Laura Barbieri

Playwriting | Kent State University | Class of 2024

The apocalypse is nigh, and in fact has been upon us for some time without anybody noticing. In the idyllic suburban town of Mansville, three 1960s housewives find themselves in a battle to the death when all the men of the town suddenly become the swarms of the undead. Will their former husbands and neighbors eat them alive? Will they survive the new zombie-ridden landscape? Or will they thrive in their new testosterone-free society? (Wo)Mansville explores themes of sexism, misogyny, motherhood, femininity, spousal abuse, gender inequality, survival, and, of course, zombies.


About Laura

Laura Barbieri is a playwright, educator, actor, and director based in Northeast Ohio. A graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting program at Kent State University, Laura’s scripts have been performed in Chicago, southeast Michigan, and northeast Ohio. Most recently, a reading of her play (Wo)Mansville was presented as part of the 2024 NEOMFA Playwrights Festival and in Kent State Trumbull’s 2023-2024 Sips & Scripts reading series. A one-act version of her play We Call It Family was performed at the 2023 NEOMFA Playwrights Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. Her full-length play Pick Your Poison is now available for licensing through Stage Partners.

Your favorite place to write while in the NEOMFA?

I do most of my writing from my couch or “the library” at my and my sister’s apartment in Stow. Our “library” is really a den into which we shoved all the books and potted plants we own, but on bright March Saturdays it’s the most heavenly place in our home. We’ve curated a life and a creative space that we both love, and the orderliness of that space allows me to shape meaning out of the disorderliness in my head.

What’s your secret talent?

I don’t know if it’s a secret, but I’m extremely organized and Type-A. My grandmother regularly says that I could run a small country, and the sentence “I love spreadsheets” has gotten me hired on more than one occasion (and the sad part - I meant it).

What are your favorite words? Why?

Enough - As a textbook type-A overachiever, I often question if I’ve written, read, submitted, networked, done, been “enough.” The word is a reminder to me that my worth, dignity, and identity does not rest in what I do or achieve. My “enough” never will be, but I serve a God who was, and is, and ever will be enough.