Timberlake Wertenbaker was born in New York in 1956 but grew up in the Basque Country, France, in the small fishing village of Ciboure.
She is a British-based playwright, screenplay writer, and translator who has written plays for the Royal Court, the Royal Shakespeare Company and others. She has been described as "the doyenne of political theater of the 1980s and 1990s". Wertenbaker's most well-known work is Our Country's Good, which won six Tony nominations for its 1991 production. She has a propensity to write about political thinking and conflict, especially where there is a settled orthodoxy: "Then the rebel in me goes berserk, and I start pawing at it. I like the area where the questions are, and the ambiguities of political life, rather than the certainties."
Wertenbaker was the resident writer for Shared Experience in 1983 and the Royal Court Theatre from 1984 to 1985. She was on the Executive Council of the English Stage Company from 1992 to 1997 and on the Executive Committee of PEN from 1998 to 2001. She served as the Royden B. Davis professor of Theatre at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., for 2005-06. She was the Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Freud Museum in 2011. She was also the artistic director of New Perspective Theatre Company.
Currently, Wertenbaker is the Chair in Playwriting at the University of East Anglia. In addition, she is artistic adviser to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and on the council of the Royal Society of Literature.
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