Modern day movies and tele-shows may be interesting and entertaining, but the feel of sitting in a theatre and watching live characters is absolutely incredible! That is the magic that playwrights put into plays. Output of a vivid imagination and a gripping story, plays are a form of literature and are basically intended for theatrical performance. While talking about playwrights and plays, one just cannot overlook the contribution of Americans. Unless you have been living under the rock, names like T.S Eliot, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, Sarah Ruhl, Christopher Durang, August Wilson or Edward Albee cannot be unheard of. Truly outstanding in their work, American playwrights have a deep embedded insight for playwriting and a good knowledge and understanding of dramatic structure. Their play with words and sequence of the drama is so natural that at no point in their play, it seems like the characters are restricted to a particular script. Interestingly, plays by these playwrights have not just been performed in America alone but the world over. Enliven your spirit by reading about the life and works of some of the greatest American playwrights of all times. Their body of work would surely keep you entertained!
Sam ShepardSam Shepard
05 November 1943
Actor
Tracy LettsTracy Letts
04 July 1965
Actor, Screenwriter

Arthur MillerArthur Miller
17 October 1915
 

Robby BensonRobby Benson
21 January 1956
Actor

Tennessee WilliamsTennessee Williams
26 March 1911
American playwright

Danai GuriraDanai Gurira
14 February 1978
Actress
Gore VidalGore Vidal
03 October 1925
 

Nora EphronNora Ephron
19 May 1941
Screenwriter, Producer, Director

Rod SerlingRod Serling
25 December 1924
Screenwriter, TV Producer, Narrator

Henry JamesHenry James
15 April 1843
Writer
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill Eugene O'Neill
16 October 1888
Playwright

Joyce Carol OatesJoyce Carol Oates
16 June 1938
Writer
David MametDavid Mamet
30 November 1947
 

Roxann DawsonRoxann Dawson
11 September 1958
Actress

Neil SimonNeil Simon
04 July 1927
Playwright & Screenwriter
Charlayne WoodardCharlayne Woodard
29 December 1953
Actress

Yolanda KingYolanda King
17 November 1955
Activist
Joseph HellerJoseph Heller
01 May 1923
Novelist

Dick CusackDick Cusack
29 August 1925
Actor

Lillian HellmanLillian Hellman
20 June 1905
Dramatist and Screenwriter
John GalsworthyJohn Galsworthy
14 August 1867
Nobel Laureate in Literature

Irwin ShawIrwin Shaw
27 February 1913
Illness
James WongJames Wong
20 April 1959
Television producer

Robert GreeneRobert Greene
14 May 1959
Writer, Playwright

Thomas Clayton WolfeThomas Clayton Wolfe
03 October 1900
Novelist

Zoe KazanZoe Kazan
09 September 1983
Actress
Lisa EdelsteinLisa Edelstein
21 May 1966
Playwright, Television actor, Actor, Film actor,
Amanda PalmerAmanda Palmer
30 April 1976
Singer, Street artist, Composer, Pianist,

Ernie HudsonErnie Hudson
17 December 1945
Actor

Leslie JordanLeslie Jordan
29 April 1955
Actor, Playwright, Stage actor, Television actor

Stephen TobolowskyStephen Tobolowsky
30 May 1951
Actor
Jim BeaverJim Beaver
12 August 1950
Actor

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Edward AlbeeEdward Albee
12 March 1928
Playwright, Writer, Screenwriter, University

Colman DomingoColman Domingo
28 November 1969
Actor

Morgan SpurlockMorgan Spurlock
07 November 1970
Screenwriter, Film director, Journalist

Howard ZinnHoward Zinn
24 August 1922
Playwright, Political scientist, Historian of the
Ruby DeeRuby Dee
27 October 1922
Actress

David BaldacciDavid Baldacci
05 August 1960
Writer, Screenwriter, Lawyer, Novelist, Author
Jim SteinmanJim Steinman
01 November 1947
Composer

Gypsy Rose LeeGypsy Rose Lee
08 January 1911
Entertainer

Carrie HamiltonCarrie Hamilton
05 December 1963
Actress
Matthew CowlesMatthew Cowles
28 September 1944
Television actor, Film actor, Stage actor

Christine JorgensenChristine Jorgensen
30 May 1926
Actor
Austin PendletonAustin Pendleton
27 March 1940
Actor, Playwright, Writer, Stage actor, Television

Ron PalilloRon Palillo
02 April 1949
Actor, Stage actor, Television actor

Rupert HolmesRupert Holmes
24 February 1947
Composer

Sidney SheldonSidney Sheldon
11 February 1917
Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Film

