Doris Duke Artist Awards

Lauren Yee

Playwright

New York, NY

Lauren Yee, a 2019 Doris Duke Artist in the theater category, is a playwright whose perceptive work often explores family stories, history reimagined through different lenses and the lives of people on the margins of or outside of a dominant culture. Her award-winning play “Cambodian Rock Band,” a comedy infused with music by the band Dengue Fever and classic Cambodian oldies, shadows a young woman on her mission to take down a Khmer Rouge war criminal thirty years after her father fled Cambodia. The play premiered at South Coast Repertory and is running at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, followed by runs at La Jolla Playhouse, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Portland Center Stage, Jungle Theatre and Signature Theatre in New York City. Her play “The Great Leap,” a sociopolitical sports tale that centers on a fictitious friendship game between China and America in the late 80s, has been produced by The Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, the Guthrie Theater, Arts Club Theatre Company and InterAct Theatre Company with future productions at Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Pasadena Playhouse/East West Players, Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama and Cygnet Theatre.  Another of her recent works, “The Song of the Summer,” is a touching account of a disgraced pop star's homecoming premiered in the spring of 2019 at Trinity Rep.

Yee has also won numerous awards for her work, including the Whiting Award, the Steinberg/ATCA Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize and the Francesca Primus Prize.  She is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, a Princeton University Hodder fellow, a New Dramatists member, a Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member and a Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. Her work is published by Samuel French, and her plays were in the top two slots of the 2017 Kilroys List. Her current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage and South Coast Rep. She currently writes for the TV adaptation of "Pachinko" for Apple and previously wrote for Netflix's "Soundtrack."


See the other 2019 Doris Duke Artists