Young Jean Lee

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Young Jean Lee
Lee (right) interviewed by Mina Morita, 2019
Lee (right) interviewed by Mina Morita, 2019
Born1974 (age 47–48)
Daegu, South Korea
OccupationPlaywright, director, filmmaker
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
Brooklyn College (MFA)
Literary movementExperimental, Avant-garde
Official website
Young Jean Lee
Revised RomanizationYi Yeongjin
McCune–ReischauerYi Yǒngjin

Young Jean Lee is an American playwright, director, and filmmaker. She was the Artistic Director of Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, a not-for-profit theater company dedicated to producing her work. She has written and directed ten shows for Young Jean Lee's Theater Company and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Lee was called "the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation" by Charles Isherwood in The New York Times[1] and "one of the best experimental playwrights in America" by David Cote in Time Out New York.[2] With the 2018 production of Straight White Men at the Hayes Theater, Lee became the first Asian American woman to have a play produced on Broadway.[3]


Lee was born in South Korea and moved to the United States when she was two years old. She grew up in Pullman, Washington and attended college at UC Berkeley, where she majored in English[4] and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.[5] Immediately after college, Lee entered UC Berkeley's English Ph.D. program, where she studied Shakespeare for six years before moving to New York to become a playwright. She received an MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College.[6]



Lee's plays have been presented in New York City at, The Public Theater (Straight White Men),[7] the Baryshnikov Arts Center (Untitled Feminist Show),[8] LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater (We're Gonna Die), Joe's Pub (We're Gonna Die),[9] Soho Repertory Theater (Lear),[10] The Appeal,[11] The Kitchen (The Shipment)[12] The Public Theater (Church), P.S. 122 (Church),[13] Pullman, Washington,[14] HERE Arts Center (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven),[15] and the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals). Her work has toured venues in Paris, Vienna, Hannover, Berlin, Zurich, Brussels, Budapest, Sydney, Melbourne, Bergen, Brighton, Hamburg, Oslo, Trondheim, Rotterdam, Salamanca, Graz, Seoul, Zagreb, Toulouse, Toronto, Calgary, Antwerp, Vienna, Athens, London, Chicago, Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Boston, New Hampshire, Williamstown, and Minneapolis. Lee is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theater, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.[citation needed]