Paddy ChayefskyPaddy Chayefsky
29 January 1923
Playwright
Thomas HarrisThomas Harris
11 April 1940
Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright,

Elaine MayElaine May
21 April 1932
Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Stage actor,

Patricia WettigPatricia Wettig
04 December 1951
Actor, Playwright, Stage actor, Television actor

John Cameron MitchellJohn Cameron Mitchell
21 April 1963
Actor
Don DeLilloDon DeLillo
20 November 1936
Writer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist,

Eric BogosianEric Bogosian
24 April 1953
Actor
William GoldmanWilliam Goldman
12 August 1931
Novelist

Anna Deavere SmithAnna Deavere Smith
18 September 1950
Stage actor, Film actor, Television actor, Writer,

Christopher IsherwoodChristopher Isherwood
26 August 1904
Novelist
Howard AshmanHoward Ashman
17 May 1950
Composer, Screenwriter, Lyricist, Songwriter, Film

Ethan PhillipsEthan Phillips
08 February 1955
Actor
Melvin Van PeeblesMelvin Van Peebles
21 August 1932
Actor

Kenneth LonerganKenneth Lonergan
16 October 1962
Screenwriter, Playwright, Theatre director, Actor,

Tony KushnerTony Kushner
16 July 1956
Playwright, Screenwriter, Writer, Music educator
Dan ButlerDan Butler
02 December 1954
Actor, Television actor

Jonathan LarsonJonathan Larson
04 February 1960
Composer, Writer
J. Michael StraczynskiJ. Michael Straczynski
17 July 1954
Screenwriter, Film producer, Novelist, Journalist,

Lorraine HansberryLorraine Hansberry
19 May 1930
Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter,

Taylor NegronTaylor Negron
01 August 1957
Actor

Robert Anton WilsonRobert Anton Wilson
18 January 1932
Writer, Novelist, Philosopher, Essayist,
Tovah FeldshuhTovah Feldshuh
27 December 1952
Television actor, Film actor, Writer, Playwright,
Frances Hodgson BurnettFrances Hodgson Burnett
24 November 1849
Dramaturge, Writer, Playwright, Children's writer,

Frank LoesserFrank Loesser
29 June 1910
Composer, Librettist, Lyricist, Songwriter, Film

Matt LetscherMatt Letscher
26 June 1970
Stage actor, Film actor, Television actor

Joseph BolognaJoseph Bologna
30 December 1934
Actor
Larry KramerLarry Kramer
25 June 1935
Playwright

Clare Boothe LuceClare Boothe Luce
10 March 1903
Former U.S. Congressman, Diplomat, Journalist,

Ira LevinIra Levin
27 August 1929
Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist, Writer,

Meredith WillsonMeredith Willson
18 May 1902
Conductor, Composer, Flautist, Pianist, Songwriter

Nick FlynnNick Flynn
26 January 1960
Writer, Screenwriter
Peter HedgesPeter Hedges
06 July 1962
Novelist

Roger Guenveur SmithRoger Guenveur Smith
27 July 1955
Actor, Screenwriter, Television actor
Kevin HagenKevin Hagen
03 April 1928
Actor, Television actor

Michael CristoferMichael Cristofer
22 January 1945
Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Playwright,

Hunter FosterHunter Foster
25 June 1969
Singer, Librettist, Stage actor
Paul Laurence DunbarPaul Laurence Dunbar
27 June 1872
Writer, Novelist, Playwright, Poet

Eli MarienthalEli Marienthal
06 March 1986
Actor, Stage actor, Television actor
John Patrick ShanleyJohn Patrick Shanley
03 October 1950
Screenwriter, Playwright, Writer, Film director,

Neil LaButeNeil LaBute
19 March 1963
Film director, Screenwriter, Writer

Evan ChandlerEvan Chandler
25 January 1944
Dentist, Playwright

Eve EnslerEve Ensler
25 May 1953
Artist, Actor, Playwright, Autobiographer, Writer,
Kathy AckerKathy Acker
18 April 1947
Author

Bryan FogelBryan Fogel
Director
David RabeDavid Rabe
10 March 1940
Screenwriter, Author, Playwright, Writer

Ben HechtBen Hecht
28 February 1893
Screenwriter
Todd SolondzTodd Solondz
15 October 1959
Filmmaker

Ntozake ShangeNtozake Shange
18 October 1948
Playwright
Nicholas KazanNicholas Kazan
30 November 1945
screenwriter, film director, film producer