JUNE 2018: We are thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2018 FEWW Prize for Emerging Playwrights is Gina Femia for her play "ALLOND(R)A."

NOVEMBER 2017: The application period for the 2018 Leah Ryan’s FEWW Prize begins November 1st. The deadline is Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Please see our application page for more details.

JANUARY 2017: We’re excited to invite you to the free public reading of the winner of the 2016 playwriting prize from Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers. Wine and cheese will be served.

Monday, January 30, at 6:00pm
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
224 Waverly Place, NYC

No reservations necessary!

By Genne Murphy
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
With Kaitlyn Fouts, Kayla Jackmon, Aubie Merrylees, Stephanie Roetzel, and Marilyn Snyder

Dee is caring for her ailing grandmother, Rita, when she hears a mysterious noise in the abandoned glass factory behind her house. She discovers a lost girl her own age with amnesia – who happens to be 30 feet tall. Dee and the giantess try to figure out who she is, where she came from, and how to comprehend their deepening connection to one another. Giantess is a play about complicated bodies, identities, choices, and fate.

About Genne Murphy
Genne Murphy’s plays include THE SKINNY KILLER INSIDE: A FAT RAGE PLAY, BLUEBEARD’S WIFE, HOPE STREET AND OTHER LONELY PLACES, BLIND DOOR and SEA WITCH. Genne is the winner of the 2016 Leah Ryan prize for her play GIANTESS. Her short play OUTSIDE THE WIRE was shortlisted for the 2013 BBC International Radio Play Competition. Genne’s work has been produced and/or developed with Azuka Theatre, Yale School of Drama, PlayPenn Conference, Great Plains Theater Conference, Philly Fringe, San Francisco PlayGround, Theater Masters, Primary Stages and New York Stage and Film. Currently she is pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Yale School of Drama.

We look forward to seeing you at the reading. Wine, cheese, and an emerging woman’s voice in American theater await you!

With warm wishes,
The Leah Ryan Board of Directors
Arlene Avakian, Edward Cheetham, Cusi Cram, Dan Gunderman, Peter K. Hirsch, Jennifer Krasinski, Tessa LaNeve, Lorna Peterson, and LB Thompson

NOVEMBER 2016: The application period for the 2017 Leah Ryan’s FEWW Prize begins November 1st. The deadline is Monday, January 9th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. Please see our application page for more details.

JUNE 2016: We are moved and so honored that The Theatre Arts Department at the University of Iowa has selected Leah to join the Iowa Theatre Gallery. To quote the letter of recognition, "[Faculty] were privileged to know and work with Leah, and to follow her career for too short a time .... The Gallery also stands as a monument to our department's long and rich tradition. Leah is an important part of that tradition, and we hope you will take pleasure in knowing that future generations will draw strength from her achievements."

Leah's family, loved ones, and the entire board of Leah Ryan's FEWW thank The Theatre Arts Department faculty at the University of Iowa. This recognition was completely unexpected, and we couldn't be more thrilled that Leah will join the ranks of some of the country's finest artists and scholars from across the theater world in the Gallery.

NOVEMBER 2014: Another great review of High Fives from Kate Bell.

OCTOBER 2014: The application period for the 2015 Leah Ryan’s FEWW Prize begins November 3rd. The deadline is Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 5pm EST. Please see our application page for more details.

JULY 2014: Laura Marks, who won the Leah Ryan Emerging Playwright prize in 2011 for her play Bethany, was awarded the 2014 Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater prize for emerging playwright.

For more: The New York Times ArtsBeat blog

Jiehae Park, who won the 2013 Leah Ryan’s FEWW Prize for her play Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, is also the winner of a 2013 Princess Grace Foundation Playwrighting Fellowship. We at the FEWW congratulate Jiehae on her well-deserved success. (We also congratulate the Princess Grace Foundation on their terrific taste in playwrights.)

