Lauren Gunderson is the most-produced living playwright in America for 2017. She is a playwright, screenwriter, and short story author from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in English/Creative Writing at Emory University, and her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch, where she was also a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.
She was named the most produced living playwright in America by American Theatre Magazine in 2016, was awarded the 2016 Lanford Wilson Award from the Dramatist Guild, and was awarded the prestigious 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for her play, I and You (also a Susan Smith Blackburn and John Gassner Award finalist). That play was an NNPN Rolling World Premiere that started at Marin Theatre Company and has seen over 40 productions nationwide. She is also a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company.
Her first musical, The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog! was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and opened to rave reviews and continues its life in a state-wide tour in Florida. Dr. Wonderful was released as a picture book in May 2017 published by Two Lions/Amazon. She is the co-book-writer for The Happy Elf, the Christmas musical with music and lyrics by Harry Connick Jr.
Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight (published by Samuel French) was commissioned and premiered at South Coast Repertory in 2009, and has run across the country and in England. By And By, her sci-fi father-daughter drama, premiered with Shotgun Players in Berkeley in 2012. Fire Work was developed at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, was a 2011 winner for Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, and premiered at TheatreFIRST in 2014. She has developed plays with Second Stage Theatre, Red Bull Theater, and Primary Stages in NYC; New Repertory Theatre in Boston; Playwrights Foundation, Crowded Fire Theater, TheatreWorks, Aurora Theatre Company, and Magic Theatre in San Francisco; Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas; Synchronicity, Actor’s Express, and Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta; JAW: A Playwrights Festival at Portland Center Stage in Portland; WordBRIDGE, Brave New Works, and others.
Her work has received national praise and awards including being a Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award winner, a Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, a Jane Chambers Award finalist, and winner of the Berrilla Kerr Award for American Theatre, Global Age Project, Young Playwrights Award, Eric Bentley New Play Award and Essential Theatre Prize. She has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory (four times), Denver Theatre Company, Crowded Fire Theater, the Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project, Marin Theatre Company, Actor’s Express, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, City University of New York and Synchronicity. Leap was published with The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory (2004), and her first collection of plays, Deepen The Mystery: Science and the South Onstage, was published with iUniverse (2006). She received a Sloan Science & Film Award (2008) for her screenplay Grand Unification, and her short story “The Ascending Life” won the Norumbega Fiction Award and was published in the anthology The Shape of Content; her science play Background was published in Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing. Her string theory poem “Hook of a Number” was published in the anthology Riffing On Strings.
She has spoken nationally and internationally on the intersection of science and theatre and Arts Activism, and teaches playwriting in San Francisco. Find her on Twitter @LalaTellsAStory.