Lauren M. Gunderson

Lauren M. Gunderson

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America, and the winner of the 2016 Lanford Wilson Award, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (The Revolutionists), The O’Neill, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Olney Theatre, Geva, and more. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (Silent Sky, Bauer) and Samuel French (Emilie). She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, and a proud Dramatists Guild member. She is from Atlanta, GA and lives in San Francisco. and @LalaTellsAStory.

Marin Theatre Company

Marin Theatre Company produces world-class theater for the Marin County and Bay Area communities.We strive to set a national standard for intimate theater experiences of the highest quality, featuring provocative plays by passionate playwrights.We pursue a dialogue with our community that addresses our national and local concerns and interests and assists us in finding a new understanding of our lives.We create future artists and arts patrons through innovative programs for youth.

Residency Activity

In her residency at Marin Theatre Company Lauren has been developing and premiering new plays as well as teaching and performing. Her new play co-written with Margot Melcon, The Wickhams, will premiere this fall at MTC after the companion play, Miss Bennet, premiered there last year. Lauren has been developing a new play, Trojan Women ATL, as well as a new untitled feminist epic in a writer's lab that gathers a cohort of actors regularly to workshop her new plays. She has worked with a local preschool to outline a new Theatre for the Very Young play called The Bear Went Where?  and performed her new play Natural Shocks for two nights of fundraising performances to raise money for gun violence prevention as part of a national weekend of readings (more at She has taught playwriting classes in house but broadcast them for free on HowlRound and facebook live. She has also been exploring ways that parents in the theatre can virtually participate in rehearsals even if they can't be in the rehearsal room and is collecting digital options for fellow writers. Away from MTC Lauren has premiered The Book of Will  (recent winner of the Steinberg ATCA Award 2018) at Denver Center and subsequently across the country including Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

  • How has this residency changed the theatre, and how has this residency changed the playwright? — March 2018


  • The Why of Theatre: a Playwriting Class Lauren Gunderson
    Playwright Lauren M. Gunderson kicks off a new video series "Why Theatre?" by discussing why theatre still matters in the age of filmed storytelling.
  • Dramatic Structure: a Playwriting Class Lauren Gunderson
    Lauren Gunderson continues her series of videos asking "Why theatre?" In this class, she addresses active characters in plays, and dramatic structure.
  • On Dialogue: a Playwriting Class Lauren Gunderson
    Lauren Gunderson shares a video of her teaching a playwriting class on dialogue and asks the question: why theatre?
  • Playwright Residency: Why Lauren Gunderson? Why Marin Theatre Company? Lauren Gunderson
    Jasson Minadakis , Artistic Director of Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, California and playwright-in-residence Lauren Gunderson discuss their participation in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program .