Dean Poynor © Photo by Jeff Amberg

Dean Poynor is an emerging playwright who recently completed his MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently working on a new drama about the underwater Treasure Hunting industry. He lives in New York City.

Personal Statement

My work takes place at the intersection of ecstatic religious faith and the daily grind. I write about the human moments of reconciling our sacred aspirations with the physical and the mundane. As a result, my characters struggle with vocation – their calling in this world – and the closer they get to that, the closer they are to finding themselves. My stories embrace the messy journeys we all take to tease out the meanings of real and fake, winning and losing, and the subtle and shifting nature of good and evil. By examining these things, my hope is to better understand the pull between the visible world we cannot ignore, and the imaginative Spirit we cannot fully deny.


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Bio for Dean Poynor

Dean Poynor is an emerging playwright whose work explores the crossroads of religious calling and daily toil. The son of missionaries, he draws on his Southern and Evangelical Christian roots in his storytelling. He sees his role in the theatre to expand our definition of community, enrich our appreciation of the spoken word, and encourage us to approach all life with true reverence.

Dean’s was selected as a Kennedy Center / ACTF Core Member Apprentice at the Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis, MN) for the 2010 / 2011 season. His plays include: THE MORE BEYOND (developed with Playwrights' Center, Kennedy Center, The Puzzle Festival NYC, The Flea, Semi-Finalist for the 2011 Princess Grace Award), BELLHAMMER, a modern allegory set in the world of Christian Professional Wrestling (developed at Carnegie Mellon University, Semi-Finalist for the O'Neill Theatre Conference), the full-length drama PARADISE KEY (Winner of the 2010 Trustus Theatre Playwrights' Festival, produced at Arena Players Repertory Theatre in NY, Trustus Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre), the Zombie-thriller H apocalyptus (produced by The Salvage Company at the Cairns Festival, Queensland Australia, and at Piccolo Spoleto Festival, developed at The Garage Theatre in San Francisco, and in residency at The Studios of Key West), the full-length drama, LOSING SLEEP (Winner of the 2008 Helford Prize in Drama, and produced Off-Off Broadway at the American Theatre of Actors), and the full-length, two-person comedy, COMPANY TIME (developed under luxurious circumstances at the Players Theatre, NYC.)

Dean’s screenplay Salk, the true story of the discovery of the vaccine against Polio, won the 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation student screenplay award.

Dean graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, with degrees in Philosophy and Communications, and received his MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University where he was a two-time recipient of the Shubert Foundation Fellowship. He is a Principle Artist with The Salvage Company (NYC), and a proud member the Playwrights’ Center and the Dramatists Guild of America.


        Member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.        General Member of the Playwrights' Center