Betty Shamieh


Betty Shamieh (بتي شامية) is a playwright and performer.  She is the author of fifteen plays.  The off-Broadway premieres of her works included The Black Eyed and Roar, which was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick for four weeks and is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States.  Roar was the first play by a Palestinian-American playwright to premiere off-Broadway and it starred Emmy-nominated actress, Annabella Sciorra.

Her play The Machine was produced by Naked Angels and directed by Marisa Tomei.  Shamieh’s works have recently been produced in translation in Austria, Greece, Holland, and Sweden.  Her play Territories ran for six months at the 2009 European Union’s Capital of Culture Festival.  She performed in her play, Chocolate in Heat, in three critically acclaimed extended off-off-Broadway runs and toured it throughout the country.  Shamieh has mentored many young writers as a Screenwriting Professor at Marymount Manhattan College.

Her essays have appeared in The American Theatre Reader, The Brooklyn Rail, Counterpunch, and Mizna.  Shamieh was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard in 2004.  She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama.

Shamieh’s contributions to theatre and literature have not gone unnoticed.  Her life and work has been the subject of features in the New York Times, Time Out, American Theatre magazine, Theater Bay Area, the Brooklyn Rail, San Francisco Chronicle, Svenska Dagbladet, Teaterstockholm, der Standard, Aramco Magazine, Kathimeiri, and the International Herald Tribune among others.  A cartoon of Roar appeared in the New Yorker’s “Goings on about Town” section.  In 2005, Shamieh was one of the youngest artists to be named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

Publications: Plays

  • Roar
  • The Black Eyed
  • Territories
  • As Soon As Impossible
  • Again and Against
  • Free Radicals
  • The Strangest
  • Chocolate in Heat
  • Fit for the Queen
  • The Machine



  • Anonymous
  • The Art of Hope



  • Permission

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