Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Tammy Ryan

Tammy Ryan

Artistic Category artist

I am a playwright because I love collaboration.  I write plays in order to be in the rehearsal room.   Most of my work that is produced in Pittsburgh has been presented by The REP at the Pittsburgh Playhouse where I have worked the past 15 years. Though my work is increasingly produced at regional theaters across the country, I consider Pittsburgh my artistic home.   As a member of the Dramatists Guild of America I am an enthusiastic advocate for new playwriting and new playwrights in Pittsburgh.

Career Level Professional
Experienced With Collaboration, Commissions, Leading workshops, Lectures, Teaching engagements, Speaking engagements, For-hire services

I try to tell the truth in my plays -- not the strict narrative, journalistic truth, but a deeper, emotional, visceral truth. I’ve always believed playwriting was closer to poetry than any other kind of writing and each play I write has its own integrity, its own poetic heart beat that I need to discover before I can tell the story. I  write theatrical plays intended to be seen and heard on the stage. I write character driven plays, and try to create juicy, layered, complex roles for actors. The subject matter, genre and even audience they are intended for varies, but always the plays are meant to move audiences towards enlightenment, transformation, hope.  I strive to write socially conscious work that desires a conversation with the community in which I live.  I believe, as Bertolt Brecht said, that "art is not a mirror with which to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it."


TAMMY RYAN is a playwright and librettist whose work has been performed across the United States and abroad. She was awarded the Francesca Primus Prize by the American Theater Critics Association for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (Premiere Stages/Playwrights Theater of New Jersey)in 2012. Her play Molly’s Hammer premiered at The Repertory Theater of St. Louis in 2016 and was nominated for the St. Louis Theater Critics Circle Award, the ATCA Steinberg Award as well as the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.   Other plays include Soldier’s Heart (Pittsburgh Playhouse), Tar Beach (Luna Stage/nominated for Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), and The Music Lesson (Florida Stage/Carbonell Award/American Alliance of Theater in Education Distinguished New Play Award.)  Her first opera, A New Kind of Fallout, written with composer Gilda Lyons was commissioned and produced by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in 2015.  Ryan has held fellowships at the Sewanee Writers Conference, Hambidge Center and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  Ryan is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and a resident playwright of New Dramatists class of 2025.  She lives in Pittsburgh where she teaches playwriting at various universities and workshops.   For more information:  www.tammyryan.net.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206
412 915 5486
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