Gwendolyn Rice is a professional writer and playwright based in Madison, Wisconsin. She holds an MA in Theater Literature, History, and Criticism from UW-Madison, and a BA in English and Theater from the University of Iowa. Gwen has worked in marketing, communications, and fundraising for a variety of corporations and non-profit organizations over the course of her career, including First Stage Milwaukee, The Friends of the Coronado, The Rockford Symphony, New American Theater, Forward Theater Company, Theatre LILA, and Kanopy Dance Company. Among other freelance projects, she currently reviews theater and performing arts events for Isthmus and OnMilwaukee.com, and has also taught playwriting courses for UW-Madison, Children’s Theater of Madison, Renaissance Theaterworks, and the Milwaukee Rep.
Gwen’s plays, monologues, and staged readings have been produced by the QC Theater Workshop, Broom Street Theater, The Landing Theater, Yellow Rose Productions, Acadia University, Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, Princeton Theater Group New Works Festival, The Great Plains Theater Conference, Bellarmine University, the Samuel French Off- Off- Broadway Short Play Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Renaissance Theaterworks, Theatre LILA, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Riverside Theater, Barrington Stage Company, Shakespeare & Co., Forward Theater Company, First Stage Milwaukee, Polarity Ensemble, Metropolis Performing Arts Center, Nova Theater FreshWorks, and the Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project. Gwen is also the recipient of the Henley-Rose Playwriting Award.
I go to the theater to be transformed. (There are a lot of other words bundled up in that one—excited, frightened, challenged, inspired, enlightened. . .) I write plays and participate in making theater so I can give this experience to others.
I believe that theater creates community and encourages empathy. It puts new ideas next to old ones for comparison with a kind of storytelling that is vital — especially now.
I am also passionate about telling women’s stories and making sure that our unique experiences and voices are included on stage.
In my journey as a playwright, I have had workshops and readings in theaters, in basements, and in my own living room. I have judged playwriting contests and taught classes to high school and college students. My monologues have graced many stages, and I have made friends with actors, directors, and dramaturgs across the country. As I continue to write, my goal is always to transform – to give an audience the same kind of experience that I appreciate so much when I go to the theater.