Sheila Cowley is a playwright and audio producer whose work embraces other artforms – creating theatre that celebrates voice, movement, sound, visual art and circus artistry. It’s theatre that asks big questions – about gender roles and family, and tiny daily acts of heroism.

Photo by Tom Kramer

Photo by Tom Kramer

“While voice is what drew me to theatre, I’m increasingly inspired by the ways that stories can be told without words, and often should be told without words.

“I thrive on collaborative energy.  It’s through the sparks created by exploring ideas with actors, directors, dancers, designers and visual artists,  that I find the paths into each play I write.

“My plays focus on the tensions underneath the masks we wear.  My work explores gender pressures, gender role reversals and the ever-changing parts we play as families shift due to marriage, death and divorce.

“But if I can explore all that with dance and circus, all the better.”

The Latest

Excited to begin collaborations with choreographers Helen Hansen French and Paula Kramer on Air-Earth-Fire-Water, a dance-theatre sequence inspired by science, commissioned for the GASP! Fringe Festival on March 16 at the Tampa Museum of Art. With the wonderful actors Eugenie Bondurant and Chris Rutherford, and the amazing dancers Helen Hansen French, Erin Cardinal, Brian Fidalgo II and Alex Jones.

Many thanks to the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance for naming me the city’s Literary Muse of 2018. I’m grateful to be part of our wonderful arts community, and to work with so many amazing artists here.

So fortunate that The Burlesque Astronomy Play will be featured in Phoenix Theatre‘s Festival of New American Theatre 2018, with a weeklong workshop and two staged readings, March 9-10 in Phoenix AZ.

February-April 2018, such an honor that Teatime will be part of the Short+Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia and from January-March 2018, Short+Sweet Dubai.

And March 1-4, Teatime will be onstage at T. Schreiber Studios in New York City, as part of the Schreiber Shorts Festival. Many thanks to the Association of Theatre in Higher Education‘s New Play Development workshop this summer, and the wonderful creative folk who helped me discover the world of that play.

Thank you to Julie Garisto and Creative Pinellas for including Flying on “2017 Best in Shows – A Year of Collaboration” – a pretty incredible list of visual, literary and performing arts events in our home county.

Many thanks to Creative Loafing Tampa for naming Flying‘s Tampa-St Pete production as one of The 10 Best Arts, Culture and Entertainment-y Things of 2017.


Delighted that Stay will be onstage at Charleston SC’s lovely South of Broadway Theatre, February 22-March 10, 2018. Many thanks to Artistic Director Kristen Kos, and the vital New Play Exchange.

I’ll be giving a workshop there on Some of the Business of Playwriting on Sunday, February 25.

Getting ready for Trio’s world premiere next spring at Austin TX’s bold new Filigree Theatre! Directed by the wonderful Elizabeth B. Newman.

My thanks to the St Petersburg Arts Alliance, whose grant program funded an exciting workshop of Trio in August with Becca McCoy, Derrick Phillips and Chris Rutherford and dancers Helen Hansen French, Crystal DelGiudice and Sean McDonald. Directed by Elizabeth Brincklow and choreographed by Paula Kramer with spectacular deaths and swordplay by Dan Granke – and a wonderful performance for an enthusiastic audience at The Studio@620.

So glad that Flying’s production by Tampa Repertory Theatre was a hit with audiences in Tampa and St. Petersburg FL, at HCC Ybor’s beautiful Performing Arts Center and The Studio@620.

Audience comments include, “Refreshing to experience an original work and witness humanity performed on stage” and “Sheila Cowley never fails to make me think and laugh and cry, sometimes all at once, through the voices of characters that hit close to home from a past not so far away.”

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Find Sheila on the New Play Exchange