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Northwestern School of Communication

Zayd Ayers Dohrn

Professor; Director, MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage
Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive
Room 306
Evanston, IL 60208
Playwriting, Screenwriting, TV writing, Podcasting, Writing for Digital Media

Area(s) of Expertise

Digital Media, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Television
Zayd Ayers Dohrn

Zayd Dohrn is a writer, professor, and director of the MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage in the Department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.

He is creator and host of the original documentary podcast Mother Country Radicals, which won the Audio Storytelling category at the Tribeca Film Festival. Dohrn’s plays include The Profane (Playwrights Horizons), Outside People (The Vineyard/Naked Angels), Want (Steppenwolf First Look) and Reborning (The Public / Summer Play Festival).  See published plays.

He is the recipient of the Horton Foote New American Play Prize, the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, the Sky Cooper American Playwriting Prize, and Theatre Master’s Visionary Playwrights Award, and is a two-time winner of Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Prize. He is currently writing films for Netflix and FilmNation and developing a television series for eOne. Zayd attended Brown University, received his MFA from NYU and was a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at Juilliard.


  • MFA, Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU (Dean’s Fellowship) Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Fellowship, Juilliard
  • M.Phil. Comparative Literature, Columbia (Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellowship) MA, Creative Writing, Boston University
  • BA, Literature/Political and Ethical Philosophy, Brown University

Awards and Honors

  • Award for "Best Audio Storytelling" at Tribeca Film Festival
  • Horton Foote New American Play Prize, 2016
  • Clarence Simon Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring, 2013
  • Theatre Masters Visionary Playwright Award, 2009
  • Lincoln Center Lecomte du Nouy Prize, 2008/2009
  • Sky Cooper American Playwriting Prize, 2008
  • Kennedy Center Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, 2008