Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Image of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is a dramatist who writes for audio, stage and screen. Her play Snow in Midsummer was recently produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Royal Shakespeare Company and will be staged in New York by Classic Stage Company in the summer of 2022.


Cowhig is an internationally produced playwright whose work has been staged in the United Kingdom at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hampstead Theatre, the National Theatre, Trafalgar Studios 2 [West End] and the Unicorn Theatre. In the United States her work has been staged at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theater Club and the Goodman Theatre.

Her plays have been awarded the Wasserstein Prize, the Yale Drama Series Award (selected by David Hare), an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, the David A. Callichio Award, the Keene Prize for Literature and a United States Artist Fellowship.

She has benefited from artist residencies at Yaddo, Macdowell, Hedgebrook, Ragdale, the Sundance Playwright Retreats at Ucross and Flying Point, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her work has been published by Yale University Press, Glimmer Train, Methuen Drama, Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. 

Cowhig was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Northern Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing. She received an MFA in Writing from the James A. Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, a BA in Sociology from Brown University, and a certificate in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. She was formerly an Associate Professor of Drama at UC Santa Barbara, where she had the pleasure of mentoring undergraduate playwrights and directing the New Works Lab. Cowhig was a recurring visiting faculty member at Bennington each spring since 2023.