Eric Marlin



bad things happen here​

2 W

The nation has never been healthier. Crime is down. Streets are clean. Civility reigns. But out of the corner of your eye, you might catch a glimpse of the men keeping things orderly. In a series of brief, enigmatic scenes, two women take us into the heart of a nation that has been disciplined by violence.

bad things happen here
Photo by R. Eric Stone
Virtual Reading at the Public Theater, June 2020
Shortlisted for the Berliner Festspiele Stuckemarkt, 2019
Finalist for the 2017 O’Neill Playwrights Conference (read their official recommendation here)
Production at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2018
Staged Reading at Play Date at Pete’s, July 2016
Production [Ten-Minute Live Radio Play Version] at WildClaw Theatre’s Deathscribe, December 2015


3 W, 3 M

Six people gather for a meeting of the minds. The lights go out. The smell of rot permeates the air. The ghosts come out to taunt us. Denial is a horror play about humanity’s worst impulses.

Staged Reading produced by The Interstitial, February 2023
Finalist for the 2021 O’Neill Playwrights Conference
Semifinalist for the 2021 Bay Area Playwright’s Festival (read their official recommendation here)
Semifinalist for 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award


6 W, 2 M

Susannah’s father has just died. But she doesn’t have time to grieve. She’s been called to Romania to help an unnamed company expand into international markets. Trapped in a world of corporate absurdity, Susannah’s grief grows more distant as she burrows into her job. Meanwhile, the city outside is beginning to look oddly like the office inside. AirSpace is a comedy about the cultural consequences of globalization.

AirSpace Play Eric Marlin
Photo by Piero Chiussi
Semi-finalist for the 2023 Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Reading at the 2022 Theatertreffen Stückmarkt at the Berliner Festpiele
Workshop at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, August 2019

there will come a time for vengeance

5 W, 6 M

Within the horrifying chambers of the Christian imagination, four Jews chart the psychological and sexual violence of internalized anti-Semitism. A revenge adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta.

Finalist for 2020 Jewish Plays Project (info on the contest here)
Semifinalist for the 2020 Bay Area Playwright’s Festival (read their official recommendation here)
Semifinalist for SPACE at Ryder Farm, 2020

What a World! What a World!

2 GN

Two actors work their way through an old melodrama. It’s not going very well. They can’t figure out what works and what doesn’t. They burrow further and further in. They recreate and destroy. They rehearse again. A new work emerges from the old. But is it any better?

What a World! What a World!
Photo by Danny Bristoll
Residency at Barn Arts Collective, October 2019
​Workshop at Ars Nova ANT Fest, June 2019

The True Chronicles of Ben-Zion Palachi, the Rabbi Pirate

Conceived with Lila Rachel Becker

4 W, 4 M, 5+ GN

The year is 1500. The Catholic conquest of the Iberian peninsula is almost complete. The Inquisition touches every corner of newly unified Spain. The Ottoman Empire is battling for global power. And Captain Ben-Zion Palachi, the Rabbi Pirate, has gathered an intrepid crew of Jews, Muslims, and New Christians to find a legendary treasure of the British Empire: the Golden Chessboard. Amidst these adventures, a stowaway named Chana makes a bid for the kind of power she cannot find on land. A swashbuckling play with music set against a rapidly shifting world haunted by the ghosts of the past, The True Chronicles of Ben–Zion Palachi resurrects the historical phenomena of Jewish pirates to explore the stories we never hear.

Reading in the Civilians’ Finding Series, June 2022
Developed in the Civilians’ R&D Group 2021-2022

How to Mourn the Dead: A Tragedy (in flux)

2 M, 12+ W/GNC

Two bros watch the dissident Antigone buried alive on national television. The spectacle inspires a misguided attempt to capture her martyrdom in art, as they glibly repurpose her story in search of some truth about the nature of suffering. Formerly titled The Antigones: A Tragedy in Flux.

How to Mourn the Dead: A Tragedy (In Flux) Play Eric Marlin
Photo by Gennadi Novash
Finalist for the 2021 FMM Fellowship for Works in Heightened Language
Production at Montclair New Works Initiative, February 2020
Workshop at Tisch School of the Arts, July 2018
Staged Reading at PTP/NYC, August 2016

​and come apart

4 W

Three daughters gather for their mother’s passing. Ancient family wounds are reopened as the audience, blindfolded for the play, eavesdrops on these women’s conversations.

