An actor turned writer, Karen performed many leading roles Off-Broadway, and was Associate Director of CSC Repertory. Her plays have been performed Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, on a USA tour, and in eleven countries and seven languages.
Sunde’s first screenplay, UNDERCOVER PATRIOT, a finalist at Sundance, optioned. Then PARALLEL LOVES for Terra Bella Entertainment, Los Angeles; BOULE DE SUIF (adapt Maupassant) for Dace Direction, London; DREAM HOUSE for Passport Films, NYC; THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE for Howard S Shulman Productions, NYC; THE SECRET SHIP, under option; FINAL QUEST: THE MOUNTAIN OF THE GODS; TRIPPING TAMMY; LOVE HITS EARTH(& Other Disasters); NEXT!; adaptations of HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM, in pre-production as The ABRAHAM FILM PROJECT, and IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA. check www.howardshulman.com
Published plays: DARK LADY, produced Abbey Theatre, Ireland, Aalborg State Theatre, Denmark, optioned for film; BALLOON, won three VILLAGER awards Off-Broadway, nominated Best Play by Outer Critics Circle, aired Radio France; HAITI: A DREAM in FACING FORWARD, produced Seven Stages, Atlanta, aired WNYC, WHYY, NPR; TO MOSCOW, premiered Ankara National Theatre, Turkey, Chain Lightning, New York; OH WILD WEST WIND in ROWING TO AMERICA, produced Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey (PTNJ). PLAYS BY KAREN SUNDE includes TRUTH TAKES A HOLIDAY, read La MaMa, New York City (NYC); IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA produced PTNJ, HOW HIS BRIDE CAME TO ABRAHAM, produced PTNJ, Praxis Theatre Project, NYC, premiered at The Unicorn, Kansas City. ANTON, HIMSELF for Actors Theatre of Louisville, also played The Moscow Art Theatre, the Yalta Festival in Russia, Peoples Light and Theatre, NYU in New York. THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE produced Luna Stage, NJ, Praxis, NYC, Edinburgh Festival (2010); KABUKI OTHELLO, produced People's Light and Theatre Company and Annenberg Center, Philadelphia; Wisdom Bridge, Chicago; KABUKI LADY MACBETH produced Chicago Shakespeare Theater, cited for five JEFF Awards, including "Best New Work," Best Production," "Best Direction:" IN A KINGDOM BY THE SEA, 2009. Scenes from TO MOSCOW; ANTON, HIMSELF; MASHA, TOO; and ABRAHAM appear in SCENES & MONOLOGS FROM THE BEST NEW PLAYS.
Among 23 plays--for Actors Theatre of Louisville; People's Light and Theatre; The Acting Company, NYC, Sunde wrote KABUKI MACBETH, KABUKI KING RICHARD and ACHILLES, which toured Hungary, Cyprus, and Japan. She co-wrote musical QUASIMODO,(a musical) premiered Byrdcliffe Festival, Woodstock, NY, produced Lahti City Theatre, Finland. For Cheltenham Center, Philadelphia, she wrote LA PUCELLE (ME & JOAN) and DADDY'S GONE A-HUNTING (TRACKING BLOOD WHITE). In NYC: for Chain Lightning, WHEN REAL LIFE BEGINS, for The Working Theatre, 2020 SEXCARE in FREE MARKET; for Tisch School, NYU, Table and Chair Handmade Theatre, PLEASE GOD, NO WEDDING OR SHOOTING AT THE END! Opera THE SPA with composer Michael Dilthey. also at http://www.dramaticpublishing.com
Sunde’s won a McKnight Fellowship, an NDEA Fellowship, the Aide de la Creation award in France, the Bob Hope Award, lives in New York City, served on the theatre panel of New Jersey Council on the Arts, and the new plays panel of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, was La MaMa ETC (New York)'s nominee for the Laura Pels/PEN award.
Where to find Karen Sunde online
Where to buy in print
3 Radio Plays 3
Voodoo to Paradise: tropical night, mysterious wooden boat-load casting off for better future.
The Sound of Sand: Blind boy’s mighty dangerous venture from sand-castle beach onto the sea.
How His Bride Came To Abraham: Enemies trapped in no-man’s land make it paradise.
An NPR, WNYC broadcast; a Bob Hope Award winner; a radio-adaptation of oft-produced, twice-published peace play.
Kabuki plays “dazzling” “haiku-like” Chicago Sun-Times “best of two worlds, fascinating” Oakland Tribune “resounds with Kabuki’s passion, fascination...in Sunde's adaptation, Zen philosophy is engrained into story, not imposed” L.A.Daily News “Essence of passion. Sunde's play compresses Homeric epic, is lucid and direct, makes you see and hear with awakened eyes and ears." Philadelphia Inquirer
Me & Joan (of Arc)
Suicidal stand-up comic Lili meets Joan of Arc; and, playing her side-kick, makes war on "the Fathers of the Church" exploring sexuality, love, guilt, faith, and the place of women.
Though almost Banned In Philadelphia, a Catholic priest cheered: “a very authentic interpretation of St. Joan of Arc…renders more clearly than [Shaw or Anouilh] her religious faith…relates Joan to modern feminism.
America Finding Her Way
Sweet Land of Fire: Rebellion. New York, 1970. the 24 hours before the “Weatherman house” on 11th street explodes.
Native Land: Rejuvenation. The rebirth of a family to serve their nation by following their delinquent child’s dreams.
Tracking Blood White: American magic: A dying red-neck town’s struggle with its Native American neighbors and the killer bear that haunts the mountain they share
Chekhovs At Home
Please God, No Wedding Or Shooting At The End!- Chekhov strives to write The Seagull, while characters from it, his own life, and Hamlet swim in his head.
Anton, Himself - Writing a love story after The Seagull flops, Chekhov darts between passion, family, and disaster.
Masha, Too - Irrepressibly seized by love, Chekhov's sister wrestles with whether to leave her brother's exciting life to marry
When Real Life Begins
A vibrant woman tells how, as her actor husband fights for his life, the closer he gets to death, the more powerful his acting grows...while in this turmoil, she discovers her passion to produce theatre. True play of Claire Higgins and Kricker James. “Tour de force. Thrilling.” PLAYS INTERNATNL “Unforgettable. You wish it would stop, but know you’d feel robbed if it did.” NEW YORK TIMES
Presents “the making of a hero least likely,” when George Washington, in the final months of 1776, leads the bedraggled Continental Army. They are chased out of New York, down New Jersey, vomited half-naked on the Pennsylvania bank of the Delaware, then finally turn, charge...and become America.
A full-length play first performed in New York, 1978.
Karen Sunde’s tag cloud