For more:

While at the Lily Awards back in June to applaud Jiehae Park as she received her 2013 FEWW Prize, we were proud to see that 2011 FEWW winner Laura Marks was being honored with an award for Playwriting that same evening. Kudos!

For more:

MAY 2013: Jiehae Park and LEAH'S FEWW announcement on Off Broadway

MAY 2013: Please join fans and friends alike of Jiehae Park for a reading of her new play, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, winner of the fourth Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers, on June 4 at 7:00 pm at Primary Stages, 15th Floor (307 W 38th St #1510 Between 8th and 9th New York, NY 10018). Directing the reading is Jose Zayas.

HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO is the story of Hannah, a young Korean-American woman who receives a Fed Ex box that contains two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart’s-desire-level wish, and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Korea, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of the Sunrise Dewdrop Apartment City for Senior Living onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone between the North and South. They'll need North Korea's permission to recover the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they appear.

JIEHAE PARK is a playwright and actor in NYC. Her second full-length, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, will be developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference this summer. HANNAH was also a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon Theatre’s Chris Wolk Award. Her first play (and undergrad thesis), HAPPY MOON DAY, HOLLY WOO was a finalist for the Wolk Award and placed third in the East West Players GOT LAUGHS national comedy playwriting competition. She is a proud member of the Ma Yi Writers Lab, a 2013 mentor for the O’Neill Young Playwrights Festival, and served two years as co-artistic director of title3, a Los Angeles company dedicated to new works by women. As an actor, she has worked with NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre 2ndStage (DC), Young Playwrights Theatre (DC), title3 (LA), and REDCAT (LA). Film: STEP UP; AMATEURS (2013). MFA (acting), UCSD/La Jolla Playhouse and BA (general theater shenanigans), Amherst College.

JOSE ZAYAS (Director) has directed over 70 productions in New York, regionally and Internationally. He has recently been appointed the Resident Director at Repertorio Espano and he is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Credits include: Pinkolandia, The House of the Spirits, Love in the Time of Cholera, Madre, Nowhere on the Border, Southern Promises, Father of Lies, Vengeance Can Wait, PS Jones and the Frozen City Feeder: A Love Story, Luz, Okay, Mrs Jones and the Man From Dixeland. Awards: 2007’s People of the Year, Drama League Fellow, Lincoln Center’s Director's Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director's, 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors; Multiple HOLA, ACE, Premios ATI and Ovation award winner. BA: Harvard University MFA: Carnegie Mellon.

This year's runners-up are Jen Silverman for All the Roads Home, and Andrea Stolowitz for Ithaka.

OCTOBER 1, 2012: We are pleased and honored to announce that the next Leah Ryan’s FEWW Playwriting Prize will be presented to the winner as part of the 2013 Lily Awards, which will be held in June in New York City.

The Lilly Awards were started in the Spring of 2010 as a way to honor the work of women in the American Theater. The founders of The Lilly Awards, or The Lillys as we affectionately refer to them, are Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck. The awards are named for Lillian Hellman, a pioneering American playwright who famously said “You need to write like the devil and act like one when necessary.” The awards continue in the tradition of her spirit and annually honor the work of women in the American Theater.

For more information on The Lily Awards, go to:

JUNE 1, 2012: We are pleased to announce that Ebru Celkan, a prize-winning playwright and founder of The Cloud (buluT) Theater Company in Istanbul Turkey will produce and publish Leah's play "Raised by Lesbians" this year.

The Cloud (buluT) Theater Company is dedicated to staging new work by innovative writers from Turkey and around the world as well as publishing such work to make them accessible to a wide audience. Believing the playwright is the center of theater's creative process and that the power of pen is the best way to provoke audiences to think about what is life in new ways, buluT prioritizes the text in production decisions. From its inception in 2011, buluT has embraced with passion and a spirit of innovations plays by writers from groups designated as “the other."

For more information on The Cloud (buluT) Theater Company, go to:

Visit their Facebook page here.

For more information about Leah's plays, please visit her website HERE.