Kate Cortesi is a Brooklyn- and Boston-based playwright from Washington, D.C. Her plays include ONE MORE LESS, A Patron of the Arts, Great Kills, Is Edward Snowden Single?, and LOVE. Her very first play Telephone, a Sarah Jones rip-off of juxtaposed monologues, was praised by Kate's father as "juvenile but promising." Her subsequent work is far more mature and has been developed or produced at The Cherry Lane Theatre, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Dorset Theatre Festival, Colt Coeur, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, terraNOVA Collective, The Lark, New Dramatists, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Premiere Stages at Kean University, and the Kairos Theatre in Rome. Awards and honors include: Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project 2018 playwright, selected by Anne Washburn; 2017 Relentless Award Finalist, O'Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist (2017); NYFA award (2016); Princess Grace Fellowship (2014-2015); Columbia University's Karen Brownstein Award; and Kilroy's List (2016). Kate is a resident playwright at Colt Coeur (artistic director Adrienne Campbell-Holt) and at New Dramatists (2016-2023). Kate fiercely protects and cultivates our art through teaching at institutions ranging from Tisch School of the Arts to Rikers Island. She's writing a 30-minute play for young people for the Keen Teens program, to be produced in the Spring of 2019. For professional inquiries, contact Ben Izzo at Abrams Artists Agency.

It's official! Is Edward Snowden Single? is the inaugural play of the Dorset Theatre Festival Summer Pipeline Series! I'm so excited to spend a week in beautiful Vermont getting down with Pirronne Yousefzadeh with this nutty piece. I thought I was crazy when I started working on it. It means a lot that others are responding to it. 

One More Less is a finalist for the 2017 Relentless Award, the $45,000 prize founded in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman! And WHAT a list to be on. Bring it, 2018. The playwrights are waiting for you with teeth bared.

Cherry Lane Mentor Project Announcement! Thanks to all who came! This production meant the world to me.

Charming and brilliant playwright/theater blogger Adam Szymkowicz interviews me here.



A hot mess of a millennial convinces herself that Edward Snowden is madly in love with her. No but you guys not just cuz im hot it's actually about how i am literally the MOST brave.

Two actresses play all twenty plus roles in this whirlwind tour through one shallow person's reluctantly deepening soul.

Dorset Theatre Festival, 2018 Pipeline Series, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Workshop and public reading, New Dramatists, January 2018, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt

Workshop, Colt Coeur Play Hotel, May 2017


One more less

Mother is mean. Little Brother is shy. Big Sister is cocky. And the guy in the police uniform doesn't know what the hell he's doing in this play. ONE MORE LESS uses everything from Super Soakers to Ferris Bueller to delve deep into our American psyche formed and deformed by police brutality.

2017 Relentless Award finalist.

2017 O'Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist.

Playwrights Horizons, Superlab, 2017, directed by Robert O'Hara.

Winning submission for the 2016 NYFA Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowship. 


A Patron of the Arts

When a high school drug dealer does a drop off at a new address, he is unexpectedly reunited with the father of his childhood best friend. The recently laid off father is holed up to re-start the arts career of his youth; this young entrepreneur wants to help. So they come to an unusual mercantile arrangement. 

Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project 2018, directed by Mike Donahue, mentored by Anne Washburn (!)

Kairos Theatre's In Scena! Festival, Rome, 2019.

South Coast Rep's New SCRipts Series, October 2016.

Colt Coeur's 2016 Parity Fest at HERE Arts Center, NYC. 

Finalist in the 2015 Trustus New Play Festival.


Great Kills

A high school achiever’s college application reveals a family secret and sends her Staten Island family into a tailspin. Is this ambitious young woman traumatized by violence, as her essay claims, or by a culture of achievement that has trained her to market herself at any cost? 

Winning script for 2014 Princess Grace Fellowship. 

1st runner up in the 2015 Premiere Stages New Play Festival.

Honorable Mention on the 2016 Kilroy's List. 

Featured in terraNOVA Collective’s GROUNDWORKS: 2013 New Play Series directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman.


Love and Happiness

A unhappily in love woman waits by the phone for her married lover to call while her family pays a visit.  

Official Selection of The Underbelly venue at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Winner of Columbia University’s Karen Brownstein Award

The playwright believes this was the last play in America whose premise was made possible by the main character not having a cell phone.



Six lonely people talk on the phone. We only hear their one side, until we hear the other side.

Columbia University, Alfred Lerner Hall (1999)

Craig Eisendrath’s staged reading at the Philadelphia Ethical Society (2000)

Aired as a radio play in the Philadelphia area (2000).