Female Playwrights

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 1 
Lillian Hellman
(Dramatist and Screenwriter)
Lillian Hellman
6
Birthdate: June 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: June 30, 1984
 2 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
 3 
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.

 4 
Daphne du Maurier
(English Novelist, Biographer and Playwright)
Daphne du Maurier
5
Birthdate: May 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 1989

Daphne du Maurier was an English playwright and author. Many of her works, which have been praised for narrative craft, have been adapted into films, including three of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Such was her popularity that she was selected along with four other Women of Achievement to be featured on a set of British stamps, which were issued in 1996.

 5 
Caryl Churchill
(British Playwright Best Known for Her Plays: ‘Top Girls’, ‘Cloud 9’ and ‘Serious Money’)
Caryl Churchill
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

British playwright Caryl Churchill is best-known for works that emphasize on feminist-issues, sexual-politics and abuses of power. Most renowned works of Churchill, who also gained attention for using non-naturalistic techniques, include the farce Cloud 9 about sexual politics; the play Top Girls that deals with feminist issues; and the satirical play Serious Money that was largely written in rhyming couplets.

 6 
Sophie Hunter
(Theatre Director)
Sophie Hunter
10
Birthdate: March 16, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

Sophie Hunter is an English playwright, opera director, and former performer. She is credited with co-founding and popularizing a theatre company called Boileroom, which was honored with the Samuel Theatre Trust Award in 2007 for its play The Terrific Electric, which marked Sophie Hunter's directorial debut.

 7 
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.

 8 
Carol Ann Duffy
7
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 9 
Danai Gurira
(Actress and Playwright)
Danai Gurira
27
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.
 10 
Zoe Kazan
(American Actress Known for Her Role in the TV Series 'Olive Kitteridge')
Zoe Kazan
11
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Born to screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, Zoe Kazan is also the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan and thus was never a stranger to show business. Now a regular on Broadway and in films, she also bagged an Emmy nomination for her role in the miniseries Olive Kitteridge.

 11 
Olympe de Gouges
(French Playwright, Political Activist, and Advocate for Women's Rights)
Olympe de Gouges
10
Birthdate: May 7, 1748
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: November 3, 1793

Olympe de Gouges was an 18th-century French playwright and political activist. Her writings on women's rights and abolitionism were popular in various countries. She was an outspoken advocate against the slave trade in the French colonies. She demanded that French women be given the same rights as French men. She was executed during the Reign of Terror.

 12 
Amelia Bullmore
7
Birthdate: January 31, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chelsea, London, England, United Kingdom
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 13 
Mae West
(Actress, Screenwriter, Singer)
Mae West
9
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.
 14 
Nora Ephron
(Screenwriter, Producer, Director)
Nora Ephron
12
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.

 15 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)
Dorothy L. Sayers
7
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957
 16 
Frances Hodgson Burnett
7
Birthdate: November 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheetham, Manchester, England
Died: October 29, 1924
 17 
Ruth Gordon
(Actress)
Ruth Gordon
10
Birthdate: October 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 28, 1985
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
 18 
Joyce Carol Oates
10
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lockport, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 19 
Elaine May
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright)
Elaine May
10
Birthdate: April 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 20 
Carrie Hamilton
(Actress)
Carrie Hamilton
11
Birthdate: December 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 20, 2002
 21 
Julia Donaldson
(English Writer and Playwright Best Known for Her Popular Rhyming Stories for Children)
Julia Donaldson
7
Birthdate: September 16, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
 22 
Lucy Prebble
(Playwright)
Lucy Prebble
6
Birthdate: 1981 AD
Birthplace: Haslemere, England
 23 
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)
 24 
Amanda Palmer
(Singer, Street artist, Composer, Pianist, Musician, Playwright, Blogger, Songwriter)
Amanda Palmer
10
Birthdate: April 30, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 25 
Mary Hayley Bell
(English Writer and Actress Who is Best Remembered for Her Novel 'Whistle Down')
Mary Hayley Bell
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: December 1, 2005

Mary Hayley Bell was an English writer and actress. She is perhaps best remembered for her novel Whistle Down the Wind, which was later adapted into a film with her daughter Hayley Mills playing the lead role. As far as her acting career is concerned, Mary Hayley Bell had a prominent stage acting career for about a decade. 

