The Playwright

Lauren Yee is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco, now in her third and final year at UCSD’s MFA playwriting program.

She has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell Colony fellow, and a member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. She has been a finalist for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Heideman Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, the PONY Fellowship, and the Wasserstein Prize.

Other honors include writing fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the El Gouna Writers’ Residency, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, and the New York Mills Cultural Center. She has also received funding from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Theatre Bay Area, and UCSD’s Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies (IICAS), as well as an award from PlayGround’s New Play Production Fund.

Her full-length play Ching Chong Chinaman was a finalist for the 2008 Princess Grace Award and the winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s 2010 Paula Vogel Award and Kumu Kahua Theatre’s 2007 Pacific Rim Prize. Named one of the top 10 plays of the year by the East Bay Express and City Pages, the play has been produced at Berkeley’s Impact Theatre, Minneapolis’s Mu Performing Arts, the New York International Fringe Festival, New York City’s Pan Asian Rep, and Seattle’s SIS Productions. The play has been published by Samuel French and made its Los Angeles premiere this past fall, produced by Artists at Play. Her play in a word won KCACTF’s 2011 Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award and 2011 Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, and was a finalist the Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Female Playwrights. The play was developed through UCSD’s Baldwin New Play Festival, the Hangar Theatre, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Her latest play A Man, his Wife, and his Hat was developed at PlayPenn and UCSD’s Baldwin New Play Festival, and received its world premiere with AlterTheater this past fall.

The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Kennedy Center, the O’Neill Studio at Yale, and PlayGround have previously commissioned her work. She is currently working on new commissions for AlterTheater, the Kennedy Center, and Mu Performing Arts (with support from the MAP Fund). A graduate of Yale University, Lauren is now in her third and final year at UCSD’s MFA playwriting program, studying under Naomi Iizuka.

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