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MY STORY

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MY THREE RULES:

I strive to make my projects safe and inclusive places for excellent work to be done by artists and crew of all identities and backgrounds.

 

There are only three rules on a Peter Fenton project, but they are non-negotiable:

1. Tell the truth.

2. Best idea wins.

3. No assholes allowed.

KEY INSPIRATION:

My work often blends whimsical dark humor with magic realism and explores themes of identity, interpersonal relationships, and the meaning of life. Here are a few stories that have helped me to find my voice as a writer:

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  • The Good Place, TV Series (2016-2020)

  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Video Game (2004)

  • Wicked, Musical (2003)

  • Percy Jackson series, Books (2005-2009)

  • Mean Girls, Movie (2004)

  • Stand By Me, Movie (1986)

  • Back to The Future, Movie (1985)

  • Clue, Board Game (1949) and Movie (1985)

  • Tangled, Movie (2010)

On August 26, 1995, Peter Fenton was born in a New York City suburb to Jim and Beth Fenton...

Let's skip ahead a bit.

 

In the heart of Manhattan’s theater district one Saturday night in June, I surveyed a packed house at Theatre Row from the sound booth while wearing my finest navy blazer. Three years of determination had led to this moment. I was serving as both stage manager and producer, but I assumed these roles to achieve my true dream by any means necessary: I am a writer, and this night marked my Off-Broadway debut.

The world premiere of ABANDON ALL HOPE in June 2023 was a beautiful blur, but I came away with two undeniable realizations: I’m a talented writer bursting with passion, and I want to refine my craft exponentially by learning from the finest in my field. I firmly believe that stories hold the power to shape imaginations, to provoke laughter, and to inspire profound introspection. Put simply, I write to make people laugh and think.

It’s worth noting I share a birthday with Mother Teresa and John Mulaney. In a hypothetical convergence of their personas, I see the writer I aspire to become: A kindhearted soul making a tangible impact in the industry, armed with quick wit and good-natured snark that resonates with diverse audiences. My essence starts to solidify when you understand I was a church camp counselor. Now, as a proud and progressive gay man, I am committed to using my words to bring people together and challenge closed-mindedness with tact, especially in my hometown’s conservative bubble.

I began writing when I was fourteen years old, as a cast member in the middle school play. We were performing a script meant for children to perform, and I felt like I had cracked a code. I said to my teacher, “Mrs. Fisher, I think I've got this play figured out. And I can write better than this.” She challenged me, “Go write me a better play.” That’s what I did. I went home and wrote up a storm. One year later, my middle school performed GOOD KNIGHT AND GOODBYE—directed by Suzanne Fisher herself. Thanks to a teacher willing to take a chance on an arrogant fourteen-year-old, my basic writing process was born: I channeled my fury and frustration into fuel to realize the world I saw in my mind’s eye—this one had a better middle school play.

My portfolio now encompasses several genres, from dramedy and dark comedy to psychological thrillers and family-friendly adventures. Rather than pigeonholing my work into one genre, I create works for young adults and the young at heart who are drawn to clever narratives exploring humanity’s potential for good with a cerebral sense of humor and a love for mystery. As a hybrid playwright and screenwriter, my scripts are imbued with a cinematic quality, often challenging the limits of conventional theatrical structure. As my skills and access to resources expand, I aspire to create even more imaginatively ambitious works filled with artistic merit.

Writing, for me, is an inherent vocation of creating opportunities and building relationships. The most significant barrier in the industry is gaining access to decision-makers. When I cannot find a way into that room, I create one. If I wanted my words to only live on the page, I would have become a novelist. To lead productions in a supercharged community filled with diverse actors and creatives where my stories become sharper and more impactful through every step of the development process is my ultimate goal.

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