Skip to content
Faculty Directory

Drama

Elizabeth Swados
Arts Professor

Phone: 212 998 1850

Office: 721 Broadway 3Fl

Education

BA from Bennington College
Honorary Doctorate from Hobart/William Smith College.

Biography

Perhaps best known for her Broadway and international smash hit Runaways, Elizabeth Swados has composed, written, and directed for over 30 years. Some of her works include the Obie Award winning Trilogy at La Mama, Alice at the Palace with Meryl Streep at the New York Shakespeare Theater Festival and Groundhog, which was optioned by Milos Forman for a film. Her work has been performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, at La MaMa, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, and locations all over the world. She has also composed highly acclaimed dance scores for well-known choreographers in the US, Europe and South America. Ms. Swados has been creating issue-oriented theater with young people for her entire career. This work has culminated in a theatrical extravaganza for New York University, The Reality Show, about the trials and tribulations of college in New York City. The piece uses rock and roll, dance and edgy humor and is performed each summer by NYU students at Madison Square Garden.

Recent productions include Kaspar Hauser: a foundling’s opera at the Flea Theater, Atonement, a theatrical oratorio presented by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine,  an adaptation of S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk at NYU/Tisch, Spider Operas at PS122 (with Mabou Mines), and Political Subversities, a political revue that has been presented in two Culture Project festivals as well as at Joe's Pub. Ms. Swados recently wrapped a new children's CD, Everyone is Different, in conjunction with Forward Face. The CD is circulating in schools around the country. Currently, she is working on several new musicals, including a translation of Lorca’s Yerma.

Ms. Swados has published novels, non-fiction books, children's books and poetry to great acclaim, and received the Ken Award for her book My Depression. Her theater textbook, At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater, was published by Faber & Faber in June 2006. Her first book of poetry, The One and Only Human Galaxy, has just been published by Hanging Loose Press.

Awards: Five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards, Guggenheim Fellowship, Ford Grant, Helen Hayes Award, Lila Acheson Wallace Grant, PEN Citation, and others. Most recently Ms. Swados received a special grant to record selections from her years of work.