Malena Pennycook (she/they) is a white-Latine writer & performer who creates formally inventive theater about the strange experience of having a body. She is a current MFA Playwriting candidate at The University of Texas at Austin, a 2023-2024 Playwrights Center Core Apprentice and a 2023-2024 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad writer. Malena's work is published by Sam French/Concord Theatricals.
Their plays include How Should A Conversation Be? (Playwrights Realm, Playwrights Center) Diving Board (Teatro Vivo; Crashbox; O'Neill Finalist 2022) Two Apprentices (The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2022 - Latinx Playwriting Award, Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Paula Vogel Playwriting Award Runner-Up, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award Runner-Up); 9/10 Beds, a play with music (UT Austin; Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 2023 - Musical Theatre Award 2nd Place, Paula Vogel Award Distinguished Achievement, Latinx Award Distinguished Achievement); WEAVER UNDER (O'Neill SemiFinalist 2023; Normal Ave NAP SemiFinalist 2023); Below, a ten minute play (Take Ten Theatre Masters 2023, Concord Theatricals/Sam French) and their solo show Am I Busy Yet? (Cosmic Cherry Arts NYC; Oregon Fringe Festival).
As a performer and deviser, Malena has developed projects with The Public's Under the Radar, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, sheCREATES, The Flea Theatre, Fresh Ground Pepper, Dixon Place, Shakespeare in the Square, Cape Fear Regional Theatre, The Brick and more. She has also appeared in national commercials for AT&T, CHASE and OfferUp.
Malena was a 2022 writer in residence at the New Harmony Project, a 2019 Richie Jackson Artistic Fellow and a 2017 Santa Cruz Shakespeare Acting Fellow.
Malena serves as Associate Director of Camp Shakespeare at Winedale through the University of Texas at Austin and works extensively as an arts educator.
They are a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, The Dramatist Guild, EMC and The Latinx Theatre Commons.
BFA NYU Tisch Experimental Theatre Wing.
Photo Courtesy of Nikolai Mishler