Lauren Yee

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Lauren Yee
Occupation Playwright

BA Yale University


Lauren Yee is an American playwright. Lauren Yee was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Yee graduated from Yale University (class of 2007), majoring in English and Theatre Arts and then attended University of California, San Diego's MFA playwriting program.[1]


Yee is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab [2] and a Playwrights’ Center Core Writer and has worked under commission from the Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center, and Mixed Blood.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Lauren Lee and Zachary Zwillinger were married in September 2012 in San Francisco; the couple met at Yale. He is an attorney.[4]


  • Ching Chong Chinaman (Berkeley Impact Theatre)
  • Crevice (Impact Theatre)
  • The Tiger Among Us (January - February 2013, Mu Performing Arts (Minneapolis) [5]
  • The Hatmakers Wife (August 27, 2013 - September 21, 2013, Off-Broadway Playwrights Horizons)
  • Samsara (February 2015 - March 8, Chicago)[6]
  • in a word (April 2015, San Francisco Playhouse)[7]
  • Hookman (May 2015, Encore Theatre Company, San Francisco)[8]
  • King of the Yees (2015, The Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival)[9]
  • The Great Leap (2018, Off-Broadway)[10]


(in reverse chronological order)


  • Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist for The Great Leap[11]
  • Princeton University MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.[12]



  • The Kilroys List Top 50 (for King of the Yees and The Tiger Among Us)
  • Susan Smith Blackburn nominee (for in a word)
  • The Chance Theatre playwright-in-residence[16]
  • Theatre Bay Area Award nominee – Outstanding World Premiere Play (for Hookman)


  • Lark Playwrights’ Week playwright (for The Tiger Among Us)
  • Constance Saltonstall Foundation residency Berkeley Rep Ground Floor finalist (for King of the Yees)
  • Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Playwrights runner-up (for The Tiger Among Us)


  • O’Neill Conference playwright (for Samsara)[17]
  • Sundance Theatre Lab finalist (for in a word) Playwrights’ Center Core Writer (2013-2016)
  • Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant (with the Goodman Theatre, for King of the Yees)
  • Playwrights Realm Page One resident playwright
  • Second Stage Theatre – Shank playwright-in-residence
  • UCross Foundation residency
  • L. Arnold Weissberger Award nominee (for Samsara)
  • Gerbode Foundation Playwright Commissioning Award (with Encore Theatre Company)


  • Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee (for Samsara)
  • Bay Area Playwrights Festival winner (for Samsara)
  • Ma-Yi Writers Lab playwright (2012–present) PEN USA Literary Award for Drama finalist (for A Man, his Wife, and his Hat)
  • Time Warner fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab
  • Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominee (for Crevice)
  • Kitchen Dog Theatre’s New Works Festival winner (for A Man, his Wife, and his Hat)
  • East West Players’ Face of the Future Playwriting Competition third place (for Samsara)
  • Aurora Theatre Global Age Project finalist (for in a word)


  • PlayPenn Conference playwright (for A Man, his Wife, and his Hat)
  • KCACTF’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award winner (for in a word)
  • KCACTF’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award winner (for in a word)
  • IICAS Student Research Travel Grant recipient (for Mu Performing Arts commission)


  • MAP Fund grantee (with Mu Performing Arts)
  • Hangar Theater Lab Company playwright-in-residence (for in a word)
  • Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting (for Ching Chong Chinaman)[18]
  • El Gouna Writers’ Residency fellow


  • MacDowell Colony fellow
  • Public Theater Emerging Writers Group member
  • Theatre Bay Area New Works Fund commission (with AlterTheater)
  • Wasserstein Prize finalist PONY Fellowship finalist
  • Jerome Fellowship finalist (selected)
  • American Antiquarian Society – Robert and Charlotte Baron fellow
  • Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers fellow
  • 2008 Princess Grace Award finalist (for Ching Chong Chinaman)
  • Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation grantee Dramatists Guild fellow New York Mills Arts Retreat writer-in-residence
  • Edward F. Albee Foundation fellow PlayGround June Anne Baker Prize winner/commission (for Crevice)


  • Kumu Kahua Theatre Pacific Rim Prize winner (for Ching Chong Chinaman)[19]


  1. ^ Chen, Teresa. "Lauren Yee: Making the Invisible Visible", December 11, 2015
  2. ^ "Lauren Yee Biography", retrieved January 30, 2018
  3. ^ AO International. (n.d.). Lauren Yee. Retrieved May 09, 2016, from
  4. ^ "Lauren Yee, Zachary Zwillinger" The New York Times, September 23, 2012
  5. ^ Papatola, Dominic P. "Theater review: ‘The Tiger Among Us’ is a sturdy creature", January 27, 2013
  6. ^ Jones, Chris. "Review: 'Samsara' at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre" Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2015
  7. ^ Hurwitt, Robert. "Lauren Yee finds the drama 'In a Word’", April 7, 2015
  8. ^ Hurwitt, Robert. "Lauren Yee’s slasher satire is razor-sharp", May 11, 2015
  9. ^ Malitz, Nancy. "At Goodman’s New Stages Festival, playwrights count on sharpening assist from the audience", November 12, 2015
  10. ^ The Great Leap, retrieved January 30, 2018
  11. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Aleshea Harris’ 'Is God Is', Lauren Yee’s 'The Great Leap', and More Named Finalists for Susan Smith Blackburn Prize" Playbill, January 29, 2018
  12. ^ "Fellowships are awarded to Martyna Majok, Mario Moore, Okwui Okpokwasili, Jacob Shores-Argüello, and Lauren Yee", December 14, 2017
  13. ^ Brueckner, Laura. "Theatre Bay Area Announces Glickman Award Winner Lauren Yee for 'In a Word' at SF Playhouse", February 8, 2016
  14. ^ "Women’s Invitational 2016 Winners", retrieved January 30, 2018
  15. ^ "Lauren Yee Wins $10000 Francesca Primus Prize for 2016", March 15, 2017
  16. ^ "Meet Lauren Yee, our 2015 resident playwright", February 25, 2015
  17. ^ "2013 National Playwrights Conference", retrieved January 30, 2018
  18. ^ "The Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting", retrieved January 30, 2018
  19. ^ "Lauren Yee". Playwrights' Center. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 

External links[edit]