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Anya Richkind


why i write

I write to celebrate existential dread rather than ignore it.
To embrace the happysad and the inscrutability of the everyday.
I write to hold people close, knowing it'll never be close enough.
The holding is the important thing, anyway.

what I write about

my mom / loneliness / voicemails / memories / knives 
the end of the world / queer women / my dad / cancer 
mourning doves / birth / the power of theater (or not) 
the pandemic / loneliness / music / pancakes / death
the futility of language / things we do for each other
things we don't do for each other / repetition / pairings
pregnancy / the ways we care for each other / don't 

selected plays


Callie and Will just had a baby (oh my god!) and are having their favorite lesbian couple Bess and Tanya over for dinner to introduce their bundle. A seemingly normal, albeit awkward, albeit tense, dinner devolves into a wild, time-altering romp that explores the monstrosity of heteronormativity, the mechanism of motherhood, and the power of queer love. 


memorable events

An old man lives in his house surrounded by piles and piles of pancakes, which are also his memories. A meditation on the need to share memories, when sharing memories is the same as eating pancakes.


ministers of loneliness

Emma knows that deep down she's an amazing guitarist. Joyce thought she'd be married or famous by now. Earnest loves seasonal decorations. A kaleidoscopic exploration of loneliness through fantasy, farce and the extremely mundane.


Here Lies Cappy

Years ago, Mom found an unopened bag of letters from her mother Barbara — childhood penpal correspondences, love letters, and her suicide note. On opposite sides of the country, Mom and her daughter Twig read the letters. 


untitled dad play

Karina wrote a ten-minute play. Her mom and dad, playing characters named Katrina and Dad, attempt to read it over dinner. Katie, a traveling knife-saleswoman just out of college, attempts to sell them knives.


tender of you too

Allegra and Tara are cast in their high school play as Frances Willard and Mary Bannister, two women from the 1800's. Through historical diary entries and sleepovers alike, Allegra and Tara explore and define their relationship.


a compendium of
useless information

Sylvia has cancer and is playing phone tag with her daughter.  

10-minute monologue

mr. davy's 2nd period
advanced theater
now on zoom

A high school teacher attempts to bring the contact sport of theater to the virtual arena.

10-minute monologue


A woman is receiving messages, often of love, through her toaster. The only problem is she keeps blowing out the power, which is unacceptable (and intriguing) to her local electrician.


hot clown cool down

Haganini, an out-of-work clown, lives alone in Asheville, North Carolina, where everything's usually the same — until he starts hearing music throughout his apartment. A virtual piece devised with Ethan Holtzman and Geo Jones.


Big happy days

The world has been over for thousands of years. Only Gloria and Maybel are left. Until one day, among the steaming mush and the old filing cabinets from advertising agencies gone by, Maybel finds a rarity — a man.


sharon the gh0st light

Sharon invited you here today because Sharon needs help. A play that takes place in your imagination and can be performed over Zoom.





Finalist, O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
Semi-Finalist, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference


Finalist, Ars Nova Play Group 
Semi-Finalist, WP Lab
Finalist, Bushwick Starr Reading Series


Winner, Brooklyn College Creative Writing Award
Winner, Brooklyn College Himan Brown Award in Creative Writing


Semi-Finalist, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference
Semi-finalist, O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference


Finalist, Cutting Ball Theater's Variety Pack
Finalist, The Leah Ryan Female Emerging Writers Award


Semi-finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Grantee, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust


Grantee, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation
Semi-finalist, O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
Selected participant, in 24 Hour Plays: Nationals


Finalist, O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference
Honorable mention, Student Jane Chambers Award


Honorable mention, Princeton University Ten-Minute Play Contest

Production at Katherine Delmar Burke School, dir. Pamela Rickard, 2013
Production at American Conservatory Theater Young Conservatory, dir. Amelia Stewart, 2012
Production at Marin Country Day School (then titled The Mile), dir. Steve Riffkin, 2011


Virtual workshop reading in Brooklyn College New Play Lab Reading Series, dir. Zach Tomlinson, 2021

Full-lEngth Plays

ministers of loneliness

Workshop reading at The Mary Rodgers Room at the Dramatists Guild of America, 2019


Staged reading at The Tank, dir. Jenna Rossman, 2019
Workshop reading with Play by Play Lab, 2018


Production with Corkscrew Theater Festival, dir. Allison Benko, 2018
Staged reading at The Tank, dir. Allison Benko, 2018

tender of you too

Production at The Tank, dir. Jenna Rossman, 2018
Production in Morse-Stiles Crescent, Yale University, dir. Ellie Boswell, 2016
Staged reading at Shetler Studios, dir. Dara Epstein, 2016
Staged reading at The Barrow Group Theatre, dir. Marshall Pailet, 2016
Staged reading in Calhoun Cabaret, Yale University, dir. Leah Osterman, 2015
Developed with YSD playwrights through O’Neill Playwriting Mentorship Program, 2014 - 2015

The Secret of Asteraceae

Short Plays

a Compendium of useless information

Performed by Marcia Gay Harden for 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, 2021

Mr. Davy's 2nd period advanced theater now on zoom

Performed by Sandra Bernhardt at Guild Hall, dir. Bob Balaban, 2021
Performed by Ty Dafoe for the 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, 2020
Monologue featured in 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, published collection, 2020

Hot CLown Cool Down

Virtual production in Brooklyn College Black Box 10-Minute Play Festival, dir. Geo Jones, 2020

The Colchester Thunder

Production with 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, dir. Jenna Rossman, 2017


Production with Brooklyn College Weasel Festival, dir. Florence LeBas, 2022

Big Happy Days

Staged reading at Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival, dir. Jake Beckhard, 2022
Workshop production at Williamstown Theater Festival, dir. Jenna Rossman, 2019

2020 - 2022

Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, M.F.A. in Playwriting


2018 - 2020

Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts and The Dramatists Guild

2012 - 2016

Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut, B.A. Humanities with distinction


Anya smiling at the camera, standing in front of a lake

say hi!

Anya is an empathetic, emotional, rationalizing, introverted, extroverted mystery unto herself who loves analyzing why people act and speak the way they do, learning about how things work, and the social manipulation game One Night Ultimate Werewolf ™. In her writing, Anya is compelled by the relationship between the lonely, the mundane, and the extreme. Playwriting honors include winning Brooklyn College's 2020-2021 Creative Writing Award and Brooklyn College's Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing, being a finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, the Bushwick Starr Reading Series, the Leah Ryan's Fund for Emerging Women Writers, and the Cutting Ball Theater's Variety Pack Series, and being a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Seven Devils' Playwrights Conference. Anya's work has been produced by Andy's Summer Playhouse, the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, Brooklyn College, Guild Hall, Corkscrew Theater Festival, The Barrow Group Theatre, Yale College, The New School for Drama, The Tank, and The American Conservatory Theater's Young Conservatory. Anya was first bitten by the playwriting bug in 8th grade, when students were allowed to submit ideas for the class musical. “Write about what you know,” they always say, which is how Anya came up with her idea: a musical called Jack’s, which revolved around a Texan family who runs a bio-diesel truck stop, the English family who moves to town, and the evil uncle who drives a Hummer and is eventually undermined by his once loyal cadre of lady motorcyclists, who, deep down, actually care about the environment A LOT! Anya graduated with a BA from Yale University and an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College. 

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