Anne Washburn is an American playwright. She was born in Berkeley, California, where her exposure to theatre was limited to seeing local school productions and acting in productions at her high school. She admits that she was not very good but that she enjoyed it immensely, and in the meantime, she wrote poetry. Washburn attended Reed College, where she had no intentions at all to continue with theatre, but a boy she liked was directing and producing an original play for her senior thesis. Washburn was cast and knew that theatre was what she needed to do, so she promptly changed her major and discovered her passion for playwriting.
After college, Washburn moved to Seattle, Washington, and worked several temp jobs but had a hard time writing. She applied to graduate programs but was rejected. Washburn began to write radio plays and found some success in doing so. After some time, she decided to once again try her hand at applying to graduate schools, and she was accepted into the New York University dramatic writing program.
Seen as one of the foremost contemporary experimental playwrights, Washburn, whose plays have been produced at venues such as the Vineyard Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, and the American Repertory Theatre, among others, is best known for her Drama League nominated 2012 play Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, which explores what could happen to popular culture after modern civilization. The characters in Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play have all survived some sort of nuclear apocalypse and bide their time attempting to recount “Cape Feare,” an episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons. Eventually, “Cape Feare” and other Simpsons episodes become widespread cultural phenomena and ultimately begin to carry religious meaning for the “post-electric” human race.
More about Anne Washburn