Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Molly Rice

Molly Rice

Artistic Category Artist

Chief collaborator: Rusty Ring Thelin (director, producer)

Current producing collaborators, 2021: The Orchard Project, New Georges, The Tank NYC, Tiny Box Theater, Demaskus Theater Collective, The Wallpaper Company, Chelsea Sutton & Slipped Beyond Productions, Scott Adkins & Let's Make a Theater Company, Irina Kruzhilina & Visual Echo, Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, individual artists Melisa Tien, Karinne Keithley Syers.

Past Pittsburgh artistic collaborators: Zafaron Afghan Cuisine (the group of Afghan refugees with whom we created Khuraki), New Sun Rising, Pittsburgh Chamber of Co-ops, ForGoodPGH, University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, NAMS Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement, the Office of Public Art, Anthony Alterio, Emmanuelle Wambach, Kahmeela Adams, Karen Hart, Laura Ramie, Lenka Clayton, James Simon, Vanessa German, David Pohl, New Guild Studios (visual artists); Braddock Youth Project; Grow Pittsburgh; Unsmoke Systems; Bricolage.

National artistic collaborators: Kate Bergstrom, Rachel Chavkin, Maureen Towey, Tea Alagic, Andrew Volkoff (directors); Heather Benton (actor/ director/ movement & Viewpoints practitioner); dramaturg Zharia O'Neal; composers Anaïs Maviel, César Alvarez, Ray Rizzo and Orion Johnstone.

Career Level Mid-career
Experienced With For-hire services, Commissions, Collaboration, Teaching engagements, Public art, Lectures, Leading workshops, Speaking engagements


I'm a playwright, songwriter and experience designer whose work  gravitates toward unusual collaborations, offbeat musicality and site-specific attempts at enchantment. I aim to create theatrical events and public experiences that depend upon the immediate nature of live and real-time art, especially events that only come to life when people come together. I seek to generate connection, curiosity and wonder with with my work, and to help audiences re-see their surroundings and themselves in new and unexpected ways. I strive to create both narrative and experimental theater in rich conversation with a broad range of collaborators, from fellow theater artists to scientists to rock bands to social workers to our neighbors down the street. I seek to create vibrant "companies" with every new project, peopled by individuals from diverse walks of life and realms of experience who are bound by the creative impulse driving each piece, or their stake in the story we're telling together. 

Molly Rice is a playwright, songwriter and experience designer. Her projects have been developed/ produced in NYC (the Public, Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick, Women’s Project, NYTW, HERE, NYU/ Tisch, New Georges, Soho Rep) and nationally (City Theater, American Repertory Theater, Montana Rep, Kitchen Dog Theater, Hangar Theater, Salvage Vanguard, Trinity Rep, Bricolage Production Company). Her work has been published by American Theater Magazine, Kenyon Review, Heinemann Press, Clarkson Potter Press, Indie Theater Now, LooseChange.com, DEVICE.com and Play: A Journal, and she’s enjoyed residencies at The Orchard Project Playwright's Lab and Liveness Lab (currently on the advisory committee), Tofte Lake, Pilot Balloon Church House, Voice and Vision, Hangar Theater, Missoula Colony, Yale/ P73 Residency, America-In-Play, Bartlett Island Retreat, and Women’s Project Lab

Molly has been commissioned by the NYU/Tisch Graduate Acting Program, New Georges, Visible Theater, Montclair State University, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Office of Public Art, Pace University and Motherlodge Live Arts Exchange, and has been honored by the International Women’s Playwriting Festival, and Brown’s Weston Prize For Graduate Playwriting. Throughout her career she has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the PONY award, and twice for the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, and has been nominated for honors such as the Kesselring Fellowship, the New York Innovative Theater Awards, the Mayor's Award for Public Art, and twice for the Cherry Lane Mentor Program. A WQED documentary on her play Khuraki was nominated for an Emmy and won a 2020 Golden Quill award. 

Recent projects include Sharon, an episodic toy theater piece about childcare in the COVID era (based on interviews with Pittsburgh childcare workers;) Khuraki, a culinary/theatrical experience in collaboration with a group of female Afghan refugees;  Futurity at American Repertory Theater (2012) and Soho Rep/ Ars Nova (2014), with the band The Lisps; The Saints Tour, which has appeared in neighborhoods from Louisville to Braddock PA to Wall Street (2009-2015); and A Doll House (in a Doll House), Ibsen’s classic play presented in its entirety on Facebook using 3-inch dolls as actors (2015). Some of her projects are produced by her company Real/Time Interventions, for which she is Artistic Director along with director/producer Rusty Thelin.

 Molly’s MFA came from Brown University and she has taught at Brown, Kenyon College, Carnegie Mellon, Marymount Manhattan College, Montclair State, and Pace University, where she created the curriculum for a multi-genre BA Program entitled “21st Century Storytelling: Writing for Theater, Film and New Media”. She now teaches in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama and in the new Point Park University Writing for Stage and Screen MFA, for which she helps to develop the curriculum.

Molly is a longtime musician/ songwriter. When she was 18 one of her songs made the Top 100 Charts in Alaska. She still doesn’t know what number it was.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15218
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  • Journalism
  • Drama
  • Director
  • Social Practice / Civic Engagement
  • Public Art
  • Prose
  • Playwriting
  • Installation
  • Video
  • Acoustic
  • Fiction
  • Historic


  • Abstract
  • Alternative
  • Analog
  • Conceptual
  • Experimental
  • Feminist
  • Gestural
  • Interactive
  • Narrative
  • Site specific
  • Spiritual/Religious
  • Stop-motion
  • Text
  • Time-based
  • Traditional
  • Transgressive
  • Video
  • Web based
  • Americana
  • Digital