EM Lewis – Playwright

Playwright E. M. Lewis

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

She received the Steinberg Award for Song of Extinction and the Primus Prize for Heads from the American Theater Critics Association, the Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for outstanding writing of a world premiere play, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a playwriting fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Commission, and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama.  She was a finalist for the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship in 2014.  She has worked with theater companies and arts organizations across the country on her plays, including the Lark, the William Inge Center for the Arts, the Ashland New Plays Festival, Page 73, and many more.

PictureExciting News!

We’re taking the Portland production of THE GUN SHOW to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2017  — and then continuing to take this touring production that features the extraordinary Vin Shambry on the road!  Click here for more information!

Theater Work:

Lewis’ play Now Comes the Night was part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival in Washington DC last year, 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.  It has upcoming productions scheduled in Richmond, Denver, Washington, DC, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and will be published in the upcoming anthology The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016.

Two of Lewis’ newest plays will be on stage next year:  Magellanica will have its world premiere at Artists Repertory Theater and Apple Season will have its world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Theater.  Her other plays include: Infinite Black SuitcaseThe Study (aka Reading to Vegetables)True Story, and You Can See All the Stars (a play for college students commissioned by the Kennedy Center).  She is currently working on an intimate play set in an Oregon vineyard called Wine Country, and a big, new socio-political play called The Great Divide.

Opera Work:

Lewis is currently working with her composer partner on a full-length, family-friendly opera commissioned by American Lyric Theater called Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant.  She has other opera projects in mind and in progress as well!  


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.


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.

Upcoming in 2017/2018:


  • World premiere production at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon in January 2018.


  • Workshop and staged reading in the Women Playwrights Initiative at Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut in March 2017.
  • World premiere production at New Jersey Repertory Theater in 2018.


  • Part of the Empathy in Action Festival in Richmond, Virginia — directed by Laine Satterfield and featuring Bostin Christopher.
  • Production at And Toto Too Theater in Denver, Colorado — directed by Susan Lyles.
  • More performances across the U. S. and around the world soon to be announced!


  • A new one-act play for college performers, commissioned by the Kennedy Center, will be showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festivals across the country in spring of 2017.


  • Part of the 2017-2018 season at Acadiana Repertory Theater in Louisiana


  • American Lyric Theater will present a piano vocal concert of this new family-friendly opera by composer Evan Meier and librettist E. M. Lewis at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in March 2017.


  • Residency and playwriting intensive at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in spring of 2018.
    The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.
-James Baldwin

Leave a Reply