• Profile:

    Laura Maria Censabella recently won the $10,000 ADAA William Saroyan Human Rights/Social Justice Playwriting Prize for her play Carla Cooks The War. Her newest full-length play, Paradise, is an Alfred P. Sloan/Ensemble Studio Theatre Commission and was a finalist for the Woodward-Newman Playwriting Award; and won one of three Honorable Mentions for the Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Prize. Paradise received its world premiere at Underground Railway/Central Square Theater in spring 2017, and will be produced by Gulfshore Playhouse in Florida in fall 2017. It will also receive a co-production from Luna Stage and Passage Theatre in New Jersey in the same time period. In 2017 she also received a new Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan commission to write a play about the pioneering work in animal cognition of Harvard scientist Dr. Irene Pepperberg and her Grey parrot Alex. She has been a three-time participant in the O’Neill Theater’s Playwrights Conference for her plays Carla Cooks The War (a/k/a Three Italian Women), Abandoned in Queens, and Jazz Wives Jazz Lives. Her plays and children’s musicals have been developed or produced at Portland Stage, the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, the Women’s Project and Productions, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The New Harmony Project, The Working Theatre, Urban Stages, the Athena Project, m2productions, Interact Theatre in Los Angeles, the Belmont Italian American Playhouse, Pacific Resident Theatre, Wide-Eyed Productions, and the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, among others. She has won three grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts for her plays Carla Cooks The War and Abandoned in Queens; as well as her screenplay Truly Mary, which won the Geri Ashur Prize in Screenwriting. She is also the winner of two daytime television Emmy Awards. Her independent short film Last Call, available on Netflix, was an official selection in festivals throughout the world and won Best Short Drama Prize at Breckenridge. Her plays have been published in The Best Short Plays of 2012-2013 (Applause Books), Connotation Press,, Poems and Plays and The St. Petersburg Review. Ms. Censabella’s other teaching experience includes Sarah Lawrence College, the Actors Studio Drama School, Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Columbia College’s Undergraduate Writing Program, City University’s MFA Writing Program, The Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Philosophy, and is part-time Assistant Professor in Playwriting at the New School for Drama where she won the Distinguished University-Wide Teaching Award.

    Degrees Held:

    B.A. Philosophy, Yale University

    Professional Affiliations:

    Director, Ensemble Studio Theatre Playwrights Unit

    Dramatists Guild

    Writers Guild of America, East

    League of Professional Theatre Women

    Recent Publications:

    Best American Short Plays of 2012-2013 (Applause Books)

    Performances And Appearances:

    Paradise, Underground Railway/Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, April/May 2017.

    Awards And Honors:

    $10,000 ADAA William Saroyan Human Rights/Social Justice Playwriting Award 2014

    Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Play Commission 2016/2017 - The Pepperberg Project 

    Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Play Commission 2010 - Paradise

    New School Distinguished University Wide Teaching Award 2013

    New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Playwriting for Three Italian Women (a/k/a Carla Cooks The War)

    New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in Playwriting for Abandoned in Queens

    New York Foundation for the Arts Geri Ashur Award in Screenwriting for Truly Mary

    Best Short Drama Award Breckenridge Film Festival

    Emmy Award, As The World Turns 2001

    Emmy Award, As The World Turns 2002


    Current Courses:

    Advanced Writing 1

    Contemp Women Playwrights 2 (Spring 2020)

    Contemporary Women Playwrights

    Foundations in Playwriting

    Foundations in Playwriting (Spring 2020)