Lauren M. Gunderson at Marin Theatre Company

Playwright

Lauren has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. 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. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon, and her play The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available on Audible.com. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon. She is currently developing musicals with Ari Afsar, Dave Stewart and Joss Stone. LaurenGunderson.com

Theatre

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 NaturalShocks.com). 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

 

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More from the Residency

headshots of octavio solis and kate hamill
Rad Adaptation (Radaptation?) with Octavio Solis and Kate Hamill
Video

Rad Adaptation (Radaptation?) with Octavio Solis and Kate Hamill

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Thursday 27 August 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Rad Adaptation (Radaptation?) with Octavio Solis and Kate Hamill livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 27 August 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3:00 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Anna Ziegler and Geetha Reddy.
Writing Science for Stage with Anna Ziegler, Charly Evon Simpson, and Geetha Reddy
Video

Writing Science for Stage with Anna Ziegler, Charly Evon Simpson, and Geetha Reddy

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Wednesday 19 August 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Writing Science for Stage with Anna Ziegler, Charly Evon Simpson, and Geetha Reddy livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 19 August 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

text: jeannette, or how to make a musical in a pandemic. six headshots of the event participants.
Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre
Video

Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre

with Ari Afsar, Erin Ortman, Martha Nichols, Jen Bender, and Regina Victor

Thursday 6 August 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Arts + Activism: Jeannette and Making Political Musical Theatre livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 6 August 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 2:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 3:00 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Tina Fallon, the Dramatist Guild logo, and Deborah Murad.
Building a Playwriting Career with The Dramatists Guild
Video

Building a Playwriting Career with The Dramatists Guild

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Friday 15 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Building a Playwriting Career with The Dramatists Guild livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 15 May 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Writing Killer Short Plays with Steve Yockey
Video

Writing Killer Short Plays with Steve Yockey

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Wednesday 6 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Writing Killer Short Plays with Steve Yockey livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 6 May 2020 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 21:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 22:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

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Publishing + Theatre Class with Peter Hagen, President of DPS!
Video

Publishing + Theatre Class with Peter Hagen, President of DPS!

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Wednesday 6 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Publishing + Theatre Class with Peter Hagen, President of DPS! livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 6 May 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 18:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 19:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Headshots of Tori Sampson, Leah Nanako Winkler, Larissa FastHorse, and Jonathan Spector.
 Comedy + Playwrighting Class!
Video

 Comedy + Playwrighting Class!

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Tuesday 5 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Comedy + Playwrighting livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 5 May 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 20:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 21:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Benjamin Scheuer, Sean Daniels, and a production of Lauren Gunderson's The Heath
Writing the Personal Epic with Benjamin Scheuer + Sean Daniels
Video

Writing the Personal Epic with Benjamin Scheuer + Sean Daniels

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Monday 4 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Writing the Personal Epic with Benjamin Scheuer + Sean Daniels livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 4 May 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

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Writing Incredible Theatre for Young Audiences (as well adults)
Video

Writing Incredible Theatre for Young Audiences (as well adults)

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Wednesday 29 April 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Writing Incredible Theatre for Young Audiences (as well adults) live-streamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 29 April 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

Headshots of Marissa Wolf, Ari Afsar, and Hana Sharif.
Feminism + Theatre with Marissa Wolf, Hana Sharif, and Ari Afsar!
Video

Feminism + Theatre with Marissa Wolf, Hana Sharif, and Ari Afsar!

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Tuesday 28 April 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Feminism + Theatre Marissa Wolf, Hana Sharif Ari Afsar livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 28 April 2020 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 19:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 20:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

performance shots of Nic A. Sommerfeld and Scott Turner Schofield
Writing Trans Realities w/ Scott T Schofield + Nic Sommerfeld
Video

Writing Trans Realities w/ Scott T Schofield + Nic Sommerfeld

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Friday 24 April 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Writing Trans Realities w/ Scott T Schofield + Nic Sommerfeld livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 24 April 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 22:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 23:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

actor hugging a child with text Earthrise Kennedy Center
Musical Theatre w/ Lauren, Kait Kerrigan + Brian Lowdermilk
Video

Musical Theatre w/ Lauren, Kait Kerrigan + Brian Lowdermilk

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Friday 10 April 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented a conversation Musical Theatre w/ Lauren, Kait Kerrigan + Brian Lowdermilk livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 10 April 2020 at 9:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 11:30 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 12:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

photo of laptop with notebook, mug, and an image of Shakespeare
A Playwrighting Class
Video

A Playwrighting Class

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Wednesday 8 April 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented a free playwrighting class livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 8 April 2020 at 12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 3 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

a woman teaching
The How of Theatre
Essay

The How of Theatre

a Playwriting Class

24 July 2018

Playwright Lauren Gunderson offers other writers lessons on dramatic structure, building characters, and crafting a powerful ending.

The Why of Theatre
Essay

The Why of Theatre

a Playwriting Class

9 July 2018

Playwright Lauren M. Gunderson add to her video series "Why Theatre?" by discussing why theatre still matters in the age of filmed storytelling.

Dramatic Structure
Essay

Dramatic Structure

a Playwriting Class

3 May 2017

Lauren Gunderson continues her series of videos asking "Why theatre?" In this class, she addresses active characters in plays, and dramatic structure.

On Dialogue
Essay

On Dialogue

a Playwriting Class

13 April 2017

Lauren Gunderson shares a video of her teaching a playwriting class on dialogue and asks the question: why theatre?

Playwright Residency
Essay

Playwright Residency

Why Lauren Gunderson? Why Marin Theatre Company?

13 August 2016

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.

The new play map.
Playwrights, Rewrites, Multiple Productions
Essay

Playwrights, Rewrites, Multiple Productions

I and You

9 August 2014

The Playwrights, Rewrites, Multiple Productions Series is a weekly series of interviews examining the process of developing a new play through a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere as a part of their Continued Life of New Plays Fund. The series is curated by Thea Rodgers and Emma Weisberg. Visualizations are from HowlRound's community-powered New Play Map.

Photo from By and By.
The Song’s The Thing
Essay

The Song’s The Thing

Creating A Rock + Theater Collaboration

27 July 2013

Inspired by the Adele’s song for Skyfall, the artists of the new play By and By collaborated with the band The Kilbanes to reframe the experience for the audience members.

A graph depicting female representation in the Olivier awards.
We Are Not a Mirror
Essay

We Are Not a Mirror

Theatre Must Lead with Women’s Stories

24 April 2013

Lauren Gunderson writes about the failings of theatre to be a lens for society, and the inability to properly represent real life without the voices of women.

A portrait of Lauren Gunderson.
All Plays Are Classics
Essay

All Plays Are Classics

On Lineage, Trust, and The Necessary New

3 June 2012

Lauren Gunderson on the lessons that playwrights learn from the classics, and why both classic and new work is essential to theater.