 26 
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)
 27 
Katharine Viner
(Journalist)
Katharine Viner
6
Birthdate: January 4, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
 28 
Kate Atkinson
(Novelist)
Kate Atkinson
6
Birthdate: December 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: York, England
 29 
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)
 30 
Ali Smith
(Scottish Author, Playwright, Academic and Journalist)
Ali Smith
6
Birthdate: August 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

Born to working-class parents in Scotland, Ali Smith grew up to earn a PhD from the University of Cambridge. While teaching at the University of Strathclyde, she developed chronic fatigue and took a break to write. Known for books such as Autumn, she often collaborates with her partner Sarah Wood.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
10
Birthdate: February 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockland, Maine, United States
Died: October 19, 1950
 32 
Françoise Sagan
(Playwright)
Françoise Sagan
6
Birthdate: June 21, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cajarc, France
Died: September 24, 2004
 33 
Elfriede Jelinek
(Austrian Playwright, Novelist and 2004 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature)
Elfriede Jelinek
6
Birthdate: October 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mürzzuschlag, Austria

Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian novelist and playwright who was honored with the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature. Widely regarded as the most prominent playwright of the German language, Elfriede Jelinek has several prestigious awards and honors under her belt.

 34 
Charlayne Woodard
(Actress, Playwright)
Charlayne Woodard
10
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
 35 
Nelly Sachs
(German-Swedish Poet and Playwright, Known for His Play ‘Eli: Ein Mysterienspiel vom Leiden Israels')
Nelly Sachs
6
Birthdate: December 10, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: May 12, 1970

Nelly Leonie Sachs, internationally noted German-Swedish poet and dramatist, wrote conventional romantic poems until the rise of Nazism brought about a drastic change in her life. Forced to flee to Sweden, she began writing about the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews, concurrently translating German works into Swedish and vice-versa. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.

 36 
Emma Donoghue
(Novelist)
Emma Donoghue
9
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Alex Awards winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue is best known for authoring award winning novels like Room and Hood. Room, an international best-seller, was adapted into a film bearing same title that not only emerged as a critical and commercial success but also garnered four Oscar nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.

 37 
Josephine Tey
(Author Known for Her Novel ‘The Daughter of Time')
Josephine Tey
7
Birthdate: July 25, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland
Died: February 13, 1952

Elizabeth Mackintosh, better known by her pseudonym, Josephine Tey, was a physical education teacher before becoming a full-time author. She first tasted success with The Man in the Queue, a detective novel written as Gordon Daviot. Her work A Shilling for Candles was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock.

 38 
Lynn Nottage
(Playwright)
Lynn Nottage
9
Birthdate: November 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 39 
Caroline Graham
(Screenwriter, Novelist, Writer)
Caroline Graham
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nuneaton
 40 
Sarah Kane
(Playwright, Writer)
Sarah Kane
10
Birthdate: February 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brentwood
Died: February 20, 1999
 41 
Sue Townsend
(Writer and Humorist Best Known for Creating the Character 'Adrian Mole')
Sue Townsend
6
Birthdate: April 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leicester, England
Died: April 10, 2014

Best known for creating the protagonist Adrian Mole, Sue Townsend was a legendary comic writer from Britain. Apart from the Adrian Mole series, she had also penned other novels and plays. A chain-smoker as a teenager, she had her first marriage at 18 and was a mother of three by 22.

 42 
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
 43 
Judy Campbell
(Actor, Playwright)
Judy Campbell
6
Birthdate: May 31, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grantham
Died: June 6, 2004
 44 
Hannah Szenes
(Writer, Poet)
Hannah Szenes
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: November 7, 1944

Hungarian Jewish poet and SOE member Hannah Szenes went down in history for voluntarily parachuting into occupied Europe during World War II to assist the Allied forces and the armed resistance against the Nazis. Captured at the Hungarian border, she was eventually tortured and executed by a firing squad.

 45 
Annie Baker
(screenwriter, author, writer)
Annie Baker
9
Birthdate: 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston
 46 
Sharman Macdonald
(Scottish Playwright, Screenwriter and Actress)
Sharman Macdonald
6
Birthdate: February 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 47 
Marguerite Duras
(Former novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and experimental filmmaker)
Marguerite Duras
7
Birthdate: April 4, 1914
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vietnam
Died: March 3, 1996
 48 
Yang Jiang
(Chinese Playwright and Translator Who Wrote Several Successful Comedies)
Yang Jiang
9
Birthdate: July 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: May 25, 2016

Yang Jiang was a Chinese author, translator, and playwright. Yang Jiang is credited with writing several successful comedies. A prolific translator, Yang was the first Chinese to come up with a proper Chinese version of Don Quixote. Her translation is considered the definitive translation of the popular novel in China.

 49 
Laura Wade
(Writer)
Laura Wade
8
Birthdate: October 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bedford
 50 
Patrisse Cullors
(Artist)
Patrisse Cullors
10
Birthdate: June 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.