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Jacqueline Goldfinger


Jacqueline Goldfinger (she/they) is a playwright, poet, and librettist who writes funny things into serious things and serious things into funny things. Her equal love for Mel Brooks and Elizabeth Bishop make her an awkward guest at dinner parties.

Her plays have been produced by The Kennedy Center, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Court Theatre (New Zealand), Redtwist Theatre, École nationale de théâtre (Canada), Capital Stage, Urbanite Theatre, Theatre Exile, Unicorn Theatre, Vortex Rep, Perseverance Theatre, among others.

Her opera, choral and art song libretti have been performed at Sydney Opera House (Australia), Opera Columbus, Resonance Works, BBC Radio 3 (UK), Voces8 (UK), Oberlin Opera, Chor Leoni (Canada), Choirs of Pembroke College/Anna Lapwood (UK), Chiesa di Ognissanti (Italy), San Diego Opera/Without Walls Festival, Decameron Opera Coalition, Mendelssohn Choruses around the U.S., and others. The filmed version of their short opera, Letter to Our Children, with Composer Justine F. Chen has been screened at film festivals around the world. She has written for Composers Melissa Dunphy, Maria Thompson Corley, Joseph Rubenstein, Luna Pearl Woolf, Justine F. Chen, and Dominick DiOrio.

Their work has been developed at Maryland Opera Studio, The National Theater (UK), New Georges, La Mama, Disquiet (Portugal), Drama League, Lark Playwrights Week, among others. Her work has been supported by organizations including Yaddo, National Endowment for the Arts, Millay Colony, Sloan Foundation, and the Orchard Project. 

Her plays have won the Yale Prize, Glaspell Award, Generations Award, Smith Prize, Barrymore Award, among others. Her opera Alice Tierney won the Opera America Discovery Award with Composer Melissa Dunphy. Her short opera film Letter to Our Children with Composer Justine F. Chen won Best Music Video at the Paris Short Film Awards.

Their plays and libretti have been published by Yale Press, TRWPlays, Concord Theatricals/Samuel French, Playscripts/Broadway Licensing, and others. Her poetry has been published by literary magazines including La Piccioletta Barca and Beyond Queer Words Poetry Anthology.

They are also the Creative Director for the Sledgehammer Series at Tripwire Harlot Press; the imprint includes plays by Migdalia Cruz (2024), Sharon Bridgforth (2025), Hansol Jung, Christina Anderson and Phillip Howze.

As a dramaturg, she has worked with La Jolla Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre, and others.

As an educator, they have taught playwriting and dramaturgy at University of California, Davis (graduate), University of Pennsylvania (undergraduate), and others. Her academic writing includes two books, Playwriting with Purpose and Writing Adaptations and Translations for the Stage published by Routledge.

Member: ASCAP, Opera America, Dramatists Guild, LMDA, ATHE, Alliance for Jewish Theatre, PAAL, ASTR, League of Professional Theatre Women

Education: BA English Literature-Theatre at Agnes Scott College. MFA Screenwriting at University of Southern California. Website: www.jacquelinegoldfinger.com