• We are now accepting late applications. Click here to apply. Program Dates: Session 1: June 25-July 7; Session 2: July 9-July 28. Click here for tuition and program details.

Tom Coash

Teaching Writer

Tom Coash taught playwriting at the Workshop from 1990-1991 and again in 1993.

Where are you living and what brought you there?

After many years living abroad, we are currently in New Haven, CT where my wife is a professor of Art at Albertus Magnus College.

Where are you working and what do you enjoy about it?

I’m a playwright and director and work for whoever will have me. I love the group creation and that I get to work with so many cool, brilliant people. So much fun!

What do you find yourself most often reading/listening to lately and why?

Caught me! I’ve been binging on treasure hunting books. Diving on sunken ships, searching for lost mines, etc. Started as research for a project and now I’m hooked. I may be switching professions soon.

What are you working on right now and what does it represent in the larger body of your artistic accomplishments?

Wow, I’m just starting work on a new play that combines several things that I’m really passionate about. Last year I was traveling in Laos and Vietnam researching UXOs (unexploded bombs and mines left over from wars, a huge problem) and I really want to give this huge worldwide problem more publicity. I first became interested in this issue while living and teaching in Egypt. Most of my recent plays have been set in the Egypt and the Middle East, dealing with all the issues inherent in that part of the world. I want to combine these two along with my love of archaeology (treasure hunting?). So, I’m working on a play that features all these elements.

What are your publications, performances, albums, and/or achievements that seem most important to you at this point in time?

Last year my play VEILS (Set in Egypt, in the months just prior to the Egyptian revolution, the play is a two hander that features strong college-age women of color addressing the issues of Islamic veiling and international/intercultural relations with humor and humanity) was awarded the 2015 American Theatre Critics Association’s “M. Elizabeth Osborn Award” for Best New Play by an Emerging Playwright. It was also the Winner of the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights, the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and one of six Finalists for the prestigious Steinberg/ATCA award.

How would you characterize the influence of your YWW experience in your life?

I loved working with the young writers. In teaching others, I often find I’m teaching myself at the same time. All my students have influenced me as a writer. I love how young writers are often fearless and this inspires me.

What’s the best advice you can give a Young Writer (in general or in your specific genre)?

If you haven’t ever written a play, you should try it! Everyone should write a play. It’s a blast.

Where can we find you online?

Many of my plays are available online at the great non-profit site Indie Theater Now.

Submitted November 2015