Emily Schwend

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. 

Published by Yale University Press 2017

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