Philana Imade Omorotionmwan (o-more-o-tune-wha) is a 2018-19 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center. Her writing frequently considers how the ways in which folks are “othered” can often lead to our bodies feeling like a prison.
Philana's plays include Before Evening Comes, The Defiance of Dandelions, Fireflies, and Strong Face, or Misogynoir. Her work has been developed and/or presented at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Br!nk New Works Festival, La MaMa Experiments Series, Athena Project Festival, and UC Berkeley's TDPS New Play Reading Series. Philana has been a semifinalist for the Relentless Award, a two-time Heideman finalist, and a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, The Playwrights Realm's Scratchpad Series, TU's WomenWorks, and the KCACTF Region II NPAT Award. Her short plays have been produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, Stay Awake! Theatre, Little Black Dress Ink, 20% Theatre Company Chicago, Ohlone and College. Her poems have appeared in New Delta Review and African American Review.
Philana was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned a BA in English at Stanford University (where she began writing plays under the mentorship of Cherríe Moraga and also dabbled in spoken word). Philana completed an MFA in Playwriting in May 2018. She is at work on a television pilot about her experiences as a teacher in public charter schools. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.