Kyle Bass

Faculty on Leave of Absence, MFA in Creative Writing Program
Residency Site: Plainfield VT

Email
kyle.bass@goddard.edu

Biography

Kyle is co-screenwriter for the indie film Day of Days, starring Tom Skerritt (Alien, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias), released by Broad Green Pictures. His new play Possessing Harriet will premiere at Syracuse Stage in October, directed by Tazewell Thompson. His documentary theatre work Separated was presented at Syracuse Stage and New York City’s Paley Center for Media. Carver at Tuskegee was produced in Syracuse Stage’s BackStory! series. Kyle is co-author (with National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong) of Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, produced by Syracuse Stage and subsequently at New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theatre. His one-act and short plays have been published in Stone Canoe and Callaloo. Kyle has worked with visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on her theatre piece Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which premiered at Spoleto Festival USA and subsequently at Yale Rep and the Kennedy Center. Kyle is writing the screenplay adaptation of Darcey Steinke’s novel Milk, and has been commissioned by the Society for New Music to write the libretto for an opera based on the life and music of legendary folk guitarist Libba Cotton. Kyle is a two-time recipient of the NYFA Fellowship (fiction and playwriting), a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. He is Drama Editor for Stone Canoe, teaches playwriting and African American theatre courses at Syracuse University and was recently named to the Burke Chair for Regional Studies at Colgate University. Kyle is the Associate Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage, where he created and leads “Cold Read: A Festival of Hot New Plays.” He is represented by the Barbara Hogenson Agency and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

Education

MFA in Creative Writing, Goddard College
BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, SUNY Fredonia

Areas of Expertise

  • Dramatic Writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Fiction

Personal Statement

As a creative writing teacher, mentor and advisor, I strive to be a supportive and critical guide for each of my students as they study, and practice and hone their writing craft.
Whether in dramatic writing or in prose forms, I encourage my students to take risks in their work, to “write what scares you,” as playwright Tony Kushner commands. It is the combination of craft and risk-taking that leads a developing writer toward truth and authenticity.
I value commitment, discipline, rigor and creative honesty in the students I advise. And I advise my students to read across genres and encourage them to engage critically with other art forms—visual art, music—to sharpen how they see and hear, to absorb greater dimension and more rhythm into their work.

Ideally, the dialogue I have with each of my students is a rich conversation between two writers, a joint craft-journey into form, meaning, literature(s), and toward the discovery of the student writer’s unique voice.

I am the co-author of the original screenplay for Day of Days. The independent film, starring award-winning veteran actor Tom Skerritt (Alien, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It), was released by Broad Green Pictures in 2017. I am a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (for fiction in 1998 and the 2010 fellowship in playwriting for my play Name in the Street), a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award for my play Wind in the Field, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Name in the Street was produced as a staged reading by the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company and featured TONY nominee and Hollywood actor Stephen Henderson (Fences, A Doll’s House Part 2, Lincoln, Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird). My play Possessing Harriet, commissioned by the Onondaga Historical Association, will receive its world premiere in 2018. I am the author of Separated, a piece of documentary theatre about student military veterans, which was most recently presented at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. My one-acts and short plays include Fall/Out, produced by the Kitchen Theatre; The Heart of Fear, published in the journal Stone Canoe; and Northeast, which appeared in the journal Callaloo. Armory Square Playhouse produced Portraits, an evening of his dramatic monologues: Theory of Night, directed by Playwright’s Horizons founder Robert Moss; Love is a Blue Velvet Box; and Spoons, which was previously produced by Appleseed Productions. My one-man play Carver at Tuskegee was produced as part of Syracuse Stage’s BackStory! series. I am the co-author (with National Medal of Arts recipient Ping Chong) of Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, which had its world premiere at Syracuse Stage and was subsequently produced at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York City. I worked with acclaimed visual artist and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Carrie Mae Weems on her theatre piece Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, and was subsequently produced at Yale Rep and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I am currently writing the screenplay adaptation of Darcey Steinke’s novel Milk. My prose and other writings have appeared in the journals Folio and Stone Canoe, among others, and in the anthology Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk about Writing. I am Drama Editor for the award-winning journal Stone Canoe. In addition to serving on many arts and writing competition panels, I have been visiting writer at State University of New York at Oswego and have been a guest on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More,” discussing race in American theatre. I also teach playwriting at Syracuse University, Colgate University, where I have been appointed Burke Chair for Regional Studies for the 2018-19 academic year. I have also taught playwriting at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. I am Associate Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage and a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

Publications

  1. Day of Days (Screenplay)Broad Green Pictures2017
  2. Separated (Play)Syracuse Stage, Paley Center for Media2017
  3. Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo (Play)Syracuse Stage, La MaMa Theater2013
  4. Carver at Tuskegee (Play), Syracuse Stage, 2009
    Carver at Tuskegee (Play)Syracuse Stage2009
  5. NortheastCallaloo2008
  6. The Heart of Fear (Play), Stone Canoe, 2007
    The Heart of Fear (Play)Stone Canoe 2007
  7. Tender Armory Square Playhouse1997