Member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab Since 2006, Former Co-Director
Rehana Lew Mirza holds a shared Mellon National Playwrights residency at Ma-Yi Theater with husband Mike Lew. She is also currently a Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at the Lark and the recipient of a 2016 Lilly Award (Stacey Mindich commission.)
Full-length plays include: Soldier X (productions: Ma-Yi, Brooklyn College. NYSCA Commission, Lark Studio Retreat, Kilroy selection.); Neighborhood Watch (NNPN/InterAct commission); Lonely Leela(productions: Desipina; LPAC. readings: Magic Theatre, New Georges); Barriers (productions: Desipina; Asian American Theater Company); Hatefuck (Primary Fresh Ink reading); and if it’s sad i don’t want to see it (readings: Queens Theater, 2G).
Honors include: Rhinebeck Musical Theater Residency (with composer Sam Willmott and co-writer Mike Lew for Bhangin’ It); TCG Future Leader Fellowship with New Georges; NBC Shorts Audience Award; E.S.T. Sloan Commission; La Jolla Playhouse Commission (with Mike Lew); Tofte Artist residency; IAAC residency with the Lark, John Golden Award, and a LMCC artist grant. She is a current member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and the Primary Stages Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group. MFA: Columbia University; BFA: NYU Tisch.
A DISTANT RELATION
Full-length Dark Comedy
Bi-racial, lesbian, bio-geneticist Heather Ramos firmly believes that the Y chromosome is unnecessary. Until she discovers that she has a long-lost brother. With her on and off girlfriend Martha, Heather embarks on a trip to find this brother and put her world back in order again. But when she finds him, will she be able to handle what’s hidden in her family tree?
Ma-Yi Theater Labfest Reading, February 2012
Soldier X is about a generation that’s spent more of their lives at war than at peace. It’s a love triangle about a young soldier who comes back from Afghanistan and falls in love with his dead comrade’s sister, only to have his military psychologist fall in love with him.
NYSCA Individual Artist Commission via the Lark Development Center, 2012
3(+) W, 4(+) M
Leela’s boyfriend has disappeared. So she goes into the Internet to find him. An Alice in Wonderland type adventure where malicious codes and white knight bloggers meet in a shifting world of everything’s at your fingertips but you can’t quite find what you’re looking for.
HERE (NYC), workshop production, 2012
Magic Theater (SF), workshop, 2012
NYStage & Film Vassar Retreat via Lark Development Center, 2011
New Georges (NYC), mini-workshop, 2010
2G (NYC), reading, 2010
if it’s sad, i don’t want to see it
Full-length Dark Comedy
In a newly formed boutique water company, an odd assortment of individuals come together. As the global economy becomes increasingly smaller, each individual comes to face what they are willing to give up in the pursuit for happiness.
2G Workshop, 2009
Ma-Yi Theater LabFest Reading, 2008
Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference semi-finalist
Princess Grace semi-finalist
PARTICLES OF PAKISTAN
When 16-year-old Haroon gets suspended from his Michigan high school, his mother ships him off to Pakistan until he shapes up. But then he meets Mehreen, a young woman whose idol is a Physicist named Abdus Salam, whose research in the 50s, 60s, and 70s has led to the current-day discovery of the ‘God’ particle, a historical figure’s past shapes his future.
Lark Development Center roundtable, 2011
E.S.T. Sloan Commission, 2010
Shortly after 9/11, Sunima returns to her New Jersey home from NYC to announce her pending engagement, but instead gets trapped in the family loss they never dealt with. As this multi-cultural, Muslim family begins to fragment, we begin to piece together the past each one hides, and the future they all share.
HERE (NYC), production, 2012
Rasik Arts (Toronto), reading, 2005
Asian American Arts Centre (Philadelphia), reading, 2004
Georgetown/Arth Arts (D.C.), reading, 2003
Asian American Theater Company (SF), production, 2003
HERE Arts Center (NYC), production, 2002
Princess Grace Finalist, 2003
“… the pertinence and poignancy of its subject in the current context is indisputable. If the play’s idea is to make a plaintive case on behalf of a community, it is a deserving case, a deserving plaint. You leave the theater sympathetic to fellow Americans who don’t feel much fellowship at the moment.” – Bruce Weber, New York Times
“Mirza has chosen her medium well — Barriers reaches out and grabs us — wrenches us– to teach us something valuable about the state of the world.” – Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com