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Staged Reading, Gloucester Stage Company, Sept. 2021

Inspired by the 1940s wartime Othello with Paul Robeson, José Ferrer, Uta Hagen (his then wife), and Margaret Webster who directed and co-produced along with Robeson. The first major U.S. production of  Shakespeare's play with a multiracial cast, it changed theatre history -- and upended the lives of all four actors.  Now, a reunion years later fans new flames.

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Julia Ward Howe: "What does it do to your soul if you don't have representation?"

Upcoming 2022 performances:



Horsehead Nebula, discovered by Williami


A 50-minute adaptation of the original play, The Women Who Mapped the Stars.  Adaptation commissioned by the University of Southern Maine, touring to schools in Maine, 2022.



"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 REPRESENTATION AND HOW TO GET IT, a new one-woman show about voting rights and Julia Ward Howe, will be produced in New York as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival in the fall of 2022.  Performances are also in the works for several Boston-area venues this fall.  Her new play AMERICAN OTHELLO, about the repercussions of the first major multiracial production of Shakespeare's play in the U.S., had a staged reading in September 2021 at Gloucester Stage Company.  


Recent plays include DAYBREAK  which premiered Off-Broadway in 2018 at the Beckett Theatre (Theatre Row), produced by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. THE WOMEN WHO MAPPED THE STARS, about five women astronomers who did groundbreaking work at the Harvard Observatory a century ago, was commissioned by Central Square Theater and had its world premiere in 2018 by The Nora / Central Square Theater.  In 2020, an adaptation was commissioned for touring to schools; the school tour began in Maine in 2022.

Other plays include THE OIL THIEF, commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre / Sloan Project, produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and winner of the 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 2001, and was anthologized in Contemporary Armenian American Drama (2004).  A MacDowell Fellow and Huntington Theatre Playwriting Fellow, Joyce has taught Shakespeare and playwriting for many years at Harvard Extension School.