Jeff Augustin's play The New Englanders will premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the Fall of 2019. His other plays include Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre Company); The Last Tiger in Haiti (La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Rep) and Cry Old Kingdom (Humana Festival of New American Plays). He translated Our Town into Haitian Creole for Miami New Drama’s multilingual production. Jeff was the Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and the inaugural Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout. He is an alumni of the New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship; Rita Goldberg Playwright’s Workshop at the Lark; and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Jeff is currently under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and La Jolla Playhouse. Jeff is currently writing for The Morning Show on Apple and the limited series The Good Lord Bird on Showtime. BA: Boston College, MFA: UCSD.
In Haiti, at night, entire villages gather around fires and candlelight to listen to folklore whispered by a single storyteller. My family carried that tradition with them to America. I am the youngest of seven; my sister and I are the only two born in the states. I grew up listening to magical and fantastical stories, many based on religious and voodoo figures. I never knew what was real or supernatural, or if the supernatural was just as real as I. In these stories, characters were constantly running from their family and their land in search for a new identity. But in a world where spirits, deities, and God guide life, these characters were bound to their destinies.
These oral and mythical traditions have heavily influenced my writing. The other worldliness, the power of language, the poetry and rhythm are all integral ingredients in my work. I’m also interested in our collective and individual battles with history. How it defines us and how we embrace or try to escape from it.