“Claire Willett’s plays seek to unearth the hard emotional truths that underlie loss, grief and questions pertaining to faith . . . Her dialogue is truthful, her characters fully human, and the questions she has them wrestle with provoke the kind of debate about personal history, family, faith and belief that is the substance of our strongest theatre and playwriting . . . it is clear from this breakthrough play that she has found a resonant, thoughtful and emotionally truthful voice. I hope and anticipate we’ll hear more of it for some time to come.”
–Chicago playwright Carlos Murillo, judge of the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Drama
Claire Elizabeth Willett is a playwright from Portland, Oregon. She is a company member of the Portland literary artists’ collective Playwrights West and was named the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama and the summer 2011 Writer-In-Residence at the I-Park Artists’ Colony in East Haddam, CT. Her play Dear Galileo was produced in March 2013 in the Hothouse New Play Development Series at California’s historic Pasadena Playhouse, starring Robert Picardo and Lawrence Pressman. Her world premiere adaptation of W.H. Auden’s 1942 poetic oratorio For the Time Being was produced at the Portland live/work artists’ complex Milepost 5 in January 2013. A founding artist of Portland’s annual Fertile Ground Festival of New Work, Claire has produced a staged reading in every year of the festival: Carter Hall (2014), a musical adaptation of the Scottish folk tale “Tam Lin” produced in Artists Repertory Theatre’s new “Flash Reads” series; The Witch of the Iron Wood (2013), a chamber opera based on Norse mythology co-written with Los Angeles composer Evan Lewis; Dear Galileo (2012), which was produced by Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland and funded by a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission; That Was the River, This Is the Sea, co-written with Gilberto Martin del Campo (2011); How the Light Gets In (2010); and Upon Waking (2009). Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Whitman College in Washington, and is a graduate of the Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City.