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I'm honored by the inclusion of THE OIL THIEF in 100 Plays to Save the World  by Elizabeth Freestone and Jeanie O'Hare  (TCG Books 2023, Nick Hern Books 2021). 

"A thrilling compendium of plays that speak to the enormous environmental crisis of our time." 
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater

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A one-woman show about the charismatic Julia Ward Howe and her cry for representation for women. 

Next performance:
4th Wall Stage Company at Worcester Historical Museum,
Worcester, on Mothers' Day weekend, May 10-11, 2024.
Julia was the inventor of Mothers' Day. )

  • For information and tickets, visit 4th Wall Stage Company.

  • For more information about the play or to book a performance, click here.



Production, February 8 - 18, 2024
Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts
Fort Myers, FL

This Theatre Conspiracy production will be staged in the Planetarium at the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers.


Paul Robeson at the Brattle Theatre, 1942.jpeg

Inspired by the first major American production of  Shakespeare's play with a multiracial cast: Paul Robeson, José Ferrer, Uta Hagen, and Margaret Webster, who directed and co-produced along with Robeson.  Their 1940s wartime production of Othello changed theatre history -- and upended their own lives.  Now, a surprise reunion of the four actors fans new flames.  (Staged reading, Gloucester Stage Company, 2021.)


"revelatory and triumphant"


"Director Lucie Tiberghien mines the play’s pathos, comedy and mystery with her dazzling staging . . . an entrancing theatrical spectacle."

Theatre Scene

"Enchanting and thought-provoking"

Boston Globe

"a drama as explosive as a pistol shot"

Digital City

"All of the human drama is crystalline in The Oil Thief "

Boston Phoenix

"Somehow, Joyce Van Dyke fits not just a love triangle but 450 million years of geological time into a taut, mesmerizing 80 minutes."

Boston Globe Critics' Picks


Boston Herald

"A Girl's War [is] Joyce Van Dyke's moving and thoughtful play about ethnic tensions in the Caucasus -- though it applies to just about any war in the world."

Boston Globe Critics' Picks

"Van Dyke creates three unforgettable characters, depicts the complex and shifting relationships among them . . . It’s the vastness of Van Dyke’s perspective that makes the smallest moments of personal heartache affect us so strongly."

Boston Globe



Joyce Van Dyke's THE WOMEN WHO MAPPED THE STARS will receive its next production by Theatre Conspiracy (Feb. 8-18, 2024).  It will be staged at the Calusa Planetarium in Fort Myers, FL. The play was originally commissioned by Central Square Theater and had its world premiere there in 2018.  An adapted version has been touring schools in Maine for the past two years.


REPRESENTATION AND HOW TO GET IT, on tour in 2022-24, is a one-woman show that brings the visionary politics of Julia Ward Howe into our own time.  Performance venues include numerous New England historic sites (among them The Mount in Lenox, MA and Boston's Old South Meeting House), as well as New York's United Solo Theatre Festival. 

DAYBREAK, a dream-play about two women friends who survived the Armenian Genocide, premiered Off-Broadway in 2018 at the Beckett Theatre (Theatre Row), produced by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre with the support of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and AGBU.  An earlier version (2011 O'Neill Finalist) had a workshop production by Boston Playwrights' Theatre at the Modern Theatre under the title, DEPORTED / A DREAM PLAY. 

THE OIL THIEF, recently included in the climate crisis collection,100 Plays to Save the World  (TCG Books 2023, Nick Hern Books 2021), was originally commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre / Sloan Project.  It was produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and won Boston's Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script (2009).  A GIRL’S WAR, produced by Golden Thread Productions, New Repertory Theatre, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, won multiple awards including the Gassner Award and the Boston Globe’s “Top Ten” plays of the year, and was anthologized in Contemporary Armenian American Drama (2004).  Joyce is a MacDowell Fellow and Huntington Theatre Playwriting Fellow, and also a Shakespeare scholar and teacher.  She teaches Shakespeare and playwriting at Harvard Extension School.

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