American Female Playwrights

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 1 
Gertrude Stein
(American Novelist, Poet and Playwright)
Gertrude Stein
6
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1946

Gertrude Stein was an American playwright, novelist, poet, and art collector. She is remembered for publishing works about lesbian sexuality, which was considered a taboo at that time. Over the years, Gertrude Stein has been the subject of several works of art. In the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, Stein was portrayed by Kathy Bates.

 2 
Lillian Hellman
(Dramatist and Screenwriter)
Lillian Hellman
6
Birthdate: June 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: June 30, 1984
Frances Hodgson Burnett
7
Birthdate: November 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheetham, Manchester, England
Died: October 29, 1924
 4 
Lorraine Hansberry
(Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Human rights activist)
Lorraine Hansberry
13
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.

 5 
Joyce Carol Oates
10
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 6 
Elaine May
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright)
Elaine May
10
Birthdate: April 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 7 
Tovah Feldshuh
(Television actor, Film actor, Writer, Playwright, Stage actor)
Tovah Feldshuh
10
Birthdate: December 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 8 
Patricia Wettig
(Actor, Playwright, Stage actor, Television actor)
Patricia Wettig
10
Birthdate: December 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 9 
Anna Deavere Smith
(Actress, Playwright & Professor)
Anna Deavere Smith
10
Birthdate: September 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
10
Birthdate: February 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockland, Maine, United States
Died: October 19, 1950
 11 
Charlayne Woodard
(Actress, Playwright)
Charlayne Woodard
10
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
 12 
Clare Boothe Luce
(Author, Politician)
Clare Boothe Luce
9
Birthdate: March 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 9, 1987
 13 
Eve Ensler
(Artist, Actor, Playwright, Autobiographer, Writer, Feminist)
Eve Ensler
8
Birthdate: May 25, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
 14 
Lynn Nottage
(Playwright)
Lynn Nottage
9
Birthdate: November 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 15 
Natalie Clifford Barney
(Playwright)
Natalie Clifford Barney
8
Birthdate: October 31, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 2, 1972
 16 
Ntozake Shange
(Playwright)
Ntozake Shange
8
Birthdate: October 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 27, 2018
 17 
Annie Baker
(screenwriter, author, writer)
Annie Baker
9
Birthdate: 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston
 18 
Kathy Acker
(Author)
Kathy Acker
8
Birthdate: April 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: November 30, 1997
 19 
Eileen Chang
(Chinese-born American Novelist, Essayist, and Screenwriter)
Eileen Chang
8
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

Zhang Ailing was a Chinese-born American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. A realist and modernist writer, Chang is credited with writing the scripts of many successful films like Miserable at Middle Age, Qing Chang Ru Zhan Chang, and Jin Suo Ji. Zhang Ailing is also credited with influencing and inspiring many creative writers in Taiwan, including Chu T’ien-wen and Yuan Chiung-chiung.

 20 
Suzan-Lori Parks
(American playwright)
Suzan-Lori Parks
7
Birthdate: May 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Knox, Kentucky, United States
 21 
Betty Comden
(Screenwriter, Librettist, Performer, Stage actor, Lyricist, Songwriter)
Betty Comden
5
Birthdate: May 3, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 23, 2006
 22 
Sarah Ruhl
(Playwright whose most popular plays are Eurydice (2003), The Clean House (2004), and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) (2009))
Sarah Ruhl
7
Birthdate: January 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, United States
 23 
Leslye Headland
(Director, producer known for the play and 2012 film Bachelorette and 2015 film Sleeping with Other People)
Leslye Headland
5
Birthdate: 1980 AD
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
 24 
Shirley Graham Du Bois
(Author)
Shirley Graham Du Bois
5
Birthdate: November 11, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: March 27, 1977
 25 
Regina Taylor
(Actress, Playwright.)
Regina Taylor
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 26 
Susan Glaspell
(Playwright)
Susan Glaspell
6
Birthdate: July 1, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Davenport, Iowa, United States
Died: July 28, 1948
 27 
Gerda Lerner
(Historian)
Gerda Lerner
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 2, 2013
 28 
Mina Loy
(Poet)
Mina Loy
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 25, 1966
 29 
Mabel Dodge Luhan
(Biographer)
Mabel Dodge Luhan
6
Birthdate: February 26, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York
Died: August 13, 1962
 30 
Jane Bowles
(Writer)
Jane Bowles
6
Birthdate: February 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 4, 1973
 31 
Diane di Prima
(Poet)
Diane di Prima
6
Birthdate: August 6, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 32 
Wendy Wasserstein
(Playwright)
Wendy Wasserstein
6
Birthdate: October 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 30, 2006
 33 
Jean Webster
(Writer)
Jean Webster
6
Birthdate: July 24, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fredonia, New York, United States
Died: June 11, 1916
 34 
Michael Strange
(Poet)
Michael Strange
4
Birthdate: October 1, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 5, 1950
 35 
Beth Henley
(Playwright)
Beth Henley
4
Birthdate: May 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson,Mississippi,United States
 36 
Maria Irene Fornés
(Dramatist)
Maria Irene Fornés
6
Birthdate: May 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Died: October 30, 2018
 37 
Jean Kerr
(Author)
Jean Kerr
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 5, 2003
 38 
Linda Hogan
(Poet)
Linda Hogan
5
Birthdate: July 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
 39 
Angelina Weld Grimké
(Journalist)
Angelina Weld Grimké
4
Birthdate: February 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 10, 1958
 40 
Judith Sargent Stevens Murray
(Advocate)
Judith Sargent Stevens Murray
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1751
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 9, 1820
 41 
Alice Childress
(Former novelist, playwright, and actress, acknowledged as)
Alice Childress
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died: August 14, 1994
 42 
Ana Castillo
(Novelist)
Ana Castillo
4
Birthdate: June 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 43 
Mary Zimmerman
(Theatre Director)
Mary Zimmerman
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
 44 
Jay Presson Allen
(Screenwriter)
Jay Presson Allen
4
Birthdate: March 3, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: San Angelo, Texas, United States
Died: May 1, 2006
 45 
Frederica Sagor Maas
(American Playwright, Screenwriter and Author)
Frederica Sagor Maas
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 5, 2012
 46 
Susanna Rowson
(Novelist)
Susanna Rowson
2
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: March 2, 1824
 47 
Pauline Hopkins
(Novelist)
Pauline Hopkins
4
Birthdate: 1859 AD
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: August 13, 1930
 48 
Ruth Draper
(Actress)
Ruth Draper
4
Birthdate: December 2, 1884
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 30, 1956
 49 
Minnie Maddern Fiske
(Actress)
Minnie Maddern Fiske
4
Birthdate: December 19, 1865
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: February 15, 1932
 50 
Jane Cowl
(Film Actress)
Jane Cowl
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 22, 1950