Rated by Black Static book critic Peter Tennant as "one of the most interesting and original writers to emerge in recent years," S.P. Miskowski has written short stories published in Supernatural Tales, Horror Bound Magazine, Identity Theory, The Absent Willow Review, Fine Madness, Other Voices, and the anthology Detritus. Her work has received two Swarthout prizes and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her supernatural thriller Knock Knock was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the first in a series of three Knock Knock-related novellas, Delphine Dodd, is a finalist for a Shirley Jackson Award in 2013. Raised in Decatur, Georgia, Miskowski now lives in California with her husband, author Cory J. Herndon.
"I remember, round about the age of ten, having one of those little epiphanies of 'I'm me,' and at the same time thinking, well, everyone must feel this. Everyone must think, 'I'm me.' It’s a terrifying idea, I think, for a child, and yet that sense that other people exist is the basis of our morality. You cannot be cruel to someone, I think, if you are fully aware of what it’s like to be them."--Ian McEwan
"I just can't get with this idea that literature is a 12-step program. If someone wants to read a book to see good people get rewarded and the bad people get punished, essentially what they want is a fairy tale."--China Miéville
Five Plays by S.P. Miskowski
The Red Room
Fighting to be queen bee in the house owned by their dying mother, three middle-aged sisters hold vigil and act out childish games. All of these games draw from shared and conflicting memories of assisting their mother to torture and kill lonely male drifters.
Set in 1960 in rural Georgia.
"A gut-wrenching portrait."—Cydney Gillis, The Stranger
"A bizarre perspective of the outside world. Hysterically sharp."—Fiona Martin, The Glass Onion
"Lean, elegant dialogue."—Tom Spurgeon, The Stranger
"Every natural sound from angry, captive bees to the iron scrapings of shovels in dirt is infused with a hyper, hypnotic realism…played out in games and stories that are hysterical, funny, bizarre and absurd."—Richard Wallace, The Seattle Times
A famous poet faces the demons of guilt, desire, and envy in a limbo of his own imagining, following the death of a talented sister he had committed to an asylum for many years.
Set in Paul Claudel's mind.
"Her fascination with musical structure gives her plays a beauty that occasionally recalls the poetic dramas of the Expressionists, though they are in no way derivative."--Omar Willey, KCMU Radio
"...narrative origami folding in on itself with deft delight, without losing sight of the characters as passionate human beings."--Bret Fetzer, The Stranger
"Madness and the fear of God are at the center of this play that ultimately becomes a meditation on what it takes to be a true artist."--The Seattle Weekly
Audience comments online at Theater Puget Sound:
"A beautifully written play... You owe it to yourself to see it."
"It was like an achingly beautiful dance... I loved it."
"Lovely images, intense questions, great humor."
Walking the Walls
Two misfits try to find their way home via endless scenic road trip, settling scores and shattering family values along the way.
Set in Arizona in the 1990s.
"Loaded with white trash, whitewalls, and plenty of wit."--Tonia Steed, The Stranger
"Savvy and droll."--David Schulz, The Seattle Times
Daughters of Catastrophe
Ella mows down a crowd of pedestrians with her car, and has a midnight chat with the dead Daddy who never loved her enough.
Paula longs to be more than a trophy wife. She will have it all or kill everyone trying.
Madeline's latest film role mirrors the surreal anxiety of her celebrity life. She is forced to examine her personal role as an aging actress with an ambitious young husband and two infants who are demanding beyond her wildest dreams.
"…subtly interweaves three somewhat appalling Greek myths which integrate seamlessly with the play’s 21st-century setting….A passionate cast, notably Morgan Rowe, Sulo Turner, and Gretchen Douma, carries Daughters triumphantly to its disturbing ending."--Maggie Mertens, Seattle Weekly
"Spiked with sharp, funny dialogue, a hilarious birthing scene, and full male nudity…"--Anna Maria Hong, The Stranger
"The play is full of yelling women who seem to be divorced from the real world; think Tennessee Williams neuroses with Bette Davis several times over."--Joe Boling, Theater Puget Sound
"These women are doomed from the start, are capable of unimaginable horrors, and they are just like you and me. Scary, indeed—and relentlessly compelling."--Leah B. Green, Seattle Times
my new friends (are so much better than you)
Two women give a series of interviews to explain their relationships with a teenager who committed suicide. The girl's mother gropes for meaning and absolution through self-exposure. The family friend who lured the girl using a fake identity points out the cruel realities of social life, seeking to return her own family to normal.
A New City Theater resident artist project.
Nominated for a Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award.
"Writer S.P. Miskowski teams up with performer Morgan Rowe to present a story that includes cruelty by adolescent girls, obsessive interference by an overly involved parent and the potential for deception and betrayal offered by the Internet's 'friendship' networks... Bit by bit the personalities and family histories are revealed. Bit by bit, the horror of it all grows stronger. Gradually, as the story evolves, one is overwhelmed with the understanding of the harm that can be done... Rowe quietly, with no histrionics, draws the audience deeper and deeper into the tale and lays bare its emotional power."--Nancy Worssam, The Seattle Times