Born in Stockton CA, Susan Hansell (she/her) wrote poetry and fiction from childhood, when, unbeknownst to her, she won a school creative writing contest judged by outside independent writers but invalidated by the AP English teacher at her public school because she was not in the AP English class. This incident was told to her by her mother years later when she received her first New York City production. Her ancestry is Scotch-Irish-British Isles, French-German, Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, Finnish, Indigenous American, and North African.
Susan Hansell began to write for the stage by constructing texts for dancers, choreographers, and performance artists. As a result, stylized movement and physical elements remain theatrical aspects in her plays, which include the new 10-minute absurdist drama, A History, reviewed on NPX and podcast by Panglossian Productions in 2019 then staged as a reading by the Alternative Theater Company in 2019 and produced as a filmed zoom video by Spark Creative Works in 2021; the new full-length absurdist comedy-drama An Ocean of Bees or The Human Reservation, seen in an early form at The Tank (NYC) as presented by The Bechdel Group then selected for development by The Bridge Initiative and staged as a reading in 2019 at the Bechdel Festival (Phoenix); and the new historically-driven three-act experimental drama At Dawn with the Rain and the Stars, from which the first act Who Will Witness for the Witness was staged as a reading in 2019 by the Shattered Glass Project (Seattle), reviewed on NPX, then selected for production in 2020 by the Actors’ Studio of St. Louis, and, from which the second act Every Concentrated Fragment was showcased at the 2017 William Inge Festival and subsequently produced by the Tucson Players in 2018, by the Bay Area Women’s History Festival in January-February 2020, and virtually in August 2021 by the Femme Fatale Festival DC.
Susan Hansell has lived in various parts of North and Central America, including ten years in NYC, during which time she wrote several freely-adapted classics, including My Medea, (a Best American Short Plays series selection, Applause) and where she wrote on commission for Sightlines Theatre Company which produced American Rose (Honorable Mention in the Jane Chambers National Playwriting Contest) at The Ohio Theatre.
A Day In, Affair on the Air, Drop It, Don't, and Trolls (all early solo performance works which have been shown at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and at The Harold Clurman, with two appearing in Heinemann’s More Monologues for Women by Women) can be seen on YouTube. Susan Hansell holds a BA with high honors from UC Berkeley; an MA from San Francisco State University; and an MFA from Brooklyn College, where she subsequently taught the MFA playwriting tutorials. She has translated works of poetry and prose from the Spanish, and has taught theory and literature at universities throughout the United States. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Email Susan Hansell directly at: <email@example.com>.
An Ocean of Bees. The Bechdel Group Spring Reading Series. March 5, 2018. The Tank, New York City (reading).
My Medea. Cal Rep, Players Theatre, Long Beach, March 4 – 19, 2005 (production).
American Rose: Our Gals on the Homefront, 1941-1945. Commissioned by Sightlines Theatre Company in September and produced at the Ohio Theatre in NYC, March 6-15, 1997.
“Cal Rep’s My Medea.” Mike Guardabascio. The Long Beach Union Weekly. Vol. 56, Issue 8. 14 March 2005. 11.
“CSULB’s Performance of My Medea.” Mike Guardabascio. The Long Beach Union Weekly. Vol. 56, Issue 8. 14 March 2005. 7.
“Greek Theater, Modern Touch at CSULB.” Harry Saltzgaver. The Long Beach Grunion Gazette. 10 March 2005: 26A.
“Not Like Greek Tragedy, but a Good Show.” Alessandra Djurklon. The Long Beach Press Telegram. 10 March 2005. U Entertainment.
“O.J. Simpson in News Again with CSULB’s My Medea.” Katie DeBoer. The Daily 49er. Vol. LV, No. 86. 9 March 2005.
"Highfalutin Greeks." Neal Storrs. Oasis 5.2 Oct.-Dec. (1996): Editor's Foreword.
"Disability in Western Culture." Jenny Morris. Pride Against Prejudice. London: The Woman's Press, 1991. 84-116.
Publications - Plays:
“We Are All Dick 3.” Oasis 11.3 Oct.-Dec. (2003): 26-62.
“Little Kings.” Oasis 10.1 Jan.-Mar. (2002): 29-56.
"Mary Mary." Inflatable Magazine 5, 1999. Also at <www.geocities.com/Athens/ Oracle/2515> (click on Issue 5).
"Rollover Othello." Oasis 5.1 July-Sept. (1996): 27-36.
"My Medea." The Best American Short Plays, 1996-97. Ed. Young. New York: Applause Books, 1998. 95-133.
"My Medea." The Best American Short Plays, 1995-97. Eds. Stein and Young. New York: Applause, 1997. 354-389.
"Don't." More Monologues for Women by Women. Ed. Haring-Smith. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann, 1996. 61-3.
"Affair on the Air." More Monologues for Women by Women. Ed. Haring-Smith. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann, 1996. 58-60.
Publications - Poems:
"Missings/s," "Don't Be Evil" and "The Boyfriend Marriage." Spot Literary Magazine Vol. 10 (2017): 101-109.
"As Usual." Rip Rap 28 (2006): 113-4.
"Winter Pears." Disability Rag Nov.-Dec. (1992): 33.
“From The L.A. Horoscope Poems.” The Portable Californian 1 (1992): 28.
"Odysseyan: Excerpts from the Epic/Epoch." Phoebe 3.1 (1991): 4-5.
"Every House Plant." Metis 7 (1991): 6.
“The Wolf.” Pride Against Prejudice. Morris. London: The Woman's Press, 1991. 6-8.
Publications - Essays:
"Re/fractions from Los Angeles." Phoebe 4.1 (1992): 19-22.
Publications - Translations:
Forced to Move. Renato Camarda. Trans. Susan Hansell. Berkeley: New Americas, 1991.
TEACHING AND EDUCATION:
California State University, Long Beach, Departments of English, History and Theatre, 2000-2007. Lecturer in upper-level Literature (370; 385), Theory (384), and Pedagogy (400) courses, in History of American Women (485), in Theory of Theatre Aesthetics (696), in lower and upper level composition and literature (1; 100; 270; 309) and in interdisciplinary general education courses (372).
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 1994-2000. Lecturer in the graduate M.F.A. Program in Playwriting: Taught the M.F.A. program tutorials for the graduate-level student playwrights. Lecturer in Core 6 (Landmarks in Literature) Courses; Lecturer in Multi-Disciplinary Composition.
Also: California State University, Northridge; Loyola Marymount University; San Francisco State University.
Master of Fine Arts: Brooklyn College of The City University of New York.
Master of Arts: San Francisco State University.
Bachelor of Arts: University of California, Berkeley (high honors).
website photo by a. paul cartier