Below, please find my resume, bio and contact information. Use the contact form to order any of my unpublished scripts.
Tom Smith is a playwright, director and professor of Theatre and Dance at Pacific Lutheran University. His full-length plays are published by Concord Theatricals, Playscripts, and YouthPLAYS, among others. Monologues and scenes from his plays appear in ten collections, and his short plays have been published and produced internationally.
Tom's work has been enjoyed by audiences in cities across the U.S., including Seattle, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. He authored The Other Blocking: Teaching and Performing Improvisation (Kendall Hunt) as well as articles and reviews for Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, The Players Journal, and several resource books.
Tom graduated from Whitman College with a BA in Dramatic Arts and earned his MFA in Directing from University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a proud member of the Dramatist's Guild and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
I write plays that grapple with issues of identity: how we define ourselves to the world and how that identity can be irrevocably redefined by circumstance. Having lived through a time in which I had to shield my own identity as a gay man, my writing centers on those who must hide or redefine themselves out of necessity rather than choice.
My work is often issue-driven, inspired by a theme or character whose change impacts not only their own personal life, but also the society in which they live. I am drawn to characters who, while flawed, inspire empathy and compassion. I set a majority of my work in communities outside traditional urban areas as a means of telling stories that are often overlooked. I also lean into moments where purely theatrical things occur–things that can exist fully in live theatre but may seem out of place on film or in everyday life.
I am inspired by playwrights like Lynn Nottage who grapples with identity politics related to marginalization; by Craig Lucas whose characters find their world shaken by the discovery that they are not who they thought they were; and by all playwrights living and working outside of urban areas who embrace the bold act of writing plays without support systems to help them develop their work.
I aspire to create work that necessitates discussion over coffee or a cocktail after the performance; that entices audiences to debate openly during talkbacks; and that exposes how a sense of self is not always as steadfast as we often believe.