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Susan Yankowitz is a librettist and novelist, sometimes a screenwriter, most frequently a playwright.

Among her best-known works are Terminal and 1969 Terminal 1996 (with Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre), A Knife in the Heart/Gun, Night Sky, Phaedra in Delirium and Seven, a documentary drama about seven remarkable women by seven women playwrights which has been translated into 28 languages and performed internationally, most recently in Japan, Canada and Malaysia. Night Sky received the 2016 Massachusetts Critics Circle Award for Best Play and that year was also published in Hebrew. Thumbprint, her opera with composer Kamala Sankaram  premiered in the 2014 PRoTOTYPE Festival, and was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition,  Agence French Presse, and over 25 media outlets around the world.  Most recently it was produced at L.A. Opera to standing ovations and critical acclaim. Her latest play is called The Crazy But True Tragical-Farcical Trial Of Madame P, A Theatrical Bestiary Inspired by Trials of the Middle Ages wherein a Pig and Various 4-Legged and Winged Creatures are Prosecuted for Theft, Murder, Bestiality and Diverse Crimes against Humankind, a title which tells more and less than you want to know. Her life in theater has been aided and comforted by support from the NEA, NYFA, HERE, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, Opera America, Bogliasco, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Hermitage, and others. In the best of times, her work has been called “moving and poetic” (Los Angeles Times); “magnificent… scorching” (NPR); and “breathtaking” (New York Times). In the worst of times, she tries to remember the best of times. Her archive is held at (

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Photo by Laura Bianchi

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