Ali Viterbi crossed her theatrical Rubicon at age five, crafting imaginary worlds for her Barbie dolls and casting her two younger sisters in original “Wizard of Oz” sequels. Twenty years later, she is now an MFA playwright at UC San Diego, television writer, and educator.
Ali’s plays have been produced across the globe, from New York City to Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been developed, produced, or commissioned by Round House Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, HERE Arts Center, The Drama League, Jewish Plays Project, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Barrow Group, Owl and Cat Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Horizon Theater Company, TinyRhino, Wildacres Residency, Yale College, and The Centropa Institute. Her play Period Sisters was a Finalist for the 2018 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Ali is the associate producer of the annual Lipinsky San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, and she teaches undergraduate playwriting at UC San Diego. She graduated from Yale in 2014, receiving their top playwriting prize, and is currently a second-year MFA candidate at UC San Diego, where she studies with Naomi Iizuka.
As an artist, Ali firmly believes in a theater of compassion, one that constantly drives towards empathy and understanding. She seeks to create theater that speaks to the generosity of the human spirit. Her plays celebrate change rather than criticizing, using aspirational storytelling to rewrite the rules of our social world. They speak to the changing landscape of American history. Whether depicting Deadheads or sorority girls, her plays give voice to everyday, human stories that have hitherto been silenced or stereotyped. They mine and explore the daily triumphs and tragedies of the uniquely feminine American experience. She also seeks to redefine and sculpt the contemporary Jewish narrative, using Jewish history and spirituality to transform our preconceptions of ‘Jewish theater.’
When she’s not writing plays, Ali loves dreaming, listening to Joni Mitchell, playing the ukulele, re-reading Harry Potter, and re-watching episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”