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My job as a playwright is to entertain, educate and emotionally challenge the audience. Each work is a call to action, whether it be to storm the barricades, seek acceptance, or merely to love.

latest news

The world premiere of my new family musical Dandelion, based on the children’s book by Don Freeman, with book and lyrics by me and music by Mary Liz McNamara, will be presented by Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT in the spring of 2023. Stay tuned for more details!

Randy Klein and I are happy to announce that our new musical Black Swan Blues will be presented in a staged reading as part of The York Theatre Company’s Developmental Reading Series in two performances: Thurs., Oct. 13 at 3pm and Fri., Oct. 14 at 1pm at Pearl Studios in NYC. The reading will be directed by Stephanie Klemons, with musical direction by Ben Covello. The cast includes Justin Sargent, Isabelle McCalla, Karen Mason, Aurelia Williams, Gregory Treco, Matt Dengler, Nick Cearley, Gabrielle Lee, Marlaina Powell, Angela Wildflower, Amber Ardolino, Bruce Sabath, Kwame Michael Remy, John Edwards, Amar Atkins, and A.J. Freeman. For more info.: contactme@joanrosssorkin.com

More exciting news:

Randy and I recorded much of the music for Black Swan Blues in the summer of 2021. A big thank-you to our all-star cast: Christian Hoff, Lilli Cooper, Aurelia Williams, Karen Mason, Jerry Dixon, Soara-Joye Ross, Kayla Davion, Carla R. Stewart, James Jackson, Jr., Kwame Michael Remy, Richard Baskin, Jr., Jillian Louis, Bruce Sabath, Celeste Rose, and Jonathan Long.


In December of 2021, we had a successful private table reading of Black Swan Blues with Eric William Morris, Debra Walton, Karen Mason, Jerry Dixon, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Soara-Joye Ross, Matt Dengler, John McGowen, Renea S. Brown, and La Donna Burns.


I have just completed the fourth part of a now four-part, four-character COVID play, This Is Serious, that I started writing in real time in March of 2020.  The play explores the stress on family relationships in a time of crisis. Set in New Rochelle, NY, This Is Serious revolves around the Granville family (mother, father, college-age son and his Latinx girlfriend), first in early March when New Rochelle is the first epicenter of the pandemic on the east coast, and all the way through February of 2022. Part I (“Between A Rock and A Hard Place”) sets the stage for Maggie, Petey’s mother, to take charge by hunkering down in the pandemic, only to find her plans disrupted by the arrival of Petey from college with Anna, last summer’s hometown girlfriend who may have been exposed to COVID. Of course, sparks fly with unending complications from without and within. The play continues with Part II (“Double Whammy”) two and a half months later at the end of May when the Black Lives Matter protests erupt after the killing of George Floyd. Maggie and her husband Richard’s relationship continues to be tested, as does Petey’s and Anna’s. And of course, life and death continue to hang in the balance. Part III (“Life Goes On”) continues the saga more than a year later in the shadow of the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Now, as the Granville family struggles with the ramifications of life during the pandemic, their lives fray in unexpected and heart-wrenching ways. Part IV (“World War III”) begins four days after Putin rolls into Ukraine and the Granvilles are under a catastrophic siege of their own. The play makes clear that life under COVID can be deadly in more ways than one. Each of the four parts can be presented individually, but ideally Part I and II would be presented as an evening of theatre, and Part III and IV presented on a consecutive night, forming a “quadrilogy.” The play is suited for presentation both on stage and on a digital platform in the world of Zoom.


On October 8, 2020 Ken Davenport's TheaterMakers Studio presented a free Zoom reading of Parts I and II of This Is Serious as a benefit for Feeding Westchester. The reading was directed by Nick Corley, and the cast included Emily Skinner, Stephen Bogardus, Ben Fankhauser, and Yarissa Tiara Millan. I am proud to announce that we raised over $10,000.00 for Feeding Westchester to alleviate food insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic, which is addressed in the play. I am also delighted that This Is Serious was nominated as Best Play of the Year and Nick Corley was nominated as Best Director of the Year by Ken Davenport’s TheaterMakers Studio for our presentation in October.


On March 13, 2021 almost a year to the day of the date the play begins (March 11, 2020) another free Zoom reading of This Is Serious was presented by The Schoolhouse Theater in North Salem, NY. The play was directed by Bram Lewis, Artistic Director of The Schoolhouse Theater, and the cast included Ginger Grace, Mark Hofmaier, Webb Bankemper, and Yarissa Tiara Millan.


My song, “One Small Box,” with my lyrics and music by Dan Shamir, was nominated as Best Song of the Year by TheaterMakers Studio.