which each audience member left with one of my 2000 theater books, until the shelves were bare.
29 4th Place, Brooklyn, New
powerHouse Areana, Brooklyn, New York (2011)
"I'd like to recommend it to every single person I've
ever met." - newyorker.com. Read Elizabeth Minkel's "The Book Bench" post here.
"I feel like every time I see a play
I say it has changed my life in some way, but in the case of Ed Schmidt's 'My Last Play,' it's absolutely true. The man
is a life-changer." - USA Today. Read Whitney Matheson's review here.
"Bizarre and truly bold experiment in
form and manipulation ... its elaborate artifice is built on rock-solid truths." - New York Times. Read Jason Zinoman's review.
"One-of-a-Kind Theatre You Don't Want to
Miss!" - New York Magazine. Read Scott Brown's review.
boots of a playwright and a gifted dissembler." - New York Times. Read Bruce Weber's article.
"Located somewhere between Andy Kaufman
and Waiting for Guffman, Schmidt has turned the ruins of his (authentically) failed
career into a charming, thought-provoking monument to the persistence of art." - Time Out New York. Read David Cote's
"Ed Schmidt is a fairly ordinary-looking middle-aged white
guy with thinning hair [and] a little bit of a gut." - The New Yorker. Read Hilton Als's positive Critic's Notebook,
in a recent issue of The New Yorker, which was based only on other critics' articles and reviews, since Hilton Als has
neither seen nor read any of my plays nor met me.
Watch the WNYC Meet Your Neighbors video, shot by Jennifer Hsu, here.
The Last Supper410 16th
Street, Brooklyn, New York (2002-3)154 West 27th Street, Apartment #5W, New York City (2003-4)Bonn (Germany) Bienalle (2004)Philadelphia Live Arts Festival (2004)
Honest-to-God dinner theater, written, performed, directed, cooked, ushered, and cleaned up by Ed Schmidt .
hottest new show in New York!" - NBC's "Today Show"
disarming and highly theatrical piece of anti-theater ... you should be prepared to have your every expectation of theater
subverted." - Bruce Weber, New York Times. Read the review.
"A wandering mix of Andy Kaufman-style performance art, cerebral stand-up comedy and Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding
... It's not hard to see why audiences fall for Schmidt; Supper ... has a warmth and humor largely absent from downtown's
hipster theater." - Jason Zinoman, Time Out New York. Read the review.
"Schmidt is the ultimate postmodern chef - an unreliable
narrator whose falsifications carry truth, and whose half-faked cookery culminates in actual nourishment." - Michael
Feingold, Village Voice. Read the review. Brings to mind both Julia Child and
Spalding Gray ... a surprisingly spirited attempt at making the Host palatable to contemporary audiences." - The New
Yorker. Read the review.
"One of the city's most unusual, uh, worship services
... one of [the] most extraordinary theater experiences." - New York Post. Read the review.
"A wonderfully offbeat event ... unusually entertaining ... as thoughtful
as it is funny ... intimate and unique ... theater of unusual distinction." - Michael Sommers, Newark Star-Ledger.
Read the review.
"Schmidt [plays] his part with a surefooted spontaneity that keeps the
audience unsure of where the show ends and real life begins." - Newsday. Read the review.
"The Rev. Ed
Schmidt's voice cracks like incoming thunder as he preaches from his pulpit at the Church of Universal Life." - Christian
Science Monitor. Read the article.
"A canny examination of the
way that religious events, including miracles, come about through the consent of the congregation ... You leave Schmidt's
company feeling surprisingly well nourished." - Adam Feldman, Time Out New York. Read the review.
"Defies just about every dramatic
convention ever employed ... By the end of the evening, the audience has the kind of we're-all-in-this-together feeling
only achieved in terrible disasters or communal celebrations ... At a time when a great deal of experimental theater is
mostly trying, sometimes actually tormenting, it's really nice to see someone creating something - theater, dinner, standup
comedy? - that's actually fun." - Brooklyn Papers. Read the review.
"Schmidt bounces existential curve balls around the apartment, where angst-ridden
lives are questioned, mocked and rhapsodized. He pokes the human psyche, digressing into everything from Greek tragedy
to twists on Agatha Christie." - Associated Press. Read the review.
"He reminds us that even when everything appears lost in theater, we
never lose faith in it." - John Heilpern, New York Observer. Read one of the strangest reviews you've ever read. Heilpern "gets" the play completely and, at the same time, has no clue.
Supper has earned rave reviews and had a 1,000-person waiting list." - Joel
Stein, Show People. Read the article.
creative act of discussion that is sorely missing from most theatergoing experiences." - Performance Review. Read the
Off-Off-Off Broadway sensation." - New York Observer. Read the article.
magic ... Fine thoughtful, funny entertainment ... very orginal." - New York Film and Video Monitor
"One of the most unorthodox, fast-paced, tangent-jumping and funny plays I have
seen." - New York Amsterdam News. Read the review.
