Stuart Spencer is the author of numerous plays that have been produced both in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre and around the country. His play Resident Alien was produced at the Humana Festival of New Plays, and has since had numerous productions at many regional theatres, including the Milwaukee Rep and Florida’s Hippodrome Theatre. Resident Alien is published by Broadway Play Publishing. His play Alabaster City was commissioned by South Coast Rep and his one-act Blue Stars is published in the Best American Short Plays of 1993-94. As an undergraduate, his play The Golden Rose was designated “Best Play” at the American College Theatre Festival.
His book on the art of playwriting, The Playwright’s Guidebook, was published in 2002 by Farrar Straus & Giroux under the Faber and Faber imprint. Edward Albee calls the book “indispensable” and David Lindsay-Abaire (Fuddy Meers) says that the book ‘charts a straightforward course through the knotty and twisting wilds of playwriting. If you want to be a playwright, here’s your bible.’ The book is currently in its second printing.
As a screenwriter, he has been commissioned to write films for actor/director Campbell Scott and for director George Camarda. He has written the screenplay version of Resident Alien for Langley Productions in Los Angeles. Stuart currently teaches playwriting, dramaturgy, dramatic literature, and theatre history at Sarah Lawrence College. In the past he has taught at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, The New School for Social Research, SUNY/Purchase, the Ensemble Studio Theatre Institute for Professional Training, and The Young Playwrights Festival program, which brings the art of playwriting into New York’s inner city schools.
He has served as a theatre and film editor of Bomb Magazine, a quarterly magazine that publishes writing and art by, and interviews with, contemporary artists. His interview subjects include Robert Schenkkan, Campbell Scott, Joyce Carol Oates, John Ford Noonan, and Horton Foote.
Stuart has held positions in the story editing department of CBS Films and the literary department of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he served as Literary Manager for two years. In this latter capacity he helped to discover and cultivate new American writers and their plays, supervised and served as dramaturg for an ongoing series of readings, workshops, and major productions of the theatre, and moderated the Playwrights Unit that included, at the time, such notable writers as Eduardo Machado and John Patrick Shanley.
He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Ensemble Studio Theatre.