Makaela Shealy



Cait Gold is scared of failure and of her own potential. In this dark comedy, we dive headfirst into the highly individual world of competitive figure skating, made even more ruthless when a group of skaters with the same coach all band together to defend one of their own.




Makaela Shealy (she/her) is a writer, performer and published poet based in New York City. Her work consists of a wide range spanning from explosively teenage movement driven full lengths like The Gap (The Tank, Shetler Studios, Finalist for Rave Theatre Festival 2020) and EXCEPTIONAL; to a measured meditation on grief and the loss of a cherished parent (will there be trout fishing in limbo?). Recently, she’s worked with Kervigo Ensemble developing an original horror play (GEN) and with Wonder Media Network on an immersive commission.


Select performance credits Off-Broadway: The Cooping Theory 1969 (Poseidon Theatre Company), Professor Brenner (HERE Arts Center), The Jersey Devil Doesn’t Exist (The Shrill Collective); TV: LOVE LIFE (HBO).


Ring of Keys Member; Dramatist Guild Member.



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


I write because I have more questions than answers. I’ve always been that way: the little kid tugging at my parent’s sleeves and asking why, even if you’re still “not there yet.” I’ve been writing plays for the last year and I think I’ve been hoarding stories because it’s been non-stop — which I’m super grateful for! My journey into playwriting came out of wanting to extend myself beyond my experience writing poetry and performing and most importantly, to create pieces that build and bolster communities that should be widely represented in the American Theatre. I’m ready to see an industry that is as diverse and different as our world is.


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


I was a competitive figure skater for 11 years and I absolutely love writing with a sinister edge in mind. When I decided to write a play about skaters, I knew that putting four giant personalities in one room with eight sharpened blades between them plus the overwhelming need to please and obey a dominant coach, was a recipe for something chilling and fun.


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


Elastic, curious, loud, sleuth, strange bird


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


I find a lot of inspiration in reading Jan Rosenberg and Will Arbery’s plays. I love reading prose that challenges form and Myriam Gurba’s novel Mean has been on my desk as a source of powerful, active and revolutionary work since I first got my hands on it. I spend a ton of time reading poetry (Tracy K. Smith is an obvious favorite because of her specific deconstruction of languages and imagery) and walking around in the woods or near water whenever I get the chance.


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


I once had scarlet fever and hives at the same time as a child because I ate 12 nectarines at gymnastics camp and then discovered that I was allergic while my body was consumed by rash. The doctors couldn’t tell what was worse: the ancient disease, or the allergic reaction.


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


Of the things I saw in the last year: Strange Loop (Michael R. Jackson), Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Will Arbery), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Alexis Scheer)


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


The Gap is a Rave Theatre Festival Finalist for 2020 and we are so excited to continue the development process of this massive piece! We have several readings coming up and you can follow along with our journey at @thegapplay on Instagram or on my website www.makaelashealy.com/plays! I’m also developing a horror play with Kervigo Ensemble and excited to see what we can mine from my favorite genre this fall! Keep up with them at @kervigoensemble !