Headlands Center for the Arts

Caitlin Saylor Stephens

new york | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2018

Artist Statement

I consider my work to be stylized expressions of feminine despair. All my plays are an attempt to resolve the painful conflicts of female characters who seek integrity in a swipe-left culture. I write plays about bad women. Women who are lonely, alienated, objectified, and loveless. Women who are driven by extraordinary passion. Women who get their period. Women who are trying to unbreak themselves. Women who pull themselves out of a swamp of victimhood. Women who grapple with their longing, shortcomings, and desire. Women with a past. Women who love men and hate themselves for loving them. Women who are unwilling to compromise their value system. Women who embody an endless number of social and biological contradictions. Bad women are a jewel box of never-ending conflict and complexity that I forever wish to unpack in my writing. I am a bad woman. And I write these characters to discover truths about the world that I live in.

While at Headlands

During my Headlands residency, I’ll work on rewrites of my new play Company Happy Hour. The piece is about a group of employees working the graveyard shift at a health insurance company and is based on my experience working in the broken American healthcare system. I’ll also work on another play called Squick, which is about a woman who finds disturbing porn on her partner’s computer. The play investigates the relationship between repulsion and attraction and the ethics of our tech-sexual behaviors. I love residencies because they give me the freedom to participate in a polyamorous playwriting process without judgement or pressure. At Headlands, I look forward to going deep with two plays at once.

Personal Website