Calamity West is a Chicago-based, award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have appeared at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Roundabout, The Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens, and TimeLine – to name a few. She holds a BA in dramatic writing from Webster University and an MFA in creative writing from California College of the Arts. She teaches playwriting and literature at her alma mater of Webster University and playwriting at the University of Chicago. In 2018 she founded the Playwrights Lab at Jackalope Theatre where she is a proud company member. In 2014 she was the recipient of the 3Arts Award in theatre.
From 2020 to 2021 Calamity’s short film, Cool For Five Seconds, ran the festival circuit accumulating the following recognition and awards: NewFilmMakers LA, 2021: Nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Dramatic Short; Midwest Film Festival 2020: Grand Prize Winner; Midwest Film Festival, 2020: Judges Choice at Midwest Film Festival’s Female Filmmaker Night; New York Independent Film Festival: Final Nominee for Best Narrative Short Film; Beloit International Festival: Best Illinois Short Film.
Calamity currently resides in the neighborhood of Albany Park in Chicago where she writes, teaches, reads, mentors, fills her head with music, bakes pies, and hosts dinners.
West is represented by ICM Partners and managed by Industry Entertainment.
"West is a colossal Chicago talent with a formidable intellect..." - Chicago Tribune
“…an essential Chicago-style voice…” – Chicago Tribune
“Calamity West…is, without question, a name to watch.” – Chicago Tribune
“Calamity West manages to hook you in and get you comfortable only to take you places no one wants to see clearly.” – Third Coast
“West writes like a vise, slowly tightening the screws until her characters are trapped and her audience is rapt.” – Windy City Times
“West’s writing really hits the zeitgeist. She’s an important voice in the world...” – PerformInk
“West, a Chicago writer with an ebullient sense of theatricality, is the real deal..." – Chicago Tribune
“…a leading aesthetic innovator of storefront realism as well as a tough-as-nails moralist.” – Chicago Reader