The Playwrights: Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon

Lauren Gunderson is the most-produced living playwright in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

Her works focus heavily on female figures in history, science, and literature. You may recognize her as the playwright of last year’s highly acclaimed “Silent Sky”, written about 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Other notable figures in her plays include physicist Émilie du Châtelet, computer scientist Ada Lovelace, playwright Olympe de Gouges, and trailblazing female scientist Marie Curie.

Gunderson also writes for activism purposes. “The Taming” asks the question “what is a woman actually won the presidency” and was free to produce on the evening of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017. She also gave royalty-free readings of her play “Natural Shocks”, which addresses domestic violence and gun violence against women.

Margot Melcon is a dramaturg, administrator, and writer.

As a dramaturg, she consults with playwrights and authors and often acts as an editor. She also assists authors in structuring new plays.

As the Director of New Play Development at the Marin Theatre Company for seven years, Melcon helped develop over 30 productions. This included developing educational and marketing materials, and facilitating artist and community dialogue.

Gunderson’s and Melcon’s first collaboration, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley“, plays at the Firehall Theatre November 27 – December 15, 2019.

They came up for the idea for “Miss Bennet” on a road trip together in 2014. It is a show that is both practical (all theatre companies need good holidays shows, and there just aren’t that many) and different: it is rooted in the complications of being part of a family made up of dynamic women and what it means to support one another.