Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Catherine Yu

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2017

Catherine Yu is a writer of plays and librettos. Her plays include Le Jeté (2019 BAPF Semifinalist); The Day is Long to End (2018 University of Florida production); The Things You Tell Yourself and The Sun Experiment (FringeNYC Excellence in Playwriting; Time Out NY’s Top Ten Nightlife and Music Events of the Week in August 2014).

She has been a 2016 NYSCA/NYFA fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, a Soho Rep W/D Lab writer, and a New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color. Her short plays have been commissioned by 52nd Street Project, Two Headed Rep and Planned Parenthood among others. Her one-act “A Sand Romance” was a 2016 Heidman Award finalist. Her arts writing has been published by Hyperallergic and her poetry in a Dutch Kills Press 2020 pandemic anthology. She has served as a grants panelist for NYSCA/NYFA, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Brooklyn Arts Council. As an educator, she has worked as a GED tutor for federal prison inmates, an ESL tutor in China and a tutor to elementary school children. She writes grants for an orchestra .

A New Yorker based in Chicago, she is a 2022-2025 resident playwright with Chicago Dramatists. Commissioned for a libretto by Atlanta Opera in 2023, she is currently working on a libretto for Strange Trace. Her short story collection is supported by a 2023 Illinois Arts Council grant.

Catherine Yu spent her time at MacDowell working on a draft of a museum play with Baroque opera interludes and a screenplay about Ludwig Wittgenstein. The play was created and developed in the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and received a reading with the Movement Theater Company in November 2016.



Catherine Yu worked in the Star studio.

Funded by Alpha Chi Omega, a national fraternity founded in 1885, Star Studio — built in 1911–1912 — was the first studio given to the residency by an outside organization. To this day, Alpha Chi sorority pledges learn the story of Star Studio and its role in supporting American arts and letters. Beginning as a nicely proportioned…

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