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For over twenty years, the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival has proudly supported the creation and development of hundreds of new theatrical works by some of the most exciting playwrights of our time—who have gone on to become Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Obie, Emmy and Golden Globe award winners, as well as McArthur Genius Fellows.

To protect public health, including the health and wellbeing of participants and their families, staff, and those in our regional communities and beyond, we have paused all residency activities through June 11, which unfortunately will include the 2020 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival.  Please see our blog post for the latest information.


Ruby Rae Spiegel

RUBY RAE SPIEGEL’s Dry Land premiered Off-Broadway in a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at Colt Coeur, following development in New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Readings Festival and the Ojai Playwrights Conference. A finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the play has since gone on to be produced in over ten cities in the United States, London, Sydney, Abu Dhabi, South Korea and more. Ruby’s short play Carrie & Francine, premiered in the Summer Shorts Festival at 59E59 when she was only 18 years old. The play was produced alongside work by Neil LaBute, Christopher Durang and Alexander Dinelaris, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New York Post, and Time Out New York, and is now published in the anthology “Outstanding Short Plays Volume 3.” Ruby is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and will be part of the Center Theater Group’s 2018/19 writer’s group. Ruby has written for several television shows, including “The OA,” “Purity,” and “Mindhunter,” and “Central Park Five.” She is a 2015 graduate of Yale University, and a recipient of the Yale College Sudler Prize.

Lily Padilla

LILY PADILLA makes plays about sex, intersectional communities and what it means to heal in a violent world. Their play, How to Defend Yourself won the 2019 Yale Drama Prize and is a 2018-19 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist. It was produced in the 2019 Humana Festival and will be at Victory Gardens in 2020. MFA, UC San Diego, BFA, NYU Tisch. Lily is currently commissioned to make new plays with NNPN, Colt Coeur, and South Coast Rep. They are also a director, actor and community builder who looks at rehearsal as a laboratory for how we might be together. 

Alexa Junge

ALEXA JUNGE is a playwright, lyricist, television writer and screenwriter. Plays and musicals produced/developed at The Goodman Theater, New York Theater Workshop, American Repertory Theater, New York Stage and Film, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hedgebrook Women Playwright’s Festival, Public Theater, and MacDowell Colony. Other Credits: “Grace and Frankie” (Humanitas Nomination), “Big Love,”West Wing” (Two Emmy, WGA Nominations), “Sex and the City,”Friends” (Three Emmy, WGA Nominations) and “This American Life.” Education:  B.A., Barnard College, M.F.A., NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, Dramatic Writing Program. 

Jessica Huang

JESSICA HUANG’s work includes the 2018 Stavis Award-winning Paper Dreams of Harry Chin and Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying. She is the resident playwright at Chance Theater, a MacDowell Fellow, two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, Sloan and Jerome Foundation grantee, and belongs to Civilians R&D Group, Ars Nova Play Group, and Page 73’s Interstate 73. Through her company Other Tiger Productions, she makes radical cross-disciplinary theatrical events. She attends Juilliard’s Playwriting program.

Karen Hartman

KAREN HARTMAN is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow. Her play GOOD FAITH: Four Chats about Race and the New Haven Fire Department premiered at Yale Repertory Theater earlier this year. Three other recent plays, Roz & Ray (developed at Hedgebrook!), Project Dawn, and The Book of Joseph are newly published by Samuel French. She is Senior Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle, yet lives in Brooklyn. Go figure. She loves Hedgebrook very much.

Neyla Pekarek

NEYLA PEKAREK is a cellist who began playing at age 9 in her native city of Denver, Colorado. She studied Musical Theatre and earned a degree in Music Education at UNC in Greeley, CO. In 2010, she joined the Denver folk-rock group The Lumineers as a cellist and vocalist, and after 8 years, touring and recording with the band, Neyla parted ways to pursue her own musical endeavors. In January 2019, she released her debut album, Rattlesnake, on S-Curve records.

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