String Theater, and at UT’s MFA program (The Fiancé, Three; or the Sound of the Great Existential Nothingness, Dulcy and Roxy at City Hall, Galactic Orphans).
In 2007, Graham founded Breaking String Theater Co. and began staging his own translations of Chekhov's major plays. The company also developed new plays by emerging Russian and American playwrights for Austin audiences. Graham conceived and produced Breaking String's annual New Russian Drama Festivals, which featured residencies by Russian playwrights that coincided with developmental stagings and full American premieres of new plays from Russia.
Graham received his MFA in Theater Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. He has developed new work at the University of Texas at Austin, Theatre East's 5X5 Drama Series, The Lark Theater, and HBMG's National Winter Playwrights' Retreat in Creede, Colorado. He currently teaches acting in Brooklyn College's BFA program, and enjoys being Antoinette's husband.
Mojada, by Luis Alfaro
Directed by Chay Yew
The Public Theater
by Luis Alfaro
Directed by Chay Yew
Assistant Director: Graham Schmidt
"What would you sacrifice for a better life?
MacArthur Genius Award-winning playwright Luis Alfaro returns with the New York premiere of his stirring drama about love, immigration, and sacrifice, inspired by the Ancient Greek story of Medea. Helmed by Chay Yew (Oedipus El Rey), this play masterfully combines ancient storytelling with the most pressing issues facing our country today, following a young Mexican mother who gives up everything to bring her son to America, only to find America demands even more.
Alfaro’s OEDIPUS EL REY, produced last season in collaboration with the Sol Project, was hailed by The New York Times as a “dynamic reminder that we are living in a political moment when stories matter.”
With great poetry, humor, and heart, MOJADA is a bold new telling of a story as old as tragedy itself."
July, 2019 (tickets available here)
Color at the End of the World:
a black gay fantasia for the apocalypse
by Travis Tate
Color at the End of the World is about a regular-ass date that's instantly engulfed by an apocalypse. Chance and Berto's desperate brujería conjures Markus, an angel of queerdom, who reveals that their radial self-love may be the key to the survival of all humankind. Will Chance and Berto fulfill the prophecy? Will civilization implode? Will Markus' death drops spell doom for us all? There's only one way to find out.
Color is presented by Theatre East as part of its 5x5 Drama Series. The 5X5 Drama Series was founded in 2016 to bring great new plays beyond the footlights and into nontraditional spaces like breweries, rooftops, and taverns to provide an immersive and unique audience experience. The series consists of 5 short plays with 5 casts and is performed in all 5 boroughs. Theatre East is an official partner of NYC Pride, and this year’s 5X5 Drama Series will feature original, commissioned work celebrating the LGBTQ+ community as we remember the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
5X5 brings the stage directly to the people in the spaces where they gather, learn and relax. Best of all, the majority of tickets are available on a suggested donation basis.