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Andrew Heinze '77
(view alumni profile)

Major at Amherst: History

Current Job Title: Playwright



After two decades as a professor of American History and an author of nonfiction books and articles, I left a tenured position in academia and in 2007 began a career in playwriting. I've written six full-length plays: a farce called TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN; a drama/comedy THE INVENTION OF THE LIVING ROOM; HAMILTON, a tragedy about Alexander Hamilton and his family; PLEASE LOCK ME AWAY, a dark comedy; MOSES, THE AUTHOR, a comedy; and DELETING DAD. I've also written numerous one-act comedies and dramas that have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Denver, Albuquerque and various regional/local theaters. 


Turtles All the Way Down -- a farce set in the Oval Office in the year 2028

The Invention of the Living Room -- an "alternate history" about an unusual Jewish family on the Lower East Side of New York in 1946 and their plan to launch Levinstown, the country's first big suburb

Hamilton -- a tragedy about Alexander Hamilton and his family

Please Lock Me Away -- a dark comedy about a 66 year-old woman who takes revenge on two adolescent boys who had subjected her to a horrible public humiliation.

Moses, The Author -- a comedy about Moses, his family and his writer's block as he attempts to finish the Bible before he dies. 

Deleting Dad --a drama about a middle-aged man's ordeal coping with the death of his father.


The FQ-- an about-to-break-thru writer has to save her script from ruination by the obscenity requirements of cable TV

The Bar Mitzvah of Jesus Goldfarb -- Jason Goldfarb wants a new name for his Bar Mitzvah; this is a BIG problem for Rabbi Deborah Silverman

Driving to Florida -- Max wants to honor the grave of a war-hero father he reveres too much; Mel wants to renew her struggling marriage with Max -- and it's all got to happen on a drive from New Jersey to Florida in a vintage Chevy with no air-conditioning . . . in July.

Masha: Conditions in the Holy Land -- a lonely American Jew, a smart Russian prostitute, a run-down room in Jerusalem -- he wanted her to talk, or so he thought . . . 

It's Terrible What We Do for Love-- Truman Bluman desperately wants a liver for his ailing wife; hospital administrator Darla Calloway desperately wants Truman; is he ready to negotiate?

and many more!

Awards & Recognitions:

The Invention of the Living Room won the Texas NonProfit Theatres' 2014 New Play Project competition.

The Invention of the Living Room was chosen as a Finalist for the 2012 Blue Ink Playwriting Award given by the American Blues Theater (Chicago).

The Invention of the Living Room was chosen for the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre's Playfest! The Harriet Lake Festival of New Plays, a public reading held on November 6, 2011

Hamilton was a semi-finalist for the 2012 O'Neill Playwrights Conference (the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center)

Hamilton was a Finalist for the T. Schreiber Studio's 2012 New Works Project

 Masha: Conditions in the Holy Land won the Jury Prize for Best Script (of 748 scripts submitted) for the Fusion Theatre Company's 2012 Annual Short-Play Festival (Albuquerque, NM). MASHA was subsequently chosen to compete in the prestigious Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival (2013) and was one of eight winning plays (in a competition of nearly 1,000 scripts) published by Independent Play(w)rights (2014).

The FQ won five awards at the 16th Annual New York City 15-Minute Play Festival (2010), including Audience Favorite and Judges' Honorable Mention for Best Play.

The Bar Mitzvah of Jesus Goldfarb won four awards at the 17th Annual New York City 15-Minute Play Festival, including Audience Favorite and Judges' Choice for Best Play.

The FQ  was published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays, 2011 (Smith & Kraus, 2012).


Selected Awards from my former career in academia:

My book JEWS AND THE AMERICAN SOUL (2004) was named one of the “Best Books of 2004” by Publishers Weekly; Finalist, 2005 National Jewish Book Award (category: American Jewish History); and Finalist, 2004 Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Book Award

To finish the writing of JEWS AND THE AMERICAN SOUL, I was awarded a Pew Senior Fellowship at the Center for Religion and American Life, Yale University (2002-2003)

Belin Lecturer, University of Michigan, 2007

Nemer Lecturer, University of Southern California, 2006

Jacob Rader Marcus Memorial Lecture, Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2006

Mary Whiton Calkins Lecturer, Society for the History of Psychology, 2005