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  • Prison Performing Arts

Meet Playwright Stacie Lents

“This project is one of the most interesting and challenging of my career. My job was to take a complex and brilliant work by Ms. Atwood and distill it into a stage adaptation of two hours without losing any of the depth. Like many, I am a longtime fan of Ms. Atwood's work. It was a real honor to communicate with her by email and to share ideas with her about ways to adapt her story and characters for live theater, particularly because Ms. Atwood was so generous.
Ms. Atwood's novel, which is itself an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, tells the story of a group of brilliant incarcerated men whose lives are, in many ways, transformed by live theater—and who themselves transform the life of their director. This was especially meaningful for me because the incarcerated actors I have worked with through my ongoing partnership with PPA have absolutely changed my life and my understanding of the power of art."

Stacie Lents (playwright) is a Professor of Theater and the Director of the Theater Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as a professional playwright and actor.

Her plays have been licensed in the United States, Canada, the UK and Thailand. Her play College Colors was published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide in 2021 after premiering at Crossroads Theater in 2016. Other plays include Henry’s Law, Laugh out Loud (cry quietly), and Fire Exit, all published by Playscripts, Inc.

Her stage adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel Hag-Seed, a commission from Prison Performing Arts as part of their New Plays Initiative, will premiere in Missouri in May. A previous PPA commission, Run-On Sentence, was nominated for a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for Outstanding New Play in 2019.

Prof. Lents wrote the book and lyrics for Daisy in Disguise, which ran off-Broadway through Vital Theatre Company. Excerpts from her plays have been anthologized in Contemporary Scenes for Twentysomethings and In Performance: Contemporary Monologues for Men and Women (Teens), published by Applause. Henry's Law, a play about bullying, was included in’s list of 15 Must-Read Plays for Tweens and Teens.

As an actor, Stacie has performed regionally and in New York; she originated the one-woman play Six Hands by the late Eric H. Weinberger, the role of Bessie in Eugene O'Neil's rediscovered play Bread and Butter at New York's Provincetown Playhouse, and the role of Joan in 100 Years by Richard Dresser.

She has been awarded the FDU University Distinguished Award for Teaching (2020) and the FDU Becton College Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2014). She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Actors’ Equity Association, and SAG-AFTRA.

She received her MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and her BA from Yale University.

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