Philana Imade Omorotionmwan (o-more-o-tune-wah) is writing to save her body and spirit from a world that seems hellbent on destroying them. She is currently based in Minneapolis as a 2018-19 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center, but she was born and raised at the other end of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA to a Black Creole mother and a Nigerian father.
Her plays include Before Evening Comes, The Defiance of Dandelions, Fireflies, and Strong Face, or Misogynoir. Her work has been developed and/or presented at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Br!nk New Works Festival, La MaMa Experiments Series, and Athena Project Festival. Philana is the recipient of Marin Theatre Company's 2019 David Calicchio Emerging Playwright Prize. She has been a semifinalist for the Relentless Award, P73 Fellowship, and Many Voices Fellowship, as well as a two-time Heideman finalist, and a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, the Theatre503 Award, and the Playwrights Realm's Scratchpad Series. Her short plays have been produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre, Pillsbury House + Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, Stay Awake! Theatre, Little Black Dress Ink, 20% Theatre Company Chicago, and Ohlone College. Her poems have appeared in New Delta Review and African American Review.
Philana earned a BA in English at Stanford University, where she began writing plays under the mentorship of Cherríe Moraga and also dabbled in spoken word. Philana completed an MFA in Playwriting in May 2018. She is at work on a television pilot about her experiences as a teacher in public charter schools. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.