"The most Pirandellian
theatrical experience currently available to New York theatergoers." - Curtain Up. Read the review.
"The finest American play of the last half century" - I swear
to God that's what it says. Read the review and see for yourself.
A monthly variety show, emceed
by Ed Schmidt.
powerHouse Arena, Dumbo,
Performers included Jonathan Ames, Kevin Devine, Taylor Mac, Howard Fishman, Joshua Foer, One Ring Zero, Jessica
Delfino, Rachelle Garniez, Jed Distler, Ben Greenman, Aldo Perez, Scotty the Blue Bunny, the World Famous *BOB*, and Bargainland.
Dumbolio videos here.
Mr. Rickey Calls a MeetingIronbound
A play about Jackie Robinson and the integration of Major League baseball.
Directed by Gregg
Chicago Theater Company (1991)Black
Theatre Troupe (1997)
Directed by Douglas Alan-Mann
George Street Playhouse (1994)L.A. Theatre Works (1995)Pasadena Playhouse (1997)
Directed by Sheldon Epps
Theater Company (1997)Directed by Michael
Evan Haney Lookingglass Theater (2012)
Directed by J. Nicole Brooks
"The most provocative play ever produced about
sports, society and race ... brilliant drama." - Sacramento Bee
"An out-of-the-park home run." - Sacramento News & Review
"Theatrically arresting." - New York Times
and entertaining." - Chicago Sun-Times
"Schmidt's play is less about sports than it is about how these men felt
about a system in which a white man held the power to give Robinson the chance he craved." - Los Angeles Times. Read
"A profound theatrical experience." - That's Entertainment
"Easily earns five out of five stars." - State
"An amazing little play" - Phoenix New Times. Read the review.
Published by Samuel French, Inc.
Available on CD as an audio book, directed by Sheldon Epps and starring Ed Asner, at www.latw.org
The Gold StandardCornelia
Street Cafe (2006)Directed by Arnold Barkus
Text by Ed Schmidt, music by Jed Distler.
"An amusing clown act." - Anne
Midgette, New York Times
The Shuffle of Things
A never-quite-finished monologue, based on the
life of Francis Bacon. (Not really.)
Cornelia Street Cafe (2005)
Watch an excerpt here.
The Walter Winchell Show
production starring Jonathan Hadary, produced by Jeffrey Richards. The Kennedy Center (1999)Directed by Ethan McSweeney
Cost of Living
Feature film starring Edie Falco (1997)
Screenplay by Ed Schmidt and Steven Schmidt, directed by Stan Schofield.
American Film Institute Festival Studio Prize
American Film Institute
Festival Best Actress Award - Edie Falco
Cinequest San Jose
Film Festival Maverick Spirit Award (nomination)
Available on DVD
Scenes in the Life of Morton V.West Bank Cafe (1993)Directed
by Earl Hagen
perfect twenty-minute play. Honestly.
Dance at Your Wedding
The lead actor had a heart attack during previews. The play never opened. Belmont
Italian-American Playhouse (1992)Directed by Alex Simmons
Short film (1988)
Directed by Stephen Wertimer and Steven Schmidt
Chicago Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
The Two-Headed Man West Bank Cafe (1987)Directed by Jeff Zinn
A one-act play about a bearded lady.
A Bedtime StoryCamp Dudley (1985)Directed, rather hamfistedly, by the playwright.
A violent but charming children's play
Home, Sweet Home
A promotional play, based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" series.Published by HarperCollins.
Unproduced, but, goddamn it, not for lack of trying.
During rehearsals for MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING at the Old Globe in 1991,
Jack O'Brien told me, "Whatever you write next, we'll produce."
So I went home and wrote PARADOX FALLS,
a 43-character play about a small town in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Needless to say, Jack changed his
After the completed play had sat unopened for several years on my agent's shelf, I wrote to tell him that
"The fact that 'Paradox Falls' has not been produced is the biggest disappointment of my professional life." I
also offered my opinion that "'Paradox Falls' is as good as any American play written in the last forty years."
Which only proves that I'm an idiot. But I am prouder of "Paradox Falls" than I am of anything I've ever written,
with the possible exception of "The Last Supper."
The Quack and the Hypochondriac
of Moliere's "Le medecin malgre lui" and "La malade imaginaire"
Unproduced screenplay, based on the Chicago Haymarket
riots of 1886.
After completing HAYMARKET, it took my New York agent three months to read
the script. He sent it to the agency's L.A. office. Nine months later, my L.A. agent's only comment was, "It's too
long." At which point, I slipped my head through the noose.
The Black Watch
Unproduced, but, I'll be honest, deservedly