SVA Film & Animation
FACULTY: Gilbert Girion

Playwright, Screenwriter, Fiction Writer

I’ve had a number of plays produced in smaller theatres over the years, mostly in New York and Los Angeles. I studied Playwriting with Herbert Berghof at HB Studio, where two of my plays were produced. I was later asked by Robert Woodruff to participate in an Invited Writers Workshop at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, taught by Sam Shepard, and was invited back the next year as Playwright-in-Residence. Subsequently, in addition to productions at smaller theatres, I’ve had numerous readings at what you might call major theatres, in particular Playwrights Horizons and the Public Theatre. I have, several times over the years, produced my own work.

I was a member of REDWOOD, a group that consisted of five writers who banded together to help each other, acting in or maybe directing each others plays, or directing our own, basically supporting each other with help in getting the plays up. REDWOOD had a nice degree of success in the Los Angeles theatre community, and we as individuals as well. We did nicely as individuals, but were even stronger as a group. I miss that balance between working alone and being part of a group at the same time.

What I feel strongest about is the work, the writing part. It is where I have the most confidence and, quite frankly, control. I mention having confidence in my work, but that includes knowing when I need help. I do many drafts of a play (or screenplay or fiction) and after each one I give it to two or three people to read. I depend on them. Quite frankly, I don’t trust myself to not go through this feedback, checks and balances process. In return, I do the same for my friends, my fellow writers, and of course my students.

Me reading and commenting on a fellow writers work is, in a very real sense, a creative act. What helps, I hope, is that I have been a teacher for many years, primarily as a Screenwriting instructor at School Of Visual Arts, but also as a Theatre Teaching Artist with Lincoln Center Institute and, more recently, the Education Departments at Manhattan Theatre Club and Theatre Development Fund. Clearly, I highly value working with other writers, as helper and helped, and always look forward to the various opportunities to meet and possibly participate in our mutually creative endeavors.

Playwriting with Sam Shepard, Herbert Berghof, Graduate of San Diego State University and Santa Monica College.

Produced plays include

Bridge Over Land, Faith’s Body, Floating With Jane, Broken English, Bad Country, Word Crimes, (DramaLogue Award) The Last Word, Fizzle, Murder In Santa Cruz and Songs And Dances From Imaginary Lands (co- written). 

Films include

American Blue Note, Let Go


Drama League Grant and Commission from NYSF Public Theatre, DramaLogue Award for Word Crimes, Anna Sosenko Trust Grant for Bridge Over Land. 

Fundamentals of Narrative


Advanced Writing and Directing

Writing The One-Act Play