My work takes place at the intersection of ecstatic religious faith and the daily grind. I write about the human project of reconciling our sacred aspirations within 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 identity. 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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Dean Poynor is a playwright / dad 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, and blends lyrical dialogue with approachable characters and muscular theatricality. 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.

Bio for Dean Poynor

Dean's plays have been developed and produced with the Nashville Repertory Theatre (Ingram New Works Lab), Great Plains Theatre Conference (Holland Award Winner), Playwrights’ Center (Core Member Apprentice), Kennedy Center, The Lark, The Puzzle Festival NYC, Centre Stage Greenville (New Play Festival Winner), Trustus Theatre (Playwrights Festival Winner), Arena Players Repertory Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre (nominated for three Iden B. Payne Awards), American Theatre of Actors, and others, including Cairns Festival Australia, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and in residency at The Studios of Key West. Dean has received the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation screenplay award, the Helford Prize for Drama, two Shubert Foundation fellowships, and been a Finalist or Semi-Finalist for a whole bunch of other stuff.

List of plays

Dean graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, with degrees in Philosophy and Communications, and received his MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. 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