​and come apart play
Artwork by Alahna Watson
Staged Reading at Dutch Kill Theater, January 2023
Semifinalist for the 2022 Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Workshop Production at the Tank, 2021
​Finalist for SPACE at Ryder Farm, 2019
Staged Reading at Iowa New Play Festival, May 2018

​Pastoral Play

7-13 GN

Everyone’s been hooking up with each other in the meadows. The Wooer loves the Wooed. The City Slicker loves the Wooer. The Wooed’s not into either of them. And the Lady of the Moon is tired of all these dumbstruck lovers. An exploration of the erotic liberation found in pastoral literature, Pastoral Play is a pastiche comedy about queer desire and horny shepherds.

​Pastoral Play Eric Marlin
Photo by Brett Stone
Developed with the Healthy Oyster Collective
Workshop at University of Iowa, October 2018
Workshop at Dixon Place HOT! Festival, July 2017
Workshop at PTP/NYC, July 2016

​​The Book of Jonah [The Interim Years]

2 W, 2 M

Jonah’s been running from God, ever since escaping the belly of the whale. He can’t seem to forget his ex-lover Isaiah as he waits in a rainy train station somewhere in Moscow. And waiting with him is a sad young woman named Anna Karenina, who has her own train to catch. The Book of Jonah is the story of the heartbroken Jonah and Anna as they begin to grope their way towards a sense of logic in their sorrows.

Staged Reading at Iowa New Play Festival, May 2017
Workshop in Exquisite Corpse Company’s Revival Series, June 2016
Developed in Exquisite Corpse Company’s Writer’s Lab

​Blackberry: A Burial

4 W

Jess’s pet goat Blackberry has been inexplicably murdered and beheaded. As she burrows into her grief, she begins to hear the song of Blackberry’s head crying out to her. In a world that doesn’t take children’s pain seriously, and where grief is too expensive for her family’s means, Jess must grapple with her loss alone as she looks for Blackberry’s head.

​Blackberry: A Burial Play Eric Marlin
Photo & Puppet by Lindsay Kuhn
Semifinalist for the 2019 O’Neill Playwrights Conference
Semifinalist for the 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Production at Iowa New Play Festival, May 2019

​three sisters I never had

4 GN

Irina wants Moscow. Masha wants Vershinin. Olga wants peace. And in a room that is not in Imperial Russia, a man who is not Chekhov frets about his windowsill, his mother, and the longings of three fictional sisters. The sisters, meanwhile, keep slipping out of their theatrical world, in this phantasmagoric collision between Chekhov’s grief-stricken past and our grief-stricken present.

​three sisters I never had play eric marlin
Photo by Erica Wray

Virtual Production, February 2021

​​If the Saints Arrive in Germany

6 W​

​Sixteen-century Germany. Europe is in the midst of the Protestant Reformation. The nuns of the Convent of St. Cecilia are preparing for the performance of a choral mass to honor the Feast of Corpus Christi. At the same moment, a group of Lutheran iconoclasts have arrived in town to smash the convent to pieces. And yet the woman refuse to flee. The resulting catastrophe provokes an intimate and comic investigation of personal faith. A loose adaptation of “St. Cecilia, or the Power of Music” by Heinrich von Kleist.

​if the Saints Arrive in Germany Play Eric Marlin
Photo by Eliot Olson

Co-produced by the Healthy Oyster Collective and Metro Arts Initiative, May 2014

Kingdom Crosses Over

3 W, 1 GN

The Queen is in distress; the capital of her kingdom has burned down. The Architect has been taken prisoner, and her son has been taken away. The Architect is drafting the plans for the city as fast as she can. But it’s difficult to work with so much screaming in the palace. Inspired by the Argentinian grotesco criollo tradition, Kingdom Crosses Over is an examination of torture and power–and just how terrifying cello music can be.

Kingdom Crosses Over play eric marlin
Photo by Eliot Olson
In development with the Healthy Oyster Collective
Workshop at Dixon Place, December 2015
Workshop at Manhattan Repertory Theater, November 2015

Scenes of Ascending: A Fable

2 W, 2 M

A woman from a modest Mormon household announces to her family that she has decided to become a god. Husband wants to support her. Son doesn’t want to know much more. And Daughter just wants her to shut up and say grace. As Wife begins her ascension, the family begins to unspool. Meanwhile, the whole house is slowly flooding. Scenes of Ascending is a comedic fable about ambition, theology and oceans.

Semifinalist for the 2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference
Staged Reading at PTP/NYC, July 2014
Staged Reading at Rhapsody Collective, December 2013