Associate Playwrights

“City Lights associate playwrights are creative partners in uncompromising storytelling. We have great admiration for their work, and know that whenever we collaborate, the results will be truly exciting theater.”

Lauren Gunderson

Plays at City Lights: Exit, Pursued by a Bear (2015); I and You (2016); Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (written with Margot Melcon) (2017); Silent Sky (2019); The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley (written with Margot Melcon) (2019).

Lauren has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015, topping the list twice, including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and YouExit, Pursued By A Bear ; The Taming and Toil And Trouble ), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists ; The Book of Will ; Silent Sky ; Bauer ; Natural Shocks ; The Wickhams ; and Miss Bennet ) and Samuel French (Emilie ). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon.

The cast of “Silent Sky.” Photo by Taylor Sanders.

Aaron Loeb

Plays at City Lights: First Person Shooter (2008); Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party (2010); Ideation (2017).

Aaron Loeb’s work has been performed around the world. His full-length plays include Ideation (which premiered Off Broadway in 2016), The Trials of Sam HoustonThe ProudBrownFirst Person ShooterBlastosphere (with Geetha Reddy), and Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party (Off-Broadway premiere in 2010). Loeb received the Will Glickman award for Best New Play in the Bay Area for Ideation in 2013. He is the resident playwright of San Francisco Playhouse and a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc.

From left, Ted (Tom Gough), Sandeep (Sunny Moza) and Brock (George Psarras) in “Ideation.” Photo by Taylor Sanders.

Michael Mitnick

Plays at City Lights: the world premiere of Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman (2013); and The Siegel (2018).

Michael Mitnick’s works include Scotland, PA (NYT Critics’ Pick, The Roundabout Theatre Company), Fly By Night (Drama Desk-nominated Best Musical, Playwrights Horizons), Mysterious Circumstances (The Geffen Playhouse), Sex Lives of Our Parents (Second Stage), The Siegel (South Coast Repertory), Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman (City Lights, The Wild Project), as well as The Happiness Trilogy: Elijah (LOCAL), Ed, Downloaded (The Denver Center), and Babs the Dodo (Washington Ensemble Theatre).

His songs have been sung on Broadway, at Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, and on HBO. Film work includes The Current War (dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon), The Giver (dir. Phillip Noyce),  and The Staggering Girl (dir. Luca Guadagnino). He has an MFA in Playwriting from The Yale School of Drama. Michael was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

From left, Alice (Ella Dershowitz), Ron (Erik Gandolfi), Nelson (Davied Morales), and Ethan (Ben Euphrat) in “The Siegel.” Photo by Taylor Sanders.

Kit Wilder

Plays at City Lights: The Three Musketeers (2009); Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War (2014, written with Jeffrey Bracco); Frankenstein (2017).

Kit holds a degree from Santa Clara University, has studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, served as Associate Artistic Director of City Lights Theater Company for ten years, and currently serves as Grant Writer for the company. His work as an actor, director, and fight director runs the gamut from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama, musical theatre, and opera, and has been seen at City Lights, Bus Barn Stage Company, Hillbarn Theatre, the New Conservatory Theatre Center, San Jose Stage Company, TheatreWorks, Foothill Music Theatre, Broadway By the Bay, Woodminster Summer Musicals, California Theatre Center, Meadow Brook Theatre, the Grand Canyon Shakespeare Festival, Opera San Jose, Jewel Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz, among others. Kit has also taught master classes in Shakespeare and Stage Combat at many colleges, high schools, and theatre companies throughout the Bay Area and beyond, and he currently teaches Playwriting, Directing, and Stage Combat at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

A member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America, he is proud to join the roster of City Lights’ esteemed Associate Playwrights. The world premiere of his new play, Toxic, will be opening the company’s upcoming 23-24 season.

Photo from "Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War" (2014)
“Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War” (2014). Photo by Richard Mayer