EM Lewis – Playwright

Playwright E. M. Lewis

E. M. Lewis is an award-winning playwright, teacher, and opera librettist.  Her work has been produced around the world, and published by Samuel French.

The world premiere of Magellanica by EM Lewis, directed by Damaso Rodriguez, at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon. January/February 2018.


January 20-February 18, 2018 – world premiere of Magellanica at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, OR
January 25, 2018 – reading of How the Light Gets In – Fertile Ground Festival in Portland, OR
February 9, 2018 – Town Hall – world premiere of a new opera by composer Theo Popov and librettist E. M. Lewis at University of Maryland Opera Studio
March 11-April 18, 2018 – Residency at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville – Teaching playwriting and doing a workshop production of The Great Divide
April 3, 2018 – reading of Song of Extinction at the Portland Civic Theater Guild in Portland, OR
All year:  The Gun Show is Touring!  We took the Portland production of THE GUN SHOW to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2017  — and now we’re taking this touring production, featuring the extraordinary Vin Shambry, on the road!  Click here for more information!

The Gun Show, by E. M. Lewis. Directed by Shawn Lee. Featuring Vin Shambry. Fresh from national and international productions! Now on tour.

Theater Work:

Lewis’ play Now Comes the Night was part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival in Washington DC, and was published in the anthology Best Plays from Theater Festivals 2016.  The Gun Show premiered in Chicago in 2014, and has since been produced in more than a dozen theaters across the country, including Coho in Portland and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.  It was published in the anthology The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016.

Several of Lewis’ newest plays will be on stage next year:  Magellanica will have its world premiere at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon in January/February.  How the Light Gets In will have a reading in January in the Fertile Ground Festival in Portland, Oregon.  A new political play called The Great Divide will have a workshop production at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in the spring.  Lewis’ other plays include: Infinite Black Suitcase, Apple SeasonThe Study (aka Reading to Vegetables)True Story, and You Can See All the Stars (a play for college students commissioned by the Kennedy Center).

Town Hall — a new opera by composer Theo Popov and librettist E. M. Lewis. University of Maryland – Maryland Opera Studio. February 2018.

Opera Work:

In February, a new opera called Town Hall by composer Theo Popov and librettist E. M. Lewis will premiere at University of Maryland’s Maryland Opera Studio.  Popov and Lewis were commissioned to write this new socio-political opera by the university for their student singers.

Lewis is continues to work with composer Evan Meier on a full-length, family-friendly opera commissioned by American Lyric Theater called Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant.  


Lewis teaches playwriting on a semi-regular basis — most recently an Intro to Playwriting class at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  She is looking forward to a five week residency in spring of 2018 at Southern Illinois State University at Edwardsville, where she will be teaching playwriting and working with students on a workshop production of her new play “The Great Divide.”


Lewis was born and raised in rural Oregon, and has recently returned to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  She lives on her family’s farm, where she writes full time, travels regularly with her theater work, teaches occasionally, and drives tractor whenever she feels like it. 

    The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.
-James Baldwin

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