Ain Gordon

30 Nov 2016


Ain Gordon. Photo by Richard Beenen.


Ain Gordon during a creative residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, March 2015. Photo by Janelle Jones.

"I believe a site can be a co-author, even an active one; a physical space redolent of spent passion and prior personal effort that impact tangibly or not."

Ain Gordon has worked as a playwright, director and actor since 1984. He is known for creating theatrical works focused on people, places and events that have been lost or otherwise forgotten in the "official" historical record. Notable works include In This Place..., inspired by the real-life story of the first free African-Americans who built their own home in Lexington, KY, and A Disaster Begins, about a lone woman's relationship with the Galveston, TX, hurricane of 1900 and the subsequent deadly flood. In 2013, with the support of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia commissioned Gordon to write If She Stood, which was based on the stories of the city's early female abolitionists. Among Gordon's many accolades are three Obie Awards, two NYFA Fellowships, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Playwriting. He has been a core writer of the Playwrights' Center, artist-in-residence at the Center for Creative Research, co-founder of Urban Memory Project and co-director of Pick Up Performance Co(s). Gordon's work has been produced at theaters throughout the country, and he was the Center's inaugural Visiting Artist from 2011–13, which sought to create a model for an imaginative and compelling relationship between a grant-making organization and an artist through creative discourse and an ongoing exchange of ideas. During his time at the Center, Gordon oversaw the White Box Residencies project. In May 2016, Gordon debuted his new play, 217 Boxes of Dr. Anonymous, the result of a two-year residency with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, supported by the Center.