American Female Playwrights

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira
20
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa, United States
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.

 2 Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 3 Mae West

Mae West
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 22, 1980
Mae West began her career as a child actor in vaudeville. She later appeared in films such as You Done Me Wrong and Go West, Young Man. She became famous for her signature double entendres and sexual liberty she projected on screen. She also wrote books and plays later.

 4 Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 5 Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry
6
Famous As: Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Human rights activist
Birthdate: May 19, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 12, 1965

Lorraine Hansberry was a writer and playwright best remembered for her play A Raisin in the Sun which emphasizes the plight of African-Americans living under racial segregation. At the age of 29, Lorraine Hansberry received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, becoming the youngest playwright and the first African-American dramatist to win the prestigious award.

 6 Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer
4
Famous As: Singer, Street artist, Composer, Pianist, Musician, Playwright, Blogger, Songwriter
Birthdate: April 30, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 7 Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 28, 1985
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 8 Gypsy Rose Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee
4
Famous As: Entertainer
Birthdate: January 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Died: April 26, 1970

Gypsy Rose Lee was an American vedette and burlesque entertainer best remembered for her striptease act. She was also an actress, playwright, and author whose memoir inspired the 1959 stage musical, Gypsy. Lee's life inspired several works of art, including a song titled Gypsy Rose Lee by The Distillers. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 9 Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died: June 11, 2014

 10 Elaine May

Elaine May
4
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
Birthdate: April 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 11 Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States

 12 Carrie Hamilton

Carrie Hamilton
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 20, 2002

 13 Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 14 Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman
4
Famous As: Dramatist and Screenwriter
Birthdate: June 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: June 30, 1984

 15 Tovah Feldshuh

Tovah Feldshuh
4
Famous As: Television actor, Film actor, Writer, Playwright, Stage actor
Birthdate: December 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City

 16 Patricia Wettig

Patricia Wettig
4
Famous As: Actor, Playwright, Stage actor, Television actor
Birthdate: December 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati

 17 Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheetham, Manchester, England
Died: October 29, 1924

 18 Charlayne Woodard

Charlayne Woodard
4
Famous As: Actress, Playwright
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States

 19 Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockland, Maine, United States
Died: October 19, 1950

 20 Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith
4
Famous As: Actress, Playwright & Professor
Birthdate: September 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

 21 Clare Boothe Luce

Clare Boothe Luce
3
Famous As: Author, Politician
Birthdate: March 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 9, 1987

 22 Kathy Acker

Kathy Acker
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: November 30, 1997

 23 Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler
3
Famous As: Artist, Actor, Playwright, Autobiographer, Writer, Feminist
Birthdate: May 25, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City

 24 Annie Baker

Annie Baker
3
Famous As: screenwriter, author, writer
Birthdate: March 31, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston

 25 Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: November 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 26 Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 27, 2018

 27 Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 31, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 2, 1972

 28 Zhang Ailing

Zhang Ailing
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

 29 Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland
3
Famous As: Director, producer known for the play and 2012 film Bachelorette and 2015 film Sleeping with Other People
Birthdate: 1980 AD
Birthplace: Maryland, United States

 30 Marilyn vos Savant

Marilyn vos Savant
20
Famous As: Columnist
Birthdate: August 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

 31 Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks
3
Famous As: American playwright
Birthdate: May 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Knox, Kentucky, United States

 32 Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl
3
Famous As: Playwright whose most popular plays are Eurydice (2003), The Clean House (2004), and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) (2009)
Birthdate: January 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, United States

 33 Shirley Graham Du Bois

Shirley Graham Du Bois
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 11, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: March 27, 1977

 34 Regina Taylor

Regina Taylor
0
Famous As: Actress, Playwright.
Birthdate: August 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 35 Betty Comden

Betty Comden
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Librettist, Performer, Stage actor, Lyricist, Songwriter
Birthdate: May 3, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 23, 2006

 36 Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 30, 2006

 37 Susan Glaspell

Susan Glaspell
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: July 1, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Davenport, Iowa, United States
Died: July 28, 1948

 38 Roberta Colindrez

Roberta Colindrez
0
Famous As: actress and writer known for originating the role of Joan in the musical Fun Home
Birthdate: April 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monterrey, Mexico
Mexican-American actor and dramatist Roberta Colindrez had decided she wanted to pursue acting at age 12. Known for shows such as I Love Dick, she also gained fame as Joan from the musical Fun Home. She has spoken about how her queer sexual identity became an obstacle in her acting career.

 39 Mina Loy

Mina Loy
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 25, 1966

 40 Mabel Dodge Luhan

Mabel Dodge Luhan
3
Famous As: Biographer
Birthdate: February 26, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York
Died: August 13, 1962

 41 Maria Irene Fornés

Maria Irene Fornés
3
Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: May 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Died: October 30, 2018

 42 Diane di Prima

Diane di Prima
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 6, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 43 Jean Webster

Jean Webster
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 24, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fredonia, New York, United States
Died: June 11, 1916

 44 Linda Hogan

Linda Hogan
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States

 45 Jane Bowles

Jane Bowles
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 4, 1973

 46 Gerda Lerner

Gerda Lerner
2
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: April 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 2, 2013

 47 Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: February 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 10, 1958

 48 Michael Strange

Michael Strange
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 1, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 5, 1950

 49 Beth Henley

Beth Henley
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: May 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson,Mississippi,United States

 50 Jean Kerr

Jean Kerr
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 10, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 5, 2003