Leah Nanako Winkler is an award-winning playwright and TV Writer from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her plays include God Said This (Winner: 2018 Yale Drama Series, World Premiere: Humana Festival, Off Broadway : Primary Stages), Two Mile Hollow ( Kilroys List, Simultaneous world premiere w/ Artists At Play in La, Mixed Blood/Theater Mu in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in SF), Kentucky ( Kilroys List/ World premiere:  Ensemble Studio Theater/ Page 73.  )  Linus and Murray (EST/Marathon 2017) ,  Double Suicide at Ueno Park (Est/Marthon 2014) Hot Asian Doctor Husband (Theater Mu/Mixed Blood ) and Nevada-Tan ( Audible commission).  Accolades and fellowships:  Mark O’Donnell Prize from The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons,  Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund, Jerome New York Fellow at the Lark,  2020 Steinberg Playwright Award and  Peabody.  TV credits include Michael Moore’s TV NATION, New Amsterdam, A24’s Ramy on Hulu  and Love Life on HBO MAX.   Her latest play, The Brightest Thing in the World will premiere at Yale Rep in 2022.

More About Leah

Leah started out self-producing experimental comedies with her now defunct theater company Everywhere Theatre Group from 2006-2012 at places like the New Ohio Theatre, The Brick Theatre, Dixon Place, the Ontological Hysteric Theater/Incubator Arts Project the  Prelude Festival and random boats and bars.  You can watch a partial archive of ETG’s history here.   Her collections of short plays, Nagoriyuki & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form Of Writing are currently available here and are performed widely in the US, France and Asia. Other publications include American Theater Magazine, Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews, Yale University Press, Backstage, Smith and Krauss, Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service.

She has served on the faculty of New Group’s Urban Arts Initiative,  ESPA at Primary Stages and the Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College, as well as teaching as a guest artist at schools around the country. Leah is an alumnus of Youngblood at the Ensemble Studio Theater, terraNova Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group at Primary Stages and the Lab at WP Theater where she was a 2016-2018 Time Warner Fellow. She was a  Ucross fellow with the Sundance Institute. She is currently a labbie at Ma Yi,  a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and on the board of Page 73. She’s has had commissions from WP Theater, Yale Rep EST/SLOAN,  and Disney/Marvel.

She attended Tates Creek High School and has a MFA from Brooklyn College. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.” Follow her @leahnanako.

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