Past Winners

2018: Gina Femia, ALLOND(R)A

2017: Susan Soon He Stanton, We, The Invisibles

2016: Genne Murphy, Giantess
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.

2015: Boo Killebrew, Miller, Mississippi
Boo Killebrew is a playwright, actress and co-founder of CollaborationTown Theatre Company. Boo is a Lila Acheson Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School, a member of the Primary Stages Writers Group, an alumna of the 2013 Emerging Writers Group at The Public, a recipient of the 2013 NYFA Fellowship, an alumna of TerraNova's Groundbreakers, and an Affiliated Artist and Kitchen Cabinet Member with New Georges. She is a writer for LONGMIRE (A & E, Netflix) and in December of 2014, Boo sold a television pilot, AIM HIGH, to The Sundance Channel. She is the author of four plays in addition to Miller, Mississippi.

2014: Jen Silverman, The Moors
Jen Silverman was raised in Asia, Europe, and Scandinavia and the US. Her work has been produced off-Broadway by the Playwrights Realm (CRANE STORY), off-off Broadway by Clubbed Thumb (PHOEBE IN WINTER), regionally at Cleveland Public Theatre (AKARUI), and commissioned and produced by the Gallatin School/NYU (BONES AT THE GATE) and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School / NYU.

She is an inaugural Audrey Resident with New Georges, a Workspace resident with the LMCC, the recipient of a NYFA Playwriting Grant and the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and is an affiliated artist with Ars Nova, The Playwrights Realm, The Lark, and Youngblood/EST. She is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and has developed work with Playwrights Horizons, InterAct Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NY Stage & Film/ Powerhouse, Williamstown, Playpenn, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Seven Devils, and The New Harmony Project. Her play THE HUNTERS was selected for the 2014 Cherry Lane Mentor Project (mentor Lynn Nottage). Her play STILL won the Jane Chambers Award and the 2013 Yale Drama Series Award, and received a reading at Lincoln Center. BA: Brown. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She currently holds a Lila Acheson Wallace fellowship at Juilliard.

2013: Jiehae Park, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo
Jiehae Park is a playwright and performer in NYC. Her second full-length, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, won the 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers and was developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference. The script was also finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon’s Chris Wolk Award. Her undergrad thesis and first play, HAPPY MOON DAY, HOLLY WOO, was a finalist for the Wolk Award and placed third in the East West Players GOT LAUGHS competition. She is a member of the Ma Yi Writers Lab and served two years as co-artistic director of title3, a Los Angeles company dedicated to new works by women. MFA (acting), UCSD and BA (general theater shenanigans), Amherst College. She is also the recipient of a 2013 Princess Grace Foundation Playwrighting Fellowship.

"What a gift. There are the tangibles, of course — people reaching out to inquire about the play after the announcement, the prizemoney which made an upcoming summer of new play development a lot less financially scary...The intangibles, however, have been profound. Winning the Leah Ryan Prize — my first as a writer — and knowing the intent with which the prize was created has been a powerful nudge to keep going, and to keep going with integrity, dammit." Jiehae Park

2012: Rachel Teagle, The Ever and After
Rachel Teagle is a playwright, director, and comedian, Rachel grew up in the Silicon Valley and graduated from Carleton College with a degree in theater. She has had the privilege of working with many distinguished and supportive theaters in Minneapolis and Atlanta including the Workhaus Collective, Bedlam Theatre, Synchronicity, the Horizon Theater Apprentice Company and Serenbe Playhouse. She also recently planned and executed the very first Atlanta Fringe Festival. Previous works include: Orange: a farce (about terrorism), Covert Operations, Pain in the Neck (Essential Theater Playwriting Award Finalist), and adaptations of The Ugly Duckling and Alice in Wonderland.

“Winning Leah Ryan's FEWW was an absolute honor and a pleasure. The director and cast they assembled really showed my work in the best light. As a young playwright starting out, having my work acknowledged by Leah Ryan's FEWW is enormously encouraging and will lead to exciting opportunities and connections in the community.” Rachel

2011: Laura Marks, Bethany
Laura Marks is the author of Bethany, scheduled for an Off-Broadway production by the Women’s Project at City Center in January 2013. Bethany won the 2011 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers, was published in Methuen’s American Next Wave anthology in the UK, and was chosen by John Guare as runner-up for Yale’s David C. Horn Prize. Bethany and her other plays, Mine and Gather at the River, have had readings or workshops at the Public Theater, Juilliard, the Women’s Project, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf, the Black Dahlia, the Wilma Theater, HighTide Festival Theatre (UK), the Lark, Partial Comfort, Naked Angels et al. Laura is a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace playwriting program, an alumna of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, a recipient of a 2012 Helen Merrill Award and a member of New Dramatists. She’s also studied musical theater in the BMI Lehman Engel Composer/Lyricist Workshop. Currently she’s working on a new play commission for South Coast Repertory and a short play commission for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

“Winning the Leah Ryan Prize definitely helped to interest potential producers in my play, Bethany. It also gave me the chance to further refine the play by hearing it read in front of an audience—and the generous financial stipend helped me buy the time to write my next play.” Laura

2010: Megan Mostyn-Brown, The Rest of Your Life
Megan's plays include: Girl, The Secret Lives of Losers, Going After Alice, Lizards, Objects are Closer Than They Appear, The Bends, Nora Gets a Boyfriend, Nancy Blue: Girl Detective, and The Rest of Your Life. Productions: The Guthrie Theater, The Cherry Lane Theater, Union Station Theater, Carelton College, NYC International Fringe Festival, MadCat Theater, The 52nd Street Project and The Actor’s Theater of Louisville apprentice program. Workshops: New York Stage and Film, The Women’s Project, LAByrinth Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Public Theater, The Warehouse Theater, New Georges, Barrington Stage Company, The Old Vic/ New Voices New York Exchange, The Tribeca Theater Festival, Duke University and The HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO. Cherry Lane Mentor Project (mentor: Theresa Rebeck).

Honorable mention: Herrick Theater Foundation New Play Competition. Inaugural winner: Leah Ryan FEWW award. Recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan commission.

Girl was turned into a sound play by Coyote Rep and is available as a podcast on I-Tunes. Girl, The Secret Lives of Losers, and Lizards are published by Samuel French. Her short play for teens The Woods are for Suckers and Chumps is published in the 2011 edition Shorter, Faster, Funnier. Nancy Blue: Girl Detective will be published by Playscripts in 2012.

Member of LAByrinth Theater Company and the 2010-2011 P73 Writers Lab. Former member of Women’s Project Playwrights LAB and a guest playwright at New River Dramatists, The Orchard Project, The Royal Court Theatre, The Rockefeller Foundation and the 24/7 Lab.

She is a graduate of Northwestern University.