"My heart is so small it's almost invisible. How can You place such big sorrows in it? 'Look,' he answered, 'your eyes are even smaller, yet they behold the world.'"
Writer, actor, filmmaker, vocalist. For a long time, I wished I could stick to one thing. But as I've grown as an artist, I've learned to embrace this "diversity of expression." When I was directing my short film, Mud Lotus, I was grateful for my experience as theatre director, musician and sound recorder, actor, and dramatic writer. When I started teaching classes in creative writing at the university level, I was grateful for my experience creating workshops, producing albums, working with actors. As I drafted and redrafted my novel, I was happy to have experience as a screenwriter to give me a sense of structure, and playwriting to give my dialogue foundation, and years of making albums to give me perseverance and the ability to work in a small dark room, wishing somebody would bring me take-out. Chris White playwright Chris White screenwriter author
I spent my childhood moving, always moving--from California to Alaska to D.C. to Las Vegas, from Kentucky to Florida to Colorado--to name a few! I received a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado in Boulder, took additional training in acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles, and ultimately earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, years later.
My earliest work was as a playwright and as a singer (and actor). While having early plays produced, I sang in musicals, an acapella jazz group, coffee houses, cabarets and bars. I later went on to make some twenty albums with new age and world musicians like Peter Kater, R. Carlos Nakai, and Nawang Khechog, as well as Skeleton Woman and Pagan Saints as Flesh and Bone.
My plays have been produced at 13th Street Repertory, 18th Street Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Source, and the NYU’s Goldman Theatre in NYC; regional theatres including Horizons Theatre in Washington DC, Phoenix Theatre and Indy Fringe Basile Theatre in Indianapolis, and Bloomington Playwrights Project; the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia; and several US universities. Dramatic works include Rhythms (Helen Hayes Award winner for Outstanding New Play), Thespian, (published by Smith & Kraus in Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2011), Two-Character Play (published by Allyn & Bacon in Explore Theatre digital textbook), and Sin Eater (commissioned by Hollins University), among others.
In 2013, I completed a short (24 minute) film, Mud Lotus, as writer/director/producer, with producer/editor Jonathan Nichols-Pethick, NYC cinematographer, Eric Branco, veteran film actor, Rae Dawn Chong, exec-producer, Tom Chiarella and others. It was an official selection at the New Hampshire, Albany, and Cincinnati Film Festivals. My feature-length screenplays, Pain Management and Weasel in the Icebox, made first cut at Sundance Screenwriters Lab (in 2010 and 2008). And Weasel in the Icebox won an Award of Merit at the Women's Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2014.
Finally, my novel manuscript, The Life List of Adrian Mandrick, will be published in spring of 2018 by Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster), thanks to my wonderful editor, Lara Blackman, and my equally wonderful agent, Tim Wojcik, of Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. In fall of last year, the novel was recently named runner-up for the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.
When I'm not writing (or directing or singing)--and even when I am--I'm teaching creative writing at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where I specialize in upper-level workshops in playwriting and screenwriting, lower-level courses in dramatic literature, and serving as Director of DePauw's Film Studies Program. I have three children, Fiona, Griffin, and Gwendolyn, who I love dearly. And I live with my husband, writer Tom Chiarella, alongside Big Walnut Creek in rural Indiana.
Chris White playwright Chris White screenwriter author
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."
- Anton Chekhov