By Emily Schwend
“Utility is a skillfully constructed…domestic drama about struggling simply to make do…Ms. Schwend offers a close, unblinking look at a moment in the life of a woman who’s treading water as fast as she can, trying to keep her family afloat.” --New York Times
Utility is the tenth winner of the Yale Drama Series Playwriting competition. The work centers on Amber, a young woman struggling to raise a family in East Texas. She juggles two nearly full-time jobs and three kids. Her on-again, off-again husband Chris is eternally optimistic and charming, but rarely employed. Their house is falling apart, and Amber has an eight-year-old’s party to plan.
Series judge, award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright writes: “Utility is a remarkable play: beautifully written and effortlessly powerful. At every moment the happiness of human lives is put at risk: is there any greater dramatic theme?”
Ms. Schwend’s accomplishments are many. She is a recent Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University and a Tow Foundation Fellow with Second Stage Theatre. She is a graduate of Juilliard and NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. Her plays include The Other Thing, Take Me Back, and South of Settling.