Betty Shamieh (she/her) is the author of fifteen plays. Her off-Broadway premieres include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Director: Sam Gold) and Roar (The New Group, Director: Marion McClinton). Roar was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick and is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States. In 2016, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Drama and Performance Art. She is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. She was selected as a winner of The Playwrights' Center’s McKnight National Residency and Commission. Shamieh was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue in 2011.
Her European productions in translation are Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Sweden), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Greece), and Territories (European Union Capital of Culture Festival). Shamieh wrote and co-starred in her play of monologues, Chocolate in Heat (Director: Sam Gold), in two sold-out off-off-Broadway runs and over twenty university theatres. As Soon As Impossible was developed with Jamie Farr and commissioned by Second Stage through the Time Warner Commissioning Program. The Machine (Director: Marisa Tomei) was produced by Naked Angels at the Duke Theatre in 2007. She began performing in work-in-progress presentations of The Alter-Ego of an Arab-American Assimilationist (a performance art-lecture) at colleges in 2014. Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies presented the world premiere of a suite of arias from Territories, an opera based on her play. Fit for a Queen had world premiere at the Classical Theatre of Harlem in October 2016 (Director: Tamilla Woodard). In 2017, the New York premiere of her immersive murder mystery The Strangest (Director: May Adrales) was selected as one of the season’s “most promising live events” in the New York Times Spring Arts Preview article, “32 Reasons to Get Out & Get Off the Couch.”
Shamieh’s work has been the subject of features in the New York Times, Time Out, American Theatre magazine, Theater Bay Area, the Brooklyn Rail, San Francisco Chronicle, Svenska Dagbladet, Teaterstockholm, der Standard, Aramco Magazine, Kathimeiri, and the International Herald Tribune among others. A cartoon of Roar appeared in the New Yorker’s “Goings on about Town” section.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was awarded an NEA/TCG grant to be a playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre. Shamieh was selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard and named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Shamieh has taught playwriting at Columbia/Barnard, Denison College, and Marymount Manhattan College. She is a alumni member of New Dramatists. an affiliated artist at the New Group, and a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.
Recently, she was named the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at the Classical Theatre of Harlem and a Denning Visiting Artist at Stanford. She was commissioned by Noor Theatre with support from Pop Culture Collab to develop a comic TV pilot, inspired by her play Roar.
Malvolio, an irreverent comedy and sequel to Twelfth Night, had its world premiere at the Classical Theatre of Harlem as part of their annual Uptown Shakespeare in the Park at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheatre (July 2023). Co-directed by Ian Belknap and Ty Jones. Choreography by Dell Howlett.
Her works have been translated into